Makin’ it Magic: the Japanese backpack

Makin it Magic The Japanese backpack

Some time ago, my mum went on a holiday to Japan and brought me back a backpack kit. It consists of a pre-printed panel and a single sheet of instructions.

Makin it Magic The Japanese backpack kit

The instructions are in Japanese but, as is the case with Japanese pattern books, the illustrations are so clear and thoughtfully drawn that a person who sews can easily work it out.

Makin it Magic The Japanese backpack instructions

It’s a cute idea and was very easy to make, essentially a bag with straps. There are only three pieces (2 straps and the one-piece bag) but included are extra badges for your own artistic embellishment (which I didn’t use).

Makin it Magic The Japanese backpack spare labels

The fabric is similar to heavy backed curtain fabric. It shows every pinhole and unpicked line of stitching, of course.

The backpack kit went together very quickly and easily, even with a fitting part-way through. The straps were surprisingly long; I had to shorten them by 10cm.

The one thing I had reservations about was the top closure/flap. It looks like the opening of the backpack just flaps over…and secures how? I don’t feel like the designer adequately resolved this.

Makin it Magic The Japanese backpack with no fastenings

I had a riffle through the button tin for fastening ideas and brought up: 2 D-rings, assorted sized buckles, a wooden curtain ring, some too-narrow but perfectly matching red twill tape and some white twill tape. I also had the leftover 10cm bits of the straps.

Makin it Magic The Japanese backpack fastening selection

This is what I decided on: a pair of D-rings with twill tape.

Makin it Magic The Japanese backpack fastening idea

The twill tape was a bit too white, so to make it match the off white/cream on the back pack I dyed it with some second hand tea bags, English breakfast no less. It didn’t take long – the tape barely needed to glance at the tea bags to turn off white.

Makin it Magic The Japanese backpack tea

Yay! It’s finished. I’m pleasantly surprised at how it turned out. It’s modeled here by my favourite 8 year old who liked it too.

Makin it Magic The Japanese backpack finished 2
Makin it Magic The Japanese backpack finished 5

Cheers!

2 Comments

  1. Michelle Shaffer on June 4, 2019 at 1:02 am

    Clever use of tea bag dying and twill tape!

    • lizhaywood on June 4, 2019 at 9:34 am

      Cheers Michelle!

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