YAY…..hopefully we have all recovered from the celebrations of Christmas and new Year and are ready to rock with our first sew Along for the New Year! First up this year we have the Amy Backpack. It’s perfect for preschoolers and smaller children however my daughter also used it in her first couple of years in high school too….

Amy may not be gigantic BUT she is loaded with features! Complete with a large front exterior zippered pocket, an elastic front pocket and two elastic side pockets. The main pocket is zippered and inside there is a large slip pocket as well!

Finished bag size = Approx. 30cm (12″) X 33cm (13″) X 10cm ( 4″)

Amy Backpack Collage

Remember we are also running a Facebook Event sew along in conjunction with this blog post so if you would like to sew along with a wonderful group of ladies, do pop along and join us in our Facebook Group for lots of extra fun and inspiration!

So now….without further babble from me…over to you, Ellen:



Well Hello Crafty Ladies…I trust you all had an amazing Christmas and New Year.

Here we are in 2016 about to embark on the first Sew Along for the New Year. Christine thought we might do the Amy Backpack first up, in case some little petals need a new bag when they start back at school.  We have two weeks for this to be done, as the Sew Along finishes on the 28th January (Australian time).  However this Picture Tutorial will remain on the blog for anyone to use at any time in the future.

Don’t forget you have a chance to win a prize at the end of the event so get your pictures in the special album over in our Facebook Group!

Here we go….. Since this is only for 2 weeks, you can work out your own schedule, you can move as fast or as slow as you like. Don’t forget to please read the pattern … without fail there is always something you need to know hidden deep in the pages of a pattern.

Some of you may have seen my fabric picks already. Choose your fabric organize your pattern pieces, interfacing, tools and cutting matt and get cracking…lol don’t forget name tagging all the pieces can help make things easier as well.

The Amy Backpack Sew Along - Pics 1 & 2
Following the pattern cut and fuse the necessary pieces. While I’m at the iron I like to prepare any pieces that need prepping (you need to read to find those out).

Starting with the straps. If you’re happy with fixed straps then go ahead and check that the length is ok and make them up as per pattern. .

Adjustable Straps:  So to do adjustable straps, I added about 10” to the length (I did cut some off so 7” will probably be good), but you will need to check and decide on your length.

In addition we need tabs and hardware (2 x rings and 2 x matching sliders). The size of hardware will determine the width of straps. Mine was about 30mm or 1 1/4”. So I cut 4 times that amount for the width.

After interfacing, I ironed it in half, then open out and fold both sides in to meet the middle and iron them in place. One of the ends is also turned in ¼”, finish straps by top stitching all the way around. Make tabs in the same manner.

I made a boo boo and ironed them too skinny. If you don’t have them snugly fitting, they will slide around too much. Had to Iron them flat and refold and iron them again.

An easy way to make tabs is to make your straps about 4” longer and then cut it off to use as tabs.

To attach to the back of the bag, thread your metal loops or D-ring onto the tabs and sew close to the hardware to secure and then centre it on back at the placement mark of the pattern at the bottom of your back piece. The long strap is cantered on the placement mark at the top of the back pattern piece. Now thread on your slider, making sure it’s to the front and you can see the side edges, the middle should be hidden. Now thread into you metal loop or D-ring, front to back and then thread onto the centre bar of your slider, securing by stitching a box. I hope that all makes sense…lol

Insert your hardware.

The Amy Backpack Sew Along - Pics 3 & 4
Retrieve your exterior body back panel; transfer all marking off the pattern piece on to your panels. They will come in handy later… Attach the tabs and straps as per pattern instructions… the tabs at the bottom and straps at the top, along with the handle/loop.  Then set aside.

The Amy Backpack sew Along - Pics 5,6,7 & 8

Outside Zip Pocket … I made another boo boo here, as I got the measurement for placement wrong, ah ha see should have read that again. So if my zip pocket looks low… it is… lol.  Follow the instructions and draw your box on the pocket lining piece and position on the Body exterior.    Follow the instructions…sew in your zip / finger press/ turn out to the other side, manipulate to sit flat and iron well with a pressing clothe. Position your zip using pins or double sided tape. I’m a free hand kinda girl.

TThe Amy Backpack Sew Along - Pics 9 & 10

Using zipper foot top stitch around the zip, moving zip runner as you go.  Attach back lining of pocket as per instructions, if mine looks long it’s because my pocket is lower. I had to shorten it a little later.

The Amy Backpack Sew Along - pics 11 & 12

Front elastic pocket – This is straight forward, go ahead and make it up and put your pleats across the bottom and attach to front. However, Just before you make your casing line, check the width of your elastic. My fabric is a decor weight so I made the elastic slightly tighter but I didn’t have to as the button and loop hold it anyway. Now it pulls in a little too much at the front…dang it.

Pics 13 & 14 of the Amy Backpack Sew Along

Here’s where we are up to so far…

Pics 15 & 16 of the Amy backpack Sew Along with Ellen

Choose a button and position it and then sew on your button loop accordingly.

Now follow the pattern and make up your side pockets elastic in the top and mitre your corners on the bottom….aren’t they cute.   Oops went out of order there…lol

Pics 17 & 18 of the Amy backpack Sew Along

Bottom Gusset – hopefully you have all done your marking off the pattern and onto the gusset.  Go ahead and do your bag feet if you’re using them. I have lots of scrape pieces of interface and head liner and I glue these over the inside of the bag feet so they won’t damage the inside of the bag.

Attaching the Side elastic pockets…. this is tricky. Follow your markings, attach by sewing the bottom on the inside and the sides on the outside … how cool is that. Follow the instructions and the pics are great.  Tah dah you did it.

Pics 19 & 20 - Amy backpack Sew Along

Zip Gusset – ok I cheated … I hate pressing in edges, especially long ones. So I just sewed my gusset piece to the zip, right side of zip against right side of gusset, then fold back and top stitch. So now our two gussets are done we can join them together.

Amy Backpack - Pic 21

Now it’s wrangling time.  Joining the gusset with the body pieces. Starting with the front, matching your markings, pin together the front and gusset.  When you think you have it right, then sew together. You may have to manipulate the gusset do you don’t get any puckers so it easier to sew from the gusset side.  Clip or pink around the curves to help it sit nice. Then whilst finger pressing the seam allowance towards the gusset top, stitch all the way around.  Now, open the zip a ways and repeat, joining the back to the gusset… It is looking like a bag now….whoop whoop.  Keeping my pic to show you at the end.  Oh at this point I gave my bag a good pressing as with all the movement, my fleece started coming off. I ironed that sucker back on there. lol

Amy - Pic 22

Pics 23 & 24 - Amy backpack sew Along with Ellen

Bag Lining Time – this is a simple lining, with just one pocket so I made an extra pocket, one a little shorter and put one on each lining body piece.

Amy Pic 25

Make up your gusset lining as per pattern, joining the top zip gusset to the bottom. Double check the space you left between the zip gusset pieces. Mine measured ½’ and I had to undo mine and widen the space.

Pics 26 & 27 of the Amy backpack Sew Along

With gussets ready and all marking done. Pin and seam your lining body pieces to the gusset.

Amy - Pic 28

The Amy Backpack Sew Along - Pics 29 and 30

Now as you finger press the seam allowance towards the body, top stitch on the right side around both front and back panels.

Pics 31 & 32 of the Amy Backpack sew AlongSo Close…..

Ok….. now with you outer right way out and the inner wrong way out. Push the inner into the bag and match up the bottom of the zips and pin zip in so it sits in a similar place to the outside zip gusset.

Pics 33 & 34 - Amy backpack sew Along

Now I know Chris says to slip stitch in place….. I don’t like hand stitching…I’m crap at it. So with a lot of wrangling I machine sewed it in. I had the inside gusset sitting in exactly the same place as the outside and sewed over the original top stitching. I did the long straight parts first and then turn the bag inside out and did the ends.  I had to change colour to black as well which was a pain. But I did it and am pleased with the result.

Pics 35 & 36 of the Amy Backpack Sew Along


Amy - Pic 37

Thanks everyone for joining us. Thanks to Christine for allowing me to play with her patterns and I hope you have fun making the Amy Backpack.

Finished Amy Backpack! :)



AWESOME! Thank you for all your hard work Ellen! I am sure we are going to see a lot of awesome new Amy Backpacks soon! 🙂

If you don’t have it already, you can grab the pattern for the Amy Backpack HERE!

Oh and if you LOVE the Amy Backpack but don’t sew…just pop along to our brand new Buy and Sell Facebook group where you can find plenty of awesome people who do! 🙂 Sellers, you are most welcome to join us there too!

Until next time, happy sewing!


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  1. Sorry Dee I missed your comment/question. Not really much difference.. Just a little stiffer in the wrangling parts. Which makes it a little harder to ease in the gusset. I actually prefer a more structured bag, so if I were to do it in cotton I think I’d use a heavier stabilizer. As its a looser weave of fabric I also do two rows of stitching in stress areas. Eg. In the gusset. Hope that helps.

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