Tomb Raider Game: Lara Croft Backpack mark1

Tomb Raider Lara Croft Backpack mark 1 by merineiti

Tomb Raider Lara Croft Backpack mark 1 by merineiti

Last time I made a backpack, I was maybe 11… made little scruffy backpacks for me and friends, I think they were a thing back then?

I like making working cosplay props. I’ve never been to cons, and quick googling didn’t even find any in Finland outside anime world so making things that would never get worn or used just doesn’t feel right.

I also have no room or interest to build a museum of stuff  especially as the shelves are already filled with dolls – I rather introduce geeky stuff to be used in daily life.

If I ever get a toaster, you bet it’s gonna be like the dancing toaster from Ghostbusters, or the talking one in Red Dwarf. I also really would like a sonic screwdriver, but it’s better be a working Flashlight, be used as a pen or even a real screwdriver (I actually found two! 10th doctors screwdriver from thinkGeek and 11th Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver
from Amazon)

Okay, so anyway, working props and cosplay, it’s time to make Lara’s Backpack from Tomb Raider!

Very first draft,  quickly sewn together with some scrap fabrics to test out the size, and also a drawstring mechanism I then discarded.

backpak, first draft

backpak, first draft

The size was good, but then I had another problem. I only got a large fat quarter of the brown pleather fabric. Also, wondered what could I use to stiffen up the back to help it keep it’s rectangular shape?

Then I remember purchasing a bunch of A5 craft foam sheets‘ few months ago!
They’d be perfect! So eventually, I re-patterned the backpack to A5 size. It is maybe little bit too small, but figured it’s all good for first draft anyway…

Lara Croft's backpack, inside out...

Lara Croft’s backpack, inside out… with all these colorful craft foam sheets…

BASICALLY the pattern pieces are 3x A5 (front, back, flap), 1x half A5, lenghtwise (bottom), and 2x third of A5, cut from short side – with 1cm seam allowances added to all sides.
the straps, pockets and little pieces were cut to fit the fabric, it was a puzzle and there were so little of the fabric that I was left only a 1cm strip leftover, so close it went!
If you are planning on making this, I recommend getting at least half a yard of fabric, large fat quarter is fine for the main piece, but if you want to make sure to match all the pieces, half yard or more is better.

So, this is the Tomb Raider Backpack Mark 1, made with fake leather, craft foam, recycled cotton and reclaimed buckles. Made with broken down sewing machine…

Tomb Raider Lara Croft backpack mark 1 by merineiti

Tomb Raider Lara Croft backpack mark I

The biggest problem is my sewing machine, that has jammed into tiny stitch 😦 I’m not taking custom orders before getting that fixed, because it really affects the quality of sewing.

Rectangular, with working buckles. Side pockets are small, but they are working.

In the back, there is zippered pocket to fit a smartphone etc. (I said I like making working props)

lara croft tomb raider backpack with pocket by merineiti

working prop, me likey

The straps, I ran out of fabric and didn’t have the needed accessories to make them adjustable, so instead there are loops sewn in the bottom edge, and you may adjust the straps with tying ribbons at the end of straps. F0rget making pretty bows, just tie them with anchor hitch and they will hold.

Inside lining has brown cotton printed with woods and bears! This used to be a skirt of mine, which didn’t fit anymore and had fraying lining, but I couldn’t bear (lol) to let go of such whimsy fabric. Here, I feel it’s a nice choice for Lara’s backpack 🙂
In the lining there is a little pocket too.


bear fabric lining in lara croft tomb raider backpack

bear fabric lining

It’s kinda nice but there’s lot I would change as well.

For Mark II, fixes:

– Sewing machine. Fix it, get new one, get access to better one, something, I NEED LONGER STITCHES!
– Need more fabric, preferably cotton canvas instead of pu leather
– If making bigger, bigger sheets of foam or other similar stuff
– Piping the edges might help maintain the rectangular shape even better.
–  Better buckles -maybe just decorative with snaps?
– The straps(handles, preferably pattern curved version with adjustable straps

– pattern the back pocket properly
– maybe more inside pockets as well
– pattern bulkier side pockets (so you can actually store something in them)
– zipper or extra fabric to cover the upper edges? Re-try the drawstring? So it doesn’t rain in the backpack?


Well, it was a nice little project, and will be sufficient for now ( I still have most of the costume to do!) but definitely will try to make this again some time!

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