Thursday, July 18, 2013

Oakie has a backpack!

Started a completely new project, just in time for County Fair (entry due date: July 15th).  Made a tiny backpack for our intrepid traveling penguin, Oakie.  I had this planned for the past year, but had to wait for Oakie to come back from visiting his other parent on the East Coast.  (You know, because of fit issues.)

So. Darn. Cute.

My Method

backpack in blue buffalo check
First, let me give a shout-out to my mother, who sewed wardrobes of Barbie clothes all those years ago.  I now have a much greater appreciation of the patience needed to sew tiny details.  Thanks, Mom!

I measured across Oakie's back to estimate the size of backpack he could accommodate.  It was about 3" wide.  I had a commercial pattern for a children's backpack, McCall's 628.  The backpack to be made using that pattern ended up being about 12" wide when finished.  So I needed to make Oakie's pattern 1/4 of the original size.

Brilliant idea: use a 1" = 1/4" scale by transferring the measurements of the pattern from a 1" grid (like the one on my cutting mat!) to a 1/4" grid (most pads of graph paper use a 1/4" scale).
Original pattern piece
Miniature pattern piece

When using this method, transfer each pattern piece without seam allowances, then add your desired seam allowance back to the smaller piece.  Also, I had to determine how much turn-down would be needed for the casing, as I was certainly not going to use 3/4" elastic.

I wanted to mix fabrics, but the available space is so tiny!  Managed to fussy-cut the smallest dinosaurs for the flap and pocket; the pocket itself is lined with a green plaid (visible as trim along the top of the pocket); the back of the backpack is a blue/black mini-check (which was also supposed to be the lining, but really: lining?!); the straps are a mini polka-dot ribbon; and a coordinating yellow bias trim accents the flap.  Whew!  I think that counts as mixing fabrics.

Wish I had taken more photos before he left for the fair.  Alas, our boy is in the capable hands of the County Fair personnel.  I will go visit him next week and see if his tiny backpack has won a ribbon.  (Just wish that "cuteness" was one of the judging criteria.)

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