Back Pack

To do this you need:

  • Jean Material (0.6m x 1.5m)
  • A tape-measure, a ruler, a pencil, a paper for forms and a sharp knife
  • Threads, tailor scissors, pins, tailor’s chalk and a glue
  • 3m of line or a webbing strip for handles
  • Needles suitable for jeans and needles suitable for sewing a leather.
1. Prepare a form for top layer elements of a backpack according to the dimensions given in the picture above; cut them out of a material with a 1cm seam allowance around.

2. Prepare a form for elements of a lining according to the dimensions given in the picture above (it is shorter than a top layer); cut them out of a material with a 1cm seam allowance around.

3. Prepare a form for leather elements according to the picture above: 2 loops of 2cm x 8cm / 2 pads under press studs of 3cm x 3cm / 2 loops for handles of 4cm x 14cm / a fastening in a shape of the letter "T" of 25cm x 4cm + 43cm x 3cm.

4. Arrange leather elements on a material.
Arrange leather elements on a top layer; you can not baste a leather so in order to facilitate sewing, glue elements temporarily.
Install a needle for sewing a leather; sew leather elements; do stitching on loops in a shape of a rectangle but only along shorter edges – you must leave unsewn space of 4cm in the middle; sew square pads around; sew a fastening in a shape of the letter "T" only on a horizontal strip; do rectangular stitching by shorter edges and in the middle – leave unsewn spaces under which you will insert handles made of a line (see the following pictures and the final one); other two leather elements fold in half and glue shorter edges so as to form loops.
In the picture below, pink pens are inserted under unsewn portions of a leather; now arrange a side element so that a shorter edge covers the 1 cm wide allowance in the center of a main element; sew 1cm away from an edge; do the same with the other side element, on the opposite side; glue loops made of a leather on the side of a main element where a fastening in a shape of the letter "T" is sewn; place loops approximately 3cm away from lateral elements with a loop facing toward inside of a main element
Fold a form so that a long edge of a side element covers with a long edge of a main element; if they differ in length, you will level them later; sew together these two edges – when sewing a leather loops, use a needle for a leather; when a presser foot leaves a loop, make a fastening and replace a needle with a one for jeans; do the same on the remaining 3 edges – as a result you will have a shape of a backpack; after sewing, level a length of elements on the top edge of a backpack.
Press edges of a bottom and sides with an iron and do reinforcing stitching on edges at a right side; hence a backpack has a distinct shape.
Caution! Do not sew the last 6cm from the top of a backpack on edges of sides – you will do a stitching there after sewing up a lining; remember to change a needle before setting about sewing a leather.
Change a needle for a universal one and similarly to a top, sew all elements of a lining; leave an unsewn fragment 15cm long a one of side edges.
Turn up a lining on a right side, and a top of a backpack on a left side; insert a lining into a backpack; fasten edges of an opening; install a needle for jeans and sew around edges of a lining with a top.
Pull a lining out of a backpack; turn the back pact to the right side through an opening in a side seam of a lining; sew up the slit in the lining; insert a lining inside the backpack; press an upper edge of a backpack with an iron so as to turn it up inwardly by about 2cm (a lining is shorter); do stitching on a line between a lining and jeans.
Now you can complete reinforcement of side edges at a mouth of a backpack; within these seams, you will also sew edges of a lining so as to prevent it from turning up.
Now it is time to stud press studs – in a packet of press studs, there are also tenons and pads for studding and an instruction manual; you must hammer press studs; if you are doing it for the first time, hammer only two studs to test on a piece of a material.
Start with executing a small cut in a material where you want to hammer a press stud; push a neck of a stud to a hole, place it on a pad, put the other part of a snap on a neck on the other side of a material; arrange tenon on a neck and flatten a neck by hitting a tenon with a hammer – see an instruction manual on a packet of press studs; remember that a fastening consists of two parts of press studs of different shapes.

Fasten a top part with a lining by means of press studs; pin a lining inside a backpack so that it coincides with a shape of a top; hammer bottom parts of press studs on two square leather pads; now hammer three press studs on a top edge to fasten a backpack; in order to mark position of upper parts of press studs on the "T"-shaped element, fold an upper part of a backpack along a horizontal edge of a "T" element; mark where to hammer press studs on a vertical strip so that they match those hammered on squares (see a final picture).
Finally, insert a line into the loop on the side and under the unsewn part of a "T" element; tie ends of the line and firmly twist a thread around them to prevent a line from fraying. The backpack is ready!
Fasten a lid in a conventional way – using a lower press stud; you can also roll a lid up and fasten a strip to a press stud higher located above.
Janek Leśniak – fashion designer who, together with JUKI, conducts dressmaking courses in Warsaw. He infects others with a passion for making your own clothes on his blog:, where he reveals the arcana of his trade. Combining craftsmanship and design, he builds an awareness of the quality and the fashion industry among people non-related with the business. He has aquired fifteen years’ experience working with such brands as Reserved, House and Big Star. He has independently created original collections and conducted lectures on fashion business at the Cracow School of Art and Fashion Design. He has rejected massive fashion in favour of passion and work under his own name. His official website is: