My buckles finally came in and so I was able to go out and get the strapping material I needed to make the compression straps. I took some time this last weekend to sew the straps in and sew up the bottom of the bag. I used an X Box pattern to secure the straps (not pictured), but hid that under the bottom layer of fabric in an attempt to keep the outside of the bag looking more pristine.
The next steps for this project are to create 4 more external pockets (two on the front, 1 on each side), secure the bottom portion of the backpack straps to the sides, sew up the sides, turn the back right side out, make backpack straps and secure them, and finish making the compression straps. I’m planning on making the backpack cover a double layer of canvas to give it some weight and durability. So I’ll need to cut and sew that in, but that can be one of the final things I do.