Thursday, September 26, 2013
Sewing For Kindergarten: Angry Bird Backpack
Those of you who follow along here regularly, may be wondering what I'm doing participating in Sewing Like Mad's Sewing for Kindergarten series. You see, I don't actually have a child in Kindergarten. We've recently moved back to the States from our overseas posting in Denmark and when I saw Mie was hosting this series, I begged to be a part because I have a niece who is in Kindergarten this year. I'm thrilled to be living close enough to her, that I can sew some girly things for a change and knew this would be the perfect opportunity.
Alas, things went a bit screwy with our shipments and the sewing machine did not arrive in time for me to sew something for her, drive up, and take photographs. Lucky us, we have a friend who just so happens to be in Kindergarten this year AND who had a birthday this week. I didn't have time to go all out and pull together a full-blow outfit for Eli but let's face it, when it comes to kid's stuff for school . . . especially for the boys . . . it's all about the accessories.
Keeping that in mind, I sat down with The Sewing Loft's Owl Backpack pattern and got to work making an Angry Bird version. Here's how I modified Heather's pattern to fit Eli's favorite theme.
The first modification I made was to create a pocket from the "belly" piece. To do this, cut 2 rather than 1 as instructed. Turn the pieces right side together, stitch around the outside edge using a 1/2 inch seam and leaving 2 inches open (back stitching at the beginning and end) for turning. Then clip the edges and turn right side out.
Press. Top stitch the top edge of the pocket. Then pin the pocket to the front of the backpack and edge stitch to the front starting from one end of the top stitching, continuing around bottom of the pocket and ending at the other side of top stitching.
For the angry bird's face, you'll need to modify the head just a tad to make it less owl shaped. Since I was using the old school "paper" version of Heather's pattern (published by Simplicity), I used both the bottom of the owl backpack and the top of the mushroom backpack. Thus giving the head of the angry bird a more "feathery" look. Now cut 2 beak pieces, sew around the edges using a 1/4 inch seam and leaving a small space for turning. Cut two white twill circles for the eyeballs and two black circles from vinyl. Pin and sew the black circles to the white circles.
Place and pin (fusible interfacing or double sided, fusible tape works great too) the eyes and beak on the center of the flap and sew around the outside edge. When you get to the beak, sew directly on the line of stitching.
Finally, cut two rectangles and an arrow shape from the black vinyl for the eyebrows and hair. From here you can continue following the pattern instructions.
Since our Kindergarten friend is a boy, I wanted to make sure this would hold up to the "test of time". Therefore, the outer pieces were cut using a red denim and a white twill was used for the pocket. I used this Alphabet Button Novelty Print (found at our local JoAnn's) for the lining. I think it fits perfectly with the Sewing for Kindergarten theme. Now our friend Eli can store his books and important papers as well as review his letters while the wheels of the bus go round and round.
Thanks for having me along, Mie! I'm so glad I had a chance to practice Sewing for Kindergarten. I'll be needing it for sure when my middle guy joins the crowd next year.