Troika backpack

There are so many great bag patterns with Sacotin that I knew it was time to make their latest zippered fold top back pack for this month’s Minerva makes.


What I know is that Sacotin patterns are easy to work through because their instructions are sequential and achievable and you know I don’t sew bags very often.

The best part about making bags is that I can find everything I need on Minerva website. And I mean everything.


The external fabric is a heavy duty rip stop fabric. This comes in 13 colours so I chose teal because I had some Prym navy bag straps.

The Prym cotton bag straps come in 3m lengths. I used 2 packs because they come in 3m lengths. There are 11 colours to choose from for the plain bag straps. There are a lot more variations that Prym have available and I couldn’t choose the combination I wanted for this bag.

I did a bit of notion stash shopping and sewed the blue ribbon on the back straps at the front of my Troika version.


The internal fabric is a cheerful cotton canvas. I chose this fabric so small items don’t get hidden against the usual black bag lining.

The pattern instructions for sewing in zippers is very logical and easy to achieve. If you’re a beginner, sew this bag in stages.


This bag took me between 12 and 15 hours to make – from cutting the fabric pieces to sewing the very last front buckle that was an added feature I decided on while trying on my new backpack.


When you decide to make your own back pack, how to bag shop?

  1. Start with the end in mind.

If you want a basic black back pack, the choices are easy. Choose black fabric, lining, notions, thread and buckles.

But if you want a bag that is unique and special, start with the end in mind.

I started with my idea to make a ‘water proof’ back pack so I can commute safely with my laptop and all the gear that goes with it.


  1. What suits your body.

I’m also short so I had chose the medium size Troika for this project but it also accommodates my laptop. I do enough exercise to hold a loaded backpack on my back but I wanted the back to be light enough and study to start with.


I’ve used an iron on wadding on the bag parts that encase my laptop. My local computer guy told me that as my laptop has a touch screen that I need to be careful of it when I travel. Even when travelling on short commutes to work.

  1. How unique do you want to be.

I stuck my toe in the water by sewing on a skinny piece of ribbon onto the bag strap trim on the front of the bag.


I got a wee bit braver by using lilac zippers on the front pockets.

Internally I had some turquoise velvet ribbon that I used on one of the internal pockets.


Then the practical side of me decided to add another buckle at the ends of the shoulder straps to create a front harness.

Did you see the mistake I made?

If you have an eagle eye for design, you would have noticed that I used some of the lining fabrics at the 2 zipper tabs on front of the bag.

The blue ribbon on the front strap feature kind of balances that mistake out. It’s now a design feature.


I did have turquoise zippers in my Minerva order for this project hiding at the bottom of my delivery bag so I’m going to have to make a small Troika with the remaining fabric – now on my August sewing project list.

Where should you start when you plan your bag?

Go through Minerva’s website and start trawling through all the fabric combinations and bag notions you can choose from to make your own.

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