Free Back to School Sewing Patterns and Tutorials

More free back to school sewing patterns and tutorials

Last year we shared lots of great ideas for sewing projects to make over the summer holidays for when the kids go back to school.  See our post from last year here – Back to School Sewing projects. Sewing your own pencil cases and book bags is a lovely way to spend time with kids and get them involved and excited about going back to school. They can help choose fabric and perhaps learn a few sewing skills along the way!  

If you get good at making book bags and pencil cases you could even offer to make some for friends children – a brilliant way to make some extra pennies, just check that if you use a pattern it gives you permission to reproduce it to sell the finished item.

Why not make a whole set and use coordinating fabric, your child will be the best kitted out kid in school, just beware – showing off your sewing skills at school can lead to you being roped in to sew for school plays – making wise men costumes at 3am is not quite as much fun!!!

So what essentials will your child need on their first day back at school – or perhaps their very first day of nursery or big school!


Book Bag


Kids bookbags need to be really well made as they will need to protect the books from the elements as well as withstand being kicked around a cloakroom floor.  The ones you buy are made from a thick water resistant canvas and have extra strength stitching on the handles, even little books can get quite heavy.  We absolutely love this messenger bag style book bag pattern and tutorial we found over on Punkin Patterns.  You could easily swap the dark green twill for something more girly too, but it’s great to find sewing patterns for boys/tom-boys like this – the caribenas are a great touch.  You can get waterproof sprays for thick fabric like this, it’s worthwhile as you don’t want to be returning soggy books if you get caught in a rainstorm.  Alternatively you could use a waterproof fabric lining.

expandable back pack pattern

Back Pack

Younger children will usually just need a book bag but older kids need a back pack to carry all the extra bits and pieces they need.  Little tiny back packs can result in crumpled up worksheets.  A messenger bag may be a better option but can be heavy to carry. Again consider rainy days when choosing fabric, light cottons will not be up to the job unless you line them with something waterproof.

We love this free pattern from Hawthorne Threads – it expands to fit more if needed, or roll it down if you just have a little.




PE / Shoe bag

Most primary school ask parents to provide a named bag for their childs PE Kit and pumps. Making one yourself will mean it is unique and unlikely to get mixed up with another childs’ bag. You could also make one for them to put their shoes in when they get home, so you always know where they are in the morning.

We’ve shared this adorable patchwork drawstring bag made by Monadas de Lucia before in our post with a whole collection of drawstring bag patterns to choose from.



Pencil Case

There’s nothing more fun than filling a new pencil case with new stationery…  you could even sew yourself one, to keep sewing supplies or scissors in.  We like this case from The Cottage Mama because she has added a clever feature to it, little hoops you can clip to a binder.  Great for older kids or for keeping all the essentials ready in a homework folder.



Packed Lunch Sack

Again a unique lunch bag/sack can help small children quickly identify their own bag from the packed lunch pile. There is a free pdf pattern to make this lined, insulated lunch bag with a drawstring top to keep contents from falling out, over on Sew Mama Sew – you can use oilcloth or just natural cotton that can be washed easily. 


See more ideas and free patterns in our post from last year – Back to School Sewing projects





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