Backpack: A Colorful Fabric Companion for On-The-Go
Sew a colorful fabric backpack with the practical and decorative stitches of the overlocker/serger. The sewn-in small buttoned pouch makes it easy to pack and carry along.
- Cotton poplin 150 cm wide; 0.70 m (or various colors in a smaller quantity)
- Rest of cotton poplin for sewing tests
- Plastic zipper, endless, 25 cm long, 1 zipper pull, e.g. by Snaply (metal zippers can not be sewn on the overlock machine!)
- Snaply button, 2 pcs.
- Carabiner, 3 pcs.
- Overlock thread in yellow, green, blue, red or multicolored, at least 4 spools
- Universal needles 130/705H #80, 2 needles
- Large scissors, small scissors
- Pins, Wonder Clips (if available), marker
- Cutting mat, rotary cutter, ruler
- Tapestry needle / handsewing needle, safety pin
- Overlock machine L 460
- Standard overlock foot
- Piping foot (Multi-purpose foot with guide) if available (ideal for sewing in zippers)
- Sewing machine with straight stitch
BERNINA L 460, BERNINA B 590
Can also be done with:
Any BERNINA Overlocker with 2-3-4-thread stitches
Any BERNINA Overlocker with 2-3-4-thread capability
Cutting out / blank:
Cut according to sketch
Fabric cuts with dimensions in cm (all cuts include 1 cm seam allowance).
When working with the overlock machine this means: stitch width 6 mm, fabric cut-off 4 mm.
Techniques / Stitches
3-thread rolled hem
Threading and basic setting for 2-thread flatlock with left needle. Thread multicolored decorative thread into the lower looper. Set the defaults for testsewing and fine-tune the stitch if necessary. Stitch length 2 to 2.5.
Mark poplin I for buttoned pouch, mark 3 cm hem each for both short edges, press, halve the seam allowance and iron again (1.5 cm weft and cover). Fold seam at edge again but do not iron.
To sew along this edge without cutting, set the knife to 7 and guide the edge of the fabric along the right marking of the presser foot (1 mm to the left of the knife).
Work the second short edge in the same way.
Pull the seam flat, iron.
Fold the bag with a 1.5 cm overlap. Iron.
Mark the position for the Snapply button in the middle of the overlapping seams, next to the stitches. Put the closure together with a pin.
Thread for 3-thread rolled hem
Use decorative multicolored thread in the upper looper. Testsew with the default settings and fine-tune if necessary. Stitch length 1.5 to 2.
On poplin J of the key fob strip, hem one long edge and cut off approx. 4 mm seam allowance.
Mark a band width of 2 cm, depending on the carabiner width. Alternatively, use a mark on the stitch plate to guide the edge and stitch the other long edge accordingly.
On the L 450/460 the seam guide can be used. It can also be attached left-aligned and adjusted (for maximum widths up to 3.7 cm).
Iron the finished rolled hems.
Set 3-thread overlock RN
The required threads are already threaded. If necessary, also thread a decorative multicolored thread into the lower looper.
Use the default settings for a sewing test and fine-tune if necessary.
For the decorative looper threads, decrease the thread tension as needed. It is recommended to set the differential feed to 0.7, as you are now sewing with two fabric layers and a zipper.
Variant with piping foot: If available, use a piping foot.
Open zipper - depending on the zipper tooth size, only one side can be guided with the piping foot.
Place the right side of the zipper on the right side of poplin E of the pocket strip. This way the zipper ends are over the fabric edges. Place the right side of poplin H for the bag pocket on the zipper.
Schnittbreite auf 8 stellen. Stoff und Reissverschluss so unter den Nähfuss legen, dass die Reissverschlusszähne in der Paspelführung geführt werden. Zusammennähen, dabei vom Stoff ca. 4 mm Nahtzugabe abschneiden.
4-Faden Overlock einfädeln
Paspel-Perlen-Paillettenfuss entfernen und Standard-Overlockfuss einsetzen.
Testsew with default settings, fine-tune if necessary.
Set the cutting width to 6. It is recommended to set the differential transport to 0.9, as a fabric layer and zipper will be sewn.
Place the zipper, right side to right side on Fabric G. Place the fabric and zipper under the presser foot so that the zipper teeth on the left are flush with the presser foot edge. At least one needle (the left) should be stitching into the zipper.
Sew the pieces together.
Turn the workpiece over and place it right side to right side on the fabric for pocket pouch H. Set the cutting width between 7 to 8 to prevent cutting the previous stitches. Sew together, guiding the zipper teeth on the left side of the foot edge. Depending on the feeding behavior, set the differential feed between 0.9 to 0.7.
Iron the finished seam.
Thread the zipper pull, paying attention to the top of the closure. Also make sure that the fabric edges are flush at the edges. Close the zipper, ensuring that the zipper pull remains in the fabric.
Place poplin D above the zipped pocket. Place poplin F below the zipped pocket. Cut back the zipped pocket cover fabric to approximate width.
To avoid damaging the overlock knife: On the top edge, cut back the zipper to 5 mm (for a remaining seam allowance of 5 mm), so that the overlock machine only sews over it, but does not cut across metalized teeth.
Set the cutting width to 6.
"Baste" the upper edge of the pocket piece so that the fabrics stick together and the slider cannot be pushed out.
Set the cutting width to 7. Place fabric D right side to right side on the zippered pocket and sew together on the fabric edge without cutting the zipper.
Once the zippered pocket pouch is reached, make sure that all fabric layers are stitched through.
Iron the finished seam.
Cut back the zipper 5 mm on the lower edge of the bag so that it will not be cut when sewing. Set the cutting width to 6. Sew fabric F on the lower zipper pocket edge.
Iron the finished seam. Cut back any protruding fabric.
Turn the button pouch inside out.
Sew the bag pocket side seams together …
… securing the beginning of the seam and the end of the seam.
Iron the finished seam. With the overlocker/serger, straps and bands can be sewn and turned in one step easily and quickly. A 4-thread overlock stitch is ideal for durable straps.
Depending on the length of the band, sew a thread chain of approx. 30 cm in length. Knot the beginning of the thread chain for easier holding in the hand.
Fold fabric B right side to right side around the thread chain.
When sewing, make sure that the thread chain is well-positioned in the fold and does not get stitched over. While sewing, always hold the knot of the thread chain; this is needed for turning at the end.
Tip: For long strips, if necessary, pull on the thread chain while sewing. The fabric then curls behind the presser foot over the chain.
Pull on the thread chain to turn the straps.
Iron the straps. The carabiners are hung on the straps of the finished fabric backpack.
Fold the strap section poplin A lengthwise, left side to left side, and sew it together to a width of 2 to 2.5 cm, matching the width of the carabiner. Iron the straps.
Fold the fabric backpack right side to right side so that the lower fold edge is formed. Mark the fold edge with pins. Place the buttoned pouch on the side opposite the zippered pocket for later sewing in. Fasten with a few pins or Wonder Clips.
Halve the short strap loops and place them at the fold edge.
Push the short strap loops into the bag, right side to right side, and push the ends to the edge of the fabric.
Fasten the side seams with a few pins (or Wonder Clips).
Sew both side seams from top to bottom. While sewing, stop to remove the pins/clips in front of the knives.
When reaching the buttoned pouch, align it with the right needle marking on the front of the foot.
When stopping, activate the needle stop down so that the material does not shift. Continue sewing, ensuring that all fabric edges are sewn together.
At the seam end, secure the seam/thread chain at the lower edge of the bag. Iron seam.
At the upper edge opening of the bag, iron the top 10 cm seam allowance to one side. Turn bag, right side outward. Fold the tunnel strip C lengthwise, left side to left side, and iron the fold edge. Halve the tunnel strip and mark the middle. Place bag side seams on top of each other and mark center.
From the marked center, place the tunnel strips on the bag, right side to right side. When reaching the side seams, fold in the seam allowances. The tunnel should overlap the side seams by approx. 1 mm for reinforcement. This creates an overlap of about 2 mm. When overlapping, observe the sewing direction - the foot should be able to slide freely over the edge of the fabric.
Also place the band J for the key fob on the tunnel edge seam.
To sew, turn the bag again, left side outward. Start sewing approx. 10 cm before the side seam, so that the overlapping end stitches can provide additional reinforcement. When sewing, remove the pins in front of the knife!
Thread the carabiner at the ends of the strap and sew the band together with the sewing machine. For anchoring and for tidying the seams, topstitch the seams/carabiners tightly.
Attach a carabiner to the key fob using the Snaply button. Alternatively, the carabiner can be sewn on with the sewing machine.
Attach a Snaply button as a fastener next to the flatlock at the mark on the buttoned pouch.
Now, the fabric backpack can be folded when not in use and stowed in the buttoned pouch, ideal for placing in a handbag or luggage.