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Messenger Bag Tutorial

Messenger Bag Tutorial
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I have a favorite messenger bag that I never used because a) it’s falling apart b) it was from high school and still has drawings all over it. Also, if I want to carry my computer in it that’s all that will fit. I am a mom, so I have to bring more than that with me, especially as I am going to the airport soon and I want to bring more than just my laptop.

I was working on this at night, so there aren’t any work-in-progress pictures. Instead I have my plans for you, right out of my notebook.


1 1/2 Yard of Canvas (or other material)

2 Yards Bias Tape (Homemade or Bought)

Scrap of Fabric for a Pocket

6 Inches Sew-On Velcro

2 D-Rings

Strap (Homemade or Bought)


You get to make your own pattern. It should be easy but there are some measurements that won’t be the same for everybody. You may need more or less bias tape, and the sides may be longer or shorter than mine. Always have just a little more than you need for the sides, because it will look really tacky if they are too short.

Another point, my messenger bag has side pockets in the picture. This is the second messenger bag I made, and on both I wish there were no pockets. So don’t bother with them, they first were bigger so that they were useable, but they looked extremely crummy. On this one they are too small and I can’t really fit my hand in them to be able to use them.

First you will need to cut all of your pieces. My notebook shows all the pieces you will need. You can start off with cutting the squares. After you cut the squares you can round them off. For the front and back, you will want to have both pieces together, and fold them in half, so that all four corners are together when you cut them. This way they will all have the same shape. For the Large Back Pocket, you will want to take your front piece and trace it, so that the bottom and sides match up perfectly.

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When rounding-off the flap, you can either free-hand it or plan it out on a piece of tissue paper first, so that you get the look you want.

The sides also need to be cut. They are going to be 5 inches wide and at least 45 inches long. Feel free to piece them together if you need to. You can get a more exact length by measuring the edges of your front or back piece, including where it is rounded (everything but the very top).

Next you need to work on each of the sides and the flap before they are all sewn together.

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1.Fold the top of the small pocket over twice and iron. Sew the hem down.

2.Fold over the other edges of the pocket, iron them down and pin to the front piece of the messenger bag. Sew the three outside edges of the pocket to the front. Leave the top open. Sew dividing lines down the middle of the pocket. (See layout picture)

3.Pin the loop side of the velcro under the pocket at an angle and sew it on.

Set aside the front until later.


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1.Sew bias tape onto the top of the large pocket. That’s all that needs to be done, the pocket will be sewn on at the same time the sides are sewn on


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1.Make a 5 inch long tag from the bias tape. It should be wide enough to hide the velcro. Use two pieces of bias tape, with their insides together. Fold both sides of edges under and sew them together.

2.Trim the hook side of the velcro, so that it is about 4 inches. Sew it to the tag, leaving an extra inch on one side.

3.Pin the bias tape to the edges of the flap. Pin the tag to the bias tape too.

4.Sew the bias tape to the bag, including the tag. When finished, go back and reinforce the tag again.

If you want to add any decoration to the flap, now would be the time to do it.

Now you can put the front and the side strip with the outsides facing in to each other and pin it together. It can be sewn together after that.

Do the same with the back piece, just be sure to get the large pocket in there as well.

Next you want to hem the top edge of the entire bag.

Lastly you will add the D-rings. They will be attached with bias tape. Sew a square around the bias tape, and then an X through the middle.

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Now you can attach your strap and you are ready to travel. Or for school. Whichever!

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