DIY: Dora Backpack

Courtney would tell you I am crazy, well actually she did. But I do tend to look at a project and think - "That will take me only a few days.." At the time, that doesn't sound crazy - but in the midst of purple corduroy overload - it is. And I am fully aware that I am crazy. But, the kids LOVED these bags. I seriously got e-mails and texts all weekend about how their kid would not take off the bag. We ended up having 15 kids! I had to make 3 little pouches for the littlest one because I was so not making another bag after I had made 12. I do have to give credit to this awesome lady for this awesome tutorial. I did make a few changes since I was making them in bulk to make my life a little easier..


  • 1/2 yd of heavy duty fabric. I used corduroy, and so did the other tutorial
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Felt for the face (1 square of each is plenty)
  • Washers
  • velcro
  • Heat n bond
  • 1/4 yd of scrap fabric for the lining
1. Cut out all your pieces. Go here to download the body and face pattern. Trace and cut with a seam allowance 
1 strip - 3" x  28" ( a little larger than the tutorial suggested - I found it easier to deal with excess than not enough.)
2 strips- 2-1/2" x 6" 
2 strips- 2-1/2" x 12"
2 squares - 6" by 8" (I guess that is a rectangle :)
1 square: 4" by 4"
2. Do your prep work - Ironing and sewing the straps and pocket. Here is where I strayed from the tutorial. I had 48 straps to sew! And there was NO WAY I was going to turn them all right side out, so I just ironed them down and did a top much easier.
Iron a small seam on either side

Fold in half and sew down. do this for the 6" strips and the 12" strips. Sew along the folded side
The next is for the pocket. You will need the 4x4 square and the long strip. 

Iron down all four sides

Lay the long strip onto the ironed square and pin the sides to the BACK of the strip. I made it so that the top of the pocket was at about 4" down from the top of the strip. It will not be tight in the front - that is okay

Fold down the excess and iron

Stitch along the 2 sides and bottom. Be careful to only stitch the sides of the pocket.

Voila - big enough for Map!
3. Iron sew the face onto the body. I used heat n bond to place the eyes and mouth where I wanted them to go and then did a zig zag stitch around. I did not make my zig zag stitch very tight because I had so many to make. I also had never zig zag stitched before. I practiced on some scrap until I got the hang of it.

Just with Heat n Bond

Stitching around. Every step I proclaimed to my husband that  "this is the worst part!" Ha- looking back- this was the easiest for sure. I think it was just the redundancy of making 12..

4. Sew the long strip onto the body.
Make sure it is face to face and that the pocket is nice and pulled away from the edge.  Your machine will have to go through 4 layers once it reaches the pocket- my machine nor did my needles like it. I seriously broke 5 needles during this project! I had only ever broken one before in the years since I've had the machine..
5. Attach the back
First add the long straps. Pin the straps to the front of the back piece .

Place the back piece on top and sew the back piece to the other side of the strip
 Make sure your straps are securely fastened (you could sew those on before adding it to the strip) I double backed over the straps just to be sure.

6. Make the flap
Place a bowl along the edge and trace and cut out 

It ended up being roughly 7.5" by 4"

Sew face to face along the curve - leave the straight part open

Turn right side out 
7. Attach the flap and straps to the top of the bag. 
Notice how it is a little uneven on the top..

Trim it up! Make sure that it is as straight as you can make it

Pin the shorter straps down - make sure to line it up with the long straps

Add the flap on top and pin down and sew a seam across the back. At this point I took off the front part off so I could slide the bag around the arm of the machine

Check the seams and make sure the straps are securely tightened. 
8. Add the lining
Lay the bag on the lining. Make sure it is nice and flat, the sides out and all

Trace around giving yourself a seam allowance. Now - the original tutorial did a much nicer lining - but, again - 12 bags people! 

Cut out the lining 

Take the two pieces of lining and put them face to face and sew along the sides - leave about a 5 inch opening on the bottom

So this is not 5 inches - and i had to open it up some...
9. Attach the bag to the liner
Keep the liner inside out and place the bag RIGHT side out  inside the bag

Pin the side of the liner to the side of the bag and sew along the top

Pull the bag through the hole in the bottom

Check the seams and sew the liner closed
Tuck the liner in and pleat the sides. 

10. Attach the velcro and washers to finish the straps 
The washers I used. You could use D-rings, but I  wanted something a little cheaper..

Attach the washer or D-ring to the short strap. The seam should be along the back of the strap

Attach 1' velcro to the top of the long strap and then about 2 inches down attach 2" velcro. This will make the bag adjustable

All Done! I also whipped up these little babies for the back pack..

The finished Product
I know he looks a little mad - it's the flap...but the kiddos loved them and it  isn't too bad making just one.. :)
I also made these for the younger ones - little pouches - they  turned out super cute and  lots easier to make! 

Let me know if you make any Dora backpacks :)