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The Green Life: How to Turn an Old Blazer Into a New Backpack

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September 07, 2011

How to Turn an Old Blazer Into a New Backpack

DIY blazer backpack Rob Czar over at ThreadBanger.com taught me how to fashion an ill-fitting dress jacket into a one-of-a-kind backpack.

Before starting this project, I hadn't used a sewing machine since a seventh-grade home-ec class, where I'd stitched together a stolid, beige shopping bag, an odd choice for a 13-year-old, which I still use. This early success wasn't enough to get me over my phobia of that sharp-toothed, fast-moving machine. But hey, people swim in the ocean even though it's got sharks, right? I got my own machine for Christmas two years ago, but only recently decided to bust it out.

If you're an experienced sewer, this project should be a cinch. If you're a novice like me, find an alpha sewer to guide you. Don't be shy — these people love to initiate others. The alpha sewer in my life was a bit like a therapist, coaxing me and my machine past our initial missteps. The evenings we spent together transforming a blazer into a compact backpack — cutting the fabric, chalking and pinning hemlines, stitching the seams — got me thinking about how I most often spend time with friends in some consumer-oriented way, like eating out or going to a movie. There's a unique pleasure in making something with someone, in finding camaraderie while building fresh neural pathways. Now I have a cool backpack and a good friend.

Want to learn how to make this yourself? Click below:

--Wendy Becktold

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