Monday, September 12, 2011

Mr. Penguin is Ready....

...for his trip to Oregon!  After some painful, should have thought this through better, that's what I get for working in the evening when I'm already tired moments, the Little Things to Sew Penguin Backpack is finished. 

All ready for our airplane trip

Mr. Penguin (as he is referred to around here) is made from black duck cloth and various quilting cottons for his beak, feet, tummy, and lining.   He is also big enough to carry a pocket folder in. 

My original intention for the backpack was for BK to use it to carry her folders for speech.  Laying a folder on top of the lining panel, it was obviously not going to work.

Disclaimer:  I came up with these measurements after a looooong day of working on other projects and my brain doesn't function well at night.   So, use them at your own risk!

I added 1 1/2 inches to the bottom of the top front and back panel.  I also added an additional seam allowance of 1/2 inches to the curves on those pieces. 

On the bottom front and back panels, I added 1 1/2 inches to the top, straight edge.  Then 1/2 inches around the rest of those pattern pieces. 

The pattern piece that forms the sides and bottom got an additional 2 1/2 inches of length on both of the short ends.  On the long sides, I added 1/2". 

For the zipper panels, I added 1/2" on one of the long sides and on both ends.

When it comes to the lining, I cut my pattern piece for the front and back panels (so it kind of looks like the outside pattern pieces) and slid a piece of paper in and taped it so that it got an additional 2 inches in length.  The pattern piece is then still one solid panel. 

I did add an extra inch of length to the long straps but it would have been fine without. 
The beak, wings, belly pocket, feet, and inside pocket all got an extra 1/2" all around.
Mr. Penguin now holds the speech folder with ease!

If I were to make this again with the adjustments, I'd tweak the outer front and back panels by only adding 1/2" to the bottom of the upper curved ones and 2 1/2" to the bottom pattern pieces.  Mr. Penguin tips off the back a little (see above) because where the straps are attached is a little low for the additional height.  The tweak should compensate for that. 

The boss is happy with her new backpack.  It will carry yellow (her beloved blanket), sticker books, snacks, crayons, coloring books, and Jewel (her webkinz weimaraner) out west to Oregon and then be all ready for speech when we come home.


 eta 9/29/11:  Mr. Penguin gets a slight improvement

Usually, when projects need a bit of an alteration or improvement I plan on making the fix but never get around to doing it.  I'll have you know, I have made the fix for Mr. Penguin! 

I went back and moved the straps up to the top of the backpack.  That takes care of the unwanted tilting caused by my size adjustments.  Now, Mr. Penguin fits The Boss perfectly!


  1. It looks so cute and I just adore the lining. I love mr. penguin.

  2. It looks great! A friend and I are planning to make it together later this week. Though I love the penguin version I think I'll be using a cute boy fabric to make mine.

    Going on a trip? Have fun!

  3. FANTASTIC!! I love that you were able to adjust and make it work for your needs. And that paperclip fabric is adorable. Have fun on your trip!

  4. Great job! I was a little disappointed it wouldn't fit a school folder too, but I wasn't brave enough to make adjustments. :)

  5. Wow! This one is fantastic! I hope The Boss gets lots of use out of Mr. Penguin!

  6. Awesome backpack! The penguin features are very cute. I have yet to tackle a backpack...

  7. i LOVE it. Especially the paperclip lining!!

  8. Oh it is so cute! I just finished mine and was thinking wow that looks a little bigger. Good job on tweaking it to work though. When it comes to sewing I can't do math. Worked as an general accountant for years but somehow can't do math now. I blame the babies. Looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Thank you Emily! The Boss enjoyed using Mr. Penguin on our trip to Oregon. Every time I offered to carry the backpack for her, she insisted she would.

  10. It's a very cute penguin! Happy trip to Oregon to Mr Penguin and the Boss!

  11. Great work on the alterations especially the moving of the straps, it completely fixes the "lean" :)

  12. Very cute. That's awesome that you were able to adjust the pattern. I find even the original pattern has a bit of a back lean. I doubt I'll ever go back and change though :) Loving all these cute penguins!

  13. I am so impressed that you were able to up-size this--too cute and very functional now!

  14. So cute! Great job on the adjustments and the strap alteration really does improve the fit! Nice work!

  15. It is super cute! I just found your bag on flickr. I just found out my sons needs a bag for pre-school on Tuesday so I will be trying to make it by then. And I stink at zippers but I can't resist trying.

  16. Just pinned this, thanks Cindy-you rock!

  17. And, I am back again, and again, you rock!


Thanks for taking the time to comment!