Earlier this year, while we were still in Spain, the lovely Amy from Niizo contacted me and asked if I was interested in trying out one of their bag patterns and kits. After having read Lauren’s review of the Freedom backpack last year, they were already on my radar and so I said yes straight away. I love their modern designs, and making a bag from a kit meant that I was way more likely to make one than if I had to source all the materials myself.
I chose to make the Freedom backpack (man that choice was hard to make…) in the Iron Grey colour and here is the result!
I was quite nervous making this bag. There were a lot of pieces, and I had never made such a complex bag or backpack before. I’d also read some reviews saying that it could be quite tricky sewing together all those layers. I even heard stories of having to hand baste together some of the pieces…. Yikes. But luckily my trusted Janome managed to pull through without having any needles breaking on me!
The kit was really great. All the fabric pieces, straps etc had been measured out to ensure there was veeery little fabric wasted, which I really appreciated. I have been using the backpack for a few weeks now and the quality seems really good. I just hope my (at times) dodgy stitching will hold up!
The pattern instructions were pretty easy to follow, and the video tutorial Amy had made explaining how to do a a double needle stitch was essential viewing (you get a link in the sewing instructions). Learning how to do this was probably my favourite part of making this backpack. It’s a very decorative stitch and also really sturdy.
The construction of the bag is very good and it has a lot of pockets. The one I tend to use the most is the small front pocket that you access by opening the main flap (first photo below), and the laptop compartment (second photo). In the fourth photo you can see the opening to a small bottom compartment – I managed to turn the zipper the wrong way round so the zipper opening is upside down. But I don’t think it matters much. Lauren over at Lladybird turned her backback inside out when photographing which much better demonstrates how the pockets are constructed.
I love the leather details, I think they are what make the bag in many ways. It also gives it that hipster look – and hey, one have to aspire to something right?
Finally – the shape is really good. You can fit a lot, and it’s not so slim you’re struggling to find stuff. My last backpack from Haglöfs was super slim and a pain in the ass to pack. So I’m very happy with this. Since I finished it a few weeks ago it’s been my work bag, and overnight bag on a recent trip to Copenhagen.
Amy kindly gifted me this bag kit and pattern for a review – but obviously I was under no obligation to gush as much as I have here! It is a great product, and I can warmly recommend it. I’d also be quite keen to make their Be Strong! backpack.