I got a coat from my friends from Suubi Teen MOPS in Uganda. It is made by recycled plastic bags. But since it is too stiff and small for me to wear, I am turning it into a backpack!
I cut the pattern out of brown packing paper. Then, I ironed the existing panels of plastic and rough cut them to the size of the pattern. I realized that the ironed plastic warps as it cools, which makes it hard to use. The solution is simple: put a heavy board on top as the plastic cools, kind of like a clamp. I used this method to straighten things out. I also experimented with adding patches of color. But that didn’t look too good, so we’re going to drop the color patches (I did create a small sheet of usable colored plastic, but that will probably be used in another project). Not every experiment is a success. But the panels aren’t lost, I can simply turn them inside out.
I am expecting leather sewing tools in the mail. This backpack will probably need to be sewn by hand. But with the right tools, even hand sewing doesn’t take that long. Worth a try!