Uncharted Waters

A few months ago, I scored a remnant of Polyurethane laminate (PUL) fabric while using up coupons at my least favorite fabric store. It was sitting right there, on the top of the remnant basket in plain sight.  As I spotted the item, I figured it was probably an 1/8 of a yard or at best 1/4.  But, as I checked out the tag, I saw that it was labeled as 1 yard!  How could this be!?!  This expensive fabric, $15 (at best) a yard, a full yard of it, in the remnant pile!?! (For those of you who don’t know, remnants are usually left over fabrics sold at a majorly discounted price- usually 50% off or more.) PUL fabric is something I’ve been looking at, dreaming about, waiting to snag an excellent deal on.  My idea of using PUL fabric would require at least a yard or more for something that may not even work out in the end.  I didn’t want to spend full price for this to have the project come out a disaster!  This remnant, staring at me in the face, was gorgeous too! (usually the larger remnant fabrics available are pretty ugly looking) I quickly put it in my basket and covered it with the cut fabric I had so some mean fabric snatcher wouldn’t steal it out of my basket.  I scored a yard of PUL fabric for $7!!!! Yippee!!!

Why is PUL fabric so fabulous? Because it’s waterproof AND breathable!  It’s used to make cloth diapers, bibs and other items that need to be waterproof.

Needless to say, I actually didn’t jump on my project right away.  I kept the fabric in it’s bag in my bedroom….just waiting to be used.  I was still worried that what if I cut this stuff up only to be tossed in the trash because my idea was a disaster!?!

My sewing adventures and my Etsy shop continued on….I started thinking of new things I’d like to add.  More personalization, more items other than tote bags and clutches.  Then, it dawned on me.  The word “applique” became part of my top Google word search.  If I learned the technique, I could personalize almost anything!  Better yet, I learned that my sewing machine has an applique stitch setting! Another Yippee!!!

I was left with one more question: what should I make that would be a great item to applique?  A backpack!  A waterproof backpack!  I had some other PUL fabric left over from making a friend bibs that a potential customer would love.  BUT, first I needed to learn and perfect applique.  I decided to take some of my remnant PUL fabric and test out a new design: a toddler sized drawstring backpack.  What a nifty idea!  Easy access for fingers of all ages, waterproof for wet clothes, diapers, leaking sippy cups/water bottles, and small enough for the toddler to carry their own “responsibility.” 😛

I got to work, cut my fabric, marking areas not to sew, obtaining the drawstring cording, figuring out which applique products to use, grommets and tools, etc.  It was a lot of fun and a great adventure.  Here is what I ended up with:

Pretty neat huh!?!  Erin LOVES her new backpack!  She loves the name, the button I used to dot the “i,” she LOVES to show it off.  As a mom, I love it too!  It’s the perfect size for her.  I can fit a change of clothes, her water bottle, a small snack, and meal accessories (bib, fork, spoon, etc) A wet swimsuit!!!!

Here is a photo of the inside of the bag:

4I had some left over monkey fabric from a tote bag order I fill back in May.  Since Erin LOVES monkeys, it was perfect.  I think it adds a very neat and fun surprise to the bag!

I added a listing for a backpack like this (fabrics can be customized as well as name) to my Etsy shop.  I already have received one order for one!  I’ll be using this fabric:

Large_UO-915You can create a custom order for this item by visiting this listing in my Etsy Shop here.

I’ve also added this item to my gallery and options on my Etsy Shop Page here. You can view this listing and my other listings from this page, connect to the listing on Etsy by clicking on each photo’s link.  My Christmas in July Sale ends this Sunday so hurry to get your orders in for 10-20% off!

3 thoughts on “Uncharted Waters

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