Friday, 24 April 2015

Liberty Backpack for Isla

So my baby girl, who is now three and not a baby anymore, started pre-kindy this year! Unbelievable. I'm still coming to grips with the realisation that she's growing up so fast, and spending most of two days a week with people I don't know. So I wanted a project to keep my mind distracted and I wanted to make something for her. I originally had thought I'd make her a library bag, but that's not the case now - for two reasons. Firstly, I now know that they don't visit the library at this age. And second, it's so beautiful that I'm not ready to let it out of the house!! So I've hung it in Isla's room to enjoy it and only bring it down when Isla wants to be a turtle and carry her unicorns around on her back.
So, I hunted for a pattern and remembered a really fun backpack pattern on The Purl Bee Blog a while back. Click here for link to pattern. I adapted the pattern in three ways. I personalised it with felt letters on the front. I swapped nylon chord for braided chord, and for this reason I had to double the height of the channel pieces and holes at the base to fit the bigger size of the braid.
Next, I dug out a piece of Liberty Lifestyle fabric, Bloomsbury Gardens Collection - print name Catherine (purchased years ago at Calico & Ivy). I chose this heavier weight fabric for strength and durability. Then, I found a matching spotted fabric for the lining (no idea where from as it's been around for ages). The bright pink felt is a rectangle that came with an unused Mollie Makes magazine project. And I got the gorgeous pink braid from Spotlight. I went looking for the nylon chord and came home with that instead. Happens a lot.

I vliesofixed the back of the felt and cut Isla's name out. I just hand-sketched the letters (backwards).
My favourite part is hand-stitching. I picked purple to provide a good contrast. My poor fingers and thumb were shredded from pushing and pulling through such stiff felt - but it was worth it. There's nothing more personal than hand-stitched letters, and the stiffer felt holds itself up really well. So I'm still happy with the choice of felt.
I didn't get any photos of the construction stage. The pattern was fantastic. So easy to follow and great big pictures helped me to work out what I had to do. Unfortunately for me, it wasn't as simple as Corinne's job, because I grabbed the braid instead of the chord. The braid was thicker - which meant that I had to remake larger channels and cut the holes at the base larger to squeeze the braid in. I also found that the braid doesnt slide as smoothly as a nylon braid would through the channels. But the backpack is still completely functional and looks fantastic!
Job well done xx For Isla Skye xx
For more pictures of Isla's backpack and her gorgeously bright Liberty-filled bedroom, pop over to my personal Instagram account @Rhapsodyland.