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Weekend Challenge: The Backpack (part II)

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The front of the bag with 2 zippered pockets.

When we left off last week, I was about halfway done with my new backpack. The back and sides of the exterior of the bag were mostly finished.

Next step was to make the front exterior panel. I wanted a couple of zippered pockets on the front – one large one for easy access to a notebook and one smaller one for snacks, pens, and my iPod.

The top pocket goes all the way to the bottom of the bag and is lined with red Cordura® nylon. The bottom pocket with the gray zipper has a gray lining (go figure).

I attached the front of the bag and added the flap and a small handle onto the back to complete the exterior of the bag.

Lining is now attached to exterior

Lining sewn to exterior

Time to make the lining! I used international orange (aerospace) 200D nylon. It’s bright, but not too bright.

I put another zippered pocket in the lining. Because it’s hard to have too many pockets, really.

Once the lining was attached to the exterior, the moment of truth had arrived.

Patience!

Patience!

It requires a bit of patience and maneuvering to turn a padded backpack inside out through a hole in the lining. I finally got it turned and everything was in the right place – the flap, straps, and handle were on the outside where they were supposed to be (it kind of sucks to turn a bag and realize that you’ve sewn the flap inside the lining of your bag. Not that I would know from personal experience or anything…).

I sewed up the hole in the bottom of the lining and the bag was done.

All packed up and ready to go to class

All packed up and ready to go to class

On to field testing!

So far, my new backpack has been on trips to the library, a wallet delivery run, and, of course, to class. It’s performed well so far and has gotten a bunch of compliments.

There are a few minor things I am planning to change for round 2, like making the bottom outside pocket deeper and making the bag flap shorter.  I may also play around with a roll-top bag so there’s no gap on the top sides. Overall, though, I’m pretty pleased with this as a prototype.

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