After over eighty hours of work all told— from design to pattern drafting to cutting out the pieces to sewing it all together— this behemoth of a project is finally DONE! My baby, my pet, my Bulbasaur Backpack: Aster, I’ve named them.
Some of you may remember my Hylian Shield Backpack. That got eaten by chipmunks a couple years ago. I got a cool side-bag in the meantime, but it was kinda on the small side, and also letterbags put WAY too much stress on one shoulder. Not for me. So this idea was born— the Bulbabackpack. I’d been collecting materials for years, and wasn’t planning on doing it anytime soon— but then one of my art classes had a DIY project, and, well… Some twenty to-do lists later, and Bulbabackpack is presentable!
I must thank a few very special people who helped me finish this project, ‘fore I forget.
Becca, my friend, for driving me to stores when I ran out of findings and other materials, and without whom this project would not have been turned in on time.
Merlot, my roommate and friend, for allowing me to steal the coffee table for about a week to work on fabric cutting.
Rae, my longtime friend, for listening to me whine and in general be way too excited about this.
Also, shout-out to any of my friends who have had to put up with me shouting “BULBA” excitedly at them. I’m sorry. (But not really.) Thank you for sticking around and putting up with my obsession.
I might post the pattern online if there’s any interest; my patterns are far from… clear, however; and I did some (many) alterations after I got the patterns onto a computerized format. So I’d have to go through and label and clean up the file, alter stuff, add things… And, honestly, having done the project myself… it’s a loooottta work. At least, with the materials I used, anyway.
I don't think I'd be interested in making one... QUITE this big... ever again. However, I could be talked into making a smaller, purse-sized one! If you're interested and want a quote, send me a note.
Some notes on its construction:
• Nearly all of the parts are supported by at least one layer of 1000 denier Cordura and high-density 1/2 inch foam. Many parts, such as the body, have two layers of cordura as well as craft facing for reinforcement and form. This backpack is made to last. And— I don’t know if you’re aware, but Cordura is some of the most durable fabric I’ve encountered. I can’t rip it. I can barely stretch it. I’m not that strong, mind, but… it’s pretty darn impressive.
• Fully lined with cotton.
• The main compartment, the body, contains 3 pockets on the side— one zippered, two free. Large enough for any number of doodads and books and whatever my little artist heart desires.
• The bulb has a total of three pockets. One pocket, between the bulb and the body, contains the vines and attachments when not in use for the backpack straps.
• The vines have a clip at the end, so that they can become the backpack’s straps, or else be unattached. Or, I dunno, hang from the ceiling. Whatever works.
• The pattern was designed from scratch by me. I am inordinately proud of how it came out. I’ve not drafted something this complex before; it was a great challenge.
• All told, between hours worked and materials, I value this backpack at nearly fifteen-hundred dollars. Most of that is in the hours I put in to be able to make it. I could make cheaper/smaller/etc versions if people were really interested. (Single-layer canvas, for example, would take much less time. Especially since I already have the patterns. Mind, canvas won’t fall the same way…)
• The vast majority of the work was completed between May 5th and May 18th of 2015. It’s a birthday gift to myself, kinda~
Having been in use for about a month now, I am glad to say that Aster is still holding up strong. In fact, these photos were only taken just a few days ago! Aster spends most of their time staring at the ceiling as they wait for me, but the grin on their face tells me they're happy to see every new ceiling they get to see.
A lot of you haven't seen me around lately. That's mainly because it's hard to art while I'm doing school. But, now that I'm free of classes for at least a summer, y'all might see me around a bit more. At least for now.
In the meanwhile... look at Aster! Aren't they just lovely?
Pokemon & Bulbasaur © Nintendo