Friday, May 10, 2013

T-Shirt to Drawstring Backpack

So, I was at the store the other day and I saw a cute Nike or Adidas or some-sports-related-brand drawstring backpack on sale. Considering that I was juggling an armful of household necessities, trying to figure out how I would fit my purchases AND my purse in my bike basket for the ride home, this backpack looked like heaven to me.  But, as I calculated the discount percentage off of the retail price (I rely pretty heavily on those little signs that list the "before and after" pricing), I realized that this bag would be easy to make on my own.  Of course, that didn't help me while I was precariously balancing a small mountain of items on the bike ride home, but I felt good that I didn't waste the 40% off of $14.99 (Yeah. YOU figure that out on your own).

I got down to it almost right away. I have had this jersey tank sitting around, waiting for a re-fashion for a long time now, and I thought it would be awesome for a drawstring back pack.
I looked up a few tutorials online, but I couldn't find any that were exactly what I wanted.  Considering that this is stretchy jersey fabric, I knew that I needed a lining inside for strength, and I couldn't find too many instructions for this bag that included interfacing and a lining.  I decided to just wing it, and went about matching up some fabrics.
A few problems that I had right off  the bat:
-The graphic on this tank was so close to the neckline that I had to put a strip of fabric at the top in order to keep the image from being distorted by the casing for the straps.
- I do not own cording of any kind, and the selection in my little town is super-limited, so I had to buy this thick shoe-lace type nylon weave stuff for the straps. Not my first choice.
- I really liked the grommet idea that I had seen on another blog, but I only have teeny ones for apparel uses (which I have never used), so I found those weird "D" loops that I re-purposed from another bag.
- The question of whether or not to add a pocket kept me up at night. In the end, I decided against it because this is more of a bike-riding knapsack rather than a daily purse.


Ultimately, this project took longer than it should have because I was being really picky about its construction.  I know myself pretty well, and I tend to put a lot of heavy stuff in my bags.  This pack needs to hold up to water bottles, sunscreen, bug spray, and whatever else I can cram in there, and I wasn't going to cut corners just to get it done quickly.  I am really proud of how it turned out (having not used any instructions), and I know that it will last me a long time. Plus, there are so many ways to add to this design that I could make a hundred of these and never have two of them be the same. I can't wait to make a child-sized one for The Bear now that I ordered grommets and cording from an online sewing supplier. Let the obsession begin!