Being a relatively recent convert to Paper Piecing I do not have many orphan PP blocks around but that wasn't going to stop me, as this would be the perfect opportunity to try out a block that I had been admiring for a while.
I knew I had made the right decison when I found the Matryoshka doll fabric that I used for the lining in the bargain bin at my local fabric store.
To make your own Babushka backpack read on
1 Paper pieced block 12.5" by 12.5"
1m black denim for bag exterior
1m patterned cotton for bag lining, handles and piping
Black cotton fabric scrap 13" x 6"
1m fusible interfacing - Quiltex or Vliesline X50
Black zips - 1 - 6"/15cm and 1- 24"/60cm
Black cotton webbing 1.25" wide, 2x 6", 1 x 5.5", 2 x 28"
Narrow black piping cord 60"
2 Metal sliders
4 Bag Feet (Optional)
Plastic Canvas 3" x 12" for bag bottom (Optional)
You will also find the following handy;
Chalk pencil/Temporary marker
Jeans machine needle
Cut the following;
From the Black Denim
2 - 14.5" x 18" Front and back backpack exterior
2 - 25" x 2.5" Bag Gusset (upper)
1 - 35" x 4.5" Bag Gusset (lower)
From the Interfacing
2 - 14" x 18" Front and back backpack exterior
1 - 12.5" x 14.5" Exterior pocket
From the Black Cotton
2 - 12.5" x 2.5" Block borders
1 - 12.5" x 1.5" Exterior pocket binding
2 - 2" x 4" Zip tabs
From the Lining Fabric
2 - 14.5" x 18" Front and back backpack lining
1 - 35" x 4.5" Gusset interior (lower)
2 - 25" x 2.5" Gusset interior (upper)
2 - 8" x 8" Inner pocket
2 - 2.75" x 6" Bag straps lower
2 - 2.75" x 30" Bag straps
1 - 14.5" x 12.5" Exterior pocket lining
1 - 1.5" x 60" Piping
Step 1Using a bowl or similar round object mark curved edges on each of the top corners of the denim exterior pieces. (The 14.5" edges are the top and bottom edges.)
Using the denim pieces as pattern pieces cut out two more pieces from the lining fabric and two from the fusible interfacing. Mark the centre of the top and bottom edges with the temporary market.
Step 2Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the exterior front and back pieces. Following the gridlines marked on the interfacing quilt both pieces.
Step 3Stitch one 1.5" x 12.5" strip of black cotton to each side of the Paper Pieced block. Fuse interfacing to back of enlarged block. Layer together the exterior pocket lining right side out with the fused block right side up.
Iron the exterior pocket binding piece in half lengthways. Open out and fold each long raw edge to the centre crease. Iron each folded edge.
To attach binding to the top edge of the pocket, open binding out and pin raw edges together with the long edge of the binding to the long edge of the pocket lining. Sew with a 0.25" seam. Fold the binding up and over so that the centre crease is at the top of the pocket. Fold under the second edge so that the raw edge is at the top of the pocket and the folded edge is now facing you. Topstitch close to the fold to attach the binding.
Stitch in the ditch across the top of the black border at the base of the dolls to secure the bottom of the pocket and stitch in the ditch at the sides of each doll to create pocket divisions.
Step 4Fold the zip tabs in half widthways and crease. Open out and fold each short raw end towards the middle crease, creating a tab for each end of the long zip. Encase each end of the long zip in a tab and topstitch the sides and top across nearest the zip to enclose in the tab.
Step 5Lay one lining gusset strip (upper) right side up. Place on top at the top long raw edge the gusset zip, matching up the zip top edge with the raw edge of the lining. Place on top of these a denim upper gusset strip right side down.
Turn out so that the denim gusset is right side up and the lining is right side down and topstitch again leaving 0.25" unstitched at each end.
Repeat for the remaining upper gusset strips.
Step 6Pinning the lining fabric out of the way, attach the lower gusset exterior to one short end of the upper gusset exterior right sides together. Check by measuring or pinning the gusset raw edges together to the quilted back exterior and adjust the length of the lower gusset piece if necessary before attaching the second short ends of the upper and lower gusset.
Attach the lower lining gusset pieces to the upper lining gusset pieces. ( I found it easiest to do this in 3 stages, lining to lining from each long end towards the zip and then lining and denim pieces together for 2" over the zip.)
Step 7Measure and mark a point 7.25" in and 5" down from the top of the lining back piece on the right side. Fold one lining pocket piece in half and lightly crease a centre fold. Place centre fold on the mark already made, right sides facing.
On the wrong side of the lining pocket piece mark a rectangle 6" x 0.5" approximately 1.25" down from the top of the pocket piece. Sew on the marked lines. Cut along both fabric pieces in the middle of the sewn rectangle angling into the corners at each end. Be careful not to cut the stitching.
Place the pocket zip behind the gap made and stitch around gap to secure the zip to the lining and lining pocket piece.
Pin the second pocket piece to the pocket right sides together and stitch round all sides being careful not to catch the bag lining in the stitching.
Step 8Take the 6" lengths of lining and press in half lengthways. Open out and press the long edges to the centre. Stitch the webbing strips to the lining pieces with the turned edges facing the webbing.
Thread a D-Ring onto each strip and baste to the back exterior piece, positioning the lower straps at a slight angle at the base of the curve on each side.
Thread the strap lining side up and with the folded in edge first through the slider. Fold the strap over after approx 1" and stitch the end down, going back and over the stitching once or twice to strengthen the strap.
Step 9 (Optional)To make piping for the backpack front fold the bias strip in half lengthways and press. Place the piping cord in the centre crease and using the piping or zipper foot stitch close to the piping to enclose in the bias strip.
Pin the piping cord around the edge of the exterior front raw edges together. When you have pinned back to the beginning of the piping cord, unpick the seam for an inch or so at the unpinned end and cut the piping leaving a length of bias covering with no cord inside.
Match up the beginning of the covered cord with the end of the cord in the unpicked cover and overlap the cover to provide a continuous line of covered piping. Stitch to the backpack back piece.
Step 10The next two steps are a bit fiddly but take it slowly and you will have a backpack to be proud of! Open the zip halfway before you start to save any hassle later too.
Matching the centre point of the exterior back and the top gusset, pin and stitch the gusset to the back wrong sides together. Make sure that the lining of the gusset is kept clear of your stitching. Reverse stitch over the strap ends as you come to them to strengthen.
Repeat for the front and the gusset. I found it easiest to pin and stitch with the interfacing of the front uppermost so that I could follow the stitched line from the piping. There are a lot of layers particularly at the pocket so just take a deep breath and take it slowly :)
Step 11Stitch the lining piece with the zipped pocket right sides together to the lining gusset piece on the backpack back. You will need to manoevre the bag out of the way at the gusset so be careful not to catch anything other than the lining pieces when stitching.
Step 12 (Optional)If you wish to strengthen the backpack place a piece of plastic canvas cut to size in the bottom gusset between the lining and the denim fabric. Either secure this with small stitches in each corner or insert bag feet in the four corners pushing the prongs through the denim and plastic canvas before folding down.
And finallyHandstitch the gap in the lining closed and press the bag to remove any creases.
Enjoy using your Babushka backpack!
I am off to catch up on all the PPP Blog Hop posts I have missed whilst on holiday and the hundreds of other posts waiting for me in Google Reader. I may be sometime :)