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Topic: Backpack with Laptop Compartment + Detailed Tutorial  (Read 15435 times)
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Avalon_Princes27
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« on: September 05, 2009 10:28:38 PM »

So I made this bag from scratch, making the pattern myself as it was just impossible to find a suitable one on the net or in the stores. I'm happy for people to make these for personal use but please do not sell them or retail the bag or the pattern in anyway. The tutorial might be a little too detailed but anyway.

So I made the bag to match my personality so it's a little random but I love it

Front


Back


Inside, three pockets


Peakaboo Laptop in a faux fur lined compartment


And behind the laptop is a flat area for documents/magazines

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Avalon_Princes27
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2009 10:29:58 PM »

What You'll Need
150 cm of 150cm wide outer fabric
50 cm of 110 cm wide Inner fabric
1 Fat quarter of faux fur
2 x 2" D Rings
1 45 cm Zipper
1 60 cm Zipper
2 x Zipper Pulls (Optional)
3.2m Bias Tape

First things first, you need to cut out your Pattern Pieces.
I afraid Im not computer savvy enough to create a printable pattern but I can describe the pieces...
Piece One- Draw a square 32.5 cm x 32 cm. Find the Centre of the 32.5 cm side and place a cross 15 cm above one of the 32 cm side. Now sketch a dome making sure you run from one side to other with the highest peak at the cross, this bit takes work and is a challenge. Then sketch around the entire shape to create a 1.5cm seam allowance. Mark this as Piece One, Front and Back, You will need to cut four pieces, two of your outer material, one of batting and one of the inner material.

Piece Two- Your side pieces, now this have a trick to get them right. First draw a straight line 17.5 cm long. Find the centre of the line and mark it. Then lightly draw a perpendicular line from the centre mark up 58.5 cm. Draw a 12 cm line perpendicular to this, once again centred on the line, so there is six cm either sign. Draw sloping lines joining the ends of the short and long lines parallel to each other. You should now have a triangle without a point shape. Draw in a 1.5cm seam allowance around the shape. Label this Piece Two, Side Pieces, You will need to cut two of outer material.

Piece One and Two-


Piece Three- This is similar to Piece One. Draw a 10cm x 25 cm rectangle and then measure 10cm again above the centre of the 25 cm side, draw an even dome from one edge to other with its highest point at the centre mark. Draw a 1.5cm seam allowance around the shape and label it as Piece Three, Pocket, You will need to cut one out of outer material.

Piece Four- Draw a 17.5 cm x 32.5 cm rectangle; sketch a 1.5 cm seam allowance around the outside. Label this Piece Four, Base, Cut One of outer material, one of inner material and one of batting.

Piece Five- Draw a 5 cm x 12.5 cm rectangle; sketch a 1.5 cm seam allowance. Label this Piece Five, Base Strap, cut four out of outer material.

Piece Six- Draw a Rectangle 42.5 x 35 cm, measure five cm in from the shorter sides and mark this spot, so you have a 32.5 cm x 35 cm rectangle, with 5 cm x 35 cm rectangles on either side. Sketch a 1.5cm seam allowance and label this Piece Six, Laptop Pocket, Cut One of Inner material and one of faux fur. HOWEVER when cutting the fake fur out do not include the top and bottom seam allowance along the 35 cm sides, just fold those sides in as the extra seam allowance is unnecessary.

Piece Seven- Draw a rectangle 5 cm x 45 cm. Mark the centre of the five cm end and measure a perpendicular line from this out 30 cm, at the end of this line draw a line parallel to the rectangle 2.5cm in length and centred. Draw diagonal lines to create a rectangle which narrows gradually after 45cm to a 2.5cm width over 30cm. Sketch a 1.5cm seam allowance and label this Piece Seven, Strap, Cut four of outer material.

Piece Eight- Draw a Rectangle 32.5 cm x 35 cm. The ONLY on the 35 cm long sides draw in a 1.5 cm seam allowance do NOT do this along the 32.5 cm sides. Label this laptop pocket back, cut one faux fur.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009 10:32:57 PM by Avalon_Princes27 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
Avalon_Princes27
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2009 10:31:33 PM »

So If you are still following along, the next bit is to actually begin to cut it all out. So lots of pins later you should have the first set of outer fabric pieces pinned and cut out, I used heavy weight indigo denim, I used a piece about 1.5m x 1.5m-


Next is the inner fabric, which luckily has a lot less pieces, I used a multi coloured check with the skull and crossbones printed over it, I used a piece 1.1m x 0.5m-


And finally the really fun bit, the faux fur be prepared to vacuum after this, the fur I used was a black shot with gold and had a fairly short pile, it was also super soft which is always an advantage since it will be protecting a laptop. However I used a fat quarter and the pieces didnt fit quite right so I just threw all the normal rules out the window and in my bag have the pile of the two pieces running perpendicular, one vertical and one horizontal.-
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Avalon_Princes27
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2009 10:37:33 PM »

Then the very first step after everything has been cut out is to tame the faux fur. I used bias binding to bind all the edges of both pieces, I need about 3.2m all up and it worked amazing well.-


Next you need to quilt the base and the back piece. Sandwich the batting between the inner and outer fabric with right sides facing out and run whatever quilting stitch you want along it with your machine. I did basic diagonals lines out of multicoloured thread.-


Next collect the two laptop pocket pieces. The faux fur should have the edges bound and its quite simple to attack the inner lining. Simply fold the top and bottom edges in on the inner lining and sew in a straight line to attach this to the binding. Leaving the 35cm side ends open.-


Next you need to quilt the inner fabric and the faux fur together, the easiest way is to run diagonal lines along it, so you end up with this-


Obviously not the best for a precious easily scratched laptop, so this next bits a bit time consuming but well worth it. Grab a blunt pin and slowly pick the fur out of the stitching, it doesnt take too long and the stitching should disappear, until you have something like this-


Now remember those five cm spots you marked on the pattern? This is where they come in, you need to run a few lines of stitching along these to give the pocket a bit more shape, I did three lines in total-


Then you need to grab your trusty pin and fish all the fur back out of these new lines of stitching.
Yay youre done-

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Avalon_Princes27
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2009 10:43:29 PM »

Next grab your second piece of fur, the laptop pocket back and your quilted back panel. This time you just want to run a line of sewing up either side as this creates a great place for documents/magazines that need to be kept flat behind this panel.



So now were onto straps, just a warning if youre using heavy duty fabric like I did, prepare to seriously chip your nail polish. So take two of your strap pieces, place them right sides together, and sew around them leaving the 5cm end open, it helps to hide a safety pin at the narrow end to make it easier to turn inside out. -


Then once sewn begin turning it inside out, I kind of just rolled it back in on itself and kept working at it until I got the small end where I just grabbed the pin and pulled.


Then sew down either side to make sure its all good-


Once thats done sew two more lines evenly spaced in the centre to strengthen the strap. Then repeat with the other two pieces so you should end up with two finished straps-


Next collect the pieces for the base straps, take two pieces place them right sides together and sew up the long edges. Turn inside out. Then fold one end in and sew along it-


Then Sew down the edges and sew two lines in the middle as you did with the long straps-


Then grab one of the 2 D Rings and fold the sewn end over about an inch, then sew this down, I did three lines of sewing just to be sure. However this is a lot of layers for your machine, so go slow and make sure you use the appropriate needle.-


 Repeat for the second base strap-
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Avalon_Princes27
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2009 10:53:34 PM »

Now we begin to get into the tricky things, where you begin praying to the sewing machine gods.

You need to sew the 45cm zipper onto your curved front pocket; this generally means a lot of pins-


Hey I actually did it!


Brief interlude while I play around with my machines automatic stitches in celebration


Then using heaps of pins again, attach the pocket and zipper to the front panel, making sure its all centred and all the edges are turned under-


Using a zipper foot go carefully around the pocket and zipper, its best to do this slow and make sure the edges all turned under and neat, then you have a nice little zipper pocket!

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Avalon_Princes27
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2009 10:56:42 PM »

So all your pieces are ready for assembly, now Id recommend lighting some incense sticks for the gods of sewing machines, doing some prayerful bowing before your sewing machine, a rethreading of the top thread and bobbin and a new needle. Also promising your sewing machine a service if it makes it through wouldnt go astray.

First you have the simple bits, with right sides together attach the base to the sides-


Then begin making the fabric sandwich. Lay the back down, with inside up, then lay the laptop pocket over this, with just the shorter sides lined up with the back; the longer sides are not to be sewn. Add a few pins to hold everything down-


Flip this over and attach the long side piece right sides together, you will need a lot of pins and make sure the base lines up and everything is sitting right.


When pinning make sure you start from the base and work up, making sure the side piece ends meet at the centre mark of the back, once your certain its centred, sew the pieces right sides together-


Dont forget to trim excess. Now place your straps in and pin them, they need to sit between the two outer denim layers with just the rough edge pointing out the rest sandwiched between denim. I placed the base straps at the very bottom of the sides and the long straps quite near the top.

Now you need to sew around the outside, best advice I can give, go slow, change your needle often and swearing doesnt help. Its hard work on your machine and may take a few goes, but it is soooo worthwhile.

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Avalon_Princes27
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2009 10:58:15 PM »

Then once thats done youre on the downhill run, you just need to attach the side piece. So the first step is of course to sew the zipper right sides together to the top of the bag making sure its centred-


Then once the zippers attached to the side pieces you need to pin the front on right sides together, making sure you leave part of the zipper open. Then sew around the outside, and turn it all right way out and your done!

The straps simply knot onto the D rings so you can easily adjust them...
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macmarie
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2009 04:23:44 PM »

Wow! Detailed and well written tut! Your bag is certainly unique. Thanks for posting, I hope to try this soon.  Grin
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thixle
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2009 10:28:34 AM »

Top-notch tute!

I don't have as much time to cruise craftster like I used to (and boy, has it gotten BIG around here  Shocked)

...This is exactly what I was looking for!!! And you're right-- there aren't any backpack tutes anywhere  Huh Now you can be famous!
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