Max with his first backpack
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!

The view of the back
8/25/2010 12:29:25 pm

Ooo, I'm first! Great book and great interview!

8/26/2010 02:00:36 pm

i love dots, dumb or giddy or otherwise! i love everything retro and all those in the "happy tones" group...pretty much any of it is awesome! what a great giveaway!

8/27/2010 12:00:23 am

What a great book. All the fabrics are great. Flower shower is very fun. What a great giveaway.

8/27/2010 12:04:20 am

what an incredible giveaway! how can you possibly choose a favorite michael miller print? my old favorite was quilt pirate and knit pirate, but i haven't been able to find those in a while, so i think it's now ephemeral antiquity!

8/27/2010 12:36:18 am

8/27/2010 12:39:24 am

It was so hard to pick a favorite! I would love to incorporate one of the Old Script fabrics into a dress! *Crosses fingers*

8/27/2010 12:53:47 am

Oh! I love all tissues, but Candy Stripe, from Playdate, by Patty Young and the Flower Show, from Jewel Tones collection are, without doubt, my favorite!
The foreign dreamy (I'm Portuguese) can also participate? I hope so. I'll cross my fingers!

8/27/2010 01:00:25 am

I love Pretty Bird from Pillow and Maxfield! Great giveaway!

8/27/2010 01:05:31 am

My favorite fabric(s) from Michael Miller have to be all of Patty Young's lines. Love them. Choosing 5 would be hard.

8/27/2010 01:40:46 am

I love the Dick & Jane fabrics.

8/27/2010 02:12:34 am

I've returned to sewing; learned from my momma at 11 but was more interested in handwork--embroidery, needlepoint, cross stitch. Momma would do the sewing and I'd do the hemming, buttons, etc.
Now I'm in my 50s and taking lessons to be able to do the things I want to do. Sadly, momma is gone, but I hope she'd be proud...
ANYWAY, I am able to do a few things from memory. In 2005, I made my first grandson a receiving blanket that was white minky on one side and Retro Rocket Rascals on the other. EVERYONE who sees it loves it (ALMOST as much as my daughter and I do)! She's used it with her second son as well. So it really is my favorite.
BUT, were I to win, those Chinese kids are callin' my name!

8/27/2010 02:22:50 am

I am loving the Lil' Plain Jane fabric! It would be so perfect to make a pillowcase dress for my daughter. Thanks for the chance to win!!

8/27/2010 02:36:41 am

I really like Big Poppy in Spice from the Poppy collection by Laura Gunn. I guess I've been drawn to red and blue combinations lately. But I drool over all the Michael Miller collections!

8/27/2010 02:54:51 am

I love the butterflies on Pink from the Paula Prass Flights of Fancy : )

8/27/2010 03:06:27 am

I have really enjoyed the Lil' Plain Jane prints. Thanks for this awesome giveaway.

shari j.
8/27/2010 04:12:50 am

I have always liked the Fairy Frost patterns but the new sky fabrics in the Classic Landscapes collection have taken my breath away! Perfect for CQ landscapes - my love. THanks for the opportunity to win some of this fabulous fabric. Great interview BTW.

8/27/2010 04:43:04 am

What a wonderful giveaway! I love so many of the designs but I adore the prints in the Hedgehog Group. I live in a small town and whimsy is not easy to find here! Good luck to everyone!

Lyn Lewis
8/27/2010 04:50:16 am

Ooooh WOW! Ive browsed and lusted and would waltz away with Lolli Dot ....and just adore Dandilion Lime and Humming Bird white...okay they are on My Wish List as of now! Interesting interview, many thanks

8/27/2010 05:00:32 am

I love ta dot in celery. It goes with so many things!!

8/27/2010 07:58:05 am

Great giveaway! thanks for the chance!! Miller's Dick and Jane line have had me tripping over bolts or fabric just to get little remnants.
And I do so adore his little hedgehog and polka dot prints...who can't incorporate those?!?! :)

thanks again!


Chris Davis
8/27/2010 08:33:45 am

Patty Young's Flora and Fauna -- I love the Hive and Dandelion prints in all the colorways1

8/27/2010 08:51:38 am

Awesome book and fabric. So many thanks for the chance to win. I have collected polka dots way back with the dotted swiss stuff. (Today I ran across my red dotted swiss dress i made in the 70's) :)

8/27/2010 09:10:21 am

Pick a favorite? That is a tough one! For this giveaway, I will choose "how to keep your husband" and the vintage trailers. I have loved all the Michael Miller retro prints and have made some great stuff for many of my loved ones from these fabrics. I am excited about this giveaway...keeping my fingers crossed.

Ashley J
8/27/2010 09:32:50 am

my favorite is the yippee cowboy kids fabric - i'd love to make something for my cowboy-obsessed sister.

8/27/2010 10:10:01 am

8/27/2010 10:11:35 am

My favorite Michael Miller fabric is the Baby Goth Skulls on Pink background!

I don't have this book yet...so I hope I win. I'd love to own it!

therajoyce [at] gmail [dot] com

8/27/2010 11:03:39 am

Flora & Fauna Hummingbirds have been calling my name for months! Thanks for the great interview.

Sandra Davidson
8/27/2010 11:05:31 am

I love Laura Gunn's Poppy Fabric, poppies are my favourite flower. Enjoyed interview and would love the book.

8/27/2010 11:13:28 am

Love Sandy Henderson's Grand Foliage or Henna Garden.

Marnie Peck
8/27/2010 11:24:49 am

I would have to say my favorite is dysfunctional. It is so fun and reminds me of my crazy busy life with 4 kids, husband and a dog! Thanks for the opportunity!!

Anna Dowdy
8/27/2010 12:21:08 pm

It is so hard to pick one but I really like Alphabet Flower Fairies but I liked so many.

Terri Aden
8/27/2010 12:39:31 pm

What a fantastic give away! My very favorite Michael Miller fabric of all time is "50's Kitchen".

Lisa B
8/27/2010 01:22:02 pm

Great interview and Give away! I love so many of Michael Miller prints, but I think my all time fav is Ta Dot! I'm a polka dota kinda gal - they just make me happy!

8/27/2010 02:45:15 pm

I love the retro look of Michael Miller Fabrics. My favorite of all time would have to be Lil' Cowpokes. If I ever have a little boy his room will be done in this print. I have a pillow and a bag made out of it for myself. I bought the fabric to make a quilt but only time will tell if the quilt is for me or a little cowpoke of my own.

8/27/2010 02:46:47 pm

So many favorites to choose from but SH3704_Speckle
Is my newest! I think this would look great in a guest room I am needing to re do!

Rhonda Grossnickle
8/27/2010 09:29:23 pm

OH..it's impossible to pick one of my fav MM prints. But I can say I will never get tired of the Ta Dot fabrics (in any colorway). They compliment so many projects!

Anna Walker
8/28/2010 03:36:45 am




these are my favs!


8/28/2010 05:29:22 am

OMG, there is no way I can pick just one fabric from Michael Miller. Michael Miller Fabrics are my all time favorites. Anytime I win a certificate from a fabric site, I always choose MM fabrics. I love them all. This prize would be an absolute joy for me to win. Thanks for the opportunity.

8/28/2010 06:31:13 am

Yule trees is one of my favorite Michael Miller fabrics...too many favorites to name though. Awesome giveaway...thanks!


Angelique Hedman
8/28/2010 06:48:43 am

What can be said, retro is fabulous and I have such a desire to sew anything that reminds me of the 50's or 60's. My favorite all time Michael Miller fabric is the Dick and Jane series. I made my son's preschool bag out of this great fabric. I can't wait to get my hands on your book and engulf myself. Thanks so much!

8/28/2010 03:28:53 pm

Well, it's hard to choose one design from Michael Miller fabrics-they really are all fabulous! I think my longest favorites has been Farmer's Market. I also loved the Dick and Jane line-but my favorites from that line seem to be gone now.

8/28/2010 10:53:52 pm

ohh, can't resist such a wonderful freebie! thanks so much for a chance to win!

8/28/2010 11:21:27 pm

I collect sewing and vintage fabrics, so I LOVE "If She Sews, She Knows", it's my new FAV! I thoroughly enjoyed the history of Michael Miller fabrics so keep the fabrics coming and I'll keep buying!!!! I already know what I'll do with this fabric should I be selected.

8/29/2010 05:32:55 pm

My favorite fabric is the chevron in ANY color! Just funky and fun.

9/15/2010 03:00:51 am

Paisley Watermelon Fabric is my favorite. I have used it in a couple of outfits and even in some craft projects.


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