Batala/Harlequin backpack done

It was a really good pattern.

Two big sewing sessions were enough to get the job done. I did take a few liberties with the pattern as written, mainly because I was making the bag from leftovers and needed to improvise. I didn’t have quite enough of several things. So, for example, the lining has several seams in it, I made the drawstring instead of using cord, the straps are fitted to size rather than adjustable, and so on. The fact that I could do this within the parameters of the pattern was a mark of its versatility, in my opinion, and doesn’t compromise the end result.

So, we have a small, neat but capacious bag with three pockets: two internal and one external, two of them zipped, a flap with a magnetic clasp to cover the drawstring, straps attached to a D-ring which doubles as a hanging loop, and lastly, an opportunity to showcase a really pretty fabric.

It’s also very light, feels sturdy and sits comfortably on my back. I don’t think it’s firm enough to hold anything very heavy or bulky, but as this is essentially a handbag rather than an actual backpack, I feel that’s perfectly OK. Obviously, I ended up using the paisley straps, but this was because I simply didn’t have enough of the geometric. Some-times the universe makes decisions for us.

If I ever want a heavier version, I’ll make it in leather, oil cloth, canvas or decorator fabric. 10/10 would recommend. #batala backpack #pinkponydesigns. The pattern is available to download on Etsy.

And because even sewing isn’t enough, I tried out a new bread recipe/process.

Four ingredients. Zero effort. 100% delicious.

Tender, open crumb, crust a combination of crispy and chewy. Can’t wait to see what it’s like as toast…

And now, on with the next thing.


45 thoughts on “Batala/Harlequin backpack done

  1. craftycreeky says:

    Looks fabulous, I love the way you use colours. I’ll have to have a look at Pink Pony Designs as I’m just finishing a backpack and the instructions have not been good!!

    • katechiconi says:

      She has some really very beautiful bag designs, not just this backpack. The instructions were very clear, well written and well illustrated with lots of colour photos.

  2. Backpack and bread are impressive. Both bespoke!

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes! The bread is lovely, but I’m going to add another half teaspoon of salt next time. Can’t believe how easy it was. Zero kneading, very, very slow proving, very hot bake.

  3. Lynda says:

    This went together FAST and it looks great!

    • katechiconi says:

      It was fast, and straightforward. The hardest part was when the outer and lining were sewn together and the whole thing had to be turned out through the bottom of the inner zipped pocket.

      • Lynda says:

        The inner zipped pocket? My brain is trying to picture this… and my mind’s eye is not getting it. Was the opening then hand stitched?

      • katechiconi says:

        Not hand stitched, but I made a very narrow seam inside the pocket and double stitched it for strength. I had trouble visualising it too, but you just have to commit, start pushing, and once you get all the strappage and flappage out, it all starts to make sense!

  4. Sandy says:

    The backpack is awesome! The bread looks pretty outstanding too. Any chance of you sharing the recipe?

    • katechiconi says:

      Of course. 3.5 cups bread flour, 1 package of dried yeast, 2 tsp salt and 1.75 cups warm water. Mix the dry ingredients with a whisk. Add the warm water and stir in till you get a shaggy pasty dough. It needs to be wetter than you think it should be, add a little extra water if needed. Cover the bowl with plastic (I use a shower cap, which is re-usable) and leave to prove slowly for 5-8 hours. Turn out onto a floured board, and with floured hands, stretch and turn each side into the centre, handling gently. Turn seam side down and cover with the upside-down bowl while you place a Dutch oven in your oven and preheat to 425°F/220°C. Crumple a sheet of baking parchment thoroughly, then flatten the paper and place the dough on it. Dust with flour. Using the edges of the paper to lift, place the dough inside the hot Dutch oven and cover. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid, and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until golden. Cool for one hour before attempting to slice it!

      • Sandy says:

        Thank you so much! It really is an easy an incredibly easy recipe. I will give it a try in a few weeks when we are home in England where my Dutch oven resides.

      • katechiconi says:

        I’m pretty sure you could bake it in an enamel roaster with a lid too, and at some stage I’m going to try it in my Schlemmertopf (clay pot), but I’ll have to be cautious with that one due to temperature change of adding the cold dough to a hot clay pot.

  5. I love the colors and the style of that backpack. I rarely choose bright colors deliberately but this makes me want to go there at some point. Perfect in every way from what I can see. I so love bread and that has left me salivating. Yum.

  6. That’s amazing. Love it. So colourful, useful and smart!

    • katechiconi says:

      What I like about it is that all I had to buy was some heavyweight interfacing. The rest was all found in my stash or improvised as I went along.

  7. That is just superb. You really did justice to what is clearly an excellent pattern. Absolutely love it!

    • katechiconi says:

      I do admire how she worked out exactly how it had to be assembled for minimum bodgy bits and sewing difficulty. I mean, who *imagines* pushing the entire body of a bag and its straps out through a 3 inch slit in the bottom of an internal pocket? It was like the bag was giving birth to itself!

      • tialys says:

        That ‘giving birth to itself’ analogy is one I often use in certain types of dressmaking. It’s something you can’t believe is going to happen until it does and it’s like a little minor miracle isn’t it. I have a jacket about to give birth to itself as I type.

      • katechiconi says:

        I made a sleeveless dress once, and had to turn the whole thing through the shoulder strap. It did my head in… but it did look good!

  8. claire93 says:

    bag is beautiful! everything about it – shape, colour & sewing!

    • katechiconi says:

      I give full credit to the designer; she came up with a bag design that was forgiving enough to let me mess about with the straps, with a pieced lining, with no cord, etc. I’m very happy with the result.

  9. tialys says:

    Love how the patterned fabric is lifted by the dark navy and, I know I shouldn’t say so, but I do think we steered you right with the strap fabric 😉 I think you’re really going to enjoy using this bag.

    • katechiconi says:

      I was actually determined to use the other strap, only to discover at the last minute that I was 3″ short. Gnashing of teeth… I’m not too upset about the paisley, though. Today I also made a small lined, zipped and piped purse from the scraps, to put my keys in so they don’t poke holes in the bag.

  10. Going Batty in Wales says:

    That looks great Kate and I see that in the end you chose the webbing I preferred (not that I think it was my comment that persuaded you).

    • katechiconi says:

      Sadly, I didn’t actually choose it, I had to default to it, since the other version was *just* too short. But I’m still quite happy about the paisley, so that’s OK!

  11. knitnkwilt says:

    Fantastic end result and the bread looks yummy

  12. Dayphoto says:

    You are so clever and talented! It turned out fabulous!

  13. nanacathy2 says:

    Love the gorgeous colours. Terrific make.

  14. Wow that came out so pretty and looks very colorful and happy! I bet you get a lot of compliments walking around with it!

    • katechiconi says:

      That would be nice! It should set off the patchwork coat nicely; Melbournians will definitely be putting on their shades when I go there in a month. Winter in Melbourne tends to be endless variations on black, black, navy or grey…

  15. Amo says:

    Looks fab!

  16. Emmely says:

    What a fun bag! I’ve used the turn everything through the lining pocket before in a bag and I thought it was genius. It makes it so easy to get a neat finish to the lining.

  17. You are an amazing sewer/seamstress, Kate. In my theater days they called us stitchers. This bag is gorgeous!

  18. magpiesue says:

    This looks like a winner all the way around. It’s beautiful as well as practical.

    • katechiconi says:

      I really like how architectural it is, the shapes all work well together and the way the sides pleat into an attractive shape is one of the charms of the bag design for me. Great pattern!

  19. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    Wow, very pretty !

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