String Backpack Fun

While I have been working on a few small doll blankets at home, my students have been making string backpacks.  I was lucky to have lots of cool novelty fabrics from my fabric purchase in L.A. several months ago.  At 5$ a yard, these fabrics were perfect for this project.  Having great choices allowed everyone to find something fun that spoke to them.  I used an online tutorial to make a sample backpack and was surprised to see it quickly become my favorite carry all.

http://www.sewcanshe.com/blog/2015/3/27/easy-peasy-drawstring-backpack-free-sewing-tutorial

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My sample bag.  The lining is the same red crosshatch fabric as the tabs.  While I used some braided trim that I had around the house, I purchased clothesline strings for the class bags.

I found an overabundance of tutorials for string bags.  After watching over an hour of videos and looking at multiple blogs, I chose to follow the directions from sewcanshe.com (see above).  I made the casing a bit wider at 3 1/2 inches instead of 3, but otherwise measurements were kept the same.  However, I chose not to have the kids sew the fabric strings, but bought  a roll of inexpensive clothesline at Home Depot instead.  I stuck with mostly white cord but threw in a bundle of black just for fun.   Who knew there were so many fluorescent and other colored choices of string and cords at the hardware store?  Several tutorial exist using grommets to attach the strings, but I wanted to avoid anything the kids can’t do themselves.   In fact, if you only have yarn at home and not heavy cord, ribbon or string, you can still do this bag with 3x the amount of simple yarn, and simply braid it prior to stringing.

Here are my student’s bags.  Two class lessons and they were happy to take them to go! This is my new favorite project and I plan to make several variations of it, even with a zipper pocket before my summer classes begin.   On Monday I’ll be starting these with my younger elementary school students.  With only 2 more sewing sessions for that class,  let’s hope they can complete them in just two weeks as well!

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How’s this for fabric choices?  This 8th grader chose a “black and white” theme for his bag.  Don’t you just love the combination of the outside penguins, popsicles for the casing and ice cream for the lining?  His choice to use black string instead of white was spot on!!

 

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This 9th grader chose a lovely assortment of all blue fabrics.  It is simple and yet nice to have a contrast with the dark blue casing on top.

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