jrprottas

Small Backpack Pattern

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Hello everybody - Brand new to leatherworking but have experience in woodworking, silversmithing, etc.. Initial tool/leather order hasn't arrived yet. 

  I'm interested in making a small single strap sling bag. Can anyone suggest a pattern resource?  Something I could use as a starting place and modify. Most good leatherworkers seem to make their own.

I plan to use 5-6 oz leather, 7 stitches per inch, #9 copper rivets.  What's the best thread for a project like this?  What size hole punch will I need for #9 rivets?

I realize this is an advanced starting project but am prepared to go very  slowly and solicit all the help I can get.

Due to my total lack of working experience, I'm having trouble translating backpack/sling bag elements that I like in photos, to a 2d pattern drawing.  Taking a lead from SM I love the shape of this Thin-Front backpack in a smaller version without gusseted pockets, but cant grasp how it would layout on paper. Any help conceptualizing this would be totally appreciated. 

Thanks to all in advance, Jeff

saddleback-thin-front-pocket-backpack-07.jpg

saddleback-thin-front-pocket-backpack-05a-1.jpg

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Tony the pattern King

Just leave off the copper embellishments if you don't want them.

This one could easily be converted to a small backpack.  But he does have other backpack patterns

There is also a video tutorial for this pattern

https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/696402553/sling-bag-pattern-leather-diy-pdf?ref=shop_home_active_3&pro=1

Edited by Chain
added info

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16 hours ago, jrprottas said:

 but cant grasp how it would layout on paper.

This is foundational for leathercrafting, so with a little effort you should be able to figure it out.

16 hours ago, jrprottas said:

Any help conceptualizing this would be totally appreciated. 

You might start out by going to a thrift store and purchasing a cheap handbag, then taking it apart to see how all the pieces fit. Take measurements before and after, to get a senst of proportions and seam allowances. That might help you to get a sense of what makes up the shape of that handbag.

What is challenging (as least for me) is how "big" something really is. The sling bag pattern is pretty easy for an experienced leather worker to visualize, but is the work really begins when creating the exact pattern, with the proportions that you want. The various parts have to fit together (length, width, height), so, for example, the back/flap piece has to wrap around the body of the bag, and end up creating a the look you are after. The body has to fit just right so that the volume of the bag makes sense to the user.

I have picked up various books on handbag construction, some at the local Joanne's Fabrics and Crafts, and others from Amazon. There must be many U-Tube videos on the subject, and I'm sure some Google pattern-making searches will bring you fruitful results.  

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6 hours ago, LatigoAmigo said:

This is foundational for leathercrafting, so with a little effort you should be able to figure it out.

You might start out by going to a thrift store and purchasing a cheap handbag, then taking it apart to see how all the pieces fit. Take measurements before and after, to get a senst of proportions and seam allowances. That might help you to get a sense of what makes up the shape of that handbag.

What is challenging (as least for me) is how "big" something really is. The sling bag pattern is pretty easy for an experienced leather worker to visualize, but is the work really begins when creating the exact pattern, with the proportions that you want. The various parts have to fit together (length, width, height), so, for example, the back/flap piece has to wrap around the body of the bag, and end up creating a the look you are after. The body has to fit just right so that the volume of the bag makes sense to the user.

I have picked up various books on handbag construction, some at the local Joanne's Fabrics and Crafts, and others from Amazon. There must be many U-Tube videos on the subject, and I'm sure some Google pattern-making searches will bring you fruitful results.  

LatigoAmigo, I totally agree with your input.  I think there are some folks that just "get it" and can look at a piece and recreate it with little trouble.  Then there are others that need a template for even the most basic things.  I have a daughter that can look at something and draw it perfectly, so perfectly that it looks like she Xeroxed it.  My wife can't even draw stick people.

Your idea about deconstructing and existing bag is a good one.  A lot can be learned that way.

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Thanks so much for both comments so far. Both are keeping me thinking. Who wouldnt want copper plumbing parts built into their backpack?

I'll definately followup with ton

I've watched countless videos and have a photo gallery of a hundred backpacks, tote bags and attaches with elements I like. I understand the simple square bottom design and bag shapes with exposed edges (generally in heavier weight leathers) and the inside-out bag construction and simpler designs with acrylic templates.

In the above bag that I pictured I cant figure out how the front interfaces with the half moon bottom. Would this require 'darts' in the front/sides? to round it out?  If so, I wouldnt know where to start with the math.   SM claims the entire bag is constructed from two pieces of leather. Unfortunately, this is one of my favorite bag shapes because it's not so square.  Sadly, I dont have $500 to buy it and de-construct it.

Keep the ideas and resources coming. What a great community!!

 

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1 hour ago, jrprottas said:

Keep the ideas and resources coming.

Apparently you are not the only person who loves this bag. I found the source of the photos you've posted, and they include a very telling photo of the inside of the bag. If you haven't seen this series of images, you should find them very revealing.

https://the-gadgeteer.com/2017/07/26/saddleback-leather-thin-front-pocket-backpack-review/

saddleback-thin-front-pocket-backpack-11.jpg

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The best way is to buy some reasonably stiff card from a stationers shop and cut and glue the card until you have the size and shape you require, then take apart and use as a template

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10 hours ago, LatigoAmigo said:

Apparently you are not the only person who loves this bag. I found the source of the photos you've posted, and they include a very telling photo of the inside of the bag. If you haven't seen this series of images, you should find them very revealing.

https://the-gadgeteer.com/2017/07/26/saddleback-leather-thin-front-pocket-backpack-review/

saddleback-thin-front-pocket-backpack-11.jpg

very helpful (I think).  So this is what I dont understand.  There must be darts or wedge-shaped pieces taken off the front panel to match-up with the crescent shaped bottom.  How would one calculate that?  I'm stumped as suggested by the unfinished second photo

20190410_164225.jpg

20190410_181417.jpg

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I know I don't have much of an iron to put in the fire with less than a year experience but take it for what its worth. 

My vote would be with the patterns from the 2nd post. Buy a pattern to start with and progress from there. 

I'm a pretty good DIY'er having made all sorts of things out of wood and a lot of other materials. Leather was and still is a challenge for me, which is probably why I enjoy it so much. 

How I layout, cut, stitch, finish, tools... Everything has changed from 7-8 months ago when I started.

When I first started I made a few card holders and thought they were pretty simple and moved on. I recently came back and made a few more and what a difference time / practice makes and how you learn to change the order or your techniques. 

Regardless what you decide I wish you the best of luck. 

 

As a side note I may try to make this one myself over the next few weekends..

https://www.etsy.com/listing/616382604/backpack-pattern-leather-diy-pdf?ref=shop_home_active_31&pro=1

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52 minutes ago, BentleyLeather said:

As a side note I may try to make this one myself over the next few weekends..

https://www.etsy.com/listing/616382604/backpack-pattern-leather-diy-pdf?ref=shop_home_active_31&pro=1

I an a learner myself and I found those patterns to be great even for a learner.  I made that backpack and it turned out pretty food if I say so myself.

Video tutorial for it here   

 

backpack-1-0.thumb.jpg.fb885803c7a47b4f4e51a616bc75f11a.jpgbackpack-1-3.thumb.jpg.39ca4f8f42efdd118af5af15497929df.jpg

 

 

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4 hours ago, jrprottas said:

There must be darts or wedge-shaped pieces taken off the front panel to match-up with the crescent shaped bottom.  How would one calculate that?  I'm stumped as suggested by the unfinished second photo

There are darts, and the piece might look something like this...

Small Back Pack Front.jpg

Edited by LatigoAmigo

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6 hours ago, jrprottas said:

20190410_181417.jpg

And this is what the back (to that front) might look like... 

This image doesn't look like it will match up to the front piece (because these are slightly different resolution JPEGs, but if you'd like I can post PDFs of these parts so you can print them out and see how close they match up. This design is still in the rough stage, and may need to tweaking, so please keep that in mind.

BackPak Bag Body 3.jpg

Edited by LatigoAmigo

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1 hour ago, LatigoAmigo said:

This design is still in the rough stage, and may need to tweaking.

...and here it is. I hadn't compensated for any volume inside the bag (sorry that my poor pea brain works this way, only one step at a time), so here is a revised front.

Small Back Pack Front Revised.jpg

Edited by LatigoAmigo

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Hey LatigoAmigo.  WOW! I'm blown away! It would have taken me $300 worth of watercolor paper to come up with anything close to this!  The SM TFPB is 11" W x 15" H x 5" D.  I'm looking for a smaller dimension of the bag body: 8" x 12.5" x 4" and probably lose the gusseted side pockets in favor of two slip pockets on each side. As mentioned above, I want this to be a single, wide back-strap sling bag. My plan is to use Horween Dublin Tan with a sheepskin backside and strap.

Would a PDF be easily scalable to my desired dimensions?  

I see you're located in Santa Rosa and I live in Indio. Do you have a shop?  

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3 hours ago, jrprottas said:

Would a PDF be easily scalable to my desired dimensions?  

Here are PDFs for the two pieces we've discussed, to your dimensions, so you can see what they might look like. I always have to make a prototype and sew it together before I cut any leather, as there always seems to be some necessary adjustments. This may or may not be exactly what you are looking for, but it has been fun for me to go through the exercise with you.

 

3 hours ago, jrprottas said:

Do you have a shop?

I do, a Tuff Shed in the backyard, but I don't this to sell things, I just like designing.

Small Backpack BackBottomFlap.pdf

Small Backpack Front.pdf

Edited by LatigoAmigo

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hey again. I got the back to print in actual size vis portrait on 8 2/2 x 11 paper but the front pdf is just the bottom section and in a different scale. am I doing something wrong?

thanks again

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2 hours ago, jrprottas said:

in actual size

The actual size is much larger than a standard sheet of paper. In order to print it in actual size, you will need to "tile" it, which will print the image onto many sheets of standard (8 1/2 x 11) paper that you can tape or staple together, or better yet, you can have it printed on large format paper at a place like Kinko's. When you open the file, drag your cursor to the lower left of the image, and Acrobat will display the image size so you can see what to expect.

Edited by LatigoAmigo

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I would suggest the front panel with the two darts , might be better with small circular punch holes at the "V" top (say 1mm dia)  to stop any possible splitting in the long term, probably not needed but just a safety measure

Edited by chrisash

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Thanks.Are you suggesting round sewing holes rather than using my pricking iron with diamond shaped holes? 

 My next step is to buy a yard of pleather and build a prototype. Hoping that assembling this will give me an idea for some well placed rivets. 

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No the stitching stays the same, it's just the top of the V the sharp point can on occasions tear, but if you just punch the tip with a punch so it becomes a circular cut it normally stops any tearing tendancy hense the very small punch size

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I understand. I'll do that.  Thanks for your input.

Thanks.Are you suggesting round sewing holes rather than using my pricking iron with diamond shaped holes? 

 My next step is to buy a yard of pleather and build a prototype. Hoping that assembling this will give me an idea for some well placed rivets. 

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Pricking irons would be fine

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