Sewing, With Fabric

Slabtown Backpack by Klum House

It was summer last year when I first saw this Slabtown Backpack on Klum House’s Instagram.  It was love at first sight.  I searched and searched, trying to find the pattern.  Unfortunately, it was only taught at their studio in Portland, OR.  But the good news was they were planning to release the pattern this spring.  And finally, it was released on June 1st.  I know this kit is not gonna be cheap.  I held back on my spending and thought long and hard about the color combination.  I finally decided on Slate Blue as the main color and Berry as the accent color.

I have never made a Klum House bag before.  My sewing level was beginner plus.  So it was a bit intimidating to dive into this project.  I was not familiar with all the parts and tools.  Addition to the Slabtown Full Maker Kit + Class, I also ordered Slabtown Essential Tools Bundle and Felt-Padded Backpack Straps Expansion Kit.

On top of all that, I also purchased a steel fabric roller, fabric pencils, and edge stitch presser foot from Amazon.  One color of top stitch threads, and a mallet from Joann’s.  If I have known, I would probably purchased all these from Klum House, but I was just really eager to get started.  I do not recommend those fabric pencils.  They broke very easily.  I also didn’t end up using the edge stitch presser foot.

Here’re some notes I took during my Slabtown journey:

1. The class was really helpful.  I didn’t have to read the pattern at all, but it would probably have been helpful with some of the mistakes I made.

2. My sewing machine is different than the one Ellie has.  So I had a lot of trouble figuring tensions for the top stitch thread.  My sewing machine also couldn’t handle fabric thickness.  I had to hand-wheel many sections.

Note 2 Using binder clips instead of craft clips

3. There’re many additional tools and supplies that are nice to have but I didn’t purchased, such as craft clips, Jean-A-Ma-Jig, walking foot attachment, and magnetic seam guide.  Though I bought an edge stitch presser foot for my machine.  It didn’t work how it was demonstrated in the class video.  I just used my regular presser foot for the entire project.  I had giant paper clips and binder clips instead of craft clips.  They did the job too.

4. Threads: It perhaps indicated in the pattern to get top stitch threads and all purpose threads for both main color and accent color.  Additionally, all purpose threads for lining fabric.  I only got one color of top stitch thread, blue, to match my main color.  I didn’t realize it also recommended to get top stitch thread for the accent colors.  So I stitched the zipper cover (accent color, berry) with blue top stitch thread.

5. One nice thing about getting the full kit was all the fabric came pre-cut and holes punched.  Though some holes don’t fit the rivets and snaps, I used a crochet hook to enlarge the holes and worked.

Note 5: Using crochet hook to enlarge punched holes

6. Ellie recommended to use a wooden mallet.  I didn’t have time to order a wooden mallet and bought a rubber one from Joann’s.  It did the trick on granite counter top or concrete floor.

Note 6: Using rubber mallet to set rivets

7. When sewing main back piece to front piece, be careful to clip the zipper cover in the right direction.

Note 7: I did not pay attention about zipper cover direction when sewing main back to front piece.

8. If you order felt-padded straps, it’s best to glue those on before attaching the straps to the main back.  This is not included in the online Slabtown class.

Other progress pictures:

When sewing top cover to lining , I had to use top stitch thread and all purpose white thread in the bobbin.
Result…so fascinating!
Finished front cover. I said it earlier I was not familiar with all the parts. I mistaken snap caps as rivets. I had to re-do those parts. It was a pain.
Attached front cover to main back. I did not have all purpose color thread that match slate blue. So I just used white thread.
Main compartment done!
Attaching rolltop to main compartment.
Ta-Da! Finished Slabtown!

I learned so much and had so much fun making this bag! I’m eyeing on the Fremont Tote and Maywood next.  Stay tuned!

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