Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A handmade toddler back pack

His latest obsession: Basketball!
The other day I was chatting with my Facebook buddy Corley about possible ideas for my next sewing project for my sister's baby that's on the way. Just like me, she is in the toddler stage with her first born (she just had a precious new baby though, congrats momma!) so naturally the ideas were flowing for kids at this age. I've been meaning to make Eli a backpack for him to carry his own junk bring his toys to the park or grandma's house now that he's stable on his feet, and when she suggested that, I was all over it. I scoured the internet for tutorials of the style I wanted but couldn't find any one particular tutorial with all the criteria I needed. So I made up my own to include adjustable straps, (but ones that would stay in place and stay even), a pocket for a sippy cup inside, elastic around the front portion of the bag so nothing would fall out of the sides, (I wanted to avoid a cinch tie) and lastly, since I didn't want a zippered top (needing Eli to get in and out of this thing independently), I made it be a flap/velcro closure top.

Well I had my "drinky drink" (my creative necessity--a caramel latte. Hey did I tell you I found a way to make it a whole foods version with no artificial anything? **all organic**espresso, milk, vanilla extract, ice, and maple syrup to taste and voila! Tastes just like Dunkin's iced caramel latte. But I digress...) and drafted a pattern & constructed it in my head and on paper first so that I could avoid any major pitfalls with miscalculations or design errors and I'm happy to report that it turned out how I envisioned! My main plan was to keep the pattern simple with the ability to add stuff or make it customized down the road if need be (for those of you who know me, I don't sell my crafts as a business because I loathe mass producing the same project. I love the creative challenge of a new project and I just want to move on to my next conquest when it's finished). So here is the bare bones version so hopefully I won't mind making more for a few of Eli's buddies who have birthdays coming up:
Front and center view
Back view with adjustable straps with snaps ( 3 sizes to grow with toddler)
Cinched elastic front to keep stuff from spilling out, with velcro closure
Inside pocket to hold a sippy cup
In action, my poor kiddo longing to go outside
I interrupt this regularly scheduled program to give my son "huggies" when he asks. Excuse me for a second...
The only potential problem Corley pointed out to me was the straps possibly falling off the shoulders being placed so wide on the back. Dang it. Good point! I tried it on him and it fit fine but, with wiggling and moving, one strap did start to slide down his shoulder. Grrr, ***shaking fists in air**. To fix this, I just made a removable strap to wrap around the rings in the front like a hiker's backpack has and this forces my kid to keep the dang bag on solved my problem. Once he grows a bit and I move the straps to the longest setting, it should fit just fine on the shoulders and he most likely won't need the added piece anymore :)

Ta da!
Just thread the strap through the rings on each side
Make sense now?
Hey look what else I realized. It fits perfectly on the back of his wagon! Bonus!
When I find my camera and make another bag I plan to type up a tutorial so if any of my sewing buddies wants to try and make one of their own, just let me know.

**Update. Tutorial is done! Check it out on my cousin's blog if you want to make your own.

Alrighty, back to thinking of baby gifts. If you have any suggestions, please share! (But make that by email or Facebook so Steph can't see, she's a faithful reader of my blog, pleaseandthankyou)


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