back-to-school sewing

Happy Labor Day for those of you in the United States! It’s back-to-school time and it is a fun time to sew for kids. As you already know, sewing for kids is no longer a necessity; it has become an act of love. We put a lot of thought into the many details when sewing for kids. The end result is a cherished and useful accessory or garment. I’ve gathered lots of well made items that would make fantastic back-to-school sewing projects. Maybe something here will spark an idea and inspire you to sew something for the school year instead of buying it off the shelf.

Let’s start out with backpacks. I’m sure you’re already familiar with the Penguin Backpack from the Little Things to Sew book. Here is a cute one sewn by Brittany in sturdy denim.


Penguin backpack from Little Things to Sew


Sewists have been so clever coming up with ways of converting the Penguin Backpack into something different, take a look here:


Customized Penguin Backpack

Pug dog


Giraffe backpack



Owl backpack



Minion backpack



Dog backpack



Frog backpack



Grey fox backpack

Grey fox


Elephant backpack



Moving on to the Messenger Bag which is also in Little Things to Sew… here were a couple of Messenger Bags that caught my eye:


Violin cross sitch on the Messenger Bag from Little Things to Sew

Violin cross stitch


Fox Messenger Bag



Do you have plans for some school uniform sewing? If so, you’ll want to be sure to visit our school uniform round-up to see lots of great examples.


Oliver + S Music Class Blouse and Skirt


What is on your back-to-school sewing list? Please do share with us in the comments section, will you?


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  1. Sarah Helene

    FROG BACKPACK IS MY FAVORITE — sewn in vivid olive corduroy! It wasn’t easy to select my favorite colorful kids’ backpack from these shown! SO colorful fabrics with highlights in many details to add PIZZAZZ! Compliments GALORE when using, for certain! THANKS for sharing. Sarah in Minneapolis

  2. Feeling accomplished as I just finished yesterday… photo in the Flickr pool. (4 Sketchbook pants, 1 shorts, 2 skorts.) The kids’ school requires polos with that knit-to-fit collar or I would have made them Parachutes! (I even found knit pique but the only place that would sell those collars had a very high minimum.) I did the monogramming myself as a necessary stop on our summer vacation in Pittsburgh to a place that has an embroidery machine for hire.

  3. Liz

    Am currently working on three pairs of size 5 Sunny Day shorts with pockets from the Sketchbook shorts in a hunter green drill with fun patterned pocket linings and lots of nametags to sew onto everything else (socks, pants etc). Am also replacing the elastic in last years’s Size 4 Sunny Day shorts for my younger (not yet two!) son who needs a little extra room. Does anyone else find school sewing a marathon? Each size seems to last us for only a few months before it’s time to make another set in a larger size! I made the size 3 shorts from the Sketchbook pattern last year but my oldest prefers the shorter Sunny Day shorts and I am enjoying a “quicker” pattern. Must learn to use buttonhole elastic…

  4. I love all of those, but I have to say the pug backpack stole my heart — so funny and cute!

  5. Corinne Yuzrk

    I can’t access my Oliver and S pattern for the Messenger bag right now. Can anyone tell me the fabric requirements? Thx

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