I am a pretty self confident person. But from time to time I have mini freak outs. And when Lisa came to me with a request from her daughter for a backpack my mind went racing. I’d never made a backpack before and was running designs in my head before she even had a chance to finish her sentence! So when she asked if I would do it, I’m pretty sure I just stared straight ahead for a few seconds before I said
…”Yeah…Uh…sure I’ve never done one, but I’m sure I can do that. It may not look like a traditional backpack but it’ll be a backpack…=/”
Great answer right! haha. Luckily she trusts my creative instinct and let me get to it!
I picked the color combination first from my bag of options, but I really had to be strategic with what I chose. Lisa gave me two bags of t-shirts and sweatshirts and was ordering a backpack, large duffle, tote, a pencil case (which I will soon be figuring out) and if I had anything left to make another bag/scarf/accessory. So I had to make sure I didn’t use up all of the material on one bag and make sure I had enough for the rest, because the last thing I wanted to happen was to run out before I’d started one of the products!
For the style of this bag I wanted to keep it simple but still stylish. I mean anything By kimB has got to have personality! So I chose colors that were different but still complimentary to each other. Usually I go for bold colors that do nothing but contrast but maybe I was relaxed that day =)
The pink accent on the front pocket came as a last minute decision. I formed the pocket and sewed it into the front face of bag but it just didn’t look right. The thread wasn’t working, the color contrast wasn’t satisfying, and I was unimpressed by the visual. So I saw a pink shirt that I hadn’t used yet and decided I would make a sort of top covering for it.
I seam ripped the pocket off of the front face and side panel, started over and formed the pink t-shirt over the top. Finally I loved what I was seeing. It made such huge difference to the look of the bag.
I am also a big advocate for using the pockets already formed on the item, so on the back face I kept the kangaroo pockets from the sweatshirt attached because hey, when is an extra pocket a bad thing? =)
My main unexpected struggle with this bag was the shoulder pads on the straps. I didn’t anticipate that this would be the hard part. I bought some thin, what I thought was thin, foam at the fabric store to pad the straps with. It wasn’t until I completed the bag completely that I was looking at it and thought…
“Wow…those pads look ridiculously fat.”
But I started to second guess myself and basically try to talk myself into thinking the super thick padding was a really good thing! Fortunately my boyfriend came over on an impromptu visit and quickly squashed the mental progress I’d made to keep them as is, stating…
“It looks like a cartoon.”
FINE! So again I had a seam ripping session and took them apart. This time around I went to the thrift store (at 8 in the morning) with the intention to buy a bag or duffle of some sort to tear apart and use the foam padding in there. I came across this camo green colored backpack and it had just what I needed. (I was also so tired while I was shopping that I also bought a coffee maker and couldn’t help but buy a book, that is still sitting in the bag, while I was there.)
That ended up adding just as much support at half the size. Just what I needed!
Although the initial concept of this project freaked me out, once I got started I felt like I hit my stride! I won’t be adding this to the By kimB menu but now I can keep it in my back pocket if it ever presents itself again!
Such a great learning experience that turned out pretty well! I hope you and your daughter like this bag Lisa! And I that this bag will make her the coolest girl in school =)!
*****Each product is handmade and re-purposed from second hand clothing and fabrics and is completely one of a kind, I couldn’t duplicate any of these bags even if I wanted too! It’s my way of going green and staying in style.
As always you can e-mail me at K.Barnes@BykimB.com or leave a comment.
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