Bailey Backpack - Make it a Sling Bag

Backpack Bailey Hack How To Mini Tips and Tricks

This tutorial will walk you through the modifications to the Bailey Backpack pattern to convert it from a two strap backpack to a single strap sling bag. 

This is a supplementary instruction to the Bailey Backpack pattern. The Bailey Backpack pattern will be required to complete your backpack. Get your copy of the pattern right here. A copy of this tutorial can be downloaded with your pattern.

If you have purchased the paper pattern, then you can download the full PDF version of the add-on right here.


Please read the full Bailey Backpack pattern and this supplement before you start. The full Bailey Backpack pattern is required as it has the full instructions. This supplement will advise you on any changes that are necessary to modify the back panel of the Bailey Backpack to create and use a sling strap.

Material Adjustments

The following pieces ARE NOT required:

2 - 1” (2.5 cm) wide Backpack Strap Adjusters

The following additional pieces ARE required:

1 - 1” (2.5 cm) wide Strap Slider
1 - 1” (2.5 cm) wide Swivel Hook
2 - 1/2” (1.25 cm) wide D-Rings
Additional 1” (2.5 cm) wide Webbing

Cutting List Adjustments

The following pieces DO NOT need to be cut:

 Pattern Piece Accent Interfacing Fleece
Strap Anchor
3” x 3” (7.6 cm x 7.6 cm)
2 2

Adult Straps
2-1/4” x 17” (5.7 cm x 43.2 cm)

Child Straps
2-1/4” x 11” (5.7 cm x 28 cm)

4 4 2

Webbing: (2) Strap Tops - 5” (12.7 cm); (1) Handle - 8” (20.3 cm); (2) Strap Bottoms - Adult size cut 18” (45.7 cm) length or Child size cut 12” (30.5 cm) length

The following pieces DO need to be cut:

Pattern Piece Accent Interfacing Fleece
Sling Strap 2 2 1

Strap Connector
2” x 1” (5 cm x 2.5 cm)

2 2

Webbing: (1) Strap Bottom - Adult size cut 45” (114 cm) length or Child size cut 30” (76 cm) length

Get your pattern piece here for the Sling Strap. Be sure to print it from Adobe and measure the square to ensure that it's accurate before cutting it out. 


1. Apply a piece of fusible woven interfacing to the wrong side of each corresponding fabric piece.
2. Apply a piece of fusible fleece to the wrong side of one of the exterior Sling Straps.

    Construct the Exterior Front Panel

    Complete all the steps to construct the exterior Front panel.

    Construct the Strap Anchors and Straps

    1. Place a Sling Strap right side up and lay the piece of webbing that is the Strap on top with the end protruding past the small part of the Sling Strap by 5” (12.7 cm). Baste in place along the small part of the Sling Strap.
    2. Place the other Sling Strap right side down on top, aligning the raw edges. Sew with full seam allowance along the sides and the short end, leaving the long straight edge unsewn. Turn right side out, and press well, being careful not to touch the webbing with the iron.
    3. Topstitch around the three sewn edges, then do one straight line of topstitching down the middle through the webbing. Baste across the long straight unsewn edge. Set the Sling Strap aside for now.
    Sling Strap Construction 1Sling Strap Construction 2
    4. Place the Strap Connector right side down and draw a line down the length in the center. Fold the long sides in to the center line and press well. You should now have a 2” (5 cm) x 1/2” (1.3 cm) Strap Connector. Topstitch both folded sides.
    5. Slip the end of a Strap Connector inside a 1/2” (1.3 cm) D-Ring and fold it around the flat edge. Baste across the raw edge. Repeat steps 4 & 5 with the other Strap Connector. Set the Strap Connectors aside for now.
    Strap Connector Construction

      Construct the Exterior Back Panel

      1. Draw lines on the exterior Main following the instructions in the pattern.
      2. Lay the finished Sling Strap right side down with the long raw edge along the upper line. Baste in place multiple times, stitching up to 1/2” (1.3 cm) from the raw edge of the Sling Strap.
      3. Complete steps 3 & 4 from the original pattern with the Strap Support.
      4. Make a mark 1” (2.5 cm) [3/4” (2 cm)] in from the left edge along the bottom of the exterior Main, repeat from the right edge along the bottom. Place one of your Strap Connectors along the bottom with the raw edges aligned and inside the marking you just made. Baste in place well. Repeat on the other side with the other Strap Connector.
      Back Construction 1Back Construction 2

        Construct the Zipper Gusset

        Complete all the steps to construct the Zip Gusset.

        Prepare the Lining

        Complete all the steps to construct the two lining Mains.

        Final Construction

        Complete all the steps for the final construction of your Bailey Backpack except step 8. Instead, complete the following:

        1. Take the end of your Strap and weave it under the top bar on your slider, over the center, and under the bottom bar. Then take it through the Swivel Hook and bring it back up to hook through the middle bar on the slider. Sew the Strap end down or rivet it.
        Strap Finishing

            Now pack up and show off your sling-style backpack!!!

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