I am a procrastinator and an overplanner, quite the deadly combination. Because I make K weekly outfits, I uncharacteristically haven’t been thinking too much about school clothes other than the first day outfit. We got the requisite new shoes, snacks and lunch food, and her school implemented a new system involving cash donations for supplies (e.g. pencils, notebooks, etc.) which I finally got around to doing, so I was feeling pretty prepared. Then I realized: backpack!! And then: lunch box!! I plumb forgot about them.
Today is the first day of second grade for K, and thirty hours ago I embarked on making her school bag and lunch sack. I could have re-used last year’s, of course, and I had some vague notion about doing so at the beginning of summer, but my little K is hard on her things and they were looking woefully shabby when I pulled them out. Plus, I have this pesky mission to make as many things as possible if I can get away with it.
Now, there are so many fantastic backpack tutorials and patterns out there that seem quick and yield good-looking results. Did I go that route? Of course not. I decided I had to absolutely make the Oliver + S messenger bag from this book. Friends, the tracing of the pattern pieces and cutting of the fabrics alone took me three hours. Granted, it’s been so hot in our bedroom and I haven’t been sleeping well so multitudes of mistakes slowed me down, but still.
I think Liesl deserves a Nobel Prize in sewing. Her instructions are so thorough and well-written! The details of the bag make it look extremely professional and as always with O + S patterns, I felt like I was back in school in the best way. Once I got everything cut and ready, the sewing was actually very easy, even if all that basting made it somewhat time-consuming. I stitched up the larger size and it’s perfect for her homework folder and some pencils and an extra sweater. The back view:
I’ve had this printed canvas for a few months, and I’m pretty sure I got it from here. The aqua lining is the same corduroy I used for these pants. And the grey shoulder strap and binding is a linen blend. I love this color combo! Okay, it could possibly pass for a diaper bag, but K adores it so we won’t go there. Oh, and I got these cool (faux?) leather buckles from Nancy’s as well, and I think they really step things up a notch. I purchased some extra buckles to make a messenger bag for myself because this pattern is amazing.
I also made a lunch sack using this book, and this one was a super fast project. Especially since I did away with the bamboo batting. K’s school doesn’t start until 9:30 and her lunch is shortly after 11, and I rarely pack her food that needs insulation so I felt it was unnecessary. I’ve added her name with a Sharpie since taking these photos.
I have to point out that in my sleep-deprived state, I managed to sew the ticking stripes fabric incorrectly. You can see the difference in the stripes above. I ended up liking the way it looked and called it good. The white fabric is a linen blend — in fact, unless I specify the fabric, you should assume that it’s linen or a linen-blend. I use it for everything. The bag is quite big for a lunch sack – 11 x 13 inches, and it fits her water bottle and bento box with plenty of room to spare.
I’ve learned from the past, and asked K which fabrics she would like for me to use – by sheer coincidence, she chose exactly the two fabrics I had in mind. A girl after my own heart. I may not have gotten much shut-eye, but I finished these in the nick of time and now K is totally ready for school. I wish I could have snapped a photo with her with the bag, but she wasn’t in the mood. My second grader….I hope her first day of school goes well today!