Monday, June 18, 2012

Traveler's Backpack (Rucksack)

I mentioned in my Cape Town travelogue that I planned on using some fabric I purchased there.  I decided to use it and some of the Shweshwe to create a backpack to replace the one I have carried around for years that is now MIA.  There are a lot of patterns out there for children's backpacks but I was looking for a more grown up model but something more practical than the City backpack patterns that I have run across.  I began by looking at my husband's pack and taking measurements and ideas from it and what I remembered of my old, favorite pack.  I wrote down the measurements, sketched my ideas and began cutting!
One of the hardest parts was lining up the curved areas for sewing. I must have pinned some areas 5 times! Sewing through all of those layers was no picnic either, especially since the bag has more layer than is visible- it is lined with yellow polyester inside and quilted on the back.  I used the lining to make it easier to see the interior and because it will wipe down better.  I used my zipperfoot to guide me when sewing the area with the cording.  I felt the one of the ubiquitous beaded keychains made just the right touch for finishing the look of it. 
Now I am ready to be on my way and with a very special souvenir from my time in this country.  My eldest son complimented my bag saying it looked like I bought it from a street vendor. 

One of the most helpful tips in this process was a Youtube video on putting in zippers.  I have always slopped through the zippers but why do that when Youtube is a wealth of knowledge?  My favorite series of videos were by Candi Cane-Canncel.  They ought to have a link to follow from one video to the next but you can look for the tell-tale pink fabric.

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