Little kids seem to have a penchant for taking things out of containers, and then (if you're lucky) putting them back in. In the past I've watched in awe and wonder as a toddler eagerly dumped out the contents of a purse, methodically ripped tissue out of tissue from a box or overturned a food-filled bowl in glee. I'm sure some very smart child psychologist has well-documented research detailing why kids can't help but untidy the tidied, but rather than analyze the behavior I'm just going to encourage it.
I was inspired when my friend Becca gave me a few yards of an upholstery weight linen she bought at Ikea. The vivid colors and big flowers are perfect for a little girl's bag, and so I went about the business of crafting a draw-string backpack. I actually took a pattern for an adult-sized bag from my trusty old copy of Simple Sewing and proceeded to adjust the size of the bag, the pocket and the straps for the more "pint-sized" among us. For the straps I used some pillowcases I had lying about. That means that the cost of this project was approximately $0 (right in my price range).
Ultimately I made 2 of these backpacks (meaning that now two little girls have their very own bags to fill and dump out at their leisure). One was shipped off to Becca's 2-year-old niece in Chicago (kind of like a thank-you gesture for the sweet fabric). And the second little backpack was a birthday present for our niece Emma upon her first birthday! Yes that's right, we partied hard for the second weekend in a row. It was great to get together with family to celebrate all the life and excitement Emma has brought to the family in the last year. She's a little ball of energy!
And as an aside, we are all holding our breaths in anticipation since my sister has started to show early signs of labor. It is entirely likely that Cali will make her big debut some time this week! Babies everywhere!