Saturday, July 19, 2014

Retro Rucksack

Today is my turn to show you my Retro Rucksack. I've had a wonderful time looking at everyone's version of the bag and even more so, the amazing photos taken by all the bloggers.

For those of you that are new to my blog, I'm a bag tester for several wonderful bag designers and find it very hard if not impossible to reject a test pattern.  I didn't test this one but was delighted when Sara of Radiant Home Studio got in touch with me and asked if I'd like to make the Retro Rucksack as part of a blog tour.

I've made loads of bags in the past but what I especially liked about this one was that it could be used as a shoulder bag or a backpack and the transformation is so easy. You don't have to unclip the straps to change it over you just pull the strap through the top rings and it's done.

Such a clever design.

For my bag I used an upholstery fabric for the main part of the bag with pleather for the bottom half and straps.

 When opened up it has loads of room.

Because of the fabrics I was using I had to modify the bottom tabs shown below. In the pattern they were folded in half and tucked between the pleather and upholstery fabric and the layers were just too many, ten to be exact. My machine would have sewn them because I have a heavy duty industrial machine but it would have looked bulky so I cut the tabs shorter and sewed the underside so only one layer was being tucked into the bag. Does that make sense? LOLL Now you see why I test and don't design. It's not easy giving instructions on how to make something LOLL

The bag has this lovely deep zipper gusset to keep everything secure and safe.

And inside there is another large slip pocket on one side and a zipper pocket on the other. You might notice a red tab on the end of the zipper. This wasn't in the pattern but I added it to both ends of the zip to have something to hold onto when opening it up. The last batch of zips I bought were a bit stiff.

Sara's pattern has well written instructions and photos and if you'd like to make one you can buy the pattern HERE.

I want to say a big thank you to Sara Curtis for asking me to join in on this blog tour. It was fun making the bag and even more fun seeing all the other bags on the tour HERE. It's amazing how one bag can look so different.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~


  1. Another awesome bag that looks absolutely perfect!!! Well Done!!

  2. I love the zipper tab! That is such a great idea and I don't think I've ever seen that addition on a pattern. I might be using that one in the future. I also like how you have pieced the straps together so neatly. Thanks for participating!

  3. Love it, Maria. Gives the bag a great sturdy look with the faux leather.

  4. know i love the colors !!!
    Fabulous as always!!!
    Love it !!!

  5. Wow Maria!!! This is a really fabulous bag with an amazing pattern! Love all about it!
    Have a fabulous day!
    Hugs from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft

  6. That bag looks great Mia! And you did it in RED!! That is even more surprising to see you make it in a bright colour. Is it for you?
    I can see how this bag would get lots of use.
    Love the way it converts.
    Is it a nuisance getting into it with two clips to undo?

  7. Great looking bag and I love the color combo of red and brown Maria! I could have used a bag like this on my recent trip. Great idea about the tabs on the inside zippers. I always have trouble grabbing onto something to unzip the inside zips, even with my zipper pulls that I add, it only addresses half the problem. Plus makes sense when you and me too add the tabs to both sides of the main recessed zipper. I will definitely be trying this on my next bag with a zip pocket. I also need to give pleather a try one day too, but will wait until I make a bag I really love and want to make a second one in pleather. I would rather make any mistakes on cotton fabric first, lol!!!!

  8. I like your version - that red fabric is really nice - it looks like a high quality denim (very sturdy), but in a yummy colour!

  9. Great job Maria. They look fantastic. Hope to see your brand one day here in Australia.

    1. Hi Erica, what a nice surprise to see you here. Thanks for stopping by and I'll be in touch straight away.

  10. Great colors. Great construction. Great alterations (and explanations why) of the pattern to make it work for your fabrics and sticky zips. I think your version is my favorite. ~ Carey


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