This blog post will cover the how I completed the most recent version of the backpack. I say the most recent version because I plan to make more versions comma most likely to more . which I will cover in the next blog post . I will explain how I took the previous version and altered the panel construction to fix some of the problems I saw, how I actually constructed the backpack and it will also show the results of version three.

One of the things I wanted to add to the next version the backpack was a laptop sleeve. I didn’t want to put the laptop sleeve inside of the backpack because I wanted to make it easy to access a laptop without having to open the main compartment . This meant putting the laptop sleeve on the outside of the backpack but still needing to keep it protected from rain and dirt and things like that. I also wanted to include a liner on the inside of the backpack so that it would hide the seam construction of the outside paneling . This would give the backpack a cleaner finish and also make it look more professional. I realized that the front mesh pocket of the second version was a little too small so I increased the length of it in, basically making it the same shape and size as the main/bottom portion of the front panel of the backpack.

The front of the backpack is made up of four pieces including the front mesh pocket . I took these dimensions and transfer them over to poster board and cut those out to make templates for all the panels. This made it so that I could cut all the fabric to the right dimensions multiple times and get it right every single time. Blow you can see in the photos how I transferred the sketch Dimensions to actual scaled templates .

All of the panels needed to construct the front of the backpack. The panel at the bottom was used for the front mesh pocket as well and had 6” radius corners added.

Example of how I transferred the panel sketch designs/dimensions to actual scaled panel templates/patterns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most complicated part of the pattern is definitely the panel that makes up the back sides and bottom of the backpack. The reason why it is the most complicated because it creates it is all one piece . This helps reduce waste and material and save time on construction. The way that it makes up the sides and bottom and back are that I pulled the inside Corners together and sew along the edge. This turns the 2D panel into a 3D construction making up four walls of the backpack. In order to make this panel I first constructed the basic shape and needed to be with the basic dimensions and then I use Autodesk to sure that the bottom corners were the right size and dimensions in order to fit the front pattern make sure that everything was the same length so that I did not have any overlap or any bunching when I sold the two main parts together. Below is a sketch of the basic pattern shape in to the right of that is a picture of the Autodesk drawing I used to get the bottom corner geometry correct.

Autodesk drawing used to create the right geometry for the back/sides/bottom panel

Basic shape and dimensions of the panel that provided the back, sides, and bottom of the backpack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The inside liner was probably the easiest part of the backpack . all I needed to do was calculate the total surface area of the backpack and then design a panel that would make up half of that total surface area. I’ve been woodcut two of these panels and sew them together along the sides and the bottom leaving the top open. The shape of the inside liner had to just be the basic shape of the backpack so it had to include the tapering and then I just assumed that when I pushed it inside of the backpack it would form to the inside shape. For the liner, I used the same material as the first version of the backpack. This is a much lighter material then the outside fabric but it also has a waterproof coating. This gives the backpack another layer of waterproof material which would help ensure that minimum oyster would leak into the backpack. The sketch below shows the basic dimensions of the liner pattern. I had to cut out two of these panels and sew them together to make the full liner.

Sketch of the internal liner and the dimensions that each piece needed to be.

 

The laptop sleeve is made up of two layers with a flat style lid . The sleeve has a layer of 3D spacer mesh (for padding) that is centered on top and has a piece of fabric running underneath that is the same material as the main outside material. This panel that runs underneath is the main part of of the laptop sleeve as it actually forms the pocket at the laptop slides into. Fabric folds around the 3D spacer mesh which helps keep the laptop sleeve fully waterproof and strong. The lid of the laptop sleeve is made up of two identically shaped pieces of waterproof fabric. it overlaps the opening of the laptop sleeve creating a closure and has magnets to ensure that the lid stays closed. the sketch below shows how a laptop sleeve is constructed and how the bottom layer of the sleeve wraps around a 3D spacer mesh .

Laptop sleeve paneling and construction sketches.

 

Below is a photo of all of the panels that I used to construct my backpack . there are 9 total different panels but for some of them I used multiples of the same panel shape. So the backpack is made up of 18 total panels This is not including the wedding or the cross grain ribbon that is used to clean the edges of some of the panels.

All of the panel templates that were used to construct the backpack.

 

The construction of the backpack is what took up a majority of my time. This makes sense because I wanted to have a clean and professional look and I was also teaching myself how to construct backpacks while I did it. I practiced a lot by making smaller pouches in testing out different construction methods using scrap material . I use the sewing machines that are available in the idea Forge any used a high-strength nylon based thread . The following photos give a basic explanation of how I constructed the backpack. Because I get so caught up in the construction while I’m doing it, I forget to take photos of every single step. These photos show some of the parts I found to be the most frustrating steps of the construction and ones that displayed the general methods I used to construct all the panels.

To cut out the material I laid the patterns that I made from poster board onto the fabric and used a rotary cutter to cut along the perimeter of the pattern so that I could get the same shape every single time. and then arranged to all of the panels in the way that they should be sewn together this helped me figure out a strategy for assembling the backpack panels. if I needed to hold two pieces of fabric together usually longer pieces of fabric I used clips to hold the pieces together which helped so them straight.

Cutting the fabric out using the templates

Arranging the front panel pieces

Arranging the back panel and laptop sleeve pieces

 

The most frustrating part of the construction had to be wrapping the cross grain ribbon around the edges of the shoulder straps. The ribbon was so tough and it did not like curl around the edges so I had some overlap when I sewed it together. I also had to use a lot of clips to keep the ribbon wrapped around the edge of the straps. I think I use somewhere around 25 Clips around the edge of the shoulder straps when I was sewing them together.

Using the clips to secure the ribbon around the edge of the shoulder straps

So. Many. Clips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basically I repeat this for all the different panels over and over again and then I have a backpack.

Overall I’m really happy with the result of this version . I really like the color I use for a majority of the backpack which is a very light green with a mixture of grey which is technically called foliage on the website I bought it from. The laptop sleeve actually works really well, the magnets are so strong that I can hold the backpack upside down without the lid coming undone. The increase size of the front pocket is really nice because I can fit more stuff in there like I could quickly roll up a jacket and stuff and in there . However I do lose smaller items down to the bottom and I think I would like to add in a strip of non mesh material at the bottom of it just to protect like the smaller things that are at the bottom from getting like dirty or wet or just being generally exposed to the ground when I set the backpack down. I realize that the ribbon I used to clean up the edges of the shoulder straps is too stiff to wrap around the rounded corners so I need to look into getting some better material for that. The shoulder straps are also way too far apart and it’s it kind of off my shoulders which makes me want to keep shrugging them back on and it’s just not very comfortable. The liner of the backpack looks awesome I really like the hexagonal pattern of the ripstop nylon I used for it and it just gives it a really nice clean finish on the inside to not looking at all of the scenes in the construction of the outside of the backpack. Below are some photos of the finished backpack  and there are some close-ups of the features that I like and some of the features that I need to improve upon.

View of the front

Side View

Unrolled front view

Back view

Close up of the laptop sleeve opening

Close up of the liner rip stop pattern.

Close up of the overlapping sections of the ribbon around the shoulder strap edges. I need to find less stiff ribbon to use for this.

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10 Comments. Leave new

  • I love how interested/involved you are in your project! Its cool to see how much time you’ve put into it with all the designs and prototypes, and that you want to take it further. Also, the back pack itself looks great. After a bit more work, I wouldn’t doubt that you could sell your project. If you do, I would include some variables: like size (big/small), color (bright/dark), shape (fitted to female/male bodies, etc.
    Additional cool ideas:
    – hard exterior sunglass case
    – (if you’re targeting commuters) rain hood
    – hidden zipper pockets
    – handle at the top
    – battery (for charger, bike light, etc.)

    Good job!!

    Reply
  • Nice work, it should be pretty fun to use a backpack that you created if you can get the straps to work. Did you find yourself learning a lot along the way about fabric types and sewing techniques or was most of the work in the design and pattern layout?

    Reply
  • Levi Caffes
    Ridhvik Gopal
    April 26, 2017 12:29 pm

    I really like the complex design of the backpack and its design influences. I am taken by the color scheme and the layout of the backpack. The Japanese aesthetic is still visible but has your signature on it, which is the point of the class! It was a great presentation and the iterative design process is very clear. Your project has a great story and hopefully will see further iterations of it in the future.

    Reply
  • Levi Caffes
    Cyron Completo
    April 26, 2017 12:28 pm

    I am thoroughly impressed by your end product! You have a talent for hand-crafted merchandise. I admire the hexagonal texture within the fabric of your backpack as well as the stitching work done to get the right angles of the backpack in place. The backpack seems more spacious upon looking into it than I thought! Great work.

    Reply
  • Levi Caffes
    Emma Hammerton
    April 26, 2017 12:22 pm

    I like the graphic depictions of how your design comes from your influences. It’s amazing that you were able to iterate designs up to your final product including creating a fully-functional prototype. The design of your back panel is really elaborate. I’m wondering why that piece had to be so much more complex — why not make the laptop sleeve internal? I really like the addition of the mesh — it seems well focused toward your design intent and resembles features of a traditional backpack. I also like the final colors you chose for your design. The colors alone remind me of those ancient samurai uniforms and they are very organic to the design. Some of the features you’ve included are really incredible considering the time frame. The addition of the magnetic closures is quirky and unique.

    Reply
  • Levi Caffes
    Gautham Govindarajan
    April 26, 2017 12:22 pm

    I really like the simplicity of your design and your attention to details. The fabric liner is feels great and the pattern looks really cool. How did you choose your color for the backpack? Do you have any particular reason for choosing the color you ended up with? Overall your backpack looks awesome!

    Reply
  • Levi Caffes
    Morgan Ulrich
    April 26, 2017 12:21 pm

    Great use of previous drawings to show how much you’ve obsessed over the YAYA. I appreciate that you mentioned how the final backpack differs from what you intended; it shows how dedicated you are in refining your product. The sewing template in addition to the pictures really helped explain the sewing process (a practical skill that can elude those who aren’t familiar). Clever use of the dynamic design challenge! Adaptability is important in backpacking, especially in lightweight backpacking. Just an idea, but maybe you could attach a spotlight on the sternum strap for night time biking! That could make you look like Iron Man. Good luck at Big Wonderful! So dope.

    Reply
  • The amount of sketches you created for this bag are incredible! Seeing the construction process step by step is really interesting, I know relatively nothing about sewing so I admire your knowledge and skill. The final product is incredible, it could easily be sold as a designer bag for hundreds of dollars. The laptop sleeve really adds to the functionality and I’m glad you could include it while still sticking to your aesthetic goals. The magnetic closures are a nice modern touch and are an excellent modern feature.

    Reply
  • Levi Caffes
    Siddharth Nigam
    April 26, 2017 12:21 pm

    It was evident that you were really passionate about the project! 69 sketches! Wow! I also liked that you made a few different prototypes. Actually constructing prototypes can be very helpful in the iterative design process.
    Your presentation was very neat. The graphics are neat and the pictures are very descriptive. I like that you pointed out the pros and cons of your design. It can be difficult to critically admit your own design but you showed great understanding of it.
    Great design, I would be interested in buying a later version (v4 or v5) of it once you iterate a couple more times! Maybe even consider doing it as a kickstarter project with an inbuilt external battery of high capacity (maybe around 20000 mAh).

    Reply
  • I like the mixture of traditional Japanese and modern aesthetics. It’s very impressive, I was looking for a tag on the bag cause I couldn’t believe that you made it! Where did you get all of the materials? The expandable storage is a nice feature. How many hours would you say you spent on sewing the whole project!? I bet you could sell some!

    Reply

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