This fun little project is Butterick 5054. It offers 2 different styles of backpacks and Mp3 Player cover. I made view C/D because I just dig the teardrop shape.

Mex stripe gym bag a

Views C and D have different styles of outside pockets but since I wanted LOTS of pockets, I used them both on one backpack. This fabric is a very heavy, Mexican style cotton stripe I got from Fabrics That Go, a really cool interior fabrics store in Tucson, AZ. I was just visiting there in the beginning of August and my mom, who also sews, took me around to all her favorite fabric stores.

Mex stripe gym bag b

This is now my new, favorite gym bag. It is just the right size to take a small towel, weight lifting gloves, water bottle and other small necessities, and with enough pockets on the outside to hold my keys, sunglasses, and cell phone. I used 4 zippers on this bag, so you’ve got to be comfortable inserting zippers. I made a few changes by elongating the outside pocket on the gusset by an inch so it would hold my sunglasses. It was supposed to be used for an MP3 player, but I wanted my sunglasses to be more protected rather than just hanging by the loop like shown in the photo on the pattern envelope.

Mex stripe gym bag e

The lining is just a mishmash of leftover fabrics from other projects. I added an extra elasticized pocket in the interior, and I used the instructions from the book, A Bag For All Reasons by Lisa Lam, to add an additional zippered interior pocket.

Mex stripe gym bag d

I wish I would have read the instructions for the exterior pockets more carefully. They aren’t the clearest I’ve ever read. I botched it slightly, but they still came out fine. I did not have any hardware buckles on hand, so the strap is just sewn directly into the gusset and isn’t adjustable, which is okay by me. I varied from the pattern just a little by making the zippered gusset for the main compartment with two strips of fabric instead of a single piece. This way I was able to get some extra length from the zipper; I needed it to open wider for easier digging around in the main compartment.

Mex stripe gym bag c

This is one of those projects where a crafter could get really creative and have a lot of fun with fabrics. I’ll be making another one soon.