Friday, October 24, 2014

Portobello Market Backpack-My DIY

  (Please not this is not a full tutorial, just a project diary)

A couple months back, I was strolling around Joann's. Sometimes, I just go to Joann Fabrics, not because I really need to buy something, but just because I feel so at home there.
The fabric store is where my tribe gathers.
Everyone has a tribe.
Ya know.......A clan of people you just feel so 
My tribe pow-wows at the fabric store.
When we feel sad, lonely, or in need of comfort,
we head to the nearest fabric store.

But---I digress.
 I was wondering around the familiar aisles when I found a display of projects.
There it was. The most FANTASTIC, CRAZY-AWESOME backpack I have ever seen.
At first I thought it was for a class, like "sign up and we'll teach you how to make this." There was no pattern by it, so I reasoned it MUST be for a class. The problem was, I don't want to pay money for a class.

I was rather sad.

Over the next few weeks, I went back to find it again and again.
After a while, I found a tag  attached to it which read "Make me at"
Why it took me such a long 'while' to find that tag I cannot explain. 
But I was sooooo happy!
I had been prepared to buy a pattern!
Glory Glory!

The rest is history.
I picked out my own, crazy fabrics, and whipped it up.
If you wish to make this crazy-epic bag-of-wonder, here are the instructions....
(it is called the Portobello Market bag after a collection of designer fabrics at Joanns...I purchased less expensive fabric for mine.)
These are my supplies!
Assorted cotton prints, parachute clips, printed instruction.

You do have to measure, draw and cut out your own paper pattern per the instructions. If you decide to make this bag, do not worry. It is super simple.
I made my patterns out of craft paper which I pieced together.
The main piece is 18in x 18.5in, with two 3inx3in squares cut out of the bottom.
 I cut two main pattern pieces from my main fabric, and two from my lining fabric.

The flap is 8inx8in with rounded corners.

The other main pattern piece is the bottom band-just an overlay piece to add a cute, contrasting fabric detail. Here is my bottom band pattern piece (the floral print).

I also added a coral fabric strip to add some extra contrast-but that is not in the instructions.

My fav thing about this project was using colorful thread!

My inside lining got a pocket...not in the instructions but sorta necessary! So I put one in mine!

I did not take many other in-construction photos, but the straps are super simple. 

I did add details on the flap. I made a sorta patchwork bird decal.(again not in the instructions!)

Here are some pictures of the finished bag:

My Coral Drawstring BackPack
 Bag side view

Look at the little tab on top to hang it!

 Drawstring details...
 Finished bag bottom-those square cut-outs make the bottom have some shape.
 And you see those parachute clips!
The bag instructions are not very specific about how to properly slip the straps into the top parachute clip, so you may need to research it a bit.

Otherwise, great pattern. And hey-its free!



  1. I've just found your blog and I think it's really inspiring, it will be an honor for me if you can visit mine too, and if you want to follow, it will be a pleasure to follow you back! :) <3

    Never too old for dolls.

  2. Lexi! I think I saw your blog a little while ago, but I forgot to follow it! I follow you now, dear Lexi. I love your blog, by the way--totally fun. :D