This month we took a break from garments and have been making backpacks. the two featured patterns are the Raspberry Rucksack from Sarah Kirsten, and the Desmond Roll Top Backpack from Taylor Tailor. I’m making the Desmond as a gift for my dad and it made me think about personalization options. Making something my own is one of my favorite things about sewing. I truly get to make a custom bag for my dad and I’m excited about it!
Let’s talk about ways to personalize your backpack. First up we have patches. The two main types of patches are iron on and sew on. Most of mine are sew on but I have a few that are iron on. I end up sewing my patches to my bags/garments to secure them regardless of the patch style. I like using a zig zag stitch along the edge of the patch when I use my sewing machine. Alternatively you could hand sew them on to conceal your stitches. You can find patches at thrift stores, on Etsy, and your local sewing store.
Next up we have hardware. This pattern calls for webbing/strapping along with bag hardware. This is something that was pretty fun to explore. I found several finishes for the hardware including gold, antique gold, silver, bronze, rose gold, gunmetal, and black. As long as you find the right size, you can use pretty much whatever you want. It’s helpful to bring a swatch of the fabric with you if you’ll be shopping in person. I bought my supplies online, so I wasn’t sure exactly how they’d work with my fabric. I’m really pleased with how they look in person. Claire has a post all about sourcing materials for your bag making journey.
Another way you can customize your bag is by using labels. There are a bunch of options for tags and labels. They come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. There are some indie shops that carry labels online and in person as well as craft stores. I even designed some labels with my name on them. It’s all about personal preference for these. I really like sewing a label on so that it peaks out from the exterior of the bag. It’s a fun reminder that you made something amazing.
The last personalization option I’ll show you is something a bit less permanent than the previous ones. Pins and buttons are a really fun way of personalizing your bag. You can change them out as often as you’d like. I’ve accumulated a good amount of pins and I recently made a crest to display them. I’ve got pins related to sewing, knitting, art, and black culture. I can add and remove them depending on my mood that day. You can find all sorts of pins these days. I picked up some of the knitting specific pins at my local yarn store. I suggest putting them in an area that doesn’t get too stressed, just so you don’t accident knock them off. You can also find pin backs that lock in place.
I hope you find a way to personalize your backpack! Maybe you decide to choose a really fun lining or even paint a design on your fabric. Either way, it’ll be something unique because YOU made it. I’m still working on my bag but you can check out the hashtag and Facebook group to see some completed backpacks. They look great so far. I can’t wait to see what you create!