Willow & Co SS15 collection:London Backpack


I love taking part in blog tours. I find watching the different sewing patterns interpretations and the connections with other makers really energising creatively. When Willow & Co invited me to join SS2015 patterns blog tour they didn’t need much persuasion. I was given a choice to sew  a garment for myself, a little girl or a bag.


Since my handmade closet is bursting and I conscientiously been looking to improve my sewing skills in other areas, some sewing time was allocated in making the London Backpack*. The pattern is described as a medium sized bag with two zipper pockets – a large outer pocket as well as a smaller inner pocket, adjustable straps, and it closes with a drawstring and magnetic snap.


Is funny how specialise we became and even when skills are transferable, it is easy to be less confident when sewing something outside your expertise, don’t you think?


I have only made a few bags, cooper being my favourite, so having instructions so detailed gave me confidence to start. I won’t lie, there was times I was confused mainly because it’s like adjusting to a different working methodology. Interpreting the instructions from what was new to me techniques and what I already knew in a different context. There are a lot of instructions pages.


When patterns pieces have long names I prefer they are given a letter for easy referencing. As this pattern didn’t and with so many  pieces all so similarly shaped I had to label them all. My favourite method  for labelling is to use surgical tape. You can write on top, peels off easily without residue. Another advantage is that can be used on paper without ripping. I use for my pattern adjustments until i’m happy with the changes and copy the final pattern.


This pattern has been fun and challenging in a enjoyable way. My little bag is no way perfect alas perfectly matched with my picnic setup.


The picnic rug was a pattern that I created specially for Crafty Magazine. They provided the fabric which is adorable but terrible to photograph, loosing the impact of any design that required distance. That’s a clear example when a fabric does’t fit the brief. Looks great in person and at close range but unless shooting in a professional environment where light can be manipulated, it looks washed out. Continuing about the backpack the lining is 100% cotton from my quilting stash.


The back  of the picnic rug is oilcloth. Very modern and cool lime green cow print. Weird combo though. I worked hard and loved the result. It almost killed my machine quilting so many layers of thick canvas, wadding and oilcloth.


This rug project created loads of scraps mainly triangles and they became instant bunting. Now I can take my pillow & snacks for my afternoons of sun worshipping in a cute matching bag.(Ps: Sunscreen too)

willowandcopatternslondonbackpackvintagepicnicrug13I’m usually a very organised sewists. I collect all the materials and place them in a bag ready for sewing. However I have no idea how I lost the magnets and adjustable strap rings. The shops where closed and I didn’t want to stop making the bag, so yeah. It’s a little ‘handicap’. I still can put over my shoulders but I’m planning adjustments after the wedding.


I love using “power” tools, so imagine my happiness that with this pattern could use a hammer. Eyelets aren’t too different from snaps (see for yourself). The main diferences are: you must make a hole first and apply a bit more force.


Thank you Hayley, Olga, Rebecca, Vanessa, and Elizabeth for gifting me with the London Packpack pattern and inviting me to make something from the new collection.*All views are my own. Pattern gifted. 

In case you haven’t seen it, this is handmade dress I’m wearing.

  • the rug, the dress, and the bag…………. you’ve been busy, they are all gorgeous

  • So gorgeous! A perfect set up to show off the bag! I love it all. Thank you for joining the tour!

    • Than you for having me, so many cute patterns I wanted the time to sew it all.

  • Love that bag. Keep meaning to make one. This is perfect inspriation x

    • Thank you Janene, bags are really fun.

  • Rachel this is perfect! I absolutely love the fabric choices. Thanks for joining us on the tour!