Eevee Backpack


This build-thread styled blog post is an adaptation of my full Penny WIP build thread on Twitter , which ran between December 2022 and February 2023, focusing solely on my construction of her Eevee backpack. While many of the steps are already shared in the larger thread, I have supplemented with additional photos and notes taken during my build process to add context, and reorganized stages to give an easier flow to follow.

Build Thread

This thread is going to go over my process from start to finish for recreating Penny's iconic Eevee backpack from Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

She's never seen without it, and it's a key part of her character design.

As an early note: Penny's bag is the second backpack I have constructed. The first was Chiaki Nanami's dog-eared drawstring bag.

While Chiaki's bag was much simpler in design and construction, several lessons learned from it proved essential in informing my decisions for approaching this bag.

As such, if I make any mentions of "Chiaki" during the tutorial I am referring to the pink bag seen on the left.

The first step was picking fabrics nicely suited in color and texture.

For Eevee, I wanted to evoke the cozy look and feel of a latte, with soft cream blending on top of a slightly stronger brown.

I already had some cream sweater knit from a previous sweater that seemed perfect for the fluffy cloud like bits, and I chose a chocolate corduroy for the main body.

The in-game texture isn't explicitly corduroy, but on close inspection there are faint lines that suggest it. Even if the material were different in game, I still would have likely chosen corduroy because it feels the most suited for a cute yet classy book bag.

The next step was vectoring out the design from the concept art sheet I wanted to use as a base, adjusting points and curves until they matched up closely with the reference.

While flat concept art doesn't translate directly* into a usable pattern, I wanted to have this printed out to make sure that when I started cutting fabric I'd have a good idea of the relative scale of all the pieces.

*some pieces translated more directly than others. The tail I was able to sew largely as-is; whereas the shoulder straps I had to completely redraft from hand, but vectoring them did provide me an appropriate width for them so that they didn't look too large or small compared to Eevee's hands and feet.

Speaking of scale, one of my goals with costume storage, whether pockets or backpacks, is to scale it relative to things the character would actually be carrying.

When I made Chiaki, I explicitly sized her pockets and backpack to be able to hold various sized gaming consoles, as being a gamer was a key character trait of hers.

Penny is a talented hacker and also a STEM major university student, and to reflect this I scaled my vector to be able to accommodate two of my larger computer science textbooks from my own studies; a Unix guide to reflect her role as a hacker, and an Artificial Intelligence textbook to reflect important story developments from the game.

I then grouped my vector into Head, Body, Tail, and Strap sections, and printed it via pen on my Cricut to the scale I wanted.

(note: the Cricut is not needed here, it's the same as simply printing, but I had access to one already, so it was more convenient than using my printer paper and ink)

This backpack marked my first time embroidering (Chiaki's bag had a iron-on face, and I wanted something with more texture)

For my test run (seen to the left), I was mostly happy with the form, but not the consistency, which prompted me to pull up a guide on how to properly execute what I had in mind.

Searches for Leaf and Fishbone stitches netted me the results I wanted, and helped me be cleaner on my next attempt, namely this video I used as visual reference. 

The trial run also taught me not to embroider the corduroy ears diagonally, as it was both harder to find a center line, and the front and back of the ears looked funky when they met at an angle.

Also referenced in the video above Back-stitching also helped a lot when creating the outline (left image, right ear), as I was able to guide the needle better when it always went into the marker on the backside first and then on the front I would simply return to the previous exit point, rather than having to guess where on the front was closest to the marker on the back.

I followed the same leaf stitches for the black pupils, and then on top of them in one quadrant I did the same for the white glare spots.

I used a similar stitch for the nose, stitching out a triangle and then alternating diagonals to fill across the horizontal line.

Lastly I back stitched the mouth, and then went back over it a few times in a spiral to thicken it, stitching from directly above the existing line to directly below it and vice versa.

This completed the embroidery and gave me the texture I noted I was missing from Chiaki.

Embroidery done, the next phase is to start constructing the full bag.

It's important to note upfront that every single piece of corduroy I used in the backpack was flatlined to some of the sweater fabric, even the non-visible parts like the inside of the ears, tails, and straps.

This is for multiple reasons, mainly for reinforcing the structure and for giving a softer cushiony feel to the inside of the backpack. It also protects the backside of the embroidery from being directly picked at, and helps the stuffed pieces retain a bit more of their shape.

Also, as shown in this ear pic, unless otherwise noted, all of the seams are finished with a zigzag stitch, and the curves are clipped into (to allow them to fold better), and those seams are all then pressed, which I won't mention during the remainder of the thread to avoid redundancy.

As I mentioned when talking about the vectoring stage, the tail was largely "as-is" from its 2D design, where I made two brown teardrop shapes, then made tan shapes covering about half of them with three curves, topstitched the tan to the brown, and then stitched the two pieces together normally, leaving enough room to invert the tail and fill with polyfill, and then the open area at the top was stitched closed.

The curves were similar to a Celeste Animal Crossing hoodie I had made (which in turn was inspired by Random Tuesday's Blathers), which was also topstitched, so it was a familiar shape to deal with.

Likewise, the ears, hands, and feet were all just sewing identical front and back 2D shapes to each other, turning inside out, and filling.

To give the bag more volume though, the front and back of the body were joined by a long rectangular strip.

This was also important to solve another problem with the backpack, corduroy is a thick fabric, and me flatlining every single piece of it meant that every time I sewed two segments together, it would be at least four layers thick, and more than that could impede the machine's ability to cleanly sew and risk breaking needles.

This strip provided me a buffer between the legs and lower strap.

For the sake of full transparency, even with these precautions I did break two needles on the thickest section of the project, the straps underneath Eevee's neck, which themselves are 4 layers thick and connected to both the back of the head and the back of the body.

When this happened, I switched to a jersey needle, turned my machine to a much slower speed so I could approach the area more cautiously, and then did a straight stitch over the area I already had zigzagged over. Because it was flatter from the first sewing attempt bringing it together, it was easier to safely sew over that area a second time, and avoiding a zigzag made it easier for me to hit the pile in a more consistent way, and not at an odd angle that caused the needle to bend or break.

I could have also ironed this area ahead of time, as I knew it was likely to be pushing the level of thickness I should handle at once as it was; but I wanted to avoid this unless absolutely necessary, as I was working with corduroy and didn't want to crush the pile of the surrounding area that would still be visible.

I had initially wanted to hide my zipper under the neck cushion, but the aforementioned thickness issues in that area meant there was no way I would have been able to do that cleanly with those straps in the same location, so I instead opted to move it to the top of the backpack, which worked out for the best because it allowed a larger zipper and more capacity in my backpack.

I stitched out a rectangle to act as finishing, cut it out, and sewed my zipper to the new edges it formed.

A quick fun aside: the canon design has a far more impractical design than either of my choices, instead choosing to run directly vertical and seemingly opening from the bottom, not the top.

In the previous picture you may have noticed white strips on the shoulder straps and the front and back of the head portion, these are rows of snap tape that I top stitched to them to let them connect to the fluffy portions, so that I can wash those separately, and so I can pack them within the backpack when transporting the costume.

Their matching pieces of snap tape are on the neck fluff cushions and the wrap-around shoulder cushions. The snaps on the shoulder straps are specifically on the inside, towards the wearer, so they aren't visible even when the cushions aren't connected.

For the neck cushions, I first just took two of the shape I had drafted, cut the back one in half vertically, and sewed them together.

They were then inverted through a small slit I left open in the middle of the back, and I top stitched several darts that would create eight small pockets of fluff when the cushion would filled.

I then stuffed stuffing into the slit, and hand-sewed it closed.

There is a corduroy rectangle on the inside underneath the snap tape to reinforce the area, as the sweater fabric on its own was too stretchy to be consistent.

The last portion was making the large fluffy straps. While I had a rough idea of how I wanted them to behave, the exact logistics of them were my last big challenge to overcome, as they were mapping a complex 3D shape into a 2D pattern.

The whiteboard design was the rough idea in my head- in addition to the cushion snapping to the shoulder strap, it also needed to snap to itself to subtly complete a loop.

This was also how the final design worked, but the exact shape to be properly butterfly/bread dough-esque took some workshopping, as the initial draft would have resulted in the strap being flat on one side.

What I ended up realizing was that I needed a rectangle on the inside (the corduroy on the top),and on the outside I needed these hourglass-esque shapes on the bottom (which would sew together on their curves).

There would be a rectangle in the middle where the corduroy and sweater meet, but on either side they would have curves extending beyond the rectangle.

The image to the left is showing what the folded over pieces look like before attaching.

The left and right sides of the hourglass attaches to the same sides of the rectangle;

The rectangle is then folded into a tri-fold, and the top/bottom parts of the hourglass that don't overlap the rectangle are sewn to the parts of the hourglass they do overlap.

(i.e. the overhang on the bottom in the front and back is sewn together to itself)

While the stitching is hard to see in this photo because I tried to make it subtle straight stitching inside the lower points of the corduroy's pile, I made a rectangular outline of the flat portions on either side of the strap, (the sections where the snaps are), because I didn't want them to get distorted when I started adding filling.

This image is an excellent example of how important darts are to giving a plush structure. While the snap areas are unaffected because I closed them off in the previous step, the whole cushion has become one unappealing nebulous blob because I hadn't added them.

I went back and added several darts, four vertically down the middle, and eight on the sides where the curves meet each other.

This gave the whole cushion a texture more reminiscent of kneaded bread.

I then took the corduroy at the top, which I intentionally left a few inches long, folded it over twice, and sewed it shut.

When fully stuffed and closed, they look like this. The shorter set of snaps on the back connects to the inside of the shoulder strap, while the other set folds over it to connect to the strap on the front.

This hides the strap connection underneath, and leaves only the bread dough coils visible from the outside.

After completing the backpack, I noticed one critical flaw, the head at rest always wanted to flop back forwards over the backpack, completely obscuring my hard work and dangling awkwardly in an unflattering position.

Stuffing the backpack full with a sweatshirt made it look okay, but I didn't want to have a backpack that only looked nice when it was completely full, as that limits its functionality into becoming purely a prop.

This is an issue I ran into with Chiaki as well, but for a few reasons hers was easier to mitigate.

The head on Chiaki's (much smaller) bag is separate from the actual storage, so I was just able to snap the tiny dog ears on it to the shoulder straps, but that solution doesn't work here because:

This puzzle prompted me to look back at my reference shots in game to see how Penny's backpack behaved, as it does have some natural droop in-game.

The screenshot that caused my breakthrough though was actually just a textbox describing Penny's cluttered room filled with cardboard boxes, leading me to remember how duffel bags typically have a thin plastic sheet at the bottom to keep some level of structure.

Using the last of my fabric, an extra zipper, and and a spare cardboard box I had lying around, I cut out a shape roughly the size of the backpack,  sewed the fabric ovals together, and slipped the cardboard into the sleeve.

The zipper was a key part, because if my cardboard ever got bent or damaged, I would be able to simply cut out another of the same size and replace it, and also it allowed me to keep the bag machine washable.

After slotting the board into the backpack, the head remained upright even when the bag was otherwise empty, and in both carrying stances (straps on my shoulder or around my elbows), solving my final problem and leaving me with a finished bag.

The backing board also had the lovely side effect of making the back of the backpack have the solid coffee color, contrasting with the cream of the rest of the interior.

And there you have it! 

One very fluffy and functional Veevee bag.

Feel free to reach out at any of my socials on Social Links , but I'm best reached as @TriumphantBass on Twitter.

Hasta la vistar!