Saturday, 21 January 2012

Dora the Explorer Backpack and Map Tutorial

Here's the second part of the Go Diego Go rescue pack tutorial: for my soon to be 2-year-old, a Dora the Explorer backpack.

This project also relies on the excellent Indietutes tutorial for a toddler size backpack. Because the Dora backpack is much closer to this pattern, it only required a few additions to make it work and is a much easier project than the Diego rescue pack. Probably do-able in a nap, especially if you don't bother with the iron-on interfacing (I didn't).

You will need:

- 1/2 metre of purple cotton
- yellow, black, white, and pink felt
- small pieces of fabric to use for the map: I used two 7" squares of unbleached cotton but really anything would work.
- small piece of velcro (optional)
- fabric pens (optional)
- thread to match the above
- this template for the map's face
- bondaweb (optional)

** Before you start: read through the tutorial instructions. I won't replicate them here: just use these two tutorials side by side.

Step 1: Cutting out

Cut out the pattern from the Indietutes tutorial, plus two additional 3"x7" pieces.

Step 2: Assembling the face

Using the template above as a guide, cut out pieces from the felt to make the backpack's face. I didn't use bondaweb, but you could if you wanted. Sew them onto the backpack: eyebrows onto the top flap, eyes and mouth on the bottom section. Attach velcro if you are using it.

Step 3: Attaching the sides

Dora's backpack needs a side pocket to hold the map, so make sure you add one before you attach the sides. I put one on each side. Take each 3"x7" piece and press down and sew across the top. Now turn it over so that it's wrong side up, position it on the strip of fabric that will be the sides, and sew across the bottom.
Pocket, attached at the bottom.
Fold over and press. You should now have the makings of a pocket, with both sides left unsewn. Do the same on the other side, then attach the side piece following the original tutorial instructions.

Both pockets attached

Step 4: Sew the backpack together

Assemble the rest of the backpack!

Step 5: Make the Map

The Map is vital to Dora's backpack, and a chance to let your creativity go! I used these fabric pens to make mine, although I thought about applique-ing, or doing a combination of both.

Cut two equal size squares of fabric. On the top corner of one, trace the Map's face (or applique it on). On the other, draw a map.

Put the right sides together and sew around the edges, leaving a gap to turn the map right way out. Clip the corners, turn right side out, press, and top-stitch (catching the gap that you left). Roll up the map and tuck it in the side pocket.

And you're done! I stuffed mine with a little Boots sidekick and some binoculars (every explorer needs them). Can't wait to see the pair in action!

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