I should have taken a before picture, but didn't think about taking pictures of the process until I had already started cutting. In any case, it should be relatively clear.
What you will need:
-Sewing Machine. (Although, I guess you could hand sew it, but it would be a bit tedious.)
-Safety pin or paper clip
-pencil or bamboo skewer
Step 1: Cut Off the Sleeves and Neck of the Shirt
The red lines on the drawing are my cut lines, and the yellow pieces are the ones that I saved for making the backpack.
You can see that I cut the sleeves into strips. They will be used for making the straps.
Step 2: Hem Down the Top Edge of the Shirt
I closed up the backpack, and gave it better shape, by flipping it inside out and sewing up the holes left from where I had cut the sleeves off. I sewed a straight line just up to the hem at the top, but not across the hem!!
Step 3: Make Your Straps
I sewed the strips of fabric together, however I could, to make strips of fabric that were about 2 inches wide and as long as I could get them to be from just one sleeve. I cut the strips around 2 inches wide, whenever I could. In some cases, though, because of the seams in the sleeves, it didn't work out, and I had to cut them a bit smaller, and sewed them together to get them to be about the same width. I then repeated the process with the other sleeve.
To form the straps, I folded each strip of cloth down the center, right sides facing each other, and sewed the free edges and the bottom shut. I made one long tube from each sleeve, and used a skewer to help me turn the tubes back right side out.
Step 4: Thread Your Straps Through the Top Hems
Step 5: Sew Across the Bottom of the Shirt
Step 6: Turn It Right-Side-Out and You're Finished!! Wear Your Backpack!!
Right now my backpack has come in handy for carrying around an extra change of clothes for a potty-training toddler!!
Fun times. :)
For more projects, check out my blog, http://www.thethingswellmake.com