STAGE 4 Planetary Sewalong Title Image


We’re in full Planetary swing now and this post will go through Steps 9, 10 and 11 of the main Planetary Backpack tutorial which will bring us up as far as getting the outer bag assembled!

The stitch ripper did show it’s face a little, and I’ll get to that shortly!

Notches, Notches, Notches…

The first half of Step 9 in the Planetary Backpack tutorial involves adding the straps and strap connectors to the Main Back. I collected the prepared Strap Connectors, the shoulder straps (which I had cut at the shorter length of 70cm as this bag is now the property of my 4 1/2 year old) and the hand strap. I basted them all in place as per the tutorial. You’ll note the double basting at the top at 0.5cm and 1.5cm as there is a 2cm seam allowance allowed for here to give a little extra support for the straps.

This is where paying attention to what you’re doing helps. It was only when I stood back to photograph this that I realised my straps had been basted in off centre! So glad I spotted it at this stage! Out with our friend the stitch ripper again!

It is also worth noting now that sewing over the Strap Connectors is the one spot in this pattern where some machines might struggle. Depending on the fabric and webbing you are using, you may need to hand crank or sew carefully over the thick layers here.


It’s an opportune time to bring to your attention now a small error in the pattern!

Koenenlief Perdieus kindly got in touch a few days ago to bring to my attention and error that she picked up while making two Planetary Backpacks as part of the sewalong! The three upper most notches along the left hand side of pattern piece B, Main Front, Back and Lining, are 0.5cm too high. At some point during the final draft they must have been dragged up and in the last 2 years no one has noticed!! I will amend the pattern pieces over the coming weeks but you can see what I’m describing below… You can see it most clearly where the bottom of the three notches should line up with the dotted Mountain Panel guide but it is 0.5cm too high.

Luckily it is a minor error and I suspect most people automatically lined up their pieces evenly and never even noticed, I certainly didn’t! But nonetheless apologies for the slip up and I will get the amendments made when we get back from holidays!

Once I had the straps re-basted correctly I set to attaching the Top Flap and Back Top Strip to the main back. This was a little tricky for me as, despite pinning it well, the corduroy kept slipping slightly and the Top Flap would end up sitting slightly off centre. Third time round it was still slightly off but I don’t think anyone will notice (other than all of you now!) I should have basted the Top Flap on by hand before sewing! I’ve never used the stitch ripper so much as on this project!

Again it is worth noting the 2cm seam allowance allowed for at this top seam! Go check out the diagrams on page 21 of the main tutorial!!

Tiny Wee Hack!

At this point I also basted in a little tab using a piece of cotton twill tape and a small d-ring to the side seam of the Main Back. I know No.3 would like somewhere to hang a little cuddly friend on her bag so thought this would make it easy for her to clip it on.

Drawstring Casing!!

Step 10 is preparation of the drawstring casing. I chose to make the simplified drawstring casing without eyelets following the Mini Hack Tutorial previously posted. Here it is again below! Not much to do at this point other than the double fold at either end!

Assemble the Outer Bag!!

With this step the Planetary Backpack really starts to take shape!! I sewed down the side seams and turned it right side out. With the iron inside the bag I pressed the side seams to the front. This helps to push the Strap Connectors towards the back externally.

With the bag wrong sides out again I sewed the bottom seam and then pressed, as best as I could, the seam towards the back. Finger pressing or using a seam roller can be hand here where accessing the seam with an iron can be tricky.

Next up I boxed out the corners making sure to couch the side and bottom seams to reduce the bulk at their junction.


That’s it for now!! With the outer bag assembled we are nearly there!!

The final stage, this coming Saturday 14th August, will cover assembling the lining and then putting the whole bag together, finishing touches and all!

Come join us over at In Complete Stitches Sew & Share!

The 15% discount code PLANETARYSEWALONG is still valid until 1st September to get yourself the pattern at an even better price than usual!! Click here to bring you straight to the Esty shop where the discount code will automatically be applied at the checkout.

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