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    DIY anime style backpack

    Pause for a moment and consider: how many pairs of jeans are there in your wardrobe and how many of those you haven’t put on for ages? A pair of jeans that is not fashionable anymore or the one you're bored with can be given a new life with just a trifle of effort. Uncover your sewing and embroidery machine! Let’s create an anime style backpack for you or one of your friends. Read this tutorial to learn how. Are you with us?

    DIY anime style backpack. Materials

    • A pair of jeans
    • Lining fabric
    • Zipper
    • Bias binding (4 cm wide)
    • Padding fabric
    • Machine embroidery design
    • Sewing and embroidery machine
    • Machine embroidery threads

    DIY anime style backpack. Embroidery

    For this tutorial, I used a design already embroidered on a piece of white cotton fabric. You may do the embroidery right on the fabric you’ve chosen for your backpack if you want.

    An anime girl embroidery

    The embroidery itself is easy. Attach a piece of tearaway adhesive stabilizer of appropriate weight to the wrong side of your fabric and hoop the whole thing.

    Load the design into the embroidery machine and attach the hoop. Hit the start button and do the embroidery, changing colors in accordance with the color chart that comes with your design.

    Color chart

    Anime girl being embroidered

    Girl with cyan hair embroidery

    DIY anime style backpack. Sewing

    Out of the legs of your jeans, cut two rectangular pieces. You can make them any size you like; I used a pair of sneakers and a zipper as a reference. The resulting panels measured 40 x 30 cm.

    Place a zipper between the two denim pieces and join them with straight lines of stitches. Use a standard zipper foot.

    Standard zipper foot

    Two pieces of denim with zipper between

    Now the front panel is ready. Check the measurements by placing your item of reference (sports shoes in my case) on top of it. Round the edges using a French curve or a soup bowl of a suitable diameter. Cut the identical panel for the back side of the backpack.

    Measuring the panels of the denim bag

    Rounding edges with the help of soup bowl

    Now you can cut the panels out of the padding and the lining fabrics. Place the back panel on top of the padding piece and draw the stitching pattern (diagonal squares in our case).

    Halves of the denim bag's front panel

    Back panel of the backpack with lining

    Back panel of the backpack with padding

    Attach the walking foot and stitch along the traced lines.

    Padding fabric stitched to denim

    Stitching pattern on denim panel

    DIY anime style backpack. Appliqué

    Out of the embroidered piece, cut the design, leaving 2 cm allowance along the perimeter. 

    Secure it of one of the two halves of the front panel. You can pin it or use a glue pencil or temporary spray adhesive. 

    Girl with cyan hair being cut out

    Girl with cyan hair design on denim

    Choose the threads to match the color of your fabric. I picked the ones I used while embroidering the design: cyan for the hair, mauve for the skirt, etc. Straight stitch along the perimeter (stitch length 2, the needle in the center position). Trim the extra material close to the stitching line.

    Trimming edges of the design

    Embroidery design being stitched to denim

    Secure the embroidered panel with a zigzag stitch (the needle in the center position). Many computerized sewing machines with a speed regulator have an option of smooth zigzag width adjustment. Use the manual that comes with your equipment to learn what it’s capable of.  

    Almost ready back panel

    Embroidery design on denim

    Denim panel with padding

    Stitch the lining to the front panel along the zipper tape; after that, secure the lining along the edges. Sew the lining to the back panel close to the edge. 

    Denim panels with lining

    Stitches of fabric sewn together

    Cut the denim leftovers to strips 7 cm wide for the side panels. Stitch together the short sides of the strips to make one long piece. Place this piece on top of the padding fabric and join it with the piece of lining. Join them with parallel straight lines of stitches. 

    Denim strips

    Denim strips joined into a long strap

    Trim the projecting edges of the padding and the lining fabrics. Fold the long side piece in two and find its center. Join the center of the long piece to the top of the backpack and baste the panels, leaving allowance on the right side. Having reached the center on the bottom side, mark the crossline and cut the extra material, leaving 1 cm for seam allowance. Sew the piece in the center and baste it to another panel of the backpack. Prepare a rectangular piece of fabric for the strap. Baste the hanger to the back side.  

    Front panel of the denim bag

    Bottom of denim bag with embroidery

    Bottom panel of the denim bag

    Straight stitch through all layers. Trim the edges and finish them with the bias binding. Read about different ways of attaching the binding here: 

    Stitching denim backpack

    Anime style backpack with embroidery

    Original text by Irina Lisitsa

    Visit our store for oriental embroidery designs

    Edited by Irina

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