There are times in blog land, when really fun things fall into your lap! I am honored that Sara from Radiant Home Studios asked me to be a part of the Retro Rucksack inspiration tour! THis is a truely versatile bag. It is designed with the backpack straps, but I threw it over my shoulder too like a typical tote and it worked well that way too!
For my inspiration post, I decided to mash up some suede and laminate, and take my chances with white… I don’t have very good luck with white things… I wanted to show you that unusual materials are not scary. I work with laminate a lot, but I don’t work with suede very often. It slides through the sewing machine differently than leather. This sport weight suede I have had in my stash is pretty cool stuff, and
the white has been in hiding in the box for a while. I steer clear of
white, because it is a magnet for anything I could possibly spill on it
within a ten foot radius…All that being said, the bag pieced together perfectly.
This pattern is written very well, with clear instructions and pictures. I did have a little trouble with the zipper, but I wasnt sure if it was me, the kids asking questions, or the instructions causing my hiccup, so I installed the zipper as I am used to. It was the only hiccup though, and the bag came together really fast. I omit interfacing when I use Echino laminates. They are a canvas blend and are are a heavier weight than some of the laminated quilters cotton. Once you add a canvas lining, the bags have a very structured feel without the added stabilizers. With this combo of laminate and suede, the seams were already very thick and tough. Adding a stabilizer to that would have made it nearly impossible.
I used 2″ twill tape for my straps and seamed it to fit through my hardware, which I actually buy at the hardware store. Check Home Depot and Lowes and you will find a pretty good selection, instead of a conventional fabric and craft chain. My little town did just get a JoAnns, but its a very small one with very limited selection. I am used to seeking out supplies from a variety of places both online and locally. Hence the hardware store 🙂
Hubs was helping me with the pics and I jokingly started skipping (yup. I can skip in heels…), like I was on my way to the bus stop. I haven’t worn a non-sport backpack since I was little, and its kinda nice to have one again. Plus, I think this will be a good gift for my sisters, both of whom use public transportation, and one of them is constantly commuting between college, work and home. I am excited to use more rugged materials for this pack in the future and see what comes of it!