Here's a beautiful and clean small day pack made with waxed cotton. It's hand sewn, with minimal stitches, and is a great piece of your own work to show off! It's not flashy, but catches the eye with simple lines and classic materials. It's easy to scale up and down (my measurements were by eye), and takes only a few hours.
Step 1: Wax Your Fabric
Pretty simple! Start with a bunch of beeswax (paraffin you can add up to 50%, as it's too flaky and crackly past that), a heavier cotton canvas/fabric, and a beat up iron. Fold the cloth into several layers and start ironing in wax from the top. You'll be completely impregnating the fabric with wax, so make sure to have non waxed layers underneath to catch the wax, otherwise you'll have a nice layer of impossible-to-remove wax on your work surface. (if you have wooden flooring, no matter what you'll have a nice shiny layer of wax particles. Two bird with one stone!)
Step 2: Cut and Fold Fabric
Measure a trapezoid, and fold creases to create a triangle as pictured. this will be sewn together, creating the shaping for the pack. cutting the rest of the pack is up to you, as this instructable will leave it to your discretion for attaching the back panel and doing the bottom. I kind did a drawstring like bottom, inspired after wrapping the cutout around a pillow to gauge shape. The back you'll just cut to that shape and sew it on.
Here are my measurements:
Keep in mind my backpack was wayyyyy to small. It can fit about a large purse's luggage, so I'd suggest larger.
7 inches top
3 inches end of crease
That's all I measured!
Step 3: Sew Seams and Backing (optional Pocket)
Sew those triangle together. I used paper clips to hold the shape together while I sewed the two trapezoid seams. when folded and sewn together, the backpack should be given some shape. make sure the creases do not meet in the middle; it should be a trapezoid, not triangle. Sew the bottom and back piece on. At the top, I've created the opening for a snap-closed pocket, and sewn on a small leather pocket for keys and small things. You could place a zipper anywhere you'd want, I'd recommend along one of the sides. Straps are up to you! I just sewed on some old straps I found lying around, attaching them at the top corner of the pack. (the bottom corners too)