Sunday, July 15, 2012

book bag

If you have kids in junior classes in NZ you'll know all about those "book bags" that they take to school, to bring home their readers and work in.

Book bag

The standard issue bags from the school office or stationers are made of a plastic backed rip-stop type fabric.  After a few months of being squashed into a school bag, the plastic backing starts to crumble and ends up through everything.

Book bag - drawings

I knew the time had come to sort this out and make something more durable and personal. A few months back I went to Handmade 2012 in Wellington and did an applique workshop with Nin McKay.  I asked Carly to draw me a picture, and I would applique it for her.  She drew a lovely simple little butterfly, which I traced and made a pattern from.  Carly chose some fabric scraps for the design.

Book bag  Book bag

I had an old pair of Lee jeans saved (I had worn through the knee in one leg).  I thought the denim would make a great backing for the applique, and also a good strong and washable bag.

Book bag  Book Bag

The legs of the jeans yielded enough fabric to make the book bag, and I used left over fabric scraps for the binding and a lining inside the top flap.  The velcro was snipped from the original book bag.

Book bag - finished

We're pleased with the result, and it's all packed ready for the start of Term 3 tomorrow.


  1. Looks great, Lesley! I'm glad to see you're *finding time* again :)

  2. I love that you have upcycled your jeans and used a piece of original artwork.  It turned out so well with the contrast binding.

  3. Hi Lesley,
    That bag is so cool - If I have to get one of these for Ava next term, I'll be bending your ear at kindy as to how to make one!  I'm slightly obsessed with applique at the moment and I love the idea of using the kids' art! H xo


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