Yeah.. After a couple of years being lazy in the city center of Groningen, those bicycle rides (31 km a day) are something to get used to, if not for the sore muscles, than at least for the damage that a saddle does to your butt. I'm not gonna describe the situation of my bottom in detail ( I've got boundaries, people! Not many, but still some!) but let's just say that if I had been a baboon, they surely would have thought I had my fertile period.
Luckily, the view during my cycle ride is not too bad...
|See that tiny white house on the left? That's ours!|
luckily, I had something to start with, here gracefully modeled by Joost:
A slightly nerdish, red backpack!
I bought it last summer because of two reasons:
a) I needed a backpack for a hike, and
b) It was 50 cents.
For the rest, it was worn-out and ugly, and made the wearer look ever so slightly like a ladybug ( which was fine for one day, but I'm refuse to look like a ladybug-lady for the rest of my cycling life), so I decided to upcycle it.
Got an old, ugly backpack yourself? Here's what I did with it!
- I decided to make something slightly more fashionable, so I began by cutting the red front from the bag from the back part ( the back, padded back with the straps and the bottom). the red fabric was beyond saving, but I did cut out the zippers, to use later.
- I measured the bottom, and grabbed a piece of grey upholstery fabric that was leftover from the couch I once made ( might post about that some day!)
- The pattern for the backpack is actually very simple and just a long version of this shopper I made earlier;
- After sewing the fabric into a basic bag with boxed corners, I used tape to make the inside on the sides and front waterproof. Yeah, I know, it looks tacky, but hey, it works ( and it will be covered by the lining of the bag)
- Then, I sewed my grey, new back onto the old back the bottom of the backpack, which requires a bit of fiddling here and there, but if your measurements are correct, it shouldn't be too hard.
|starts to look like a bag already!|
- Since my plan it to make a roll-top backpack, the top of it doesn't require too much work, But I did need to add some straps to keep the top closed once it's rolled up. For this, I took some elastic, old-fashioned suspenders I once thrifted for 50 cents or so.
|adding the straps with a clip to the back..|
|and those little fella's to the front!|
If you've never come across those kind of suspenders, and are wondering what the heck I'm doing here.. don't worry, you'll get the idea in the final pictures!!
- I needed to cover up that ugly tape, so I made some lining out of some rest fabric, attaching it by hand to the bottom corners, and sewing it close at the top of the bag.
- we're getting down to the final details!! I covered the ugly red straps with grey fabric.
- I added some final extra's, such as a small pocket on the inside, and sprayed the outside of the bag with waterproofing spray ( kind of the same stuff you use on your boots)
And we're done!!
|with the rolled top closed.. see how the suspenders keep the thing together?|
|or with the top simply folded over!|
So, now I have a quite fashionable backpack that only cost me 1 euro, some residu fabric and a bit of tape! Quite neat, isn't it?
After more than a decade of avoiding backpacks (I still got nightmares from my horrible, big backpack I got in my first year in high school) I'm so happy to finally own a backpack that I actually like. I got a lot of compliments on it, and I love how the roll-top makes the bag adjustable to the amount of stuff you're carrying with you, and bonus: never fear a busted zipper again!
If you're planning on making one yourself, I hope my instructions are clear enough ( this kind of refashion does require a bit of macgyvering, since every bag is different) But if you get stuck in the process, don't hesitate to ask!