How to Make a Fold Top Backpack

How to Make a fold Top Backpack

How to make a fold top backpack

I purchased this fabric at JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores and wasn’t really sure what I was going to make with it.  Then decided the perfect idea was this fold top backpack.  I used some remnants that I had on hand to complete the look and I am very pleased with how it all turned out. This pattern came from Sewing Times YouTube Channel. It is a little complicated as there are a lot of steps but it is a simple project that is fun and functional.  If you can sew a straight stitch you can complete this project you just need to be patient with the steps. I have attached the YouTube video at the bottom of the tutorial if you would like o watch it as well.  

As I stated I used remnants that I had on hand and fabric that I purchased from JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores.  I used canvas on the bottom and the rest is quilting cotton. I also used Pellon 808 Craft Fuse to provide structure for my backpack.  Instead of using craft fuse you could use a heavier weight fabric like decorator weight or canvas but I was set on using the fabric I purchased and it needed structure.  You could head to Hobby Lobby or Fabric.com to get the perfect fabric for your fold top backpack if you want.  This post contains affiliate links that if you click on them and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  

What you will Need:  How to Make a fold Top Backpack

  • 1/2 yd outer fabric
  • 3/4 yd lining fabric
  • 1/4 yd contrasting canvas. 
  • 1/2 yd Pellon 808 Interfacing or similar
  • 3 yds  1″ webbing. I used two different colors.
  • 2 1″ swivel clips
  • 2 1 ” D-Rings
  • 2  1″ Strap adjusters 
  • 1 8″ zipper shortened to 7 7/8″
  • 1 12″ zipper shortened to 11 7/8″
How to make a Fold top Backpack
What you will Need Backpack

Step 1: Cut your Fabrics

From the main outer fabric and interfacing cut a piece that measures 14″×14⅝″ and two pieces that measure 1 1/8″ x 1 1/2″.  Cut 2 lining pieces that measure 14″×19¼″, two pieces that measure 2″ x 9 7/8″ and two pieces that measure 1 1/8″ x 1 1/2″.   Cut one accent pieces of 14″×10¼″ and one accent piece that measures 6¾″×10¼″. 

Step 2: fuse the interfacing

Fuse the interfacing to the main outer fabric pieces.  

Fuse the interfacing

Step 3: Create Side Zipper Placket for your fold top backpack

Draw a box in the center of the 2″ x 9 7/8″ lining piece that measures 1/2″ x 8″.  I used a Frixion heat erasable pen for this but you could use a pencil if you like.  I like these pens because they really show up on my fabric and they erase immediately when pressed with a hot iron.  If you don’t have any of these you can get them in my Amazon shop here.  After you have drawn the box draw two small triangles at each end and connect them with a straight line as shown.  

Draw box for zipper

Go to your right side of the outer fabric and measure down the right side long edge 5 1/8″ and over 1″ and make a mark using your Frixion pen or some other erasable marker.  Place zipper placard on the outer fabric right sides together by placing the top right corner of the rectangle you drew inside the box of the placard on the mark you just made on the outer fabric and pin.  Next, go to the left side of the right side of the lining fabric and place the other zipper placard matching the top left inside corner.  Stitch all the way around the boxes you drew.  Cut the center line of the rectangle between the two triangles inside the boxes and the legs of the triangles to create an opening.  Turn the placard fabric to the wrong side and press.  

Make mark for zipper placard
Add placard
Add the placard to the lining
Create the opening

Step 4: Add the zipper to your fold top backpack

Place the 8″ zipper inside the opening of the outer fabric from the wrong side and stitch the zipper in place. 

Add the zipper

Step 5: Create the outer pocket

Take the accent piece that measures 6¾″×10¼″ and fold it in half right sides together.  This is the pocket piece.  Stitch two lines of stitching along the folded edge.  

Create pocket

Step 6: Add the outer pocket

Place the outer pocket at the bottom of the outer fabric in the center.  Cut two pieces of webbing that measure 7″ and place them on either side of the pocket to cover the raw edges.  Stitch along both sides of the webbing from the top of the pocket to the bottom of the pocket.  

Add pocket to outer piece

Step 7: Add the D-Rings

Add the D-Rings to the top of the pocket piece using the excess webbing.  Fold the webbing through the D-Ring and underneath.  Using a zig-zag stitch sew the webbing to the outer fabric securing the D-Ring.  

Add the D-Rings

Step 8: Add Webbing to the back of the Bag

Take the other outer piece of fabric.  Cut pieces of webbing that measure 14″ and 9 7/8″.  Measure down from the top of the back fabric piece 4 3/8″ and center and make a mark. Take the 9 7/8″ piece and fold into a curve.  Place the ends so that they straddle the mark and are 3 1/8″ apart.  Pin.  This is the handle.  Cut two 6 1/4″ pieces of webbing.  Add the Swivel clips to these webbing pieces by folding the webbing through the bar.  Place the webbing pieces with the swivel clips next to the handle piece with the swivel clips facing up and pin.  Using a zig-zag stitch stitch the webbing pieces in place at the bottoms.  

Add strapping

Cut two additional pieces of webbing measuring 35 1/2″ each.  Place one end of each of those pieces between the handle and swivel clip webbing on each side.  Stitch using a zig-zag stitch.  Place the 14″ piece of webbing across the back of the fabric piece covering the raw edges of the webbing and stitch on both sides securing the webbing to the outer fabric. 

Add the straps
Add the cross piece

Step 9: Create the zipper Tabs

Using the 1 1/8″ x 1 1/2″ pieces of outer and lining fabric sandwich each end of the 12″ zipper right sides together and pin.  Stitch the tabs in place.  Turn the tabs to the right sides. 

Add the zipper tabs

Step 10: Add the Zipper

Place the front lining fabric piece right sides up on your work surface.  Place the zipper right sides up on the lining piece and the front outer piece right sides down on the zipper making a zipper sandwich.  Make sure that the 8″ zipper lining opening and the zipper are lined up.  Stitch the top zipper through all layers.  Turn right sides out. Place the other lining piece right sides up on your work surface.  Lay the other side of the zipper right sides up on the lining and the back outer piece right sides down on the zipper.  Stitch the zipper.  Turn right sides out.  Press and top stitch on both sides of the zipper.  Leave the zipper 1/2 way open.  This is important.  

Place the zipper on lining
Place the outer piece on the zipper and lining

Step 11: Cut corners from the lining

Cut 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ squares from the four corners of the lining.  Stitch the bottom of the lining using a 3/8″ seam allowance.  

Stitch the bottom of the lining

Step 12: add the accent fabric to your fold top backpack

Take the 14″×10¼″ piece of canvas and fold it in half lengthwise and press.  Cut 1 1/2 x 1 1/2″ squares from the folded edge corners.  With right sides together place the outer fabric and the accent fabric together on both sides and stitch using a 3/8″ seam allowance.  Turn right sides out and top stitch along the seam on the canvas side of the seam.  

Cut the corners from the accent piece
Add the accent piece to the outer piece

Step 13: Add the Sliders

Cut 2″ off the ends of each of the long webbing straps.  Insert the webbing into the bottom rung of each strap adjuster and fold.  Place the webbing with the adjuster just below the seam of the canvas and outer fabric on each side.  Stitch using a zig-zag stitch.  Insert the long end of the strap into the adjuster and around the bar per the manufacturers instructions.  Fold the raw edge under and stitch using a zig-zag stitch to secure.  

Add the sliders
Add the straps to the sliders

Step 14: Stitch the Sides

Turn the bag wrong sides out.  Match the lining pieces right sides together and the outer pieces right sides together. Make sure the top seams match up and clip together.  Clip the side of the lining and the outer bag.  Stitch one straight line from the corner  of the lining to the corner of the outer fabric.  Repeat for the other side. 

Stitch the sides

Step 15: Box the corners

Box the outer corners and the lining corners.  To do this, pinch the bottom and side seams together to form a straight line.  Stitch across the lines using a 3/8″ seam allowance.  

Step 16: Finish the bag

Turn the bag right sides out through the opening for the zipper you created in the lining and the open zipper at the top.   Push the lining into the bag and then turn the bag wrong sides out. Hand stitch the side lining opening to the side zipper. Turn the bag right sides out.  Fold the top over and connect the swivel clip to the D-Rings and you have finished your fold over backpack.   

Turn the bag
Hand stitch the zipper
How to Make a Fold Over Backpack
Finished Backpack

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How to make a fold top backpack

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