Continued from Part 2 of the Sew-Along
You’re making great progress! Let’s finish sewing all the pieces together.
11. Pin the free ends of the Shoulder Straps to the back Body Piece at an angle, one inch from the bottom of the Body Piece. Baste across the shoulder straps to secure. Set aside.
12. Add trim to the top of the front Body piece, as you did in step 6 for the top of the Outside Pocket and Top Flap.
13. Next, Align the Outside Pocket piece with the bottom of the front Body piece. Sew around the sides and bottom of the pocket to secure it to the Body piece. Try to sew as near the edge as possible, preferably 1/8″ seam allowance. This will ensure that this stitching will be hidden when you attach the front of the pack to the back and bottom of the pack.
14. You should now have two finished “halves” of your pack, a back half (with the Top Flap) and the front half (with the Outside Pocket). Make another sandwich by laying the right sides of both halves together. Be sure that the Shoulder Straps, Closure Straps, and Top Flap are neatly tucked in the middle and away from the sides where you will be sewing. If you’re not careful, random bits will catch in the side seams. Ask me how I know. 😉
- Sew along the sides, with 1/4″ seam allowance, reinforcing with extra back stitching at the top of the pack and over the spots where the Shoulder Straps are basted on. Trim off any excess Shoulder Strap bits that may be overhanging so that your sandwich is a nice, neat, rectangle. You are now looking at the inside of your pack. You can finish the side seams, which will be exposed in the pack interior, with a serger or zigzag stitch, if you’d like. I left mine raw, because I’m wild like that.
- Don’t sew across the bottom. Unless you want to. If you sew across the bottom, you won’t have to put the base on the pack, which would be easier, but you’ll have a kinda flat backpack. The Base piece gives the the pack a little more dimension. If you decide you can live without dimension, go ahead and sew across the bottom and skip the next steps for attaching the Base.
15. Finally, it’s time to sew on the Base! Open up the bottom of your backpack and pin the Base of the pack to the bottom of the pack, right sides together. If you have trouble making it fit, you can cut little notches along the edge of the Base to make the fabric easier to manipulate. I like to use pinking shears to quickly notch fabric.
Sew on the Base with 1/4″ seam allowance. Take your time and go slowly. You may find it easier to sew one half of the Base, from the length of one side seam to the other, lift your needle, flip the pack, and then sew on the second half. You can also hand baste the Base onto the pack before attaching more securely with a machine stitch. You may also wish to sew this seam twice, to reinforce the bottom of the pack.
Trim away away excess seam allowance to neaten up the inside of your pack, taking care not to snip into the seam. This seam will also be exposed on the inside of your pack, so you can finish with a serger or zig zag stitch, if you wish.
16. Turn your backpack right side out and admire your work! The last step is to add your closures, which will be the final installment of our sew-along. Stay tuned!