How to Make a Roll Top Backpack

Item # X-HT-300438

Did you know that you can sew your own stylish backpack using upholstery fabric? We'll show you how to create a high-end, designer-style backpack with a unique roll-top closure instead of a standard zipper closure. This fashionable backpack is made with high-quality upholstery and décor fabric from Sailrite®. Our roll top backpack features an inside pocket, roll top closure, adjustable straps, front zipper pocket and a liner on the inside. Join us in today's DIY project and learn how to sew your own roll top backpack!

A stylish roll top backpack.

This bag requires three yards of fabric. You need one yard for the top and two yards for the bottom, straps and lining fabric. We chose a nautical print fabric for the top (Covington McGregor Multi #105014) and a complementary navy solid fabric for the bottom, straps and lining (Sunbrella® Canvas Navy #5439-0000). With thousands of upholstery fabrics in stock and ready to ship, you'll have fun picking out a fabric that matches your personality. Whether you like nautical, florals, geometrics, stripes, polka dots or animal prints, we have a fabric you're sure to love.

Our comprehensive video tutorial will walk you through the entire process of sewing this backpack. Even if you are new to sewing, our instructions are thorough and easy to understand. We don't leave any steps out, so you will be able to follow along with ease. You can pause and rewatch the video as many times as you need so you can go at your own pace as you work on your backpack.

This is a great backpack for casual activities. You can use it as your everyday handbag or purse, as your carry-on item if you're traveling — it even makes a stylish diaper bag! You're sure to find multiple uses for this chic-looking backpack. If you're more interested in a durable, water-repellent backpack for hiking adventures, at the marina or other outdoor activities, we recommend our Cordura Backpack Kits and the accompanying blog on how to sew your own heavy-duty backpack (#300414XHT).

Video Chapters:

  • Cutting Patterns — 0:38 min.
  • Creating Front Pocket — 1:28 min.
  • Sewing Sides — 7:45 min.
  • Sewing Bottom & Back — 8:51 min.
  • Sewing Side Connectors — 11:04 min.
  • Creating Straps and Handle — 12:55 min.
  • Sewing Main Body — 15:26 min.
  • Sewing Lining Fabric — 20:43 min.
  • Finishing Straps — 26:50 min.
  • Adding Fasteners — 28:00 min.
  • Materials List — 31:44 min.

Materials List:

  • Decorative Fabric (we used Covington McGregor Multi 55" Fabric #105014) — 1 yard required
  • Lining Fabric and Bag Bottom (we used Sunbrella® Canvas Navy 54" Upholstery Fabric (#5439-0000) — 2 yards required
  • Seamstick 1/4" Basting Tape for Canvas & Upholstery (36 Yds) (#122065)
  • V-69 Nylon Thread in color of choice
  • #4.5 Continuous Coil Zipper Chain (We used #104386) — 1 foot
  • #4.5 Single Non-Locking Metal Zipper Pull (Coil Chain) (We used #104361) — 1 each
  • YKK® Loop Loc Plastic Black 1‑1/2" (#104427) — 4 each
  • YKK® Tri‑Bar Adjustable Webbing Slider 1‑1/2" (#104421) — 4 each
  • Loxx® Pull It Up Fastener Cloth‑to‑Cloth for Thick Assemblies Set (Nickel) (#121363) — 4 each

Tools List:

  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" (#102400)
  • Chalk Pencil Cartridge Set (#121669)
  • Comfort Grip Rotary Cutter 60mm (#9655)
  • Self Healing Rotary Cutting Mat 24" x 36" (#120257)
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Hand Lightweight 8" (#101017)
  • Wonder Clips ‑ Assorted Colors (Set of 10) (#121876)
  • Left Zipper Foot for Ultrafeed® LS & Leatherwork® (#905)
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LS Walking Foot Sewing Machine (#300500)
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® Industrial Sewing Table (#120934)
  • Tempered Cutting Glass for Hotknife (#121915)
  • Sailrite® Edge Hotknife Package (110V) (#103800)
  • Sailrite® Cutting Block & Die Holder (#121597)
  • Sailrite® Drill Hole Cutter 3/8" (#121820)
  • Loxx® Pull It Up Fastener Locking Key (#121357)
  • Drill

If you have any questions while working on your backpack, don't hesitate to give us a call or email. We're always happy to help our customers with all their DIY needs. Once you've finished your backpack, post a photo to your favorite social media platform and tag Sailrite in the caption with #Sailrite so we can see your amazing work!