Now that Christmas is done for another year I can finally post tutorials for the gifts that I made this season. This bag in particular was really fun to make and I was really excited to give it away! This gift is for my sister who not only works full-time but is now doing some more schooling in the background. I imagine she is quite busy!
I wanted her to have a bag that would carry everything she needed for her full day of work and study so I designed this two pocket messenger bag to help her through the day while also looking so stylish 🙂
Supplies needed to make your messenger bag
- Fabric (2 meters of main fabric)
- Small amount of fabric to line the inside flap of your bag
- Thread for embroidery design
- Yarn for crochet edge
- Thread to match the bag (black in my case)
- Sewing machine
- Strap for the bag
For this bag I used a thicker felt material that was actually marked as coat fabric. I wanted it to be sturdy enough to carry things but I also wanted it to be a good template for my embroidery embellishment. For the inside lining of the closing flap I actually used a silk napkin.
The main pieces used to create this bag are 2 rectangles that are used to make two interior pockets and then a larger rectangle to construct the outside and closing flap.
Here are the measurements you will need to cut out your three rectangles.
*Remember to make a 1/2″ seam allowance around each rectangle.
Assembling messenger bag
To form the inside pockets you will first need to sew up the sides of each pocket leaving the top open. To make the pockets have a square bottom I simply trimmed the corners like this:
After trimming the corners pinch the edges together and sew shut.
Outside of messenger bag
To form the outside of your messenger bag you will sew up the sides and form the corners the same way that you created the inside pockets. The only difference is that the outside piece has the closing flap.
After sewing the corners seams closed you can flip the outside of your bag round the right way and you should have something that looks like this:
I sewed a quick seam along the bottom of the two inside pockets so that they would stay together while in the bag.
Now you can put all the pieces together! Put both pockets inside the outside piece. Using A LOT of pins you will need to fold all of the seams together. I started by folding in the seam between the two pockets and sewing that together. Then fold in all the seams that connect the pockets to the bag edge. Leave the back seam open for now so that you can attach the lining for the closing flap.
At this point your bag will look mostly assembled but you will still have an unfinished closing flap. I took a glass to draw small curves on the corners of the flap.
Cut out the curves remembering to keep your seam allowance.
At this point you will need to add any embroidery design that you want before you attach the lining. I made a flower and bee design but you can be totally creative!
Pin your lining material to the closing flap while folding in both edges.
Sew all the way around to secure the lining.
Strap loops and buttonhole
Now for a few small finishing touches! I sewed small strips of fabric into the two back corners of the bag so that I could attach the strap.
I also used the buttonhole footer on my sewing machine to make a quick buttonhole in the closing flap of the bag. There are plenty of tutorials online showing you how to make a buttonhole with your machine or you can simply read the manual. I sewed the button onto the front side of the bag by hand.
Even though I love trying out new crafts I can never stop my obsession with crochet! I decided to add a little flair to this project by putting a crochet edge around the closing flap. Adding a crochet edge to any fabric is super easy you just have to sew a starting edge on first and then you can crochet whatever you would like. I used crab stitch because I’m obsessed with it but you can use any type of edging you can think of!
Here’s how I attached my yarn to the fabric.
Continue this along the entire edge of the closing flap and tie off at the end.
There you have it! A beautiful, sturdy bag made with your own hands 🙂 I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learnt something new from it. Please comment below if you have questions or comments to add.