Holiday Gift Sewing: Backpacks

RTW backpack inspiration for sewing one of your own. As seen on the McCall Pattern Company blog.
RTW inspiration: women’s backpacks.

Here’s another gift idea that won’t take you long to sew but will be much appreciated: a backpack. I made this backpack (below) last summer and it quickly turned into one of my favorite makes.

Sew a backpack with Butterick B6072
To sew this backpack, I used Butterick B6072:

Butterick B6072 backpack and soft cases pattern.

The pattern is pretty straightforward. If you have basic sewing skills and are comfortable sewing zippers, you should be able to make it without any frustrations. Here are the things I did differently from the directions:

  • I used a dual-slider handbag zipper from Coats that I got at my local Jo-Ann’s. This is that double-zipper feature that allows you to open the backpack from wherever you like, rather than only at the zipper end.
  • I chose not to interface the fashion fabric as advised, because I wanted a soft and lightweight backpack that had no structure and could be rolled up and packed if I wanted to. Definitely interface or interline if you want structure, as in the product photo above.
  • I lined the side pockets.
  • I added a faux-leather closure to the front pocket.

The ikat-like brocade I used came from B&J Fabrics here in the Garment District, and I lined it with a bronze poly satin I got at Jo-Ann’s. (I love the lining! It’s very luxe-looking and it makes this backpack look expensive, I think.) The straps are from a black linen we had in our stash here at work.

Some more photos for you:

Backpack made by the McCall Pattern Company blog using Butterick B6072. Interior.
Backpack made by the McCall Pattern Company blog using Butterick B6072

In other news, I’m nearing the end of my 2014 holiday DIY frenzy. So far I’ve made three aprons, a quilt, a poncho, a nightgown, and am finishing up two makeup bags. The end is in sight! How about you? Are you making gifts this season?

Follow The McCall Pattern Company’s board Holiday Gift Patterns on Pinterest.

We’ve been sewing since 1863.

8 comments
  1. I am! I’m making a yoga mat bag for my bestest pal and yoga buddy. One for myself is in the works a few steps behind. I used a remnant from my Ralph Rucci coat (still need to finish that….) & some faux leather for the outside. It’s lined and has pockets made with Red Wings cotton. It’s her favorite sports team and she’ll love it. I ordered a RIRI metal zipper to close it and will make a faux leather adjustable strap with D rings and sliders I ordered on line.

  2. Anything metallic is very glam and will take your backpack right into night-time and holiday parties. I’m not really a backpack person but these would make a nice gift perhaps for one of my nieces.

  3. I’m cranking out (redacted) for (redacted) and a backpack on Craftsy. I’d line any pack that is going to get rained/snowed on. I do love sewing stuff for people for Christmas; my kids expect it now and have started sewing stuff for ME! (teen boys with sewing machines!)

  4. I love this!! I have been looking for a easy, packable yet fashionable backpack for travel and I think this will fit the bill! Awesome!

  5. I just bought that B6072 pattern recently! I was thinking of making a backpack like the quilted one in the inspiration photo.
    That is GREAT info that the kind of zipper you described is called a “dual sliding zip” and that it can be bought at Joann’s. I had no idea how they were called and imagined going to the garment district and asking for “the kind of zipper that’s used in luggage” and using lots of emotive miming to try to explain what I’m asking for…. Never thought JoJo’s would have that.

    I will be making that bag for myself, though!

  6. fantastic publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite experts of this sector do not notice this.

    You must proceed your writing. I am confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  7. Love the backpack you made. I love all of the different fabrics and how you put them together. That faux leather closure is such a nice touch too!

  8. Very cute and I love the fabric choices!

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