DIY Messenger Bag

This is a sewing pattern that shows you how to make a messenger bag.

by craftbits (shellie wilson)

What you need
Sewing Machine
finished dimensions are: 13" long, 10"wide, and 2 1/2" deep. The strap is 48" long and the flap is 7 1/2" long.

1) Cut out your fabric. The photo below shows the pieces you need. From top to bottom: cut 1 “flap” of fabric and 1 of lining; cut 2 “front and back” of fabric and 2 of lining; cut 3 “gusset” sections from fabric and 3 from lining (two gussets are the same size, and one is slightly smaller, for the bottom of the bag); cut 1 “strap” from fabric and 1 from lining. (Figure 2)

2) If you’re using interfacing, sew or iron it on first – to each of the pattern pieces. I ironed mine on to the lining, since I used kind of a thin cotton for the lining and it needed some toughening up.

3) Sew the 3 gusset pieces together at the short ends, with one long section on each side of the shorter section. You should have one long strip of fabric with two seams. Press the seams open.

(Figure 4)

4) Pin the gusset to one of the “front and back” pieces (which are identical at this point). Here’s what it should look like. Pin the corners first: the way to do this is to clip the gusset seam a bit and pin it to the fabric like so: (Figure 5)

Pin the rest of the gusset on and stitch; trim the seam and clip the corners. Stitch the gusset onto the other “front and back” section in the same way. Here’s what it looks like when both sections are pinned/stitched to the gusset – you can see the bag starting to take shape:

(Figure 6)

Turn the bag right side out when both sides are stitched, and press seams.

5) Next you’re going to make the flap that attaches onto the front of your bag. First, attach one half of a magnetic snap to the lining. Pin the fabric and lining flap sections together and sew around three edges, leaving one long edge open. Trim seam, turn right side out, and press. Sew optional trim around the edges. Here’s what it looks like when finished.

(Figure 7)

Attach other half of magnetic snap to bag front: (Figure 8)

Pin the flap to the back of the bag, right sides together: (Figure 9)

6) Pin strap and lining sections together and stitch along long edges. Trim seam, turn right side out, and press. Top stitch along both edges. Pin the strap to the gusset sections, right sides together: (Figure 10)

7) I made two interior pockets – cut four rectangles from the lining material. Pin two pieces together for each pocket, sew around the edges, and leave a small opening for turning. Trim seams, turn, and press. Pin the pockets to the “front and back” lining sections. I made one a pen and pencil holder (in photo on right) and one is a regular pocket with a Velcro closure (Figure 11)

Top stitch around edges of each pocket; top stitch in 1-1/4″ rows for pen holder. Prepare gusset lining sections same as for main bag. The only difference is that you should leave an opening in one side to turn the bag right side out. Here’s a photo of the bag lining stitched together with the opening in the bottom: (Figure 12)

9) Pin lining and bag together at top edges, with bag inside lining and right sides together. Stitch top edges together, trim seam, and turn right side out through hole in bottom. Here’s a photo of the bag after turning: (Figure 13)

Press the top edges of bag, and sew up the hole in the lining. Push the lining down into the bag, and press the top edge again. Top stitch around top edge of bag, and voila!

This particular bag’s finished dimensions are: 13″ long, 10″wide, and 2 1/2″ deep. The strap is 48″ long and the flap is 7 1/2″ long.

You can make this bag any size you want, of course. This size can hold a good amount of stuff without feeling too bulky:

This project was contributed by Elizabeth.

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