I'd been daydreaming about a new bag recently. My needs have moved on a bit in the mum-bag area. Now that the kids are getting bigger we rarely use the pram and I'm finding myself feeling like a pack horse carry everything on my shoulders (and sometimes a child too :-).
So when I came across Oliver & S' A day in the park bag pattern it looked perfect. I think this pattern was released in 2010 but somehow hadn't come onto my radar.
I had specifically been looking for a bag to take on a school excursion I was going on with my middle child who's in kindy. And anyone who has been reading my blog for a while will know that I'm like a dog with a bone when I get an idea, needless to say this was put together at the 11th hour, but I was so glad I did as it was fantastic on the excursion. See, I'm finding ways to justify the sewing mania :-)
In case you hadn't heard of it either, it's basically a tote bag that you can also use as a backpack. You just pull the straps...
and et voila, it's a backpack. Ingenious!
I really loved making this pattern. As you may know I have made plenty of bags in the past and consider mine are reasonably good, but this pattern is such a cut above my efforts. All the little finishing touches make it look so professional, so its practical as well as not looking homemade (which we know is a curse, right, as opposed to handmade :-)
I used a heavyish mid weight cotton dot print fabric for the outer (about $3 worth at Spotlight - yay!) and a dark grey cotton for the lining. I used stiff interfacing as I wanted it to have some body and not slump down, and also interfaced the straps to give them a bit more strength. Annoyingly I couldn't find O rings for the straps, so had to use the closest I could get, and also couldn't find rivets, which definitely would have finished it off even better. I may try to find some online to add.
The only change I made to the pattern was to widen the side panels, as quite a few people seem to have. This definitely made it more practical for my needs.
This bag has already had several outings (and is less than a week old) and lots of favourable comments from people, including a few from friends with sideways glances and the familiar 'did you make that?' question, which I'm sure they regret asking when I start to rave about how much I love it :-)