The London Backpack

Hello my friends! Long time, no blog, eh? The end of summer has been so crazy for me, what about you? We have been working on projects around the house, getting the nursery ready (four more weeks until DD!), and trying to squeeze in some last minute trips and date nights since we know those will be put on hold for a little while once baby H arrives in early October!

I sat down at my sewing machine last week for a little me-time sewing and whipped up a London Backpack. I’ve been eyeing this beauty since I first saw it on Instagram back in the spring, and I FINALLY took the time to purchase and make it! Allie at Indiesew made one that she scaled-up, so I thought I’d take her instructions and do the same. I LOVE the size of it (about 25% larger than the original pattern).

Allie’s instructions were awesome, but I’m going to add a few of my own tips to the upscaling process, if that’s ok with y’all! First off, I took the pattern to Staples to get it printed on 11″ x 17″ paper. They didn’t know how to do that directly from the PDF I emailed them, but were able to print it on 8.5″x11″ paper and then up-scale it to 125% from there. It cost me $4.50 and I got the “actual size” pattern pieces plus the pattern pieces at 125%. Maybe the people working that day didn’t know what they were doing, but that’s what I was dealing with- ha!

On the Indiesew blog under the “Modify the Necessary Pattern Pieces” section, you’ll see that Allie mentions that she decreases the width of the strap and strap loops to 6″. I found that I had to INCREASE these widths to make them 6″. Using a 6″ pattern piece for both of these allows you to use 1.5″ rectangle slides and 1.5″ rectangle rings.  Speaking of, I found mine over in Sara Lawson’s Purseware shop. She has all kinds of hard-to-find hardware for making bags. Thanks, Sara!

Everything else from the Indiesew blog and the pattern were pretty self-explanatory. But let me be clear about one thing: this bag is a BEAST. It is a beast once it’s finished (i.e. it weighs over 2 lbs. with nothing in it) and it was a beast to put together. You’ll want to break this project into two to three afternoons of cutting and sewing, if you ask me! But, in the end, the finished product is, in my opinion, completely worth it. It is professionally assembled and looks like a store-bought bag!

After completing this project, I had a greater respect for my Janome 4120 machine. It powered through multiple layers of canvas, leather, duck cloth, and interfacing… LIKE A CHAMP.

Fabrics used: Cultivate Canvas (purchased at Hawthorne Threads),  leather hide scraps from The Leather Hide Store (left over from this project), duck cloth (for lining and inner lining), hardware found at Sew Sweetness

Pattern: London Backpack purchased at Indiesew – it is also part of their 2015 Fall Collection
London Backpack // SewCaroline.comLondonBackpack1London Backpack // SewCaroline.com London Backpack // SewCaroline.com London Backpack // SewCaroline.com London Backpack // SewCaroline.comI love my finished London Backpack and plan on using it as a workbag/travel bag. It fits my computer, notebook, etc. and the back zipper pocket is the perfect place to store my iPad!

Happy Sewing, xoxoxo, Caroline

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