The Making Backpack Review

Nooedlehead Making backpack review

We’ve recently started stocking bag making patterns and supplies, including Noodlehead bag patterns with matching hardware packs and gorgeous cotton webbing.

Hardware kit for the Making Backpack

When I spotted the Making Backpack I knew I had to make it, it has a nice shape and looked nice and large.

How to sew the Making Backpack

I’ve made a few Noodlehead patterns before so I knew it would be easy to follow. As with all bag making the prep takes longer than anything else, choosing the fabrics, cutting the fabrics and interfacing, fusing or basting layers together etc. I spent an evening doing that so I was ready to sew on another day.

How to sew a backpack

The bag went together easily, the only tricky bit was the final stages where you have a lot of bulk as the bag comes together. It can be hard maneuvering the bag around under the needle at that point, but it’s the same with most bags. I ended up cradling the bag with my left arm so I could guide it under the needle when sewing the final seams and the binding to support the weight of the bag so it didn’t pull. As you can see from the photo above the internal binding does give a very neat finish on the inside so it’s worth doing. I would suggest reading all the instructions before you start so you know what will happen at each stage. 

Adding pockets to a bag

The good thing about bag making is it’s easy to adapt patterns to suite you. I made a few changes to this one. Firstly I added a magnetic closure to the front pocket to help keep things in there secure (you could also use press fasteners instead). I also decided to skip the metal rivets and the curved stitching on the front pocket too. On the inside I swapped the zippered pocket for a double open top pocket that I could easily slip my phone and purse into. The zip on the top will keep them secure. I also decided I just wanted the backstraps, not the top handles, and I left off the hanging loop as I don’t tend to hang my bags up.  I do wish I’d thought to add a bottle pocket to the side, next time!

How to sew your own bag

I used a canvas fabric from Cotton + Steel’s Sleep Tight collection which matches a travel bag I made a couple of years ago. I use Stylevil foam to give the bag body, the hardware and the webbing we sell on our site. The webbing is lovely quality, it feels really nice and doesn’t fray. I love how well the chunky zip matches the fabric, plus the lining fabric (which I picked up from Abakhan Fabrics years ago) is the same lining I used in the travel bag too, and on the handles of that bag. I used our Making Backpack hardware set too, which coordinated beautiful with the fabric I chose. 

If you are new to bag making Noodlehead patterns are a great place to start, this is why we stock several. They talk you through step by step, with diagrams to guide you. Plus there’s some useful videos on her site. She also tells you different ways of doing thing, like this pattern had 2 different ways to attach the bottom of the backstraps for example. Don’t be afraid to adapt the pattern to your needs like I did.

Backpack sewing pattern with space for a laptop

I’m really pleased with how large and sturdy this bag is. It’s really spacious, it even fits my laptop (14 inch screen) it would be ideal as a school bag or college bag. If you are planning to carry a laptop in it most of the time I would suggest adding a full width large internet pocket which has fusible fleece between the layers to give you some extra padding. 

Why not pop over and browse our bag making section and pick a bag to sew. Make sure you tag us in your photos, we’d love to see what you make.

Noodlehead bag patterns