Introduction: Bunny Backpack

Picture of Bunny Backpack

Being a little sister has its challenges, I see that now. Ameli constantly looks up to her sister, imitates her and wants to do the same things. Most of them she can do but there's one she can't - go to preschool. Although she'll start soon, this September wasn't easy for her. Lily went back to school after the summer break and Ameli wanted to join the kids. I wanted to find an idea to make this easier for her, to make her feel like a big girl. And since she likes packing her sisters backpack, I decided to make her a backpack, too.

I saw several animal backpacks online, went through some instructions and then decided it would be best if I just figured out my own way. I just like challenges that much.

Don't worry if you don't own a professional sewing machine, mine is the cheapest one I could find in a supermarket and it did just fine.

No need to say, this was a great idea, Ameli loves her backpack with bunny ears.

Step 1: You Will Need...

You will need (for a toddler backpack):

- 1m of baby pram/backpack fabric or other heavy non-elastic fabric (main fabric)

- 0,5m of lining such as cotton canvas

- 20 x 40 cm of plush or other furry fabric

- 1m of fusible fleece

- 38 cm non-separating zipper

- 2 sets of 3,8 cm strap adjusters (1 set = 1 adjuster + 1 ring)

- some polyester stuffing, for example pillow stuffing

- thread – if your machine can handle the jeans thread, you can use this one to sew the outside fabric

Step 2: Cut All the Pieces

Picture of Cut All the Pieces

First cut all the pieces as follows. I recommend you to number them so you know which main fabric piece belongs to which fusible fleece cutout and which lining:

From main fabric:
- front and back of the backpack, both rectangles with round corners – 25 x 20,5 cm

- 2 straps – 61 x 15,5 cm

- 2 strap loops – 15 x 12,5 cm

- handle – 15 x 7,5 cm

- 2 zipper gussets – 38 x 6 cm

- side gusset – 51 x 11,5 cm

- 2 ears – desired size, mine are about 18 cm long and 7 cm (widest part)

From lining:

- front and back of the backpack, both rectangles with round corners – 25 x 20,5 cm

- 2 zipper gussets – 38 x 6 cm

- side gusset – 51 x 11,5 cm

From plush/fur:

- 2 ears – desired size, mine are about 18 cm long and 7 cm (widest part)

- tail – circle with circumference of 10 cm

From fusible fleece:

- front and back of the backpack, both rectangles with round corners – 24 x 19,5 cm

- 2 straps – 58 x 3,5 cm

- 2 strap loops – 13 x 3,5 cm

- handle – 13 x 2 cm

- 2 zipper gussets – 35,5 x 4 cm

- side gusset – 48 x 9 cm

- 2 ears – 1 cm narrower and shorter than the ears you cut from main fabric and plush

Seam allowance is 0,5 cm.

Step 3: Iron on Fusible Fleece

Picture of Iron on Fusible Fleece

Start with attaching the fusible fleece to the following main fabric pieces: front and back of the backpack, ears, zipper gusset and side gusset. The fleece should be centered.

To attach the fusible fleece to the straps, strap loops and handle follow these steps:

Fold the fabric in half and open. Press short ends 0,5 cm to wrong side. Then you will fold the narrower side of the straps and strap loops but the wider side of the handle. (photos 1 and 2)

Place the fusible fleece piece on fold, iron in and press the shorter side on it. (photos 3 and 4)

Fold the longer side to the center and then everything in half. (photos 5 and 6)

Stitch. As you can see I stitched only one side but I recommend to actually stitch both. Stitch also short edges of the straps and strap loops. (photo 7)

Step 4: Attaching the Straps

Picture of Attaching the Straps

Put each strap loop through a ring and fold in half. (picture 1)

First sew one short edge about 0,5 cm from the lower edge of the back (of the backpack), then sew the other short edge just under the first one aligned with the edge of the back. Repeat with the other strap loop and make sure they’re both placed in the same distance from the edge of the back piece. (picture 2)

Place the adjuster right side up and put the strap through it as you see in the photos. Stitch. (pictures 3 and 4)

Pass the other end first through the ring and then back through the adjuster. (pictures 5 and 6)

Pass through one side of the adjuster… (pictures 7 and 8)

…and then the other. (picture 9)

Sew this edge to the upper side of the back piece. Repeat steps with the other strap. Also make sure the straps are placed in the same distance from the side of the back piece and also over the strap loops. (picture 10)

Step 5: Handle, Ears and Tail

Picture of Handle, Ears and Tail

Stitch the handle to the upper edge of the back piece just between the straps. (pictures 1 and 2)

Assembling the ears. Place the main fabric (with the fusible fleece attached) and the plush right sides together and stitch the sides, leave the bottom open. (picture 3)

Turn the ears right side up and iron flat. (picture 4)

Stitch the ears to the upper edge of the backpack front – again watch the distance. (picture 5)

Tail. Stitch 1 cm from the edge around the whole circumference using the basting stitch. Leave some cm of the thread at the beginning and end and pull the ends of the thread to gather the fabric. (pictures 6 and 7)

Fill the tail with stuffing, pull the thread to close the tail and stitch it. (pictures 8 and 9)

Handstitch the tail to the bottom of the back piece. (picture 10)

Step 6: Attaching Zipper Gussets

Picture of Attaching Zipper Gussets

Place the right side of the zipper on the right side of one zipper gusset and stitch it. Use the zipper foot or finish the stitching – like me – in hand. (picture 1)

Picture 2 shows what you get when you turn it over.

Now place the right side of the zipper on the right side of the other gusset, again align the edges and stitch. Turn over. (pictures 3 to 5)

Step 7: Side Gusset

Picture of Side Gusset

Place the side gusset right side on the zipper and pin one short end. Stitch. (pictures 1 and 2)

Repeat on the other side with the short ends. Now you’ve joined the zipper + zipper gussets with the side gusset. (pictures 3 and 4)

Step 8: Attaching Back and Front

Picture of Attaching Back and Front

Follow attaching the back piece. Work with the wrong side, attach the back piece to the side and zipper. First pin the long edges, then the short edges and leave the corners as last. Cut notches in the corners to be able to pin them regularly, but first make sure the sides are pinned regularly. Re-pin as many times as needed. (pictures 1 and 2)

Picture 3 shows the notches.

Stitch. (pictures 4 and 5)

Open the zipper, pin the remaining piece (the front) and stitch, all in the same way like you did with the back piece. Now you have the outside part of the backpack done and can continue with the lining. (picture 6)

Step 9: Lining

Picture of Lining

Fold one long side of each zipper gusset 0,5 cm to wrong side and iron flat. (picture 1)

Now stitch the short ends of the zipper gusset to one short end of the side gusset. The folded long sides of the zipper gussets are facing up and aligned as in photo 2.

Stitch the other short ends of the zipper gussets to the other short end of the side gusset. (picture 3)

Same as with the main fabric, now pin carefully and stitch the back piece. (picture 4)

Then pin and stitch the front piece. This is what the result should look like. It’s turned wrong side up, don’t turn it. (picture 5)

Turn the outside part of the backpack (main fabric) right side up. Place the lining inside and align the zipper gusset of the lining piece with the zipper and pin in place. (picture 6)

Handstitch the zipper gusset, then stitch it with your machine. Pull the handmade stitches out. (pictures 7 to 9)

Step 10: That's It!

Picture of That's It!

You've done it! You've made a toddler backpack!

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Bio: Mom, wife, traveler, baker, jewelry maker...and so much more!
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