Backpack questions!

K8OrlandoJuly 29, 2011

I've seen some cute backpack patterns recently and started thinking about making one. Then I considered how and when I actually use a backpack and realized it's mainly for vacations and the occasional day at Disney or one of the other local theme parks. Because of our almost daily rain storms, a water-resistant pack would be a smart choice, right? The initial idea has evolved from a quilted pack into one made from laminated fabric. This is new territory for me so I have a couple questions:

> Can anyone recommend a backpack pattern for an adult?

> Have you worked with laminated fabric and is there anything in particular I should know about it, like needle type or thread weight?

> I've found laminated cotton and also oilcloth - I know the oilcloth is heavier but is it too heavy for sewing or would it work for a pack? (I already ordered some of each! The oilcloth was pretty inexpensive so if it doesn't work for the pack I'll just use it under the dog and cat food bowls as a mat.)


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I haven't used laminated fabric, but I have used heavy loined vinyl (car stuff) to make my husband tool pouches. That may have some of the same issues. I found it worked a lot better with a teflon foot and being very careful to ease up on the presser foot pressure.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 10:38AM
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Thanks Kay! I'll be sure to watch the tension and if I have problems I'll check that first.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 10:42AM
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I can't help you with fabric choices, but McCall's has a backpack pattern (in with a tote pattern) and Jinny Beyer has a pattern that's real cute, though intended for use with her border prints.

I'm pretty sure Simplicity has a backpack pattern as well.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 11:57AM
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I can help you with fabric! My advice - look at Marine fabric - not oil cloth, laminates, or vinyls.
You have many choice living in sunny Florida. Sunbrella treated is a viable choice - maybe the best known - Teresa can help out with more info.
Surlast is a another very good choice - waterproof - not difficult to sew. You will need to use a heavier needle and thread.
I've posted a link below for a very good source and more available information and education than you probably want. No affiliation to the company, other than a very satisfied customer. You don't need their machine for what you want to do. You are opening up a new world of sewing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sailrite

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 12:50PM
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Thanks Marsha! I've used Sunbrella fabrics for many things - you can hardly live in Florida without it! - but hadn't considered it for the backpack. I'm kind of enchanted with the glossy laminates right now, but if this doesn't work for me I'll go back to Sunbrella and I'll check out Sailrite too.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 1:53PM
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I'm afraid I don't have a suggestion for a backpack pattern but Seattle Fabrics, Inc. has great fabric selection for backpacks and other outdoor use. Check out the coated and uncoated nylons and polyesters.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seattle Fabrics, Inc.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 4:26PM
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Oh my goodness, I don't know how to sew clothes, but after looking at the Seattle Fabrics website I really want to learn!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 4:46PM
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The Seattle Fabrics site was great fun! I just placed an order and can hardly wait for it to arrive!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 12:51PM
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Ran across this pattern (free) somewhere the other day, and remembered you were looking for an adult backpack. It is really cute and while I don't use a backpack either, this one looks like something I might make when I have some free time.


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 4:59AM
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Murphy, it was the Chloe bag that first inspired me to take on this project! It is a cute bag and although I'm not going to piece strips, this is the general size and shape I want the finished bag to be. I couldn't remember where I saw it so I'm glad you posted the link. Thanks!

I received my fabric order yesterday and was surprised to find that the vinyl oil cloth is very soft and may work great. It's thinner and more flexible than I expected it to be. The laminated cotton has a nicer feel but I think both will work.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 8:14AM
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