Toddler Backpack: 2 weeks overdue

This post was written two weeks ago. I was actually finishing it when R got home with the terrible news that my father had passed away, prompting an urgent two week trip to Portugal. I couldn’t bring myself to press publish with all that was going on. We’re back now and life must go on, however hard that may be. I just wanted to say this because I’m not one of those people that can just proceed business as usual when things just don’t feel well, so I felt I needed to share this sadder part too.

I’m a procrastinator. That doesn’t always work out well, and this little backpack is proof of that. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I spend months in advance planning things out, sometimes even organizing materials to get things done. It’s the part where things leave my brain to gain a life of their own which usually gets me. I picked up this lovely Marimekko fabric on our trip to Sweden last June, with the sole purpose of making this backpack for Sprout’s first day of school. I believe I purchased Made by Rae’s Toddler backpack sewing pattern even before that. But you know, I still had soooo much time. So why not just leave it for exactly the week before school starts. You know, with all the other running around to get things. Like a normal, sane person would do. Right?

Oh, I had big plans for this little backpack. I decided I was going to laminate the fabric myself. I bough the vlieseline stuff to do so ages ago. And laminate it I did! What a total disaster!!! I can’t quite say what went wrong. I think I applied it properly. The Marimekko fabric was OK (but not brilliant) but the red fabric (supposedly 100% cotton) puckered a bit. No biggie though, thought I. Until I got to sewing. It was like sewing plastic. Don’t get me wrong, I have sewn oilcloth and laminates before, but this was strange. It felt as though the needle was breaking the laminate. But I persevered, because I’m stubborn  determined like that. Just as I was FINISHING the whole thing, I realized there was no way it would ever hold up. The plastic was tearing in places and it was damn hard to sew the last curvy parts. This was the weekend before school started. So I washed his old backpack and gave up on the idea of having a new one for the first day of school.

It was a very involved process, but I’m really glad I stuck with it. It’s not perfect because the thin cotton fabric stretched a bit when ripping off the laminate

But I didn’t give up on the backpack. Oh, no! And I love this expensive beautiful fabric too much to just cut up a new one. So, I tore it all apart unpicked ALL the piping, unstuck ALL the laminate and started over.

And I’m glad I did. It’s not perfect by any means. The thin cotton fabric stretched out a bit when ripping out the laminate, which threw things off a bit, especially in comparison to the canvas I used as an underlining (the Marimekko was too thin on its own). It’s a bit wonky and still missing the lining, but Sprout wanted to use it asap. Here is the unfinished inside:

I’ll share it again when the lining is finally in. Which, you know, can be next year or something 😉

7 thoughts on “Toddler Backpack: 2 weeks overdue

  1. Hi Sandra!
    Sorry to ear that sad part of your life, but you’re right….life must go on…and babies need their happy mom!
    sadness appart, wich you the very best of life and congratulations for your creative side!
    Much more fun than legal stuff, isn’t it?

  2. Sorry about your sad news. I hope your family will help you to cope with it, just by being part of your life – it is something to be thankful for.
    Onto another matter entirely, I think you are such a skilful seamstress. How did you do the laminating, was it some kind of spray? I can’t imagine you used an office laminator through which you run sheets of paper, as the fabric is obviously larger than A4 size.

  3. Pingback: A new school year | Brussels Sprout

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