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Drawstring Backpack

So it's the June holidays, I should be studying for Common Tests 2 coming up immediately after the holidays. But to give myself a break, decided to commence upon the biggest sewing project ever in my life (the next biggest one was probably the apron we did in Secondary 1 Home Economics class 5 years ago :O which the teacher walked us through so it's not that big after all)

Got inspired to really try a sewing project after watching the Great British Sewing Bee (a lovely and very refreshing reality show) on Youtube though the thought of sewing my own things have always been on the back of my mind since I was a child. 

Okay honestly, I wanted to make a drawstring backpack only so that I could use it for camps when we all troop off to shower and I always dump all my clean clothes in a supermarket plasticbag that is of course functional but also looks very auntie. That aside, I probably spent about a week googling "sew drawstring backpack" and not finding a tutorial for the backpack I had in mind, another two weeks starting from scratch and coming up with it myself and figuring out everything in my head, one night sketching everything out on a piece of paper before everything floated out of my brain and figuring out measurements, another month carrying that precious piece of paper around in school but not starting on anything at home, 2 hours bugging my sister while she was practicing her rifle drills to be my non-existent-bag model so I could refine the measurements better, and the whole of next day from noon to 10 pm putting everything together SUCCESSFULLY. And so I'm here now to show it off.

I was basically trying to make an enlarged version of this drawstring pouch we did in Home Economics back then. Patterns I found on the internet had the drawstring right at the top of the bag which wasn't what I was looking for so I dug up the handwritten instructions for this bag from my teacher and then re-envisioned the whole thing. The original pouch we did had no lining, so I had to figure out how to incorporate that in too.

And this was the handwritten instructions for myself. But I've since re-written and re-drawn everything in case I want to make it again in the future.

And so here is my brilliant masterpiece (if I allow myself to say so). I really love love love the lion pattern on the cloth, which I bought many many years back, I don't even remember when. At that time I bought it wanting to sew a hand carry bag which I eventually didn't, but I have to thank my good taste from back then. Things have a way of working out, huh? It's like I've been planning for this project for years by buying the cloth so many years back haha.

Didn't think to untwist the straps before sewing them to the bottom so now they are a bit twisty and it annoys my perfectionist self but I'll have to learn to let it go because nobody can tell unless they know anyway haha.

This is the inside of the bag. While sewing it halfway, I decided to add a patch pocket. It wasn't in my original plans but by the time I got to the lining, I gained enough confidence from the successful completion of the rest of the backpack to dare to wing it halfway. Sounds like a big fuss for a patch pocket, but it is for a beginner like me. :P But it probably is going to come in useful, I can probably dump my toiletries in there when I go shower in camps as per my original plans.

Here's how it looks when I turn it inside out. It turned out smaller than I visualized due to my bad visual proportioning but it still works and I can still stuff all my stuff inside.

So that's all for my first big sewing adventure in around five years. I'm itching to make more stuff. But I trying not to be too ambitious by going into unknown territory for the time being.

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