When Sara of Radiant Home Studio contacted me to join her Retro Rucksack tour, I was a bit caught off guard. Me??? I don’t really have a history with sewing bags, but okay. I’m game for just about anything. Remember, I like challenges!?!?
Turns out, the trickiest part was deciding on the hardware. (Oh, and sewing the straps on the right side, but who’s counting that.) The pattern calls for two different strap and hardware sizes, but since I opted to use 1 1/2” cotton webbing throughout for my straps, I purchased all 1 1/2” hardware. Sara gives a few suggestions on where to buy the hardware, but I also suggest checking your local hardware store. I came very close to using some cool clips I found at Home Depot.
The pattern calls for two exterior fabric options, but I liked the idea of using ticking stripes in two different directions.
The back straps really make this bag unique; a bit more on that in a second.
A recessed zipper keeps everything where you want it.
The interior of the bag has a zipper pocket on one side and a large patch pocket on the other side.
Back to those unique straps. The design gives you two carry options, backpack style or tote. Don’t you love my handsome model?!? I cheated in my photo styling a bit, but it comes together here. I’ve actually made this for my sister-in-law to use as a diaper bag. She was thrilled with the backpack option since she’s having twins!! From the looks of this, my brother-in-law won’t feel uncomfortable carrying it either.
Here’s a few pattern tips I noted along the way:
- If you use decorator weight fabric, I recommend adding interfacing to stiffen things up a bit. I only added it to the bottom accent piece and it seemed like enough
- It helps to use a zipper foot when sewing on your hardware.
- After my husbands brilliant suggestion, I added a velcro closure to the large interior patch pocket to keep it from flopping open. (Boy, did he come in handy for this project!)
- Again, check your local hardware stores for the closures and clips. You might find something out of the box to use!
- If I sew the pattern again, I will try to find a way to conceal the zipper and fabric edges inside the lining. I zig-zagged the unfinished edge, but it’s not as clean as I would like it.