Sewing all the things! Denim Rucksack

The last week I have done more sewing than I have done in the past 6 months combined!

I now have space in my craft drawers as I’ve got rid of patterns that weren’t working/ that I will NEVER do again and I’ve used up lots of fabric too.

I had the pattern for a simple rucksack (simple…hahaha!) for a while and bought the denim fabric for it a couple of months ago. I already had the green lining fabric from a failed project years ago, as well as belt buckles, d-rings and other bits like webbing from other projects too. I had already cut out the outer pieces and the lining so I was all ready to sew last week.

What I thought would be an afternoon sewing the pieces together turned into Monday afternoon, Tuesday evening, Thursday evening and 2 hours on Friday.

I’m pretty much a beginner at sewing. I’ve done a few cushions, zip bags, a dress, a top, a pair of pj shorts, a skirt. That’s pretty much it apart from odd bits like hemming table cloths, Christmas makes like stockings, bunting, gift bags etc.

So, it really annoys me when patterns talk about bias binding without mentioning it on the list of things to buy! I haven’t bound the raw edges inside the bag, but apart from that, it’s done!

I had to add a red stripe on the front as my stitching on the zip fabric was atrocious! And I had to unpick the top zip as I went wonky. That’s why I didn’t do any more on Wednesday…I was DONE!

I also didn’t see I needed webbing non fray glue stuff…which I obviously don’t have! In fact, the sewing on the webbing for the handles and straps was the hardest part of the bag. I couldn’t get the cross in a square to look neat.

I had to unpick one of the handles as I didn’t realise it was ONE handle on each panel…I did so much unpicking for this project!

The bag as a whole doesn’t look too terrible from a distance…it looks like a bag! But I’m not so happy with the sewing up close. And some of the instructions could have been better too. I didn’t make a note of who it was by but it was a free pattern from a few months ago in the Simply Sewing Magazine.

I like the size and the shape and I love the denim fabric. This week when I made this and a denim tote bag is the first time I’ve worked with denim and I even changed the sewing machine needle to a denim one. The first time I’ve done that too!

I was pleasantly surprised that the denim needle managed to get through so many layers of thick fabric with little difficulty. Maybe I needed to change my needle anyway (I hadn’t done that ever since I got the machine oh…about 20 years ago! :O )

The eagle eyed among you will notice that the d-rings and belt buckles are silver and gold – I just used what I had on hand.

I didn’t topstitch once I’d sewn it together coz you know…I was so DONE with this project!

All in all it’s OK. Certainly better all sewn up than when I was preparing all the pieces.

It was hard to work out the pattern in places, but it was worth having a go. I’m still glad I had a try as now I have a better idea of how rucksacks are put together and I’ve learned a few new skills:

  • Changing the needle on my sewing machine
  • Adding webbing/ belt buckles/ d-rings
  • Making pockets
  • Making a zip casing (I can’t think of the proper term for the fabric around the zip!) and zipper tabs
  • Assembling a bag with a lining from a lot of pieces and using 2 zips in a project!

I still learned a lot from this project and it’s technically usable. It’ll go in a drawer or cupboard for now. I’m just glad it’s ticked off my list!

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