The Veiled Purl

All about crocheting, sewing, and knitting.

Sew Yourself a Messenger Bag

8 Comments

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I was looking through some tutorials on messenger bags and honestly, I found them pretty confusing. But, the other day after a lot of thinking and 2 tries later,  I finally figured out how these darn things work. :) I had some left over fabric from a dress I made my niece, and I decided I would make her a matching bag.

*Because this is a child-sized bag, the handles/straps are kid-sized. I’ll let you guys know what to use for adult measurements in the tutorial* The final dimensions are around 9″x 10.5″ for the body of the bag and 27″ for the strap. On an adult the this messenger bag’s straps would be purse-like.

Materials for a 9″ x 10.5″ Bag (For a bigger bag, you’ll need a bit more material) :

Around 1/2 yard of main fabric x 52″ width. I highly recommend using flannel as your fabric. a) it’s pretty sturdy for a bag. b) Flannel looks… terrible after one wash. So since you are probably not going to be washing your bag, it’ll be the perfect fabric for it!
-Around 1/2 yard of lining/contrasting fabric x 52″ width. (again plz use flannel or a stiffer fabric. I bought my green fabric from joann for like 2$)
-Zipper
-Matching button
-Optional: Interfacing (Lining each of your fabric pieces with interfacing will make it sturdier. For my niece’s bag I did not use interfacing, but for my own bag I probably will)

Okay, let’s get crackin’! There will be a lot of pics and words, but making the actual bag is super easy. It’ll take only around 2.5 hours to make :)

  • Cut out two 12″ x10″ rectangles on your main fabric
  • Cut out two 12″x10″ rectangles on your lining/contrast fabric
  • Cut out one 8″ x9.5″ rectangle on your main fabric
  • Cut out one 8″ x 9.5″ rectangle on your lining fabric
  • Cut out one 6″x29″ rectangle on your main fabric **For an adult cut out 6×46″**

Cutting the flap:

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This is the 8×9.5″ rectangle on your main fabric. Since this will turn into the flap, you will need to make a curve. To do so, use any circular object…yes even a contacts solution bottle will work ;) Repeat this same process with your 8×9.5″ lining fabric.

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For the zipper compartment piece, measure your zipper from opening to end. Add .5″ seam allowance on each side. So if your zip is a 7″ one, cut out an 8″ x8″ box. **If you want to add pockets, you can easily do so. Just cut out the size you need and add seam allowance**

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Sewing:

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Mark the beginning and end of your zip on one of your contrasting 12×10 rectangles

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Place your zipper designated fabric on top of the rectangle you just marked. Sew a rectangle around the points, leaving 0.5″ allowance on the top. Cut into your fabric as shown in the picture.

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Squeeze your fabric through the hole you made, and iron it down. Pin your zipper in place and sew.

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Turn the fabric around. Fold up your 8″ square and sew the 3 seams shown above. The 2 sides and the top. (I have a seam on the bottom because I added more fabric) **Be sure to only sew your 8″ square! Do not sew into the 12×10″ rectangle!**

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Wohoo! You just sewed on a zip! Not so hard, yeah?

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Sew your 2 flap pieces together. Clip the circular portions, turn the piece right side up. Iron in place, and top stitch for a neat finish.

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Mark the point at which you want your button to be on the flap. Using a button foot, sew a button hole. Test to see if your button fits. :)

If you need, here is a great tutorial for sewing button holes.

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Taking both of your 12×10 main fabric rectangles, sew up 3 sides, leaving the forth unsewn. Do the same for your contrasting fabric

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Fold the 2 corners that you’ve just made, matching seam to seam to create a triangle of sorts. Mark down 1 1/2″ and draw a line from edge to edge. Sew on this line. This will create a stable base for your bag. Do the same for the contrasting fabric.

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Iron the bottom and the sides so create a nice base. Looking like a bag already, yeah?

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Take your strap fabric. Iron the edges in.

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Fold strap in half, and iron. Top stitch both sides. This will help you avoid making a tube that you’ll have to turn inside out.

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Place the right side of your flap on top of the right side of your body and sew in place

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On the sides on your bag, sew on your straps. Again, right side on top of right side, so that the wrong sides are facing you.

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Woah are we done already?? Nope, sorry just a few more steps!

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Turn your contrasting body inside out, so that you are facing the wrong side. Place your main body with the flap + strap inside the contrasting body. Pin to place if need be.

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Leave a 4″ space un-sewn! **Your flap portion must be sewn entirely, so the part that should be unsewn is the side directly opposite the flap**

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From the small hole we just made, squeeze your fabrics out.

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Place the contrasting fabric inside the main fabric. Top stitch the entire opening of your bag, fold in the gap so it looks neat!

Sew on your button. **Make sure to sew only the outer fabric. You do not want to see any seam on the inside**

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~Phew! You are done :)

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Hmm…what’s that thing sticking outta the bag?

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Is that a…?!

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Yup it’s my niece’s monkey plushie. :)

Well, I hope you all find this tutorial useful. Ask me questions if you have any.

+ As always, hit the like/follow button if you enjoyed this.

Have a great day everyone! =]

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Author: Veiled Purl

I love to crochet, sew, and knit! =]

8 thoughts on “Sew Yourself a Messenger Bag

  1. Can’t wait to try this out!

  2. Very cute bag – same way I make them! And I absolutely LOVE pockets, so always have several on all my projects.

    • Thanks! Pockets are pretty great. I would have loved making some for my niece’s bag, but I don’t think she would have appreciated them as much as I would have. Hence, there is only a zipper compartment ( I was really excited to test this out). :)

  3. I just may give this project a shot. I love your fabric, beautiful colors.

  4. Pingback: Old Jeans To New Bag: Sewing Tutorial | The Veiled Purl

  5. Pingback: Mini Messenger Bag: Sewing Tutorial - CrochetPurlCrochetPurl

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