Estimated completion time: 5-6 hours
I made this as part of my wife's Halloween costume. It is a health pack the survivors carry in
the zombie survival game Left 4 Dead. I tried to make it as dimensionally accurate as
possible by comparing about a dozen in game screen shots to game items with dimensions
I knew (i.e. 1911 pistol).
I did end up making a few changes that are not really that apparent. I used ripstop nylon
though the game one does not. Also, I scaled the size down by about 20%. A full size pack
seemed kind of awkward and unwieldy mounted on the back.
Click the little i in the top corner of an image to see its full size.
Materials - FIG 1-1
With the exception of the printable fabric sheets, all the materials I used can be found at
- 1 Yard x 420 Denier Coated Ripstop Packcloth Nylon Fabric - Chili Pepper Red
- 4 Yard x 3/4" Polypropylene Webbing - Black
- 2 x ¾" Ladderlock Buckles - Black
- 4 x Metal Zipper - Black (two should be slightly smaller)
- 1 x Red thread
- 1 x Black thread
- 1 x White thread
- 1 x EQ Printables - Premium Cotton Satin Inkjet Printable Fabric Sheets
- 1 x 1" D-ring
- 1 x Large Bag of cotton stuffing or a few packs of tissue paper.
- Some assorted fabric scraps.
- Straight-stitch sewing machine (with zipper foot)
- Lighter or heat gun
- Ink Jet Printer
- Razor Knife
- Hand sewing materials
Step 1: Prepare Materials for Sewing
Part One: Get the Pattern
Open and print a PDF version of the pattern here. Once you have it printed out
go ahead and cut out all the pieces. I didn't label the pieces on the pattern so you will
need to refer to FIG 2-1 to see what each piece is.
The appropriate number of each piece from your nylon fabric.You will need two
of each pattern piece FIG 2-2.
You will need to transfer all the lines and marking on each patten piece to its
corresponding fabric piece. With coated nylon this is easier said than done. A caulk
pen will work but it wont show up in photographs so I am going to use an ink pen; if all
goes well the marked area will be covered up anyway.
Leave one side piece and one back piece unmarked.
The easiest way to transfer the markings is to punch holes in the pattern at each
marked corner. Lay the patten over a its corresponding fabric piece then wiggle the tip
of your marking tool in the holes. Next, lift off the pattern and connect the dots with a
straight edge FIG 2-3.
Step 2: Insert the Zippers
the same way.
Part One: Slash Zipper Slots
On the front pattern section you will have two long narrow rectangles marked that are
parallel to the long edge of the piece. You will need to slash these with a razor knife
like I have done is FIG 3-1.
Fold the flaps you created in the previous step inward and stitch them in place by
top-stitching around the edge of the slot. The end result should look like FIG 3-2.
You will most likely need to shorten your zippers. The easiest way is to use a zig-zag
sewing machine but you can just as effectively do it by hand.
Measure the length of your zipper slot and add 1/4".
Take your zipper and measure the length you found above, starting from the top of the
zipper pull when fully closed. Mark the length with a chalk pencil FIG 3-3.
Zig-zag back and forth across the mark you created about 10-20 times FIG 3-4. Clip
the fabric portion of the zipper to the metal on the far side of the stitched you just
created. Use a pair of wire cutter to clip though the metal. separating the excess
zipper FIG 3-5.
Hand baste the zippers into position FIG 3-6. Make sure they are facing the right way!
Top-stitch over the previous stitches starting at one side of the bottom of the zipper
and ending on the other side FIG 3-7. Don't forget you have a chunk of metal blocking
your needle path there or you will be needing a replacement.
You should end up with something like FIG 3-8.
Repeat steps 1-4 for the two pocket zippers.
Step 3: Make and Apply the Patches
You can open and print a PDF copy of the patch graphics here.
There are more than you need on one sheet but it took me a couple tries to get the
patches looking just right.
Follow the instructions on the EQ Printables packet to print your graphics.
Cut out the cross patch section of the pattern. Center the pattern over one of the
red crosses you printed out above and mark the outline with caulk or a disappearing ink
marker. Add a 1/2" seam allowance and cut out FIG 4-1.
Cut out a square of sturdy white fabric the same size as the rectangle you just cut out
from the pattern.
Center the fabric rectangle on the back side of the red cross graphics.
Fold the seam allowance over the fabric and press into place.
Edge stitch around the top of the patch FIG 4-2.
Center patch over marking on front section and edge stitch over previous stitching
Repeat steps 1-4 for the First Aid patch. You will not need to add the fabric backing in
Step 4: Add the Straps
There are three straps. One each on the top and bottom of the pack and one on the
front between the patches.
Cut two pieces of webbing 6 7/8" long and one 5" long.
Use a lighter or heat gun to melt the cut edges so they don't fray.
Turn under 3/4" on the end of each strap and top-stitch in the shape of a
rectangle to pin the folded section in place FIG 5-1.
Center each strap over its respective markings on the fabric pieces and secure in place
by stitching over the stitches you just made above FIG 5-2.
Step 5: Make the Pockets
Part One: Mark the Pocket Pieces
You should already have added the zippers to your pocket pieces in Step 2.
Mark a one inch seam allowance all the way around the pocket piece and extend the
corners all the way to the edge like in FIG 6-1. You should end up with a 3 x 3 grid.
Note: I did this part before I added my zippers so it is absent in some of the photos.
This was my first attempt so I got impatient to see how the elements would come
together in case I had to make changes. I added the zippers later when I was happy
with the result but with added difficulty.
Part Two: Stitch the Corners.
Notice that the in the previous part you created four 1" x 1" squares in each corner of
the pocket pieces. Fold each corner along the dotted line (right side together) in
FIG 6-1 and stitch as shown in FIG 6-2. Clip the excess seam allowance to 1/8" at the
Turn the pocket right side out FIG 6-3.
Turn under 3/8" of the edges of the pockets and hand baste into place FIG 6-4.
Center pocket over marking on side fabric piece. Hand baste the piece in place FIG 6-5.
It is easier to keep the pocket aligned if you baste the long edges first and then go back
and baste the short edges.
Edge stitch around the edge of the pocket FIG 6-6.
Repeat step for the other pocket.
Stuff the pocket with cotton balls to give it a nice full look. Place a square of black fabric
under the zippers to prevent any cotton from peaking though.
Step 6: Add Shoulder Straps
some shoulder straps.
Part One: Add D-ring
Fold a 2" piece of webbing over the straight part of the D-ring and stitch down (right side)
on the center of one of the short edges of the back piece, cut edges touching FIG 7-1.
Cut four 20" strips of webbing. Melt the edges.
Attach the ends of two strips on the edge opposite the D-Ring and centered on a mark
1.5" from the long edge FIG 7-2.
That's it for now. You'll finish the straps later.
Step 7: Bring it all Together
Part One: Join the Pieces
With right sides together stitch a 5/8" seam between the top, bottom and side pieces
Notch the seams allowances like in FIG 8-2 so that the bag will turn out properly.
Pin the front piece in place and stitch a 5/8" seam around the edge FIG 8-3. To get the
front to sit properly you will have to rip the side seams back about 1/2". In case you're
new to sewing, by rip I mean use a seam ripping tool to undo some of the stitches
so don't hulk out and tear your bag apart.
Attach the back panel the same way.
Turn the bag right side out through one of the front zippers FIG 8-4.
Loop 1" of the remaining two straps over the D-Ring and Stitch down FIG 8-5.
Loop 1.75" of the straps sewn into the bag to the bottom portion of the ladder lock
buckles FIG 8-6.
Thread the straps attached to the D-ring though the buckles.
Fill it out by stuffing with a load of tissue paper. You're Done!
Thanks for checking out my instructable. Please let me know if you spot a problem.