Original Recipe Original Recipe can be found at

Original Recipe
Owl Tag Along Toddler Backpack by Angela Pingel
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
Hello all! My name is Angela Pingel and I blog over at Cut To Pieces {cuttopieces.blogspot.com}. I
recently participated in Moda Bake Shop's SLICED competition and had the honor (and shock!) of
winning. I'm pleased to share with you today my final project for the competition, the Owl Tag Along
Toddler Backpack.
This backpack is fully insulated with heat/cold resistant batting to make a functional yet adorable
lunch tote. Lined with laminated fabric, it is perfect for the messes that come with a toddler, making
it easy to wipe clean. The backpack uses basic box construction techniques, piping, a zipper, cording,
D rings and more. I'm not saying that this is easy. But trust me, you will be happy with the bag! And so
will that special little someone. It's the perfect project for a holiday or birthday gift!
approximately 6 Assorted Layer Cake Pieces
assorted scraps (for owl eyes and nose)
1 yard of Twill/Home Dec weight fabric (this is plenty!)
1/2 yard of laminated fabric
1/4 yard of mesh utility fabric
1/2 yard of Insul-Bright insulated batting
1/2 yard of fusible non woven interfacing
Basting Spray
2 yards of nylon cording (sized to fit through eyelets)
Heat-n-Bond Lite II
1 package of coordinating piping
18" zipper
1/4 yard of nylon strapping
1 package of 4 D rings
2 double cord stops
optional but helpful: teflon sewing machine foot
optional but helpful: freezer paper
optional but useful: scotch guard
Unless otherwise noted, all seam allowances are a 1/4".
Use the pattern pieces provided to cut the backpack front
and back from the twill fabric and the lining front and back
from the laminated fabric. Be sure to mark the top center of
each piece. I like to use freezer paper to create my pattern
pieces because I can iron the piece in place from the nonwaxy side.
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
A little tip when working with laminated fabric: you can
quickly press the fabric from the BACKside using a pressing
cloth to help protect your iron and the fabric. The heat will
make the fabric more malleable, which may or may not be
useful for you.
Creating the Lining:
In addition to the two pieces cut from the provided pattern pieces, also cut the following from the
laminated fabric:
10 1/2" x 4 1/4" - bottom of backpack lining
8 3/4" x 4 1/2" - sides of backpack lining
15 1/2" x 2 1/2" - zipper opening
7" x 4 1/2" - interior pocket
Cut the following from the Insul-Bright Batting:
(1) 10" x 4" - bottom batting
(2) 8" x 4" - side batting
(2) backpack lining pattern minus a 1/4" all around
Mark 1/4" from each corner on the side and bottom lining
Spray-baste batting onto
the wrong side of the
laminated fabric,
centering the batting on
the pattern pieces. Sew
batting in place in even
lines across all lining
pieces. (I used 2"
increments.) I chose to
keep the batting out of
the seam allowance to
help reduce bulk. The
laminate is already a bit
tricky to work with and
placing the batting only
on the usable part of the
bag eliminates some
struggle you might have
working with both the
laminate and the batting.
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
TIP: When working with the laminated fabric, you will have
the most success if you use a teflon sewing machine foot. It
will not cling to the laminate and allows you to sew more
easily. Most likely your teflon foot will look something like
Construct the interior laminate pocket by using the two " x 4
1/2" pieces. Place these right sides together and sew around
the perimeter leaving a couple inches open to turn the piece
right side out as seen in the picture below. Clip the corners,
turn the piece right side out and top stitch along the edge.
Place the pocket on the lining back piece, centering the
pocket. Stitch along the left, bottom and right sides to attach
the pocket piece to the lining back. To create an extra detail
to the pocket to hold something like a pen, stitch a vertical
line 1 1/2" from the right edge.
Construct the top opening and sides of the lining, starting
with the two 15 1/2" x 2 1/2" pieces. The lining will not
actually be connected to the zipper until the final step, so
we are creating a finished edge for the lining at the zipper
opening. Fold in one long edge on each of the two pieces by a
Top Stitch the fold in place. (You will love having that teflon
foot for this kind of step!)
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
Lay the two center opening pieces right sides together on one
of the side lining pieces. Align the outside edges together.
There should be a gap in the middle. You do not want these
to meet together!. Use a 1/2" seam and sew these together.
Fold the sidepiece back and press the seam allowance toward
the sidepiece. Top stitch the pieces in place.
Use the same procedure to sew the center opening pieces to
the other sidepiece as well.
At this point, you have a long side/center piece, a bottom
piece, a front piece and a back piece of the lining. They
have been insulated and a pocket is attached. Now you need
to sew all of these four pieces together. Use basic box
construction techniques.
First sew the side/center piece to the front and back panels
using a 1/4" seam allowances, matching the centers and the
ends. Leave a 1/4" unsewn at each each end and ease the
curves as you sew. Pin the pieces together with heavy-duty
pins ONLY in the seam allowance (the pins will leave a mark
and you don't want that anywhere other than your seam
Clip the curves as needed.
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
Sew the bottom of the bag to the other pieces one side at a
time, always starting a 1/4" in from the edge of the bottom
piece. Again this is basic box construction. Clip the corners of
the bottom piece to turn the piece along the edge of the
(I didn't get a great photo of this step but there are oodles
out there on the Internet...just search for box construction
sewing techniques)
Sew all four edges
together and you
will end up with an
interior all lined
with insulated
batting and ready
to go into your
Creating the Backpack Exterior:
The exterior is best tackled in steps. Construct the back of the back pack, the sides of backpack
(including the mesh pockets and zipper) and the owl front of the backpack. Then put them all
Exterior Back:
In addition to the two pieces cut from the pattern pieces for the exterior back, also cut the following
from the Twill fabric:
(2) 22" x 4" strips
(1) 5" x 4" strip
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
With each strip, fold the fabric in half along the length of the
piece and press. Open the piece up again and fold in one
short edge a 1/4" and then again by a 1/4" and top stitch the
short end in place. (You do NOT need to do this particular
step for the 5" x 4" piece). Fold the long edges of the strip in
toward the center seam and press. Top stitch each long side
of the folded strip.
Cut (1) 10.5" x 9" rectangle for the Exterior Bottom Back
piece. Mark the center at the top and bottom of the piece.
Place each of the long shoulder straps, raw edges together,
2" from the center on each side and tack in place using an
1/8" seam allowance.
Lay your piece flat and stretch out the shoulder straps flush
against the back panel. Angle the straps so that they are 1
1/2" from the outside edge and pin temporarily in place.
With right sides together, sew the exterior back panel pieces
together using a 1/2" seam allowance.
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
Press the seam toward the top of the bag and topstitch the
top panel just above the seam (you may want a second row
of topstitching a 1/4" above that).
Remove the pins from the shoulder straps and move these out
of the way while you work on attaching the D rings to the
bottom of the bag.
Take the 5" x 4" strip that has been sewn into a small strap
and cut it into (2) 2 1/2" long pieces.
Fold the small strip in half and slip (2) D rings onto the loop.
Use a zipper foot to sew the D rings tightly in place at the
center of the small straps.
Mark 1 1/2" from each side of the bottom and place the D
ring straps to the inside of each mark. Tack in place using an
1/8" seam allowance.
Pull the long shoulder straps through the D rings following the
manufacturer's instructions.
Apply piping to the outside edge of the whole back exterior
panel around the sides (not the bottom). Be sure to use a
thread that matches the piping for this step and a zipper or
piping foot.
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
Cut 8" of nylon strapping for a hanging loop and attach it to
the top of the exterior back with raw edges aligned and
stitch in place using an 1/8" seam allowance.
Step back and admire your work! You have completed the
exterior back of the backpack!
Exterior Sides:
There are two distinct parts to making the exterior sides:
making the center zipper and making the adjustable mesh
Zipper installation:
Cut (2) 15 1/2" x 2 1/2" strips of Twill fabric. Install the
zipper between these two pieces.
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
Use your zipper foot for installation and top stitch the fabric
in place for a smooth finish.
Shorten the zipper according to the manufacturer's
Mesh Pockets:
Cut the following:
(2) 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" pieces
from the Twill fabric
(2) 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" pieces
from the Mesh Fabric
(2) 7 1/2" x 3 1/2" pieces
from layer cake piece
chosen for pocket casing
Take the (2) casing pieces measuring 7 1/2" x 3 1/2" and fold
in half along the length, wrong sides together. Press. Open
out the pieces and press each side into the center.
You should see 4 "sections" of the casing now. Along the 2nd
section, add a small scrap of interfacing across the middle.
Mark the center (3 3/4" from either end). Measure 1" or so
from each side of the center and mark your eyelet locations.
Install the grommets according to the manufacturer's
instructions with the wrong side of the grommet on the
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
Cut (4) pieces of cording 14" in length and thread it from the
wrong side of the fabric through the eyelet to the right side.
Tack it in place along the wrong side edge.
Insert the mesh fabric into the grommet placket casing and
top stitch along the edge of the casing.
Attach the mesh to the side twill panel pieces by first
stitching along each side using an 1/8" seam allowance. Box
pleat the bottom of the mesh to be fit perfectly flush with
the twill fabric and stitch in place.
Insert the cording through a double cord stop. Trim cording
to desired length and knot each cording end.
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
You may want to insert a pull-tab on the zip side, so attach a
3 1/2" piece of ribbon/twill tape folded in half to the pocket
piece on the zip side.
Now attach each
side pocket piece
to the center
zipper piece using a
1/2" seam
allowance on each
side. Top stitch
each piece in
Yay! You've finished the exterior sidepieces!
Exterior Front:
And now the part that I'm sure you've been waiting for!
Making that sweet owl for the front of the backpack. I saved
it for last because it's my favorite part!
In addition to the (1) exterior front backpack pattern piece
cut from Twill, you will also need the owl pattern pieces.
Cut (2) Owl Belly Pocket pieces from (2) layer cake pieces.
Fold (1) neutral layer cake piece in half and cut (2) Owl Face
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
Cut (4) Owl Wing pieces from (2) matching layer cake pieces.
Apply Interfacing on the wrong side of one piece of each owl
part: 1 per wing, 1 for belly pocket and 1 for owl face. Again,
to lessen the bulk I like to keep the interfacing out of the
seam allowance. So trim it to 1/4" shorter than the pattern
piece on all sides.
With right sides together, stitch 1/4" around the belly pocket
sides and top. Clip the corners and notch the curves.
Turn the belly piece right side out and double top stitch the
top of the pocket.
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
Match the centers of bag front and belly pocket. Tack the
pocket in place along the bottom of the bag using a 1/8"
seam allowance.
Stitch the sides *only* of belly pocket to the bag front.
To make the wings, sew (2) wing pieces right sides together
along the sides only. Clip the seam.
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
Turn wings right side out. Flip top in and under 1/4" and top
stitch all around the wing pieces.
Sew Wings to either side of the belly pocket, attaching *only*
at the top of the wing using a tight double top stitch. Your
wing will be free to flap this way.
To make the owl face, sew (2) owl face pieces right sides
together around the shape, leaving a 2" or so unsewn gap at
the bottom of the face. Trim seam allowance to 1/8", turn
right side out and press firmly.
Creating the eyes:
Cut (1) gray 2" circle and adhere steam a seam lite II to the
back. Cut the circle in half. Then trim an 1/8" away from the
outside edge (make this a good cut! These are the pieces you
are using on the backpack). Use the remaining inner circle
pieces to cut some tiny pieces for your eyelashes.
Arrange as desired. Remove the paper backing and press all
eyepieces in place. Be sure not to move your iron back and
forth...this is an up and down pressing motion.
Using an open toe applique foot, top stitch or satin stitch
around the edge of each piece with matching grey thread.
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
Creating the nose:
Cut (1) small triangle from a scrap of fabric. Back this piece
with SAS Lite II as well. Remove paper backing and press in
place. Top stitch or satin stitch around the edge.
Spray baste the back of the owl face and position it on the
Exterior Backpack front above the Belly Pocket and Wings.
Top stitch around the whole perimeter of the face.
Eep!! Isn't she sweet?!
Sew piping to the Exterior bag front along the edges but not the bottom just as you did for the Exterior
You now have a completed Exterior Front, Exterior Back and Exterior Sides.
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
Cut (1) 10 1/2" x 4 1/2" twill piece for the Exterior Bottom and you can start to sew all of these pieces
together. It is constructed exactly as the interior lining was, with box construction.
First sew the Exterior Sides to the Exterior Back, matching
centers and ends. I used my zipper foot to keep that piping
nice and snug!
Ease the curve
together and clip
seams as necessary.
Remember to leave
a 1/4" unsewn at
the bottom of each
Starting to see a bag!
Yum....pretty piping!
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
I keep the backpack straps pinned up and out of the way.
Continue to construct the backpack together, sewing the bag
front to the bag sides.
Then sew the bag bottom to the backpack using the same
construction techniques as you did with the lining: box
construction. So be sure to mark the quarter inch seam
allowance at each corner on the bottom Twill piece.
Sew all four sides together, clipping corners as necessary.
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
Turn bag right side out. Admire your work. You are almost
Putting the lining and exterior bag pieces together:
This is it! The very end!! All that you need to do now is insert the lining into the exterior backpack and
stitch together at the zipper.
Insert the bag lining into the backpack ensuring that WRONG
sides are together.
Push and finagle that lining into its proper place and line up
the openings of the backpack exterior and the lining. The
laminated fabric should be tucked back from the zipper a bit
so it does not get caught in the zipper. Use heavy-duty pins
and carefully pin the lining in place.
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
You may want that teflon foot back again depending on how
you do the last step, but this is it! Sew the lining opening in
place along the edge of the exterior zipper. There are some
tricky parts to this but just keep fiddling with the bag until
you can sew all around the zippered edge.
You will end up with what looks like a double row of
topstitching on the outside!
Now do the happy dance because you are DONE!!
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com
One Backpack perfect for the Toddler in your life!
I hope that you all enjoy this pattern and try to tackle it. If
you're dying for the look without too much hassle, you could
always make an unlined version and finish off the interior
seams with packaged bias tape. Quick and Easy!
(well...easier!) I would love to see any projects made from
my patterns, so please add them to my group on Flickr, Cut
To Pieces {flickr.com/groups/creating_with_twee} and of
course to the Moda Bake Shop
Group {flickr.com/groups/modabakeshop} as well.
And don't forget that there are endless possibilities for color
combinations and themes. In another lifetime I will find the
time to make a boy version of this in navy blue and kelly
green, perhaps with a sweet whale face! My mind is a whirl
with all of the adorable options for how to personalize this
backpack to a particular child's tastes. Personally my girl is
quite pleased with her owl. The owl who says "whooo!"
Angela Pingel
Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com