The school supplies are neatly stacked as we anxiously await our first day of pre-school! Without a doubt, Max is most excited by his new backpack. I wrote about it a few weeks ago when I was first planning it, and I have to say, I love, love, love how it turned out! As I mentioned in the previous post, I used this toddler backpack pattern from Indietutes (free, but she accepts donations via PayPal, if you’re so inclined). I definitely recommend this pattern, because it has a super simple shape, without snaps or zippers or anything complicated for a 2-year-old to negotiate. It’s on the small side, and I can see that we might have trouble fitting in larger pieces of artwork, but still, I wanted something that Max could easily carry on his back and not feel weighed down by—so from that respect, it really is the perfect size for a toddler.
I made the majority of the body out of denim, and then used a playful cotton polka dot print for the top flap, straps, and sides. Originally, I was going to line the whole thing, but once I fused all the interfacing to the pieces, I realized it was plenty sturdy as is. As for the pattern itself, the directions are very clear, and the pieces come together quickly and easily. I did modify the straps just slightly: she suggests folding the strap piece right sides together and turning, but I hate turning skinny strips of fabric, so I just pressed the edges up 1/4” and folded in half.
I knew that I wanted to do a fun appliqué, and as I wrote before, I got the idea for the caterpillar appliqué in the book 100 Appliqué Motifs. I simply traced some circular shapes I had on hand (the bottom of a paperweight and the bottom of a bowl) to make the body and head. I admit, my only worry is whether the caterpillar is boyish enough. It is so challenging to sew cute—but stylish—things for boys (I’m hardly the first mom to complain about this!). If you stray from the well-traveled path of basketballs and dinosaurs, it’s easy to start second-guessing yourself, especially when your husband gives you that look. (Anna Maria Horner has a great post about her husband teasing her about the fancy pants she makes for her one-year-old. But I’m sticking with my little lime and aqua caterpillar!