I affectionately refer to my purse or bag as “the dungeon” because it is so large and full of so many random items. Goggles anyone? How about an old french fry? Soccer sock? I wanted to try to make a new bag that was less dungeon like-maybe more compartments or maybe a slightly smaller bag so I created this messenger bag pattern.
Who else loves a good bag? I’ve got a major thing for them. (In fact, see my posts about 25 Bags to Sew and 15 MORE Bags to Sew.) And for hot pink. And for Chevron stripes. Put them all together in this messenger bag and forget about it.
Well, I succeeded in making a cute bag, but I am not sure that it is going to be any less dungeony. Oh well. I still love it.
Messenger Bag Pattern and Tutorial:
Want to make it yourself? I know you do.
- 1 yard of your main fabric
- 1 yard of coordinating fabric
- 1 yard of fusible fleece interfacing (this stuff is one of my favorite things to sew with! You really have to try it!)
Final dimensions on this messenger bag will be about 16 inches wide by 14 inches high. You can easily adjust it to be other sizes if needed though.
Start out by cutting out your pieces. The front of my bag is 17″ wide by 15″ high with rounded corners on the bottom: (yes, I should iron before cutting). Cut this out of your main fabric, your coordinating fabric, and your lining. (Please note that these images show a lightweight interfacing. I really recommend fusible fleece instead.)
The back of the bag is the same width but is 26″ tall. Again, cut it out of both fabrics and your interfacing.
Cut 2 pieces that are 4 inches by 45 inches as well out of all of your fabrics. One of these pieces will be your strap and one will be the sides of the bag.
If you want any inner pockets now is a good time to do that. I did a large pocket on the back inner part of my bag. You’ll want to cut out fabric about 24 inches wide by 8 inches tall. Then fold it in half with right sides together and sew all the way around it, leaving a small opening to turn it.
Turn it right side out, press flat and sew the opening shut.
Then sew it onto the back inner part of your bag around the sides and bottom leaving the top open.
I made some compartments in my pocket for things like my cell phone and a pen simply by sewing straight lines down the pocket:
Turn it, press it and then top stitch it:
Now let’s put the bag together. Starting with your inner fabric and your interfacing, put the other 45-inch strip along the edges of your front piece with the interfacing on the outside. Pin it in place all the way around the bag trimming any excess length off as needed.
It should look like this when you are done:
Here’s a close-up of the corners:
Do this to both the outer and the inner fabric.
Now let’s put it all together. Turn the OUTER fabric right side out:
and the INNER fabric inside out.
Slide the OUTER fabric down inside the inner fabric matching up all the seams from the two pieces. So you’ve got the two pieces of the bag with one inside the other and right sides are together.
Tuck your straps down inside the bag on the side panels so that the ends stick out like this. The straps should be between the 2 layers of the bag:
Starting at the top center of the flap and working from the back of the bag, sew around the bag-down the flap, across the middle, back up the other side of the top. Leave several inches open at the top of the flap.
Here’s a video showing the process. This is the same process for about 5-6 tutorials on my site, so I’m showing it with the mini messenger bag in the video but it works the same for all of these different tutorials.
I go over the strap part several times to make sure they are very secure.
Now, using your opening on the top, turn everything right side out and push the inner part down inside the outer part.
Press it nice and flat and smooth (that’s always my favorite part because it starts to really look like a bag.)
Top stitch all the way around the flap. This will close your opening and keep your flap laying nice and smooth:
And you’re done! This can also make a great diaper bag. I even tossed in my diaper and wipes carrier:
Pretty nice huh?
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