Saturday, April 20, 2013

Make a Backpack from a Pair of Pants

Carter loves to be organized.  A boy after his momma's heart.  :0)  One day he came to me with his pockets full, a flashlight clipped to his waist band, and a few items in his hand.  He looked at me, then at the mini messenger bag that I just happened to be wearing at that moment, and said, "Mom, you need to make me a bag."  Then he proceeded to explain to me why he needed one so badly.  :0)  

Well, I finally finished it!!   Just in time for his Secret Agent birthday {pictures and printables coming soon} too!  

It took me a little while to think of a style for his bag.  I didn't want it to look girly at all.  I finally settled on a one arm strap style backpack, with a secret zipper entrance.   I ended up settling on making the backpack from an older pair of pants that he no longer wore, since they seemed very "masculine" too. Thankfully, this pair did not have any wholes in the knees.  :0)   


First, cut the pants starting at the bottom of the leg, through the crotch, and up to the waist band.  I actually cut the waist band off first.  You should end up with two pieces looking  like the piece below.

Next, cut each of those pieces into a 17" X 11" rectangle.  Cut one piece with the stripe center down the leg, and the second piece with the stripe on the left of the leg, about inches 5"-6".  This will allow for the stripe to be off centered a little for the front of the bag.

Now turn the 17"x 11" piece that has the stripe down the center and cut down the center of the gray stripe (or the center of the fabric).  This is where we are going to instal the "secret zipper entrance".

Install a 12" zipper.  I like to install mine by attaching the right side of the zipper to the right side of the fabric, right sides together.  Then I attach the left side of the zipper to the left side of the fabric right sides together.

This is what the installed zipper should look like.

Sew up the rest of the grey seam, starting from the top of the zipper to the top.  Do the same on the bottom.

We are now going to work on the front piece of the bag.  Take your 17" x 11" piece that had the stripe on the left side of the fabric.  Then cut a piece from the remaining pants that is 5 3/4" x 4 1/4".  This is going to be the pocket.  Sew the pocket to the front piece by double stitching all around the edges- except the top of course!

Sew the front side of the bag to the back side of the bag.  Pin securely before beginning.

For the handle, you are going to cut two pieces that are 18" x 1 1/2".  Sew these two together, right sides together, only along the long sides.  Leave the top and bottom open.  Turn inside out. Stitch a finishing stitch along each side.

Now to make the flap on the top.  Cut another piece that is  10" x 3".  I chose to have the grey strip on the right side of the flap.  Before you sew the flap to the top of the back side of the bag {the part with the secret zipper} insert the top of the handle between the layers {in the center}.

In order to finish off the edges of the bag, fold under and stitch around the perimeter of the flap and the top of the front of the bag.

Finally, cut an octagon shape, the shape of the bottom of your bag.  It should be about 6" wide by 5" tall.  Before you put right sides together and sew it to the bottom of the bag, slip the bottom of the handle between the layers.   Try to line it up with the grey stripe exactly.

Turn inside out and you are done.  Happy sewing!

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