Monday, June 9, 2014

Fun Projects - Messenger Bag/Tutorial

Well my friend Karen recently "lightly and gently" scolded me for not posting more often! "it doesn't have to be a long post you know... you do some cool projects we all want to see."

Okay, my friend, I promise I will do a series of small posts over the summer.  And the first one is the "I need to grab my wallet and go to the store" messenger bag project I just completed a couple of days ago.

I don't know about you, but I ABSOLUTELY do not like having to haul my big tote bag (with everything but the kitchen sink in it...) to the grocery store or the beach.  So one day last week with a couple of hours to play in my sewing room, I decided to make a small kid sized messenger bag that fits my sunglasses, my wallet and keys. Here are the 5 things I like about it:

1. strap is wide and fits either over my shoulder and diagonally across my body
2. was made from left over fabric in my stash
3. has a little inner pocket to tuck my car/house keys in
4. washable
5. lined with iron on fleece to give it shape and body

 Here's a photo of the finished project:

I made the "body" out of jean fabric, lined it with the outer fabric and used another piece of fabric for the strap.  It's a great way to use up those scraps of fabric from other projects.

Here are the fabric size cutting instructions I used for my bag:

Flap - 1 - print fabric - 9.5" x 8"
Flap Lining - 1 - jean fabric - 9.5 x 8"

Body - 1 - jean fabric - 12" x 17"
Body Lining - 1 - print fabric - 12" x 17" 

Strap - 1 - print fabric - 40" long x 4.5" wide

Iron on fleece - for strap - 40" long x 4" wide
               - for flap - 1 piece - 9.5" x 8"
               - for body - 1 piece - 12" x 17"

You can find excellent picture sewing instructions for a kids messenger bag here. 

If you want to add an inner pocket, there are also instructions at the site for measurements and how to do it.

The pictorial is especially helpful if you need some assistance in learning how to attach the lining and strap to the bag.  It is easy as pie once you "get it" but it can drive you to drink (chuckle) if you don't know how... it is not an intuitive assembly!!

If you want to add a magnetic snap to the bag, do it before you assemble it!!  I forgot and then decided to just leave it off altogether rather than mess it up!

To strengthen the strap and allow it to "lie" nicely, top-stitch it on both sides and sew a couple of "lines" through the length of the strap.

So there you have it... use up your stash...make one for yourself, one for a friend, a neighbour, a favourite sister or niece and while you are at it why not make one for each of your kids, your grandkids, the neighbour kids, their friends... Just kidding...

Happy Sewing,