This commission was for a close friend who is returning to Uni for her masters, & needed a ‘back to school’ bag to keep her sketchbooks and work safe in transit. The rucksack was designed with this in mind and is suitable to carry A3 folders and sketchbooks and keep them flat. The exterior stitching is all done by hand using waxed thread to avoid rain being wicked through the leather.
- The decorative stitching on the flap of the rucksack could be done on the machine, as it did not interfere with the structure of the bag itself. I used leather to bind the edges of the material to make it as durable as possible.
- The interior of the bag has a lined zip pocket dividing main contents of the bag. I used the exterior fabric as an echo inside, as the interior is otherwise very plain.
- It is so important for rucksack straps to be both comfortable and strong! I used nylon webbing along the core of the strap to bear the weight, and lined the leather strap with foam layers to make sure the weight was distributed comfortably on the shoulders.
- To avoid the feed teeth on the sewing machine marking the leather, I used a thin layer of tissue paper. It can be torn away from the stitches afterwards.
- To add extra strength to the point where the bag straps attached to the bag, I riveted through both layers of leather before stitching them on.
- The front pocket needed to be assembled and stitched onto the front leather panel using waxed thread. I measured & marked out the stitches before using an awl to do this.
- I re-used belt buckles to make the straps adjustable, and attached them directly to the bag for strength.