The Day Off Backpack | Gingercake Patterns

I always spend the last couple of days before our summer holidays trying to get everything ready.

As much as I love travelling, packaging is an entirely different story. Especially, when I also have to pack for 3 kids and make sure they take a small amount of toys/books to amuse themselves during the journey.

This year, I was considering making small backpacks for my younger kids (so helpful for those long car journeys and for exploring a different city), when Virginia from Gingercake patterns asked me if I was willing to sew her new pattern: The Day Off Backpack.

Perfect timing!

The Day Off Backpack#6

I was hoping to sew two matching versions – girl and boy, but my kids weren’t very keen on having matching backpacks … Apparently these are no longer cool once you reach 1st grade 😦

Nevertheless, they loved the idea of having a new backpack to pack all their stuff for our long car journey.

The pattern itself, includes both adult and kids versions and has enough options to customize your backpacks. 

Because my local fabric and haberdashery store was closed for the summer (and I was too lazy/busy to travel to another store), I decided to work with what I already had. And, luckily for me (and for them), it was exactly what we needed for these cute backpacks (with a few minor adjustments for the straps, as I had to make them simpler due to the lack of proper tools).

I’ve done other Gingercake patterns before and I can honestly recommend them. The instructions are quite detailed, including step-by-step color photographs and additional guidelines for adapting the pattern to your needs. Plus, everything I made so far looks exactly as intended (I was going to write “as expected”, but honestly they always surpass my expectations).

Overall, both backpacks took me approximately 4 hours to sew. The first version did took me longer – lots of seam ripping involved, but the second version was really a fast sewing and I had 2 kids (trying) to help me!

The Day Off Backpack#2

For the girl version, I used a liberty twill (medium-weigh) and a blue stripe canvas for the lining. The bottom is also a medium-weigh cotton and I interfaced both the bottom and the front flap (plus adding cotton batting at the bottom). The backpack closes with a drawstring and a cute button.

The Day Off Backpack#3

The boy version, was made with quilting-weight cotton (from Sarah Jane introductory collection Children at play) and the same blue stripe canvas for lining. For the bottom I selected a remnant pre-quilted cotton in baby blue (it has been previously used for a doll carrier).

The Day Off Backpack#4

For this version, I only added interface to the front flap as the bottom was already too heavy, but added a second layer of cotton batting to the bottom. I selected the same method for closing his backpack (I think a snap would look great, but I hadn’t had any available).

The Day Off Backpack#5

I’m not sure if these backpacks will be used for school as my kids already need to carry a (huge) amount of books and school supplies everyday (outrageous, I know!), but they have been carrying them for our late-afternoon strolls in the park.

The Day Off Backpack#7

Surprisingly, the backpacks do carry a huge amount of stuff.

These would be great as gifts for younger kids and I might need to test also the adult version to check the size. These were much easier to make than I had initially expected (plus, they look so professional).

The Day Off Backpack#1

Don’t they look sweet?

If you’re curious, here’s the detailed content of each backpack on the above picture (obviously, I did forget to take some pictures, but this should give you an idea):

Girl version: Medium size stuffed dog, 2 coloring books, a pack of crayons, a dog-brush and mirror (?) and a medium-size water bottle.

Boy version: Football equipment: soccer shoes, socks, shorts and tee-shirt plus a medium-size water bottle.

Additional note: 

Earlier this year, I purchased another Gingercake pattern (The Love Your Lunch Box) but totally forgot to post about it. I really should have done it, because I loved it so much, but, as usual, I only took a few pictures and most of them were deleted when my SD card crashed a few weeks ago.

Still, I though it would be a good to share the few pictures that were left, before I totally run out of opportunity to post about these.


I followed the pattern almost exactly, but replaced the smaller strap by a longer one to be carried over the shoulder.


I made a girl (blue flowers) and a boy version (fox) and both were a major hit among my kids (and their friends). I will be using this pattern again in a few weeks when they return to school.

I did took me a while to find the proper insulating batting (I ended up ordering mine from, but I was totally worth it. These were the cutest lunch packs my kids had so far and they did withstand the entire school year (with regular weekend washings).


A word of caution: This pattern it’s not difficult at all (mainly straight lines to sew), but because there are quite a few layers to sew together, it can be quite challenging, especially if you don’t own a walking foot (like me!!).

Happy sewing,

xoxo, Ana Sofia

6 thoughts on “The Day Off Backpack | Gingercake Patterns

    1. 😉
      Obrigada Diana – este tipo de modelo deve servir para esse fim. Como os meus já estão no 1º ciclo, acabam por ser pequenas (o molde traz um modelo de adulto, mas ainda assim, não tenho a certeza se iria servir – eles levam imensas coisas para a escola. É mesmo um horror!). Mas estas férias, tem sido um descanso. Como estão encantados com as mochilas, “levam” eles as coisas para todo o lado 😉

  1. I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago and have enjoyed it so much. You have wonderful taste and I have already made a few new things for my children from patterns you suggested and used. I have noticed lots of ruffle collar shirts that your daughter has worn for an additional layer or with a skirt. I think that you made some of them and bought some. Would you mind telling me where you bought the ones you did not make? I appreciate it so much!

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words! (sorry for the late reply. we’re currently on holiday and I’m taking advantage of the hotel wifi to check the internet …)
      The ruffle collar blouses that my daughter wears are really quite easy to find where in traditional shops where I live (Portugal). Nevertheless, I do find them a bit expensive (I always wait for sales and I’ve even used CC pattern, Mannie, for a more affordable handmade version that actually works very well:
      Nevertheless, and I’m not sure about their selling/shippment policies, here’s a few sites that sell similar versions (mine are usually from a store called “Letras Bordadas” that doesn’t have an online store. You can find more info on their facebook page:

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