Tired of never finding the perfect backpack for you? This Instructable will show you how you can design and sew your very own custom backpack! It covers a broad range of sewing topics. Everything from drawing your design, creating a prototype and editing a pattern. To adding foam support structures and using darts to create 3D dimensions in fabric.
Be warned this is an advanced sewing Instructable! Read through the entire Instructable to get an idea of what you're getting yourself into before you buy materials!
If you'd like to get some practice in before trying this Instructable check out my sewing collection and try some of the great Instructables in there.
Feel free to make this backpack your own by editing the design to suit your backpack needs. If you feel so inclined make an Instructable about your unique creation!
Please note that I used an industrial walking foot sewing machine to make my backpack. It is possible to sew a backpack with a regular consumer sewing machine, you will just have to choose your fabrics appropriately.
For my backpack I used:
- 1000 Denier Cordura fabric (2yards)
- ripstop nylon fabric (2 yards)
- nylon webbing 1"(with reflector strips) (4 yards)
- 2" seatbelt webbing (1 yard)
- 1" webbing binding tape, a sports mesh fabric (.5 yards)
- 1/8th inch closed cell Volara foam (.5 yards)
- 1" aluminum cam buckles (x2)
- 2" quick release buckle (x1)
- 1.25" D-rings (x2)
- 2" velcro (5")
- 12" zipper (x1)
If you're interested in the materials I used check out these links:
Alternative (lighter) fabric options for consumer machines:
Ripstop Nylon (lining) - You should be fine using this or a similarly weighted fabric. Try to keep the lining light so you not unnecessarily weight down your bag. (if you don't want to line your bag you can skip this completely)
1" binding tape webbing - A good lighter weight alternative is 1" gosgrain ribbon (there are lots of awesome color options!)
Sports Mesh (aesthetic for straps) - You should be fine using this but it isn't necessary, I used it for aesthetic reasons
1/8th Inch closed cell Volara foam (padding and structure) - You're going to want to use some sort of foam to give your bag structure and comfort. If you can't find any foam available locally check online. I got mine from foamorder.com don't buy anything over 1/8th inch as your machine likely won't be able to handle it. (my industrial machine struggled with 2 layers of 1/8th inch foam) You might also consider using a thin yoga mat or foam sleeping pad available at most outdoors stores.
Hardware - All of the hardware can remain the same as long as you do not alter the webbing widths as they do not need to be sewn through. If you do alter the webbing widths pick hardware that is compatible with the new sizes.