Why We Like It
Designed by Annie of By Annie, the Out and About backpack is compact, sturdy, full of pockets, and just has a nice shape to it.
Sure, it would be great for any kid who goes to school, but it's also good for adults who want a small-ish backpack to keep essentials comfortably placed on their back during a long walk. Sometimes you just don't want to lug around a heavy tote bag on your shoulder, you know?
The pack itself is just one size, and you can choose between two different shoulder straps lengths: one for kids and one for adults. There are lots of opportunities for customizing this knapsack: change up the fabric choices, the quilting design, and the zipper colors; or omit some pockets or the fabric border on the front pocket.
It’s a VERY functional project design, with well thought-out and tested instructions. Yes, there are a lot of steps in this pattern, but that comes along with making a project with lots of features. Just follow each step one-by-one, and you'll do fine. This bag takes awhile to make, but it's worth it for a completely unique bag.
We love that the fabric requirements are simple, and our solid bundles and yardage work great.
Tips + Tutorials
- First, shop for the Out and About pattern and supplies you need at Sewfinity.
- Second, watch the Add-on Video that you get with the pattern. Watching Annie actually make the bag will give you a confidence boost for when you start sewing, and the pattern steps won't be foreign to you later on.
- Then, read the entire pattern.
- Use Soft and Stable [Amazon]. You may be tempted to substitute another product, but don't. Just trust me. Nothing supports like Soft and Stable. It's what gives this backpack structure, allowing it to stand upright. When you get it out of the package, you may worry that the folded creases may be set in, but a quick steam iron on a polyester heat setting gets the creases out as if they were never there. I was so surprised by that!
- Zippers by the Yard: Angela's helpful video on attaching zipper pulls
- Binding: Annie's helpful video on how to sew binding on the raw edges
Inspiration + Ideas
Get inspired by other sewists' projects! Check out #ByAnnieOutAndAbout on Instagram/Facebook and follow our Out And About Pinterest board where we’ll pin our favorites. Are you making one with all solids? Grab the Out and About Sewing Pattern, pick out your fabric, sew up the quilt, and tag us @sewfinity on social media so we can see!