How to Sew a Lined Backpack Video Tutorial + pdf

When it comes to lining a bag, I do what I can to get away with it. Laziness drives me into thinking up new ways to do stuffs. Laziness is the mother of creativity. Said, umm … Yoda ?

In the free video tutorial below , you will learn :

  • how to sew a fully lined backpack by using the French seams method.
  • how to sew a front strap that acts as a handle, incorporates a front pocket, and also reinforces the bag’s bottom before turning into an adjustable strap holder !
  • how to sew criss cross bag strap in the style of Fjallraven Kanken classic school pack. Because the back straps are just so clever, out-of-the-box , worth learning !
  • how to install double zippers heads and using zippers by the yard.
  • and how to sew pockets. Lots of them.

This backpack has many pattern pieces, but if you look at the measurements it is really easy to cut. The bag top, sides, and side pockets are of the same width, so just cut out a long strip of that width and chop them into pieces. The bag’s front, bottom, and back are all in one piece. Simple, right ?

I also created a pdf download option. It’s like a blueprint with all the measurements and instructions at a tiny fee. This will help cover some of the cost in creating the tutorials. I was looking into Patreon ( membership subscription site ) , but I like it simple. You get to choose which project you want to support. Also, you can make the bag without downloading anything, it’s fine , I’m all for free learning !

Here’s a little preview.  It’s a 10 page pdf, in Japanese sewing instruction style !


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And now onto the sewing notes ! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment below !

  • This backpack is made with 12 oz cotton canvas , lining is a thin polyester fabric in white. Finished size is about 33 cm x 25.5 cm with a bag depth of 9 cm. The front pocket is large enough to fit A5 size notebooks ; side pockets: pens, glasses, cellphones.
  • There is a 2 cm seam allowance included in the pattern. When sewing the French seams, switch to the zipper foot and go slowly as some areas have several layers. Trim off corners of pockets to make the seams less bulky.
  • When sewing the straps, start sewing 5 cm distance from the top. Since we will have to flip the bag inside out , we don’t want the straps to be in the way. You can use a wider strap, just leave enough space from the sides so that the straps won’t get in the way when you finish the seams.
  • I use zippers bought by the yard and find matching color zipper heads. The size should be #5 or above for making backpacks. #5 means the zipper teeth when zipped up measures 5 mm. Also make sure your zipper heads are the same size. I did some research on Amazon ( affiliates links ) and found these. You can use use metal zippers, color zippers, or fancy zipper heads to customize your bag :


  • When installing the zipper heads, make sure you made a clean cut on the zipper tape. Sometimes you need to pull them out if there are bulges when zipped.
  • Use the zipper foot to sew the stitch line that locks the 2 D-rings in place. Stitch as near as possible to the base.

lined backpack