She Sews: Sprout’s Big Girl Backpack

I looked for a small toddler/preschooler backpack a few months ago, but was disappointed at the selection in stores. Everything had cartoon characters plastered all over the front — not really our style. I found a tutorial for a simple drawstring bag, added straps and a ring for hanging, and ta-dah! a toddler backpack.

Started – June 28
Completed – June 29
Duration – 1 day = 0.1 weeks

I could have finished this in 2-3 hours, if I hadn’t made some mistakes on the straps at the beginning. It definitely would take closer to the 2 hour mark if I were to make it again, now that I know the construction.

Pattern Info
Lined Drawstring Bag by In Color Order

The tutorial was great. I added medium-weight fusible interfacing to the main outer pieces to make them sturdier.

For the hanging ring, I cut a strip of fabric 2.5″ wide by 4.5″ long. Along each long end, I folded in 1/4″ and pressed, then folded the entire strip in half lengthwise and pressed. I top-stitched along both long sides (finished 1″ wide). I put the D-ring on, folded the piece in half, and insert it in the center of one seam where the lining is sewn to the outer accent piece.

For the straps, I cut two strips 2.5″ by 22″. I created the straps as I did the strap for the D-ring. Then, I cut about 6″ from each of those strips. The long strips became the top straps and the short strips, the bottom.

I sewed the top straps to the strap adjusters, folding under the end by 1/4″. Then I finished one end of each of the bottom straps by double-folding 1/4″ and stitching that down.

I placed the top straps alongside the D-ring strap when I sewed that seam. (I went back at the very end and stitch as close to the D-ring as I could, to make it look nicer.) I inserted the bottom straps in the seam where the two outer main pieces are sewn together, 3″ from each edge.

The only other change I made was shortening the pull-strings a little. I trimmed about 3-4″ off each one. I used ribbon and burned the ends so they wouldn’t fray.

If I were to make this again, I would lengthen the top straps by 1-2″ and the bottom straps by 3-4″. It fits my toddler just fine with a T-shirt on, but might not fit under a bulky jacket.

Fabric Info
quilting cotton fat quarters (3)



7 thoughts on “She Sews: Sprout’s Big Girl Backpack

  1. This is too cute. I’m thinking it would be cute for my granddaughter who will be 2 in Nov. What size bag did you make? Thanks, Paula

    • I made the bag as given in the tutorial. I’m not sure how big it is finished, but it is a good size. I do wish I had made the bottom strap pieces maybe 2-3 inches longer!

  2. I made one of these and it turned out great. The tutorial was helpful and I may check out her other posts.
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Pingback: She Sews: Batman Gift Bag – Beloved Brown-Eyed Girl

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