Chair Backpack

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hi Friends! Hope you're having a good week, so far. I have a little sewing project to share with you today. My DD has to have her running shoes for P.E. 2-3 days a week, so rather than having to remember if it's an "A" week, with P.E. on Monday and Friday, or a "B" week, with P.E. on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, I decided to let her leave a pair of shoes at school all the time. Only problem was that there was no where for her to keep them--space is limited in her classroom. So, I made her a backpack for her chair that she could keep her shoes and socks in all the time.

I found this tutorial by Amy at, and followed it almost exactly, with only a few adjustments. My DD's shoes and a couple pair of socks fit in it perfectly, and because it hugs the back of the chair so well, her regular backpack will still hang on top of this just fine.

I made this out of fabric that was leftover from some Roman shades we had made in our previous house. It's upholstery fabric, so it is very sturdy and stiff--perfect for a backpack. I used interfacing on the exterior fabric, but not on the lining.

The bag is hanging on one of my kitchen chairs here, so you can see what it looks like from the back.

I put Velcro strips on the flap to hold it closed, but if I made it again, I'd probably just make the flap much longer and add weights to it so the Velcro wouldn't be necessary. There is plenty of room inside. Even as my DD grows and her shoes get larger, they should still fit in there for quite a while.

The main three modifications I made to the tutorial were that I sewed the sides and bottom strips together before attaching them to the front and back of the bag--both on the exterior fabric and the lining; I did not cut the bag flap before attaching the ruffles; and I also sewed the edge of the ruffles into the bag flap seam. When I attached the ruffles, I first attached the top ruffle, right sides together, so that it would fold down and cover the unfinished edge of the fabric. Then, I attached the bottom ruffle underneath the top ruffle, with right sides up on the ruffle and the bag flap. After that ruffle was attached, I pressed the top ruffle down over the bottom ruffle and topstitched across the edge of the top ruffle to hold it in place. You just have to make sure you have the ruffles positioned exactly where you want them so they will cover the edge of the bag flap. 

I did consider how bad the bag might smell after a few months of having sweaty shoes in it, so I made a couple of simple sachets out of medium weight cotton fabric and filled them with Arm & Hammer Extra Strength Carpet Odor Eliminator. She will just drop one into each shoe when she puts them away and, hopefully, the problem should be solved. It's easy enough to make a couple more sachets every few months. :) This morning, when we took the bag to school and attached it to her desk chair, it (and her shoes) already smelled nice. The scent isn't overpowering or too flowery, either.

I was pleased with how this project turned out, but it was a lot more time consuming than I expected. I sure hope this bag makes it through the entire year, and it'd be real nice if it survived a few years!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderfully crafty day!

I'd like to enter this in the following challenge:

Thanks for visiting my blog!
To have Ink Up delivered to your inbox,
subscribe in the box at the top right of the page.


Jeanne J. said...

So clever and stylish Cheryl! I hate these school schedules - I have white day / blue day for mine with different classes on each day. Glad you found a good solution to make things easier! Tell your daughter keep running!!

Jessi Fogan said...

She's got the most stylish shoe bag I've ever seen :) Love it! What a pain with the rotating schedule - my boys are both in the same school this year, with a 6-day schedule. I agree in theory, but it's a pain when it comes to remembering when anything is supposed to happen! lol

Conniecrafter said...

that is a great idea, I know there were a few times that my daughter forgot hers and had points taken away for it, creative idea with the sachets too, it turned out so cute, gotta love the ruffles!

Maria said...

Super cute clever! I'm sure your daughter loves it! It is very pretty and stylish! You did a great job sewing this wonderful project...great job! And, I hope your daugheter has a wonderful school year...take care, hugs!

Deb said...

fantastic idea and so clever!

Many thanks for joining in the
♥Cute Card Thursday Challenge♥
this week! Debxx

Melissa Craig said...

You simply amaze me Cheryl. You remind me of my mother. When my sisters were little, Mom made them little aprons that would carry their coloring books and it also had little slots for their crayons. She also made them Halloween costumes one year. They were angels. Then when the trick or treating was over, the wings came off and they were little nightgowns. You both amaze me to be able to come up with that.