I just finished making a Dora backpack for my two yearbirthday and I just have to share!
I looked forever to find one and they don't make soft ones (!) so I tried to find a tutorial and couldn't find one of those either (!)... so I just made it up as I went. That's usually how things go around here. : )
I started by free-handing a pattern on wax paper
Then I cut out the material - four of the pattern above (two in purple and two in the liner material) and one long strip to go in the middle (+ one in the liner material). I also cut out the straps - mine was about four inches wide to have room for folding over so they would be sturdy. The length of the strap will vary by child.
Here's the liner:
Next I sewed the two sides and the middle together, right sides facing. With the liner it's wrong sides facing. Make sure to sew the straps and put them in before sewing the body together. Then I cut out the face pieces from random scraps of fabric - using buttons for the eyes - and sewed them all on with a zig zag stitch. (I'm better at straight lines, so it aint that purty)
Then I put the liner in (right side up), made a small cut on each corner of the backpack, turned down the top of the backpack onto it (folded in once) and sewed all the way around in two lines. The straps may make this thick, depending on fabric, so make sure you're using the right needle... (OPTIONAL: cut a small piece of cardboard to fit in the bottom to stabilize it)
Lastly, I measured the top opening to get the flap dimensions, free-handed the pattern again, cut it out in purple and liner, folded over the purple, sewed, and attached to the backpack.
Voila! (No, it's not ironed - don't judge - I was in a hurry!)