A Messenger Bag

I’m travelling next week and, while we have every possible size of suitcase ever made, most of our carry-on bags are of the “things I need to keep my children entertained and cover every possible contingency on a 14 hour flight” kind. That is not what I need when I am travelling for 5 days, without kids. My husband had already laughed at me because I’m not JUST taking carry-on. But hey, I want to shop, so that means checking in a suitcase.

Anyway, because my everyday bag is of the “small as possible and only able to fit in the essentials” variety, there is no way it can also fit a book, my iPad etc. Naturally, the solution was to make a bag, in just the right size. I’ve been struggling for a while now with the fact that I don’t have a bag that will fit “stuff” in it. Files, folders, a decent sized book … So, this is a solution to those problems.

Naturally, I already had several messenger bags pinned : http://www.pinterest.com/electricplum2/bags/

When I investigated, none of them were quite right. Most were the right style but too small, and many didn’t have the features I wanted. Those features were:

  • size – at least 14″x12″, but probably a bit bigger
  • a snap close for the front flap
  • internal pockets
  • an adjustable strap

So, the bag I made has all of those things, thanks to several tutorials.

My first inspirations was this bag:


So much so, that I bought fabric in those colours. But the bag was much smaller than I had planned. I did use the method shown in this tutorial for attaching the flap to the bag, since I decided I wanted a patterned flap with a plain bag body.

This tutorial was the right size:


So I used the measurements and basic method shown in this tutorial.

I already knew how to do internal pockets thanks to this tutorial:


I also really liked the fabric addition to the strap on this tutorial (but unfortunately didn’t have the length of fabric needed to do it this time):


I did use this method l to attach my plain black strap however.

Finally, this one explained how to attach the magnetic snaps:



So, all together, I managed to cobble together a bag. And I like it. The real test will be using it next week, but until then, it looks pretty and seems functional.

My rough workflow (so I can remember it for next time) was:

– cut out the pieces

– make internal pockets on lining fabric

– make lining into bag shape

– make outside fabric into bag shape

– make flap – remembering to attach snap to flap before completing and also attaching snap to outside of bag

– attach flap to outside of bag

– sew together lining and outside of bag

– topstitch the whole thing

– attach the straps






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