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Topic Bookbags-Any How to's? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By RockWaterFalls On 02/12/04  

Okay so I'm looking around in the bookbag section of Wal-Mart and I realize that they don't even MAKE bookbags anymore. They make luggage for children...with wheels and zillions of pockets (which may not be functional..I'm not sure) and detachable CD holders...
This is a trend I can not get on board with.
So I am looking for a way to make a bookbag...I tore apart the internet looking for a basic pattern, but I've emerged empty-handed. I'm looking for the most basic bookbag I can make...You remember the kind?...
One large pouch for books, two straps, one smaller front pocket for pencils and what-have-you, and a leather bottom...

Think Jansport and Eastpak if you can.

Anyway-enough rambling. Anyone have anything to offer a poor bookbag-less girl?

By wakingoogah On 02/12/04  

take paper and pencil to the store and find something with approximate size/shape and draw out the style, like how it would be stitched together.

By crazybones On 02/13/04  

This isn't a pattern, but have you tried searching on eBay? You might be able to get one for cheaper than what you could make it for. Or even the Army-Navy store has bags that are pretty cheap and really sturdy.

By theboy On 02/14/04  

try a thrift store maybe

By hightide On 02/14/04  

Something like a tote bag or more like a backpack?

If you are looking for something more like a tote bag, you could check your local library; some sell them at reasonable prices.

By schnitzle On 02/16/04  

Here's an easy to follow pattern for a simple bookbag.

I like the ones with the square bottom, I use them for everything from books to knitting supplies.

If you don't feel like sewing a bag, try target or walmart, not in the luggage section, but in with the purses. It's getting to be beach tote time, so there should be some good totes you could use as a book bag.


By cinnachick On 02/17/04  

I work for a textbook publisher and I have to admit that I'm glad that kids are getting rolling luggage style bags for their books. We have to put so much info in these books that little kids are walking around with an average of 40 pounds worth of books to carry. I also have scoliosis which was exacerbated by my carring huge loads of books home everyday in a backpack that I only wore on one shoulder. How I wish the luggage phenomenon was popular several years ago. I understand your reticence to spend the money on luggage and if your kids don't have a ton of stuff to carry, I don't blame you. But if they do, I recommend going the luggage route.

By RockWaterFalls On 03/19/04  

Oh I have nothing against the luggage craze for kids-I remember the agony of lugging five huge textbooks around for eight hours! I have a 10 year old brother who ADORES his SpongeBob suitcase-style backpack; this project is purely for me. I am twenty and feeling kind of nostalgic for the bookbag that I grew up with.

I appreciate all the help with the tote bags-and especially as I am about to go look at the pattern up there ;-)

but I really was looking for something very specific...May have to scrap it for a while-but oh I will build myself a bookbag! ;-)

By green_fairy On 03/21/04  

for the bookbag I made I took one of those brown paper shopping bags and used the big square parts for the basic shape, I just cut the corners off the top and made it kind of u shaped I did that with both sides. (of the bag). then I measured around it to see how long the part with the zipper would have to be and you can just use a newspaper for that part of the pattern. I made mine about 5 inches wide. and of course there's the bottom part which was also 5 inches wide and the length of the bottom of the ushaped thing. plus enough for seams of you're really that picky. then I made i rectangle for a little pouch and made little rectangles that were the length of the little pouch and about 3 inches wide (I made 4, 2 were the lenght of the width of the little pouch... not hard to figure out) the straps were the hardest part. I made them too short and had to add extra fabric so it looks a little weird - seams right in the middle of the strap. just measure, I'm guessing it should be about 3 times the length of the bug part of the bag but you might want to make it longer just in case. there should be 2 parts for each strap (if you want it to be adjustable) and you have to get some of those weird thingies that makes straps adjustable... just look at any bookbag, you'll know what I'm talking about. if you get one that has one bar in the middle you have to attach it to the bottom part of the strap and the top part will get shorter and longer. if you get one with 2 bars in the middle (which most bookbags have) you will have to attatch it to the top part of the strap and the bottom part will get shorter and longer. I suggest buying the little doohickeys before you make the straps so you will know which part you should make longer. I made the bottom part longer and had the thing attatched to the bottom part so the top part was really short and the strap adjuster thing is all the way up on my shoulder. you should make whatever part it's going to be attatched to shorter, but if it's attatched to the top, don't make it too much shorter. finally, you'll need som REALLY strong heavy-duty material. measure your pattern to find out how much but about 1 or 2 yards will probably do it. I used brown velvet for the outside and orange callico for the inside- another mistake. it's too weak so I can't use it for every day school books. the zipper was hard to find too, but I had to get some kind of upholstry/matress zipper so it would be long enough I'm not really sure what it was. and then you just use the pattern you made! mine turned out really well despite all my mistakes, so I'm sure your's will turn out great. have fun! hope my directions were good enough... it's really not too complicated.

By imhelpingyou On 04/01/04  

Check out the Completed Projects forum under Books, Bags & Wallets on :) I made a really excellent bookbag today and I never would have been able to without the tutorials! I used the "Jordy" style which is the most popular on craftster and just made it work for me. Very simple for the sewing impaired like me :)

I'd suggest seeing there for a base, then sew on your own pockets and do two handles vs. a strap.

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