This backpack is made for daily use. In my backpack, I carry a laptop and Ipad, a lunch, books, sweater, ... a lot of stuff.
I'm using it for half a year now and I still enjoy using it. I Ought to share it, so you can enjoy your own home made backpack.
The backpack is made out of 4 parts; the front panel, the inside, the back panel and the straps.
I sewed the leather backpack with an heavy duty sewing machine. Before starting, test if your sewing machine is able to sew through 4 layers of leather, if not try if you could sew it by hand.
I'll guide you roughly through these steps, so you could make your own. This is my first instructable so feedback is always welcome.
Step 1: Front Panel
The leather backpack is made out of a strong leather for the outside and a second layer of thin leather to finish the inside of the bag. the inside pocket is made out of the same thin leather.
There are two zippers in this design. The long one is located at the top. you can reach the inside of the bag with this zipper. A second smaller zipper gives access to a little pocket located at the front side of the bag.
Cut out the leather.Make two slots for the zippers, just a little bigger than the metal of the zipper. The fabric of the zipper needs to be covered by the leather, but the zipper needs to be able to pass easily.
Glue the two layers of leather together, paste the zippers in place with double sided tape for leather (to hold them in place while stitching).
1. Start by stitching the longest zipper in place.
2. Tape the pocket in place, just the part that comes underneath the zipper (the pocket does not need to be folded yet). Sew the bottom side of the small zipper in place.
3. Tape the upper side of the pocket in place. Sew the upper part of the zipper and sew the sides of the zipper.
4. Finish the pocket by sewing the vertical lines. You can make multiple compartments if desired.
Sew the hems, the hems are at the outside of the bag.
Step 2: The Inside
The inside is made out of regular fabric. I made a pocket where I can slide in my Ipad and a pocket for storing my charger.
The inside is made out of a rectangle, the same size as my back panel. I sewed the pockets on top of this rectangle.
Step 3: Back Panel
The back panel is quite simple, it's a rectangle form.
The back panel consist out of two layers. The outside is made of thicker leather, the inside is made out of thin leather. The thin leather layer is not visible because the inside (see step 2) covers it all. I made a double layer anyway because I thought it would give some more strength to the bag, not sure if it's needed.
I sewed some webbing on it. The horizontal webbing are the ones that go around my waste. The ones that make the 45 degree angle are the ones that will be connected to the straps.
For the handle, I folded some thick leather over 15 cm of webbing and sewed it (the red dotted line on the image).
Step 4: The Straps
The straps consist out of two layers of thick leather. They are reinforced with a fiberglass tape on the inside. The webbing goes from top to bottom through the two layers of fabric. This reinforcement is needed as there are a lot of forces coming on the straps, mine deformed already from intensive use, without the reinforcement my straps would have stretched.
I added some horizontal webbing at chest height for a second "click" system. The horizontal webbing is sewed on the inner layer first.
I glued all the parts together before sewing all the layers together.
Step 5: Assembly
Sew all the different layers together. I used a hem that is on the outside of the bag.
It's normal that the corners of the back panel will still be visible, You'll cut them off in the next step. (If you look at the picture you will notice the corners that are not cut off yet).
Connect the webbing on the hip and the webbing on the chest with release buckles.Connect the webbing of the straps with a ladder lock buckle.
Step 6: Finishing
Round of the corners of the back panel, cut all the edges even if needed.
Sand the borders for a smoother finish or use an electric creaser to finish the edges. I used some black leather paint to finish the seams.