The London Backpacks by LBG Studio

The girls and I were shopping at Target when they came across cute backpacks they wanted to buy for our trip to Ukraine. I heard myself saying, "I can make backpacks for you." Don't ask, I have no idea what possessed me to utter such strange words. lol I quickly realized that it would be way more expensive, never mind time consuming, to actually make backpacks. I was hoping they would forget. They didn't. Luckily for me, my good friend Vanessa of LBG Studio is an excellent bags pattern designer, and she has a perfect backpack pattern, the London Backpack. Yeah! To keep the costs down I had my girls choose all the fabric from my stash.







I followed the pattern instructions exactly to make Ania's backpack. She absolutely loves it.  The strange fabric straight from 1985 came from a box of upholstery fabric somebody gave me. I had the hardest time to keep my opinions to myself, and tried to gently guide her away from her choice, but she was adamant she wanted it. It really reminded me of the faux granite Formica countertops circa mid 80s while I was cutting it, but once I made the backpack, it grew on me and I think it turned out pretty cute. The best part was that the fabric was already interfaced which meant less cutting for me. Win win.


The secret pocket in the back is mine and Ania's favorite feature.



There is another sort of free floating pocket inside that also forms part of the casing for the strings, which is a super clever idea. I forgot to take pictures of the inside, sorry. Just trust me, lol. The pattern is very well made, everything fits together perfectly and the instructions are super easy to follow. It's also designed well. It would make a trendy adult backpack. I want to make one for myself in leather. It's not hard to make, though the pockets take some time. I cut everything in one day, and then it took me a couple evenings to finish it.


I simplified Evelyn's backpack considerably, mostly for because I was short on time. Instead of eyelets and a tie, I made a casing and used elastic to cinch the front. Evelyn is still not a pro at making ties and I didn't want her to ask for help every time she used it. It worked great!

Instead of a zipped pocket I made a simple big pocket with a snap in the back. Also works great. The fabric came from my stash, it's from IKEA and sadly is out of print. Though I still have plenty of it left. I meant to have both bunnies visible on the pocket but miscalculated cutting and chopped of a bunny's head. Woopsy. I also skipped the hardware in the back and just measured the straps to fit Evelyn.


Evelyn loves her backpack, it's perfect to carry her favorite bunny.


I am not a bag making pro, I only made two before (here and here), but I wanted to share a few tips that helped me and hopefully you will find helpful as well, especially if you are a novice bag maker. 
1. There are a lot of pattern pieces to cut. You need to cut three or four things for each paper pattern piece - one main fabric, one for lining and one or two for interfacing. It's a lot of cutting. I cut all the patterns pieces simultaneously - the lining went underneath the main fabric and interfacing underneath the lining. Make sure you have super sharp scissors to handle all the layers. 
2. There are a lot of similar rectangular pieces, it's easy to mix things up. Keep all the pieces that belong together pinned to the corresponding paper pattern piece. There will be no confusion and everything is nicely sorted and organized. 
3. Read instructions and the supply list before starting. If you follow the pattern as is, chances are you will need to order or buy supplies. Also, Vanessa has helpful tips to follow. 
4. Do not skip interfacing and use the interfacing recommended. It's more expensive, but it will not bubble due to wear or cleaning. 
5. Don't be intimidated, it's not as difficult as it looks! If you follow instructions carefully, great results are guaranteed! 







2 comments

  1. Great tips, and I love both bags! They suit both girls perfectly (that bunny fabric is really cute), and I love all the features of the backpack. I will have to get round to trying one myself, since I seem to be all about making backpacks these days, heh heh.

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  2. The backpacks turned out great! I think a simplified version is spot on for a younger child. I will keep that in mind next time I say the same words haha

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