Oilcloth Bookbag

March 10, 2012

I thought I would replace AB’s tired/stained/gross-looking book bag with something a bit more colourful.

For my American friends, a book bag is the bag that the books go in, which goes inside your backpack. (For my New Zealand friends, Bookbag is what you would call a backpack)

I got some oilcloth and hey presto!

I let her choose the fabric and because I’m warming KD up for school I made her one too. I used a binding-type ribbon for the edges.

I don’t think you necessarily need this but I think it will make the bag more durable. I also used an upholstery needle and thread. It pays to test your tension settings by sewing for a bit on a spare piece of the oilcloth.


Roughly the instructions are:

Lay out your cloth and place a piece of A4 on it and add a border so your kid will be able to fit their books inside. Leave enough for a flap to close it with. (I doubled the flap so had to leave double the fabric)

Cut it out and fold down a ‘lip’ for the inside edge and add binding to it if using it. Sew on the binding across the lip. You’ll thank me for this later.

Fold the flap so it’s rightside to rightside. After that I used tape to hold things in place as pins wouldn’t be practical. It should look like this next photo. Note the small gap between the flap and the lip-with-binding.

Sew all the way around the square. I went over the ‘hinge’ part three times.

When I say ‘hinge’ that is my highly technical term for the part where the ‘lip’ meets the ‘gap’ meets the ‘flap’.


Then you can invert the whole thing. Invert the flap as well.

Really at this stage you’re done but I added the binding around the edge. To make this easier I ironed the binding so that I would know where the middle was. I used tape to hold it on and just sewed it on.

Then I added snaps to the flap to hold it closed. I just picked these up at Spotlight. They involve a bit of hammering which is always fun. The second one didn’t take nearly as long as the first. I hope I’ll get faster with practice.













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