backpack copy paste

Can I reverse engineer a commercial backpack without taking it apart? Let's find out.

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I bought this lovely backpack at a thrift store and decided it would be a good candidate for my first attempt at making a pattern based on an existing object.

So my plan is to approach it the same way that I've constructed backpacks so far: start with the smallest pocket on the front and go from there. I figure there's no point in making pattern pieces for every bit of it until I see how the cargo pocket goes.

I'm going to make two backpacks at once. I'll do every piece with cheap fabric first (a hospital blanket), and once it's tested good, I'll repeat it with nicer fabric (hot pink polka dots on black -- thin canvas).

I'm going to be making the pattern pieces in the Libre Office version of PowerPoint and I'll upload each of the files after I've tested them.

presentation - 14.12 kB - 10/04/2021 at 17:25


  • 1 × model backpack a lovely polka dot number from aeropostale via the thrift store
  • 1 × large piece of test fabric I'm using a hospital blanket
  • 1 × large piece of nice, sturdy fabric once I get it right, I might as well make a nice one. Black with hot pink polka dots.
  • 1 × thread
  • 1 × measuring tape for measuring the model backpack

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  • about that cargo pocket

    kristina panos10/07/2021 at 19:43 0 comments

    So I've now made one and decided I don't like their design enough to carry it over to the good fabric. There's really no point in copying this backpack exactly, especially since I want to sell my own patterns some day. This is one way to go about it. Another way I'm going about this is by kit-bashing several patterns together into something that's closer to my own creation. 

    What I'm going to do now is to redesign the cargo pocket and make it come out with roughly the same dimensions as the model backpack.

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  • 1
    Find a backpack to copy.

    I originally thought I would pick up a cheap backpack from the thrift store and take it apart to trace pattern pieces. I found this one and I can't bear to take it apart because it's so lovely. Instead, I'm going to turn it inside out to trace larger pieces like the front and back main panels and the bottom, and then I'll just take measurements and add seam allowance for the other pieces.

  • 2
    Start with the cargo pocket.

    By this, I mean the smallest, most forward-jutting pocket. I'm starting with the cargo pocket because that is where most if not all of the backpacks I've made have started. That is my plan -- to think about the backpacks I've made so far and try to construct a new design in the same manner.

  • 3
    Keep going up the backpack.

    Once I've got the cargo pocket done, I'll just keep going up and make the next biggest pocket. If that works out okay, I'll trace the main panels, the bottom, the zipper panels, and try to figure out how they made the straps.

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