Messenger Bag Tutorial

Messenger Bag Tutorial

How fab is this cross body messenger bag with button fastener?

OK, OK, I’ll come clean, I actually made it to replace my peg bag (a design fail from last year!) but it ended up looking so nice, I’d be happy to be seen using it as an everyday bag. I love the Scottie Dog fabric too, what do you think?

It’s a really fun and easy bag to make, requires no pattern and you can easily make one in an afternoon (mine took me around an hour and a half to make).

If you’d like to have a go at making your own, you’ll need:

  • 1 x 42cm x 64cm piece of fabric for the outside piece of your bag
  • 1 x 16cm x 60cm piece of fabric for your flap
  • 1 x 114cm x 12cm piece of fabric for your strap
  • 1 x 40cm x 62cm in a contrasting fabric for your bag lining (I chose baby blue with a pink pinstripe to pick out some of the colours in my Scottie Dog fabric)
  • 1 x button

You’ll also need:

  • Matching or contrasting thread (if you’re less confident, go with a similar colour thread)
  • Pins
  • Tape measure
  • Tailors Chalk (or pencil)
  • Set Square, T Square, or Perspex Patchwork Ruler to get the perfect right angle
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Sewing machine
  1. Use your set square to help you cut your fabric to perfect right angles
  2. Begin by folding your outside piece in half, right sides together, essentially halving the longest length, and press down the fold with a hot iron. Pin what will be your bag side and bag bottom and sew along these sides to make your basic bag shape, leaving one side open for your bag top; I used a 1cm seam allowance
  3. Repeat step two for your bag lining piece
  4. Repeat step two for your bag flap – if you’re using a print that has a ‘right way up’ make sure the side you leave open is at the top (I didn’t…cue having to unpick it and start again!)
  5. To shape your bag flap, stich across your two bottom corners at 45 degree angles (see middle left image)
  6. Turn your bag outer and bag flap the right way and press with your iron – leave your inner for the moment.
  7. Next, we need to prepare our bag strap. If you’ve made my Fabric Tote Bag this will be familiar: Fold your fabric in half so it is still all of the length but twice as thin, press with a hot iron. Fold each edge into the centre fold (see the top left hand image) and press along both folds. Fold back in half on the original centre fold so you have the true width of your strap (3cm) and press again. Stitch along both long edges of your strap 0.5cm from the edge (see the top centre image) – your bag strap is now ready and can be set to one side for now
  8. Using your button hole stitch (or hand sewing one if you prefer) sew a button hole into your bag flap 4cm from the bottom and cut the fabric carefully in the middle to make your button hole
  9. Insert your bag lining into the outer piece (you can see now why we didn’t turn the lining) so that the top edges of the bag pieces are flush. Turn in towards each other 3cm on both pieces (see bottom centre image) and press
  10. Position your flap into your bag so it is sandwiched between your bag outer and bag lining (it doesn’t matter which side you choose) by 3cm
  11. Position your bag strap in the same way at both sides of your bag (see bottom right image)
  12. Pin this into place ready for sewing
  13. Sew around the top of your bag 0.5cm from the top edge making sure you catch all layers. For extra strength, you can also include another row of stitches 3cm away, however I was happy that mine was well secured
  14. Lay your bag on a hard surface, ensuring the flap is over the bag opening. With your tailor’s chalk, make a dot through the middle of your button hole; this will indicate where you need to sew your button on
  15. Once your button is sewn on, give your bag one last press and you’re ready to go

So there you have it, a really easy way to make a messenger bag…hanging the washing on the line has never looked so stylish for me!

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