A while back I noticed that my backpack was on it's last legs. See http://www.blog.smalladventures.net/2013/11/review-granite-gear-serrano-25l-daypack.html
After some minor foibles I decided I should just make a pack myself. So after an afternoon of thinking I dove in, and here's the result so far.
I just got it to a usable state, there's certainly more to do to really make it nice.
My goal was a day pack around 30 Liters, large enough for a good-weather weekend backpacking trip, or a week of civilization travel with a laptop and change of clothes. I had a painter's drop-cloth lying around, so I took a shot with that and some webbing I picked up at a hardware store.
This is a simple 3 panel pack, 2 side panels and one panel that wraps around as the front/bottom/back. The side panels fold over at the bottom creating a side pocket, and a lid is stitched to the top. There's a drawstring around the top as well. My eventual plan is to add drawstrings to the pockets for water-bottles, and compression lacing up the sides of the pack. I also want a second ring to attach the lid-hook to for when the pack is overfull.
I attached the shoulder-straps with D-rings both top and bottom in case I decide I don't like my first quick-hack design. The shoulder-straps are stitched over the D-ring on the top, and the bottom is a standard slider (sadly plastic, it's what the hardware store had).
The top of the pack is rolled down several inches and stitched again, this gave me extra reinforcement for the shoulder-strap attachment that I knew would be one of the most stressed spots on the pack.
(Front of pack)
Note also the shoulder strap D-rings are stitched to the pack over seams, so for example the attachment points on the bottom of the pack are actually sewn directly to the bottom as well, not just the side. I'm hoping this helps keep it form tearing out of the fabric.
So far I'm a little sad that I didn't use canvas for the straps instead of nylon webbing, just for my own aesthetics and generally avoiding adding more plastic to the world when this pack wears out. Otherwise it's looking like a pretty good first attempt!
This is the first backpack I've made, and I have no illusions that my first pack is going to be anywhere near perfect. This is an Alpha pack made quickly out of cheap materials (<$10.00 worth I believe). I expect to wear it out pretty quickly, but how it wears out and how I like it in the meantime will hopefully give me good information for how to build a good Beta out of more costly fabric.
We will see!