Monday, 21 January 2013

Messenger Bags

Eli loves his bag!

When I saw the tutorial for kids messenger bags (or satchel bags in Australia!) at Zaaberry I knew I wanted to make these my next project!

This is my prototype for Eli. The bear fabric on the flap is drill and is a fantastic weight for bags. I spied the bears waving at me from the remnant basket at Spotlight and picked it up for $2. I think the piece is big enough for at least another three bag flaps. I used a camel coloured quilting cotton for the rest of the bag, though I won't be using quilting cotton again. I reinforced the cotton fabric with interfacing, but found it to be a bit of a pain! With all the turning inside out and back again throughout the bag making process, the interfacing ended up a bit 'bubbly', as it came away from the cotton a little. This could probably be remedied by ironing it again to re-adhere it to the cotton fabric.

This is a fabulous sized bag for 2 - 5 year olds and the tutorial is easy to follow. I did make one alteration to the strap; I used half the width and simply sewed it up with right sides together, turned it right side out, ironed the seams and stitched down each length to reinforce. I also omitted the batting for the strap. I plan on making quite a few (with a variety of different flap fabrics) so that I have plenty on hand for birthday gifts as they arise during the year!

Adult sized messenger bag.
One of my nieces turned 18 in January and I thought she would love a messenger bag as a birthday gift. I used the tutorial at mmmcrafts for this one. As 2013 is the year of use-what-I-have, I had to stray from my original idea of a plain body and strap with a patterned flap. I had either brown or camel fabric for the body, but wanted to used a navy and white fabric for the flap. There was no way that I was going to put the two fabrics together, so I opted to use the navy print for the entire bag. I added a white applique flower to break up the print a little on the front flap.

This bag is put together differently to the child sized messenger bag. Both tutorials are clear and easy to follow, but I think I prefer the construction of the child sized bag (though this may change as I attempt to mass produce them for my 'gift' box!).

My photos are rubbish, but this bag is really lovely!

I used a brighter print (drill - as is the navy print - I wasn't going down the interfacing route again!) for the inside.

The little trees are quite adorable and add some colour that is a pleasant surprise when the bag flap is lifted. As this bag was for a girl (and and adult at that!) I added a pocket on the inside as well as the outside of the bag.

My niece loves it so I was extra pleased! I am looking forward to making some more of these. I think I'll try adding a magnetic snap to the flap and perhaps a zippered pocket inside.
Inner pocket


  1. These are such fun bags! And such a great idea to have some on hand for children's birthday gifts. That bear fabric is very cute!!

  2. Thanks for sharing! My daughter loves totes and bags but doesn't have a messenger bag yet. After seeing how lovely yours turned out I might have to give it a go! Good tip about the drill.

  3. Love, love, love!! You have a real knack for choosing fabrics that go well together :-)

  4. Great bags! I am yet to make one, but it is on my to do list...


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