I will preface this by saying if i can do it, you can do it. I’ve literally have used my sewing machine less than 8 times. Yes, I made some mistakes but I WAS making it up as I went along. So lets get started. What to do with the ever growing number of hockey jerseys in my sons closet. Well I made a sporting event cushion (version 2, soon to be out) and now onto the full backpack. I started thinking I would make a simple string backpack (coming soon) but my overzealousness got the best of me so here we go. (sorry black makes it hard to see so double click on picture to enlarge).
TIME: 1 to 2 hours
3 yards nylon
1.5 yards rope cord
1 two pack of buckles
1. Find a jersey (hockey, baseball, football, etc.).
2. I haphazardly took a pair of scissors to it. I would suggest either cutting just on the backside of the seam down the sides of the jersey and on the sleeve side of the seam on the sleeves, instead of my approach.
3. Next you need to create the back panel, I used the Einstein brothers as the back panel. They key here is to lay it on top of the front of the jersey and reduce its size to allow the front of the jersey to act as the bottom and sides of the backpack. Pin it to the appropriate size and sew. Use the stitching of the jersey shoulder area to give you perspective of size. Make sure you measure from center of jersey out as the sides will vary otherwise.
I purchased 3 yards of Nylon ($5), 1.5 yards of rope cord ($1) and a pack of backpack clasps (whatever they’re called)($2.50). Cut the nylon into two 1.5 yard pieces, take a lighter and burn the ends to keep from unraveling, then sew the clasps onto them. As I mentioned, I’m sewing challenged at best but I tried to make a square for strength. Mark sleeves to ensure they are the same size and cut.
How to make the arms into shoulder pads. I laid the nylon down the center(make sure the clasp is facing the correct way) folded both sides to the middle then folded both sides to the middle again. Pinned it, removed the nylon, attempted to turn inside out with no luck, so I sewed the edges together. YES, if would be easier to a seam down the middle but that ruins the front look and you can’t get the nylon back in. Next slide the nylon back in the center leaving about 2 to 3 inches sticking out. Sew strap on end by clasp using two or three lines. Sew about 3 inches from top with one line to hold in place.
BINGO, you’ve got some nice padded shoulder straps.
Now how to attach them. On the back panel, go to center of panel by top seam and mark it. them measure 4.5 inches each way. That will be the center of the 1.25 inch sewn square. The square should be about 3 to 4 inches apart. (warning, I actually made the cuts then did the sewing which was a total pain). Once finished make an inch cut in center of square. I’m sure if you can make a button hole with sewing machine, it would work to, Personally i have no idea how to do that though there is a setting for it). Not to high because you are going to need the neckline to make the mouth of backpack.
Slide strap threw new hole and pin. Pull strap far enough thru to bunch enough sleeve fabric to sew around square later. Please note in my photo I made my squares to far out. the should be closer. Then angle the strap to the outside of the back panel and pin.
Sew 3 or 4 lines across the strap: one on top, one on bottom 1 or 2 in middle.
Okay here comes the hardest part. With both sides inside out, align the neck on the front and back panel. PIN IT! across the horizontal seam by the straps. Bring the bottom of the front up to the bottom of the back panel. Remember this will be forming the “U” shape of the bottom of the backpack. Double sew two lines across the bottom (make sure you pull up the excess “U” to avoid sewing it shut). There is no way to explain in writing how to make the corners, but try and make little triangles, pin it and turn it rightist out to confirm it works before sewing. It took me two or three times to get it right. Once you figure it out, then sew sides up, again making sure to avoid sewing the excess on the sides. Should end up looking like this. Note only one side done here.
Once done turn right side out. The straps will not be sewn at this point. Here you get a choice to hand sew or use machine. I personally used the machine on top then hand sewed the underside. Use the additional fabric from the sleeve and sew it around the square to make a seal.
Turn back inside out and fold over neck line. I used the “V” of the neck line in the front as a guid. I want my tie string to use it as the cord holder so make sure you give about an inch. Pin it and sew around. take 1.5 yards of rope cord and tape to pencil and thread through newly created gap.
Happy hockey player