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Sew-along: Baby backpack (with harness) – 1: Making the adjustable shoulder strap

So Knox is turning out into one of those kids who glances at you when you call him, giggles, and walks away even faster. I believe a harness is in order. Or, as I like to call it, a ‘Mom Leash’ that will make him feel safer to explore.

If you don’t have kids, don’t judge.

I had to figure out a few things in making this bag. and I’d like to share this journey! I hope you can make one too!

You will need:

  • 19′ x 12′ canvas (or other material you like) for outer shell of the bag
  • 19′ x 12′ fabric for the inside liner of the bag
  • Two 9′ and 11′ Ribbons for the shoulder strap
  • Same as above for the shoulder strap liner, and slightly smaller sized batting (if you want)
  • 2 sets of backpack strap adjusters (I’m sure there’s a more technical term for these!)
  • I got metal ones because they look classy. But realized after I'd made the bag that plastic ones would have been lighter, especially for baby's first backpack!

    I got metal ones because they look classy. But realized after I’d made the bag that plastic ones would have been lighter, especially for baby’s first backpack!

  • A cute fabric or pattern of a flat animal (I made a whale), and sew on magnetic buttons – for the closure.

Note: materials above do not include those for the harness.

1. Compose straps by sewing the ribbon and liner together. You can sew some extra padding in between. If there are raw edges, fold them in. The end strap result should be just as wide as the holes in the adjusters.

You can also put some light cotton padding on the inside. Since the blue ribbon edges required no serging, I cut the white strap material wider so it could fold under.

You can also put some light cotton batting on the inside. Since the blue ribbon edges required no serging, I cut the white strap material wider so it could fold under.

2. Now you should have two longer straps and two shorter straps. Loop the shorter strap through the adjuster with one hole, and sew it onto the canvas at about this location, parallel to each other.

composition of short straps

After being looped through the bottom piece of the the adjusters, the short straps are sewn onto the canvas.

After being looped through the bottom piece of the the adjusters, the short straps are sewn onto the canvas.

3. Take the longer strap and loop through the adjuster with two holes. Fold over and sew on raw end onto itself, the liner facing itself.

Screen Shot 2013-03-02 at 1.28.37 AM

4. Now loop the raw end of the long strap through the bottom adjuster that is already attached to the canvas via the shorter strap.

DSC05909

5. Pull the raw end up and over, looping it through the top adjuster on the way.

DSC05910

6. Repeat with other strap. Now, with chalk, draw a middle line on the canvas between the straps. Have the straps almost touch/converge in more or less a V shape where that line is.

DSC05915DSC05914Sew the raw end onto the canvas at an angle, right side facing the canvas. This creates a loop for the shoulders. It should look more or less like this when you’re done:

This is a pic of the composed backpack, but just so you have an idea of the angle.

This is a pic of the composed backpack, but just so you have an idea of the angle.

Tomorrow we will work on composing the bag! Never fear! It’s cheesecake!

Happy sewing! See you tomorrow!

Screen Shot 2013-03-02 at 1.45.15 AM

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