This is what my pack looks like now:
This is what my homemade day pack looks like now. I've replaced the front pocket and both side pockets with stronger material. I also made a new interior pocket that is lighter. The interior pocket came off a couple of times then I attached it to the strip of webbing that holds my shoulder straps it place and it has stayed put ever since.
I am very happy with my pack because it was built just for me. It has all the features that I want and it is exactly my size. I had to repair this pack about every other month at first due to some design flaws. Now it does not need as much repair work and I know how to make a stronger pack next time around.
Things I would do different include sewing the pocket edges into the body seams instead of outside of the pack. I knew that was the right way to do it from the start but my old sewing machine could not sew through 4 layers at once. I would also use stronger material to hold the sit pad in place, it rips from time to time and has been patched up with duct tape.
I bought a new sewing machine shortly after I made this pack sewing machine shop was amazed that I was able to make any outdoor gear with the crappy machine that I had. My new machine cost me just $75 but it is a tank. My old machine was like a 2 stroke engine, it revved way to fast and was hard to control. My new machine is like a 4 stroke engine or maybe even a Caterpillar truck engine. I can have total control over the speed from super slow to almost too fast.
For years and years I suffered with my Dressmaker brand machine. This new old Kenmore machine makes sewing so much easier.
One of these days I will make myself a new day pack with my new machine and my new skill set. But for now I just love my current day pack too much to retire it.
I am really enjoying the freedom of not having a hip belt on my day pack. I like to be able to just shrug the pack off when ever I want to. At first I did not like the extra weight on my shoulders but now I never even think about it. The only bad thing about no hip belt is that when I am brush crashing if I lean over too far the pack can come off over the top of my head. Keeping the shoulder straps tight will prevent that though.