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Challenge Accepted

Hey ya’ll! Oh boy, I have been waiting like a kid in a candy store to post about this latest project! Not to “brag” about it, but only to share how proud I am of myself for stepping up to the challenge. I have admittedly been meeting challenges most of my life, as I know most of you have as well. The thing is, I’ve met most of my challenges with more doubt than faith and no trace of presumed confidence at all! However, the more I sew, I find myself being less intimidated and more open to stepping out and doing (making) things I've never done before. When presented with requests to do projects that I’ve never done before from potential clients, I feel a sense of impassioned enthusiasm to stretch my sewing skills.



When I received a message on my Facebook page @A TIME TO SEW (shameless plug) from a firefighter asking if I could make a backpack out of his firefighter bunker gear, I immediately knew that I wanted to accept the request, but first I needed to see what his vision was. He showed me an inspiration photo and I told him that this would be a fun project to do and asked him was the backpack in the picture exactly what he wanted or was this just an inspiration photo? I was glad to know that this was just an inspiration photo because this picture did not come with a link to a pattern-- and your girl needs a pattern for most things! I scoured the internet (Etsy) to find a backpack pattern and presented him with one that he liked.

Chosen backpack w/ pattern


Inspiration photo

After I tested the bunker material to make sure ‘Dottie B’ (my sewing machine) could handle it and found a backpack pattern that he approved of, I was so ready to tackle my first backpack!


There were a few key reasons why this project excited me so (In no particular order):

  1. I was able to see, hold, feel and try on a real life firefighter's coat...How cool!!

  2. After playing “dress up” and letting my son’s try on the jacket I was able to deconstruct the coat. I enjoy deconstructing garments and taking things apart.

  3. I have made tote bags out of Air Force ABU's (Airman Battle Uniform) and I really enjoyed turning a uniform into a stylish tote bag so this was just next level from a tote bag.

  4. I was able to create a custom piece for someone who would appreciate using it as much as I enjoyed making it.

  5. I could potentially get more firefighter clients from him wearing and using his custom backpack.

I really enjoyed making this backpack from beginning to end! I enjoyed it so much, I volunteered to be a pattern tester for a bag maker. As I’m still trying to figure out where I want to focus my sewing, bag making has sparked intrigue in me at this moment, so I plan to make a few more bags before I move on to the next item to challenge myself.


I have to figure out how to take that "PORTRAIT" off my pictures. Ya'll forgive me...I'm a novice! I digress...so what do you think of my first backpack? I asked my photographer (my son) to model it for me since he's usually on the other side of the camera. Have you had a challenge that you eagerly/excitedly accepted? I would love to hear about it!


Pattern: Demi Backpack by www.ithinksew.com

Fabric: Fireman Bunker coat (x2)

Model: Jayden Brown





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