Make a Zootopia Themed Knapsack

May 2, 2016By Janice FergusonEmbroidery, Projects, Sewing 22 Comments Opinion by Paid Consultant

With your Brother Sewing and Embroidery machine, Zootopia designs on, and some materials, you can make this knapsack for an imaginative child. It certifies a youngster’s membership in the crime-busting Zootopia PD.

In Disney’s unique metropolis, a rucksack like this would be handy for surveillance when packed with snacks and binoculars. While tracking bad guys through the woods, it could lug a compass and water bottle. Any child would love this useful accessory. It makes a bold statement about youthful commitment to truth, justice and the Zootopian way.


Simplicity Burda Pattern 6688
Simplicity Burda Pattern 6688
Note: Designs may be stitched one at a time in 4×4 frame or all three in 8×8 or larger frame.

Cutting out

  1. Cut two rectangles of blue pin striped denim 17” x 14.” This is larger than the pattern piece.
  2. OPTIONAL: ZOOTOPIA PD embroidery.
    1. In PE-Design, use text function to create ZOOTOPIA PD design. Font shown on knapsack is TT Lucida Bright, size 20 mm. Make certain text does not extend into marked corners.
    2. Add basting frame around text.
    3. Draw horizontal placement line 2” above and parallel to one short side. This will be the bottom of the bag.
    4. Draw vertical placement line at center.
    5. Hoop stabilizer and baste blue denim in place.
    6. Embroider ZOOTOPIA PD text.
  3. Mark placement of corner pieces along diagonal seam line.


Pocket embroidery

  1. Draw a rectangle 8 wide x 9”long at center of white denim. Use a water soluble marker or make visible creases.
  2. Hoop stabilizer and white denim. Embroider three Zootopia characters within this area, positioned as shown. If designs extend a little beyond the marked boundary the pocket simply will be a little larger. If so, additional gold grosgrain yardage may be required. Do not yet cut the white denim pocket any smaller.


Cut pocket to size


  1. Cut ½” beyond embroidery ONLY on 2 long sides and bottom short side. Cut 2” above upper embroidery.
  2. Clean finish all 4 sides with zig zag stitch or serger.

Sew pocket to bag front

  1. Press top finished edge to FRONT of pocket, ½” from top of embroidery.
  2. Stitch gold grosgrain ribbon across pocket top, covering finished edge.
  3. Pin pocket to bag front with pocket bottom 3 1/4” from bag bottom.
  4. Stitch gold grosgrain ribbon across pocket bottom, covering clean finished edge and seaming pocket to bag.
  5. Stitch gold ribbon along each side, folding raw ends under.
  6. Sew star button in each corner as shown.
  7. Sew tiny star button between ZOOTOPIA and PD.

Diagonal Bottom Corners

  1. Press diagonal seam allowance of each triangular corner piece to wrong side. Place fold against marked corner line. Pin and baste in place.
  2. Stitch corner pieces in place, ¼” from folded edge.
  3. Finish all raw edges of bag front and back.
  4. Place bag front and back right sides together. Beginning at bag top, stitch 1 ½” then back stitch to reinforce. Resume stitching 3” from top, back stitching to reinforce. Continue to bag bottom.
  5. Repeat on second side. Stitch bag bottom.
  6. Turn bag right side out. Insert grommets in corners.
  7. Press side seams open from top to below slit opening for ribbon.
  8. Fold top edge down 1 ½” for casing.
  9. Stitch very close to lower finished edge of casing.
  10. Stitch 1/8” from folded edge, creating a header for the casing.
  11. Cut (2) 1 ½ yd. lengths of 7/8” navy ribbon.
  12. Attach large safety pin to one length of ribbon. Thread through casing, beginning at one slit and ending at the same slit.
  13. Repeat with second ribbon, beginning at opposite side.
  14. Thread ribbon from right slit through right grommet and knot on back of bag.
  15. Repeat with left ribbon.

Finished—one Zootopia knapsack ready for assignment to a bona fide Zootopia PD deputy.


  • Cute idea and thorough, well-written instructions…but of course…it’s from Janice Ferguson. Hope to see much more from her.

    • Thanks for the comment Ann! You will be seeing more from Janice, have no fear! We love Janice around Stitching Sewcial too! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Thanks, Ann, for your generous comment. With your background editing a sewing magazine for many years, your praise is flattering. I have really enjoyed developing these projects for Brother.

  • This knapsack is so cool! The instructions are clear and it looks so fun and simple. This would be the perfect gift for an adventurous little one.

    • Thank you, LF. Little ones hauling a backpack are so cute. I think it helps them develop some organizational skills by keeping track of what they need for an adventure or a trip to Nana’s house.

    • Andrea, I’m glad to hear that the instructions are helpful for new sewists. One nice thing about a project like this is that stitching the exact size doesn’t matter. It will always fit!

  • Thanks to each of you for your kind comments. This was such fun to stitch. I think you all would enjoy making a Zootopia project. Kids love Zootopia and the designs are so cute.

  • This looks to be a very useful item to have- worth the effort required to make it. Having read through the instructions twice I think I understand the construction steps involved, particularly for the ribbon casing with openings on each side (by the way, thank you! I didn’t know the proper way for making such a casing and will correct my method in the future.) What should be the dimensions of the finished sack? I’m guessing it would be ~15″ long. Would there be any problems scaling it down for a smaller child and having, say, two characters embroidered on the pocket so it can be narrower and eliminating the optional Zootopia PD embroidery to shorten it?

  • Jennifer, thank you for your kind comment. Scaling this down for a smaller child should be no problem at all. Reduce the size of the bag itself and then resize the pocket for one or two Zootopia designs. Little ones with back knapsacks are so cute.

  • This is a perfect project for a little boy’s gift. I like that the back pack is light weight but able to hold several treasures. You are so clever, Janice. how do you come up with all these ideas?

    • Pshaw, Susanna. With this well written Burda pattern and designs from anyone can be clever. Thought it’s usually harder to come up with sewing projects for boys than girls, this useful knapsack would please most little guys. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

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