Wednesday Craft: Backpack makeover, Stage II

Fabric panel, completed

Pocket covering panel

Last week I began working on an update to my trusty backpack which has served me so well on artist dates and other outings. Over the week, I added to last Wednesday’s fabric panel: I fused the fabric leaves to the panel, zigzag-stitched around them with variegated (multi-color) and silk threads, embroidered a couple of additional leaves, and sewed beads and buttons onto the painted leaves. I think I could have done more with embroidery and beading, but my hands got tired, so I decided to stop there.


Embellishment detail

After the panel was finished, I moved on to the tedious work of constructing a more three-dimensional covering for the flag pocket. This wasn’t as difficult as I’d expected, though as I say, it was boring… but within an hour or so I had a nice pocket-shaped sheath complete with a bottom and sides, and was ready to attach it to the backpack. Again, this wasn’t as tricky as I anticipated, so I had a little extra time to further decorate the pack’s exterior.

Pocket sheath

The backpack and its completed pocket covering, ready to attach

I dug out some yo-yos I’d made earlier this year, stitched them together, and attached them over the Jansport logo on the top center of the bag. Then I pondered the top flap of the pocket. My original idea was to sew a couple of layers of ruffles to it, but I decided this would be too froufrou. Instead, I sifted through my trims and found some magenta lace, a wide cream-colored ribbon, and some of my biggest buttons. By this time my hands were pretty tired from all the hand stitching, so I was feeling more slapdash than meticulous, and I attached these trims to the pocket flap as quickly as I could.

Updated backpack!

AFTER: The updated backpack!

Before backpack

BEFORE: A sad, hasty fix

I still want to add interior pockets, and maybe some ribbons or charms on the zipper pulls, but I consider the makeover mostly completed, and I’m happy with it. The bag is much more cheerful now and a much better reflection of my personality!

Tomorrow: I muse on what makes great literature, and whether the distinction between “great” and “not” is important to me as a writer.