Backpack Baby, oh yeah

I am so proud of this project. I made my little girl the characters, Backpack, the Map and a star, from Dora the Explorer. Dora (she says Dee-uh) is my 19 month old daughter's favorite show. I hope that she will love this cute little trio. I love to see her little face light up when she is excited. Christmas should be fun (if I can wait that long to give it to her).
I machine sewed most of the project with only a small amount of hand stitching. I used a standard stitch with no frills so this is, by far, an easy thing to create. Freehand drawing means no pattern, so one step is eliminated. The faces are painted on by hand with washable/dryer safe Tulip paints. (The kind of paint we made t-shirts with in middle school.) This entire project took about two evenings. It takes a while for the paint to dry and, well, I have a 19 month old who requires ...demands attention. Honestly, the cutting and sewing took only a couple of hours.
The bag is lined with pink flowered flannel. It makes the bag soft and ready for a bit of a beating. This was helpful when I ironed the bag (which should be done BEFORE painting on the face) to smooth out the folds. The star and the Map are both stuffed with basic fiberfill and hand stitched closed.
The best part about it is that the whole project is washable. The instructions call for a painted garment to be turned inside out for washing. I simply drop it in a pillow case (trusty old laundry saving friend) and tie it closed for a normal wash. Drying is up to you. Machine drying of a handicraft item is for the brave of heart. I find myself being the "lay it flat" type for something I put alot of time into. Give me a few years, though. With a few kids around, I'll be saying, "Who cares how it gets dried, they're lucky its clean!!"