Making Backpack Patterns

Making Backpack Patterns
I have entered about 10 Backpack Factories around the world that make runs of less than 1000 bags. They all have about the same methods of making the Backpacks, they first make a pattern.

Manila, Ermita Philippines
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Blog of Andy --- --- Backpack Design Survey

This is a photo of my workshop. (a.k.a Hotel Room)

I am taking this hard cardboard and cutting the patterns for the Windmill Backpack. I have 10 drawing, all in great detail. I have made 11 sample bags before; communicating with the workers is close to impossible so in reality, you need to either cut the patterns or make a sample. There is normally one fabric cutter or master cutter who could make a back from scratch, but the design would not be the same as your drawing.

However, this is the problem, they normally just copy bags, there are very few original designs made, a good copy, with a few modifications. There are few original designs made, more or less just modifications of other designs.

I will take this cardboard to the factory for them to use to cut the fabric for the Backpack. Making backpack patterns is not difficult if you are also a good drafter. I excelled in drafting in high school, and these skills are beneficial in making backpack patterns.

Engineering the backpack patterns, or engineering the bag so it functions is the challenge, not the drafting. There is about a 10-20 percent difference between my drawing and the actual pattern. As I make the backpack pattern, I do some minor revisions to adapt to my eyes. What seem logical on a computer graphic is not necessary logical when you see it, and when we make one sample, there will be some final revisions.

This backpack is more complicated than I think the factory has ever made, even though I saw at least 50 different models in their showroom.

So this shop looks a little like a home, well guess what, almost every factory I have ever entered looked a lot like a home also.

Making Backpack Patterns


By clicking on the "Subscribe to Comments" you will receive an email when members post new comments on this page

I was drawn to your backpack pattern post. Do you have the pattern in pdf? I have been looking for a pattern to use to sew for my niece (I'm a spoiling aunt) and would appreciate it if you could lead me to a pattern. I need it to have a zippered top, which is my biggest problem. There are many with drawstrings but none I have found with zippers. If you are willing to share, my email is Thanks so much for your post. It has given me hope that perhaps there is a pattern out there SOMEWHERE.

BTW...I forgot to add. IF you know of a place that is reputable to purchase said pattern, I'd appreciate any help there. Also, I'd like to implement a small quilt block in a backpack and would be happy so share my idea with you should you wish.

Interesting post, I have 10 drawings soon to expand to 15 hehehe, I have made the card stock patterns for half the bag now, and will finish today July 30, 2008 up to 90 percent.

What I believe you are saying is you want some PDF file patterns or drawings so you can make a backpack. Not necessarily the one I am making, just one for your niece.

Factories protect their patterns, I suppose I protect my patterns with a good pattern anyone can copy a bag, However with just the bag, a factory can copy the bag.

I will think about this, easy enough to make some simple backpack patterns for me and make into a PDF download file.

I am not clear on your goal, buying a backpack is a lot more cost effecive than making one. You can cut up and modify about any bag that is close to what you want.

Andy, that's a heavy laptop computer. Have you considered switching to an Asus EEE 901 or 1000?

If this is the 10 inch computer with the 40 or 80 gig hardrive.

Then NO, I have not even considered these small computers an option.

1. I make my living wih a computer. I owned a 10 inch computer and the palm of my hands were in constant pain because the keyboard was too small.

2. I presently have 100 Gigs of data, photos, and information on my computer. My next computer should have at least 200 gigs of hardrive space.

I think there are home models and pro models, I think I have graduated up to the pro model computers.

Weight is and size is not my consideration with a laptop.

First is Warranty, HP has offices in every country.

Second is function, can I do what I want to do, Type and Store Data.

If I went any direction more costy, I would go for one them waterproof computers, not for small.

I must use Windows Vista or xp because this is the winning standard as of now for computers, and until they lose, I will continue to use all standard equipment.

Actually the Asus EEE is cheaper, and comes in Windows XP. However it wouldn't suit you because it can't run programs such as Photoshop, which is what it looks like you're running on your laptop.

So sorry! Somehow the alert regarding you commenting on this blog got into my spam folder...hopefully I filtered it correctly this time.

As for why I want to make one instead of purchasing one. The reason is simple and I'm sorry I neglected to mention it. I wanted to make her a bag in her school colors (possibly with a quilt square with their letters as well)AND with a couple extra pockets inside for items she likes to keep secured. I KNOW I could purchase one for her but both she and I are set on making one for her in school colors and since we're hard headed women (LOL) we'll keep at it until we find (or can adapt) a pattern to meet our needs.

I should mention. I did find a pattern on EBAY but after making it in muslin to check size and such it wasn't quite what either of us had in mind. So we're back to the drawing board so to speak.

I understand that you protect your patterns. I'm much the same with mine. Good luck though. Hopefully you'll design "the perfect backpack" someday. You seem to be on the right track....

Stumbled on your site quite by accident. Very interesting. You are quite possibly living the life many folks, myself included, would like to live. I agree that making ones own custom made bag may not be cost efficient, but such is life. I am looking for a pattern to build out of lightweight duckcloth. I intend on using tyvek on the interior to waterproof. Bag needs to be about 3,000 to 3,700 cu. In. I appreciate any help. Folks may e-mail me @ if they have any ideas.

My Account