I made my oldest daughter a school backpack when she started nursery school. That was when she was three. She’s 11 now. She still uses that backpack sometimes, even though it’s definitely seen better days. I made up the pattern as I went, and I wrote it down for later, just in case. For the beginning of school this year I made her a new messenger bag that was simple to make and is holding up well. Although I have plans to make another one for my second daughter, she’s very happy with her current backpack that was gifted to her about a year ago, so I’m in no hurry there. My older son though has been asking me to make a bag for him ever since he saw Paolina’s new bag coming together. Originally he thought he wanted a little messenger bag, but when he realized I had made Paolina’s old backpack, he wanted one of those.
There are some things I really like about Paolina’s old bag, especially the back straps which are actually kids belts that I found at the thrift store and repurposed. But I also made it with a young child in mind. There is a pull string to open it and a loose top flap, so it contains pretty big projects, but little hands have no trouble opening or closing the main pouch.
There are also some improvements that I’d love to make.
- The side pocket for a water bottle needs to be reinforced to hold up better. I’m also thinking of adding some elastic to the top of the pocket in order to accomodate different size water bottles.
- The front pocket on the original has a snap closure, which can be tricky for little kids. I’d like to change that to a magnetic closure on the new version.
- For an older child I think it would be nice to include a zipper pocket on the inside of the main pouch. However, I’m not sure that my 4 year old really needs this feature since it would become an extra crevice to try to keep clean. Instead, I’m thinking of including a matching zipper pouch that can be taken out and cleaned separately. That way he can keep his small treasures safe, and I can clean it without a hassle.
I didn’t finish the bag over the weekend, hence the WIP title. I did get it cut out though and should have it done by the end of the week. I’m looking forward to getting this one finished, he’s looking forward to taking it with him to school next week!