The pattern for A Day in the Park Backpack Tote by Liesl & Co. has been sitting on my shelf for a few months, and I finally set aside some time to work on it. This tote converts to a backpack and pretty much has the best name … it likes spending time in the park just like me.
I am starting to feel confident enough with my sewing skills to modify patterns and experiment with new materials – which also means that I learned a lot from this project. This was my first time sewing with leather. I decided to boldly sew the leather without a walking foot (mostly because I am stubborn … next time a walking foot will be bought!). I did, however, buy a set of leather-specific needles for my Bernina, which are a bit more heavy-duty than regular needles. Sewing with leather is a bit stressful because it doesn’t have the same forgiveness as woven material: once you perforate leather you have to commit to it! There is no going back.
I made a few modifications to the pattern based on previous bags that I’ve sewn. For interfacing I decided to use fusible fleece rather than the two layers of interfacing the pattern recommends. I like the structure that fusible fleece provides, and also I find it really easy to work with. I also decided not to include the exterior pocket, but instead to sew in a zippered side pocket that is more klepto proof. Because no klepto is ruining my day in the park.