Completed: Travel Backpack

11 Aug

Look! I made a backpack!!

Travel Backpack

Ok, let me back(lolz) up a little first here!

When I travel around (whether it’s personal or sewing workshop related!), I like to check my luggage and bring a carry-on bag that is big enough for all my entertaining shit (knitting, Kindle, etc), but not so big that I’m forced to keep it in the overhead bin. I’ve dabbled around with different sorts of shoulder bags – totes, giant purses, I dunno, all sorts of stuff – which worked fine, but I didn’t like that they weren’t super useful once I got off the plane (like, who wants to walk around NYC with a giant tote bag?). I have a tendency to overpack more than I need to, and I’m really trying to pare down on the amount of stuff I lug around when I go out of town. I wanted a bag that would work for both my flight *and* getting around whatever city I was hanging around. Big enough to hold some essentials – a notebook, my water bottle, phone charger, stuff like that – but not so big that I would be tempted to put everything I own in it and weigh myself down for the day.

I bought a small backpack while I was in Peru when I realized that my normal backpack wasn’t gonna hold all the shit I was trying to carry home, which ended up being really awesome for my purposes, except when it fell apart at the seams while I was last in NYC. Boo! I was on board with the backpack idea at that point, so I decided to change what I didn’t like about the Peruvian pack (too soft/no support, drawstring, not enough pockets, straps weren’t adjustable, etc) and turn it into my dream travel pack.

I used the Toddler Backpack pattern, except enlarged it for a school-age child (there are instructions on how to do this in the pattern). I first discovered this backpack thanks to Kelli and her awesome versions made for actual toddlers (this one is particular makes me want to cry because it is SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL), and I realized the size was exactly what I needed. I wanted to keep the essence of a small backpack – like the tiny packs we carried around in the 90s and felt real cool about – but I wanted it to have some features like my big traveler backpack had, like extra pockets and a place to carry my water bottle. I also wanted it to be structured, because I am not about those sad and droppy cloth backpacks!

Travel Backpack

Travel Backpack

I feel real good about the finished size! It’s just big enough to hold an 8.5″ x 11″ folder (which I will not be carrying around in this thing, but, that gives you an idea of it’s size). I included a few pockets that weren’t part of the pattern, to make organizing more useful – there is a big pocket in the front, a pocket on either side, a small velcro’d pocket on the inside, a large padded laptop pocket on the inside, and also a secret pocket in the back! The backpack is fully lined, the outside fabric is interfaced, there is self-made piping around the outside, the straps are adjustable and padded, and the bottom is also padded and quilted. There is a double pull metal zipper at the top, and little zipper tabs on either end (to help with zipping and unzipping – they are just folded and interfaced rectangles). It was a lot of work, but it’s pretty much exactly what I want!

Travel Backpack

This pocket is for my water bottle – the bottom is gathered, and there is elastic along the top. It fits my water bottle pretty securely. The pattern doesn’t include instructions for a water bottle pocket, but it was easy to figure out. I used this post as a guide on how to cut the pieces and assemble them.

Travel Backpack

The opposite side has a sort of bastardized bellows pocket that closes with a little piece of velcro. I used this tutorial as a general guide to draft the pocket. I did consider adding a flap to completely cover the top, but figuring out how to insert it without crossing over the side seamlines was starting to make my head hurt, so I just went with a velcro closure instead. I don’t think I’ll use this pocket to carry anything necessarily worth stealing – but it will be handy for my reusable bag, or tissues, or something like that.

Travel Backpack

Travel Backpack

The front pocket closes with a zipper (pulled from my stash) and is lined.

Travel Backpack

I spent a little more (aka- bought one instead of taking one from my stash) on the main zipper and bought a metal one intended for purses, with two pulls. When you’re trying to quickly get into your pack, it’s nice to not have to find which side the zipper pull is on. Also, I like that I can clip the two pulls together with a keyring, to discourage someone from trying to take a peek inside. I bought the zipper on Etsy from ZipIt Zippers, who I’ve always had good experiences with!

Travel Backpack

The straps are plain cotton webbing, with gold D rings so that they are adjustable. The upper portion of the straps are lightly padded with cotton batting so they are a bit more comfortable. Just a word of warning – if you are making this bag for an adult, check the sewn strap length! The first pair I made was laughingly WAY too short and looked completely ridiculous on me. These were lengthened by about 5″, which works much better.

Travel Backpack

Travel Backpack

Here’s something I’m proud of – a hidden zippered pocket in the back! It’s sized to fit my passport/wallet, and no one can access the pocket while I’m wearing the backpack. I always hated that someone could theoretically open my backpack and take my stuff, and now at least the shit worth stealing is a little more safe πŸ™‚

Travel Backpack

Travel Backpack

I added two more pockets to the lining – a small pocket for holding things like chapstick, Advil, tickets, etc; and a larger pocket that is sized to hold my tablet (a Microsoft Surface, one of the older ones). Both the tablet pocket and the back side of the backpack are padded with cotton batting (the pocket is also lightly quilted), to protect my tablet and also for comfort against my back. I finished all the pocket edges with leftover bias from my piping, which I think looks really nice! I also included a keyring, so I can quickly find my keys when I need them.

I am not going to lie – sewing this backpack was a fucking BEAST. There aren’t a of of pieces, and it’s not even necessarily hard – but there is a lot of bulk once everything starts getting sewn together, especially if you include piping. That being said, the steps are reasonably simple. The instructions are easy to follow, the pieces fit together well, and there’s a lot of room for customization to make ~your perfect backpack~. Despite this being sized for an 8 year old, it’s exactly the right size for my needs.

I bought all my fabrics locally here at Craft South. The outer is my favorite – it’s a great woven cotton from Diamond Textiles that I loved working with cos it’s so pretty! (it’s not on our website, but I can personally vouch that we have like 30 yards in the store, so if you want some – just call the shop! I think it was around $18-$20 yard). The red contrast is Kasse shot cotton, and the lining is just plain ol’ Freespirit quilting cotton. I interfaced all the outer pieces (except for the gathered water bottle pocket) with medium weight fusible interfacing – Pellon 809 to be specific. I did not interface the bottom pieces, which in retrospect I kind of wish I had (the padding/quilting doesn’t make it quite as stable as I’d like, but oh well!). Also from Craft South came the cotton batting, cotton webbing and D-rings. Even though I get a pretty generous discount at Craft South, this backpack still cost me around $50 for all the materials – so it definitely wasn’t cheap (I could buy one for less than that). However, it’s sewn exactly to suit my needs AND the outer fabric is just so beautiful! So there’s that. Also, I am much more likely to take my damn time and do the best job I am capable of when I drop that kind of cash on a project – ha! I think it definitely shows with this backpack. It turned out even nicer than I was expecting!

Travel Backpack

Travel Backpack

Anyway, my little backpack is ready for it’s first adventure! I’ve got a few travel dates coming up soon, starting in September, so I can’t wait to start using it. And OH, speaking of traveling – after much planning, saving, and brain-racking… I just booked a big solo trip! I’ll be visiting in Egypt in January 2017!! HOLY SHIT, right!? I have ALWAYS wanted to visit Egypt and see (touch) a pyramid – which I am finally gonna do! I am also gonna take a Nile River cruise from Aswan to Luxor πŸ˜‰ (which I am MASSIVELY excited about!) Can’t wait to nerd out super hard at the Egyptian Museum, too! Until then, though, I’ve got a vacation wardrobe to flesh out and sew – because let’s face it, none of my clothes are very modest and I definitely need to stick out as little as possible! πŸ™‚

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65 Responses to “Completed: Travel Backpack”

  1. simpletravelourway August 11, 2016 at 7:42 am #

    Congratulations! It looks great! As a traveler myself (on the road for over 3.5 years) I can really understand when you know exactly what you need and nothing seems quite right in the way of a bag. Six months ago I handsewed a fabric bag I now use as my “purse” and it’s pretty perfect.

    • LLADYBIRD August 11, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

      Thank you! Props to you for being on the road as long as you have – I don’t think I’d be able to handle being away for that long!

  2. Jennilee August 11, 2016 at 7:51 am #

    I recently made a backpack to carry on my upcoming vacation! I didn’t really think it through as well as yours but it does have mesh pockets on the outside (one for a water bottle with elastic) and I put on actual closures instead of the velcro the pattern called for because of that whole other people getting into my bag easily thing. I love your idea of the zippered pocket against your back! And I wish I’d thought of a sleeve inside for my Kindle. Oh well, I can add those on version 2.0!

    • LLADYBIRD August 11, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

      Yes, easy things to add for 2.0! I just ended up getting weird and obsessive over my bag for WAY too long (while I tried to track down my perfect fabric, which I also got really weird and obsessive about), so I had plenty of time to decide exactly what would go in it πŸ™‚ Wish I’d thought of mesh pockets, though, what a great idea!

      • Jennilee August 17, 2016 at 9:19 am #

        I love how you can finish a project and already be thinking of the next version lol I had thought about it before I started working on it, but just didn’t think of anything beyond the mesh pockets! I’ll let you know how they work, I’ll be wearing it for vacation next week!

        And now I’m thinking about making a new tote bag as my everyday purse cuz I’ve destroyed two store bought ones recently…

        • LLADYBIRD August 17, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

          Always!! I’m always thinking ahead to the next project πŸ™‚ haha!

  3. Indoor Kitty August 11, 2016 at 8:04 am #

    Once you have made your own bag, you’ll never be satisfied with a store bought bag again.

    Have you stain/waterproofed this one? Since your Kate Spade sadness is recent, I hope so. I don’t think I could survive a permanent stain on a bag I made.

    • LLADYBIRD August 11, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

      I’m not really concerned about stains – I feel like cloth/canvas bags (including the Kate Spade) are kind of like having glass dishes, in that you run the risk of ruining them but it’s worth it! Waterproofing is a good idea, though, I should definitely get some Scotchguard on that so my stuff doesn’t get all wet!

  4. Rebecca August 11, 2016 at 8:25 am #

    What a great little backpack! I love the fabric and piping and that zipper pocket on the back is genius! How awesome that you’re taking a vacation to Egypt- that’s definitely my dream vacay! I’m super jealous! πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD August 11, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

      Thank you! It’s been my dream vacay, too, and I’m just gonna do it! CAN’T WAIT AHHHH

  5. Janice August 11, 2016 at 8:32 am #

    That looks beautiful! I made a huge tote bag once with spare quilting fabric and I use it all the time to go to the dojo. Egypt should be fun too, just stay safe over there!

    • LLADYBIRD August 11, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

      Thank you! Handmade bags are the best! πŸ˜€

  6. Gen August 11, 2016 at 8:49 am #

    Love this! All those colors work great together and the bag is perfect for trips! Congrats on your upcoming travels, too! I rarely make non-garment things but my inability to find a gym bag that suits ALL my needs/wants is really pushing me make my own. You always seem to post JUST the right project exactly when I need some inspiration. ❀

    • LLADYBIRD August 11, 2016 at 2:31 pm #

      Haha glad I could help! I’m the same way – I rarely make non-clothing, but sometimes you just gotta in order to get exactly what you want! I think it’s worth it, usually πŸ™‚

  7. ellegeemakes August 11, 2016 at 8:54 am #

    Well, that is absolutely the prettiest backpack I have ever seen, inside and out! You chose the perfect fabric and I love the contrast straps! I’m sure it will look lovely on the Nile. Can’t wait to see your travel wardrobe!

    • LLADYBIRD August 11, 2016 at 2:32 pm #

      Thank you! I will admit, I had some help choosing the contrasts – from both Anna Maria Horner and Karen Templer (of Fringe Supply Co). Those ladies have EXCELLENT taste and I am glad I trusted their opinion! πŸ™‚

  8. Alexandra Coffee & Clementines August 11, 2016 at 9:17 am #

    ERMAGHERD! Are you spending time in Cairo/Giza before the cruise? I never actually got to see the pyramids… 😦

    Also, Luxor is brilliant! Hatshepsut’s palace is brilliant and Karnak Temple is mind-bogglingly amazing! I’m so excited for you! January will be a brilliant time to go, because it won’t be too hot, even in the Valley of the Kings (but it will be pretty hot, still!)

    Ahem. Sorry. Am a massive Ancient Egypt geek.

    • LLADYBIRD August 11, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

      Yep! I’ll be in Cairo for about a week before I go on the cruise, then I have a couple more days back in Cairo before I fly home. I am SO excited to see the pyramids!!! And the Valley of the Kings, and the Egyptian Museum, and ahhh everything! I’m a big Ancient Egypt geek, too, so you’re in good company here πŸ˜‰ haha!

  9. shesewsswell August 11, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    Isn’t it wild, how we get ideas into our head about places we want to see and go, and touch, and then it happens!! Life is grand that way. Love your pack. I’m an overpacked myself, but getting better and better all the time. I want to go to India and see how block printing is done and see all the colors and eat the food. I’m so excited for you and your trip!!!!!!

    • LLADYBIRD August 11, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

      Yes!! I have wanted to do this for so long, and I’m glad I finally just took action to make it happen! I think you should do the same for India – omg you would have such an amazing time! Maybe as a gift to yourself once you’re back on the mend? πŸ™‚

  10. Regina August 11, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    This is so functional and stylish! I now want to make one too. Nice work Lauren!

    • LLADYBIRD August 11, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

      Thank you! You should totally make one -they are pretty fun! πŸ˜€

  11. Kelly Mannino August 11, 2016 at 2:31 pm #

    This is AMAZING! It’s great that you have the motivation and courage to just do this. You have a bag that is perfect for you and you’ll really love and care for it.

    • LLADYBIRD August 11, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

      Thank you so much! It took a lot of talking myself into it, but I’m pretty excited now πŸ˜€

  12. Caroline August 11, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

    Amazing Bag and what a good ‘pal’ to join you on your adventures. I have travelled through Egypt myself it is the MOST incredible place, truly mind-blowing….enjoy and stay safe xx

    • LLADYBIRD August 11, 2016 at 5:38 pm #

      That is awesome!! I am super excited to experience it for myself πŸ˜€

  13. Robyn August 11, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

    That backpack is incredible! The fabric is delicious! Well done! I’m inspired to get started on my Colette backpack now! What needle size and stitch length did you use? And tips for handling bulk? Any waterproofing (I bought a bar of otter wax for mine)?

    • LLADYBIRD August 11, 2016 at 5:40 pm #

      Thank you! I just used a standard 80/12 needle and the auto straight stitch length on my Bernina. Nothing fancy! My fabrics were not very thick to begin with – even with the addition of the interfacing – so the bulk layers were minimal. The only issue I had was cramming it under the machine, but taking off the free arm and moving slowly helped a lot πŸ™‚ I haven’t waterproofed the backpack, but I probably will with Scotchguard. Can’t use wax on this woven cotton!

  14. Megan August 11, 2016 at 6:05 pm #

    Great little back pack. I have to admit to being addicted to making bags, haven’t sewn garments in ages. Exciting about Egypt. Hope you have a marvellous time. We went there in 1993, such a long time ago. It was when there were a lot of tourists being shot. We decided to brave it. The country was teeming with people a lot from Eastern Europe. They were not nice. They refused to take of their shoes to go into the mosques and we never had our shoes taken, they also wore really really skimpy clothes. We were treated very well everyone was polite. We were the only two people on our tour, that was great. We got to the Cairo museum and the guide said I normally have a plan but hey what do you want to do. It was fantastic having the guide all to ourselves. I wore long sleeves and long pants and offered to wear a nice scarf I’d brought but everyone was fine I didn’t need to wear a scarf people were very welcoming. It’s all about being considerate of people and their culture. You could’t go into the churches in Rome with bare arms, same thing really. Enjoy and do post about the trip. Very exciting.

    • LLADYBIRD August 14, 2016 at 11:59 am #

      I have never understood why people would go into a country and then blatantly ignore the people and culture around them. It makes me wonder why they even bother in the first place! Like, if you want it to be like home… then why not just stay home, you know? Anyway, glad to hear your trip was awesome! That makes me even more excited for mine πŸ˜€

  15. Hélène Martin August 11, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

    I love seeing cool non-garment projects! This is so incredibly well thought out and executed.

    I spent a month in Cairo and another in South Sinai recently. Do you want me to send you some cool music venue recommendations and/or connects to local friends?

    • LLADYBIRD August 14, 2016 at 11:59 am #

      Hell yeah! That would be excellent, thank you so much!

  16. Sue @ A Colourful Canvas August 11, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

    Argh….I think my comment got lost…

    Anyhoo….so stoked about your trip. I’m a major fan of the Amelia Peabody mystery series, and also other random mysteries set on archaeology digs and Nile cruises, so yep…super excited for you!

    And your backpack is awesome! I love it, and I’m secretly relieved I’m not the only one pining for {and pinning} a child’s size backpack! Thanks for the encouragement to make my own…

    fingers crossed this posts….

    • LLADYBIRD August 14, 2016 at 11:59 am #

      LAME! I hate it when my comments get eaten, so I feel your pain! Thank you for reposting those so I can see i πŸ˜€

  17. Lynsey August 12, 2016 at 2:06 am #

    I love this bag, that fabric is perfect and all of the pockets make this an ideal backpack, I need me one of these!!! Great tips, thank you, I might need to give this a go but would need some fabric like yours, the straps and piping match so well. I think your so brave going solo as I’m I wuss pants but it will be amazing!

    • LLADYBIRD August 14, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

      Well, we got ALL the supplies at Craft South if you want to make an identical one πŸ˜‰ I don’t mind having backpack twinsies unless we start traveling together hahaha!!

  18. Meryxe August 12, 2016 at 3:18 am #

    Good job, Lauren! You’re gonna feel great traveling with that gorgeous back!

    • LLADYBIRD August 14, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

      Thank you! I am looking forward to using it πŸ˜€

  19. Becky Thompson August 12, 2016 at 5:14 am #

    That’s a great looking backpack! I have a trip coming up to Colorado Springs on the 18th and I’ve been thinking about what to drag onto the plane with me. I have an old one around here somewhere I’ll have to dig up. So…other than being a hot bed of terrorism with the Muslim Brotherhood headquartered there and all that, enjoy your trip. DO NOT look American – no red, white, blue shirts, no US college logos, etc. and go out onto the State Depts website and look up travel warnings for US citizens. I’m not trying to scare you to death, but you need to be aware of your surroundings and watch for things like unattended bags left in public places and stay away from soft targets like night clubs. Really. ISIS and the Taliban have strongholds over there and will take every opportunity to make your life miserable if they can. I work for the Dept of Defense so I know what I’m talking about. But I feel ya, I’d love to see all that stuff too. All those old b/w movies of pyramid digs have always had me itching to see that stuff. Aren’t the pyramids one of the 7 Wonders?

    • LLADYBIRD August 14, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

      Yeah, I think the Great Pyramid of Giza is the last standing wonder if the Ancient World, actually! So I’m pretty pumped to see it!! Thanks for your travel advice, too – I am doing my research and preparing to blend in as much as possible (well, as much as a lily-white redhead can “blend in,” anyway haha), because I don’t want to attract unnecessary attention to myself as a solo female traveler. I’m planning on wearing a lot of black and grey while I’m over there – mostly cos they mix and match, ha!

  20. Lisa Poblenz (patternandbranch) August 12, 2016 at 5:41 am #

    That backpack looks like a ton of work and planning…and it turned out awesome! Nice job! I like how you thought about the various features you wanted it to have, and then made them happen. Congratulations on Egypt, too. πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD August 14, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

      Thank you! There was a lot of work that went into it, but it was certainly the fun kind πŸ™‚ Looking forward to actually using it now !

  21. susanrotter August 12, 2016 at 8:25 am #

    Gorgeous new rucksack! I’m inspired and never would have thought to upsize a toddler pattern πŸ™‚

    I was in Egypt a couple years ago and had a brilliant time – and they really need the tourist dollars/pounds. I have one word of advice – be sure to take some sort of powerful antibiotic with you to combat the unavoidable tummy issues you will encounter. Despite paying attention to food hygiene and washing my hands tons I suffered as has everyone I know who travelled in Egypt.

    • LLADYBIRD August 14, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

      Oooh, that is excellent advice, thank you! I have a sensitive enough stomach as it is, so I don’t want to risk further aggravating it. I have a Dr appointment tomorrow (figured I might as well get one before I leave the country, even though it is a few months out!), so I’ll talk to him about what he thinks in terms of antibiotics πŸ™‚

  22. gingermakes August 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm #

    What a great bag! It really looks like the perfect size! I’ve been thinking about switching to a small backpack for everyday use- I carry a shoulder bag, and it’s starting to annoy me to have the weight on one shoulder instead of two cause I have to carry so much crap!

    • LLADYBIRD August 14, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

      Yep, that was my reasoning too! Shoulder bags look cool until you fill them up and then they hurt your damn shoulder! You should totally make one – I bet you’d find the COOLEST fabric and it would just look awesome!

  23. Heather Myers August 12, 2016 at 10:22 pm #

    Another wonderful creation!

  24. Sharon Wilkinson August 13, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    I’ve followed your blog for a long time and have always been impressed by the things you make, whether knit, sewn, whatever. I’ve finally been prompted to comment by this gorgeous backpack. You are one very talented person.

    • LLADYBIRD August 14, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

      Aw, thank you so much!! β™₯

  25. oonaballoona August 14, 2016 at 8:30 am #

    that is cute as HELL, and i have no doubt it was a beast to sew. you’re a beast for making it. or an egyptian goddess, to-may-to to-mah-to.

  26. Sarah Jane August 14, 2016 at 9:40 am #

    Your back pack looks awesome and wow!!!! How exciting about your trip to Egypt in the new year! Sounds like it’ll be AMAZING!!!!

    • LLADYBIRD August 14, 2016 at 12:07 pm #

      Thank you! I am SO looking forward to it! πŸ˜€

  27. Mary August 14, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    Egypt is amazing. Also, don’t underestimate the heat. If I were to go back, I’d pack (all natural fibres) busy print voile tunics, and trousers. The busy print effectively disguises that it is slightly sheer. Many of the international schools of Egypt and the gulf region require female staff to wear tops/tees/tunics that cover the bum. Also might be a good idea to carry a lightweight scarf in your bag for quick cover.
    Swimwear… feel free to bring some, to use at the hotels. Stick to a boy-short/bike-short length bottom, and a top that doesn’t show any cleavage, or leave a gap at the waist.

    I took a friend to a market in the Middle East. She wore something that just left a slight gap in the mid-section if she squatted down to examine merchandise. This revealed the fact she was wearing a thong. After that, I made a point of standing behind her every time she got down…sigh. Men had noticed, we were being followed. It made me extremely uneasy. I told her I was done…and I really was. I don’t think she ever noticed the extra ‘attention’, but I sure did! So, I am not kidding about that gap business…..no gaps!!!

    Not sure I’d try to go fabric shopping in Egypt, but you absolutely must check out a perfume house or two. Arabic perfumes are oil based, and it is called ow-d. Awesome stuff.
    Also, ask your guide/hotel staff/whoever if he has a favourite ko-shair-ee place. That is misspelled so you can pronounce it. Karkedeh is the local favourite drink. Hibiscus juice, served hot or cold. Served everywhere, a must do. You can also buy the stuff dry from vendors. If you get the chance, go down a spice sellers street, or a spices and nuts shop…..those places smell divine.
    Scammers. Every country has them. If you see a child in old fashioned local costume on the side of the street, and take out your camera… they will try to charge you for this. If someone tries to get you to ‘just look’ at postcards…that is fine, if he holds them while you hold your backpack to your chest with both hands. If you hold those in your hands, he may consider them sold. Sigh.
    I went to Egypt quite a few years ago, so the scams may have changed a bit since then… but it isn’t all that complicated. If you don’t want something, but have made the mistake of touching it, put it down right where you are and walk away. Honestly, I enjoyed Egypt, it was interesting. We didn’t do a Nile cruise, we went a bit more local/authentic. Still, it is worth doing once.
    Not sure if you dive, but if you do, you can go see the chariot wheels the Egyptian army lost in the Red Sea while chasing the Israelites. I don’t dive personally, but there is footage on the exodus route, etc on YouTube.
    Oh, and nice backpack 😊
    Long rant over, hope it is helpful.

    • LLADYBIRD August 14, 2016 at 12:09 pm #

      This is very helpful, thank you so much for the advice!! β™₯

      Unfortunately, I will be traveling to the Egypt during the winter, so I think any sort of swimming or diving is out for this trip. On the flip side, it’ll make it easier to dress modestly without any real effort – it looks like the average temperatures are around 70F, which is COLD to me! So I’ll be in pants, long sleeves, no gaps or cleavage πŸ™‚ I definitely don’t want to draw any unnecessary attention to myself if I can help it!

  28. PsychicKathleen August 15, 2016 at 11:27 am #

    I just love your backpack! I just bought one that cost me a lot more than $50 – you can’t really compare yours to most of the packs out there – it’s a custom job made with really lovely quality fabrics and design features (like your little “hidden” pouch against your back which is GREAT! ) It is an inspiration – far above my grade for sure but it inspires me to keep learning and developing my skills πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD August 17, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

      Thank you! I am happy with how it turned out, and I enjoyed sewing it- so it’s $50 well spent as far as I’m concerned! I bet it’s not above your skill level – there wasn’t anything about the pattern that was difficult, just required some finesse to maneuver stuff around toward the end haha πŸ™‚

  29. Lauren August 23, 2016 at 10:33 pm #

    I rarely comment on blogs, but yours is the exception. I just had to comment and let you know that I was so inspired by your bag that I made my own! I straight up copied a bunch of your design features, too. πŸ˜‰ I always enjoy your blog, you are awesome!

    • LLADYBIRD August 24, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

      This makes me so happy!! I am always thrilled to hear when someone is inspired by whatever I’m doing – and flattered that you liked it enough to copy elements πŸ™‚ Yay! I would love to see how your bag turned out πŸ˜€

  30. Suzy September 19, 2016 at 6:18 am #

    I love that backpack! I’m thinking of adding that same secret pocket in the back because it is such a brilliant idea, but does the zipper pull dig into your back or catch on clothes?

    • LLADYBIRD September 19, 2016 at 9:21 am #

      The zipper pull doesn’t bother me at all (it’s very small, so it doesn’t dig and it hasn’t caught on anything), however, the back can be a little lumpy if I shove too much stuff in that pocket πŸ™‚ So I just try to keep it to really flat things that would be horrible to lose – cash, credit cards, passport, etc – not my entire lumpy wallet haha.

  31. Doja October 26, 2016 at 5:43 am #

    I’ve just had a look through your blog and you make so much! There’s a lot of variety in what you do and I admire that! But where do you find the time to make all these things? I can only manage about 2 things a month.
    The backpack is the cutest though! The colours are gorgeous – have fun wearing it about!

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  1. Completed: The Freedom Backpack | LLADYBIRD - December 12, 2016

    […] I already made a travel backpack. And in all honesty – a pretty nice one at that. It has been my little tag-along for every adventure I’ve gone on since finishing it, and I get a lot of compliments on it from strangers (and a lot of boggled minds when I reply with, “Thanks, I made it!” GREAT feeling, btw! ;)). […]

  2. 2016: A Year In Review | LLADYBIRD - December 31, 2016

    […] Rainbow Travel backpack I did a lot of traveling this year, and this lil’ guy was soo handy for that! Since making that pack, I made a much nicer/sturdier waxed canvas backpack (which I haven’t actually carried out into the world yet, so I can’t really review it for it’s usefulness!), which I’m also pumped about. I don’t normally like sewing bags, like, at ALL, but both of these projects were super enjoyable. […]

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