This bag has great details-an exterior pocket, drawstring closure, and adjustable straps-that add style and function. Fabrics are from the Remix collection by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
Scrap Lab Backpack
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Designers: Patty Young and Emalee Grambo of ModKid


  • 1⁄2 yard solid gray (pocket, straps, drawstring)
  • 7--18×21" pieces (fat quarters) assorted oval prints in orange, gray, yellow, blue, green, aqua, and red (bag body)
  • 3⁄4 yard lining fabric
  • Medium-weight fusible interfacing
  • 2-1⁄2"-diameter buttons: red
  • 4"-long piece 3⁄4"-wide hook-and-loop tape
  • 2--1-1⁄2" triglides (available in crafts stores)
  • 2--1-1⁄2" D rings
  • 8--5⁄8" grommets

Finished bag: 14×20×7"

Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

Measurements include 1⁄2" seam allowances except where indicated in sewing instructions. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From solid gray, cut:

  • 1--2×42" strip for drawstring
  • 2--6×28" strips for straps
  • 2--7×12" rectangles
  • 2--4×8" rectangles for pocket flap
  • 2--4×6" rectangles

From each oval print, cut:

  • 4--2×21" strips

From one remaining oval print, cut:

  • 1--8×11" rectangle

From lining fabric, cut:

  • 2--15×21" rectangles
  • 1--8×11" rectangle

From fusible interfacing, cut:

  • 2--15×21" rectangles
  • 1--8×11" rectangle

Assemble Pocket Bottom and Flap

1. Cut a 2" square from bottom corners of each solid gray 12×7" rectangle (Diagram 1).


2. Referring to Diagram 2, join rectangles along top, side, and bottom edges; leave cutout corners open. Turn right side out through a cutout corner; press.


3. Referring to Diagram 3, center hook (rough) side of hook-and-loop tape 1-1⁄2" from top edge. Stitch 1⁄4" from edges through all layers.


4. Referring to Diagram 4, fold a top corner down with the right side inside; align raw edges. Join raw edges. Repeat in opposite corner. Turn right side out to make pocket bottom.


5. Referring to Diagram 5, center loop side of hook-and-loop tape 3⁄4" from a long edge of a solid gray 4×8" rectangle. Stitch around all edges of tape as before.


6. With right sides together, join Step 5 rectangle and remaining solid gray 4×8" rectangle, leaving a 1" opening in top edge for turning (Diagram 6). Turn right side out; press. Topstitch along side and bottom edges to make pocket flap (Diagram 7).


Assemble Bag Body

1. Referring to Diagram 8, arrange and sew together two oval print 2×21" strips in each colorway to make bag front. Press seams in one direction. The bag front should be 21×15" including seam allowances. Repeat to make a bag back.


2. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse a 15×21" interfacing rectangle to wrong side of bag front. Repeat to fuse bag back.

3. Repeat Step 2, using oval print 8×11" rectangle and 8×11" interfacing rectangle. Referring to Diagram 9, use a small plate to mark and trim round corners in fused rectangle, making bag bottom.


4. Referring to Diagram 10, center pocket bottom on bag front 4" from bottom edge; pin. Topstitch side and bottom edges of pocket bottom to bag front.


5. Place pocket flap on pocket bottom, matching hook-and-loop pieces. Pin flap in place and topstitch to bag front along top edge (Diagram 11). Hand-stitch red buttons to pocket flap.


6. With right sides together, pin bag front to bag back along side edges. Sew together side edges to make bag tube (Diagram 12).


7. Fold a solid gray 4×6" rectangle in half crosswise; press to mark center, then unfold (Diagram 13). Fold in short edges to meet at center; press. Fold in half and press. Topstitch along edges to make short D-ring strap. The short D-ring strap should be 1-1⁄2×4". Slip short D-ring strap through straight side of D ring. Bring raw edges together and baste to make short D-ring unit (Diagram 14). Repeat to make a second short D-ring unit.


8. Fold bag bottom in half crosswise; lightly press to mark center and unfold. Lay bag bottom right side up. Referring to Diagram 15, on right side of bag bottom locate the center of each short D-ring unit 3" from center crease; align raw edges. Baste units in place.


9. Using long running stitches, baste around one open end of Step 6 bag tube. Pull up running stitches, gathering edge to match bag bottom. With right sides together, pin bag bottom to gathered end of bag tube, making sure D-ring units are positioned in center of tube back. Sew bag bottom to bag tube to make bag body. Turn right side out.

10. Fold a solid gray 6×28" strip in half lengthwise; press to mark center, then unfold. Fold in long edges to meet at center; press again. Fold strip in half and topstitch along edges to make long strap. Long strap should be 1-1⁄2×28" including seam allowances. Repeat to make a second long strap.

11. Wrap one end of long strap around middle bar of triglide; turn raw edge under 1⁄4". Stitch folded edge to long strap (Diagram 16). Bring other end of strap through a D ring on bag bottom from back to front (Diagram 17). Bring end of strap back to triglide and weave under bottom bar and over top bar of triglide to buckle long strap (Diagram 18). Repeat with second long strap.


12. Referring to Diagram 19, align raw edges of long straps with top edges of bag back about 6" from each side edge; baste long straps in place.


Assemble Bag Lining

1. As in Assemble Bag Body, Step 3, round corners of 8×11" lining rectangle to make bag lining bottom.

2. Referring to Assemble Bag Body, Step 6, sew together 15×21" lining rectangles, leaving a 5" opening along one side for turning, to make lining tube.

3. Referring to Assemble Bag Body, Step 9, join lining tube and lining bottom, leaving a 5" opening for turning, to make bag lining. Leave lining wrong side out.

Finish Backpack

1. Insert bag body into bag lining with right sides together, making sure pocket is in front and straps are in back. Align top raw edges, matching side seams; pin. Sew together top edges of bag body and lining.

2. Turn right side out through opening in lining, then pull lining out of bag. Hand-stitch opening closed. Insert lining back into bag body and press top edge. Topstitch 1⁄4" from top edge through all layers.

3. Referring to Diagram 20 and following manufacturer's instructions, add grommets to top edge of bag. Position them about 5" apart and 1⁄2" from bag top edge.


4. Repeat Assemble Bag Body, Step 10, using solid gray 2×42" strip to make drawstring. Drawstring should be 1⁄2×42" including seam allowances.

5. Weave drawstring in and out of grommets, starting in the center front. Knot ends of drawstring to complete backpack.