Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Messenger Bag Tutorial

Remember THIS fabric for sale at my Etsy shop? It's called Aviary 2 and I've been sewing!
I had to dive right into this new Aviary II fabric and I am already having a lot of fun with it. I decided to make a messenger bag for one of my daughters to put their piano books or dance clothes in. It's a simple design with an inside pocket. It's lined with a heavy canvas for stability. Anyhow, if you are dying to get your hands on some of this super cute fabric, check my Etsy store right HERE.

Avairy II is the featured line for April so...

PSSST  (added in later)  After many requests.... I have a super nice, PDF Pattern of this availabe HERE at the shop.  It is over 30 pages of pictures, daigrams, and details to make the perfect Massenger Bag.

Now, here is thegeneral tutorial. Mostly, I just used my daughters piano book to give me my main starting size. So I will also type general directions based on what I did. Yeah, I forgot pictures. I'm sorry. I'll do better next time. Oh! And before I get too far, HERE is the link about making those lovely melty flowers. I added one on this bag to give a fun little POP of color. It looks great!
OK, here is the unofficial Messenger Bag Tutorial:
1. Gather Supplies:
3 12 x 15 fabric pieces for your bag front and back, and flap
3 12 x 15 pieces of denim/canvas/cardboard (just kidding!) to add stability
1 4 x 20 fabric piece for ruffle
1 2 x 30 canvas for strap
1 4.5 x 30 fabric for strap
1 6 x 8 fabric for pocket

2. Make your pocket
Using your 6 x 8 fabric piece, iron in about 1/4" on all sides. Sew along the top of one long side. Attach your pocket to the center of the front of your bag body. You will need to line up a canvas piece and and fabric peice and attach the pocket to both. Sew the pocket on the bottom and sides. Done!

3. Make to bag body.
Take your other bag peice and canvas peice and line them up. Now place your bag front and back, right sides together and sew around the bottom and sides, leaving the top open. I went ahead and squared the two bottom corners to give the bag some depth. I found a great illustration from mmmcrafts. It helps a TON! I only did mine about 2 inches across, not 3.

At this time I also folded and ironed about 1/3" of the top of the bag down toward the inside of the bag and sewed all aroung the bag opening to create a finished look.

4. Sew your strap.
Take your fabric and canvas strap pieces and make them into a strap. There are a few ways to do this. Here is how I did it. I sewed one edge of the fabric to one edge of the canvas right sides together. Then I turned them, and ironed them. Next, I folded the fabric over the back side of the canvas. I ironed my extra half inch of the fabric over so that it lined up with the canvas and I ironed it in place. Then I sewed a seam along both sides of the strap to give it a nice finished look.

Then, I sewed the strap to the OUTSIDE of the bag about an inch from the top. I folded about 1/3" of the srtap under so it would have a clean finish.

5. Make your ruffle.
Take your last large fabric piece and your 4" x 20" fabric piece. Fold and iron 1/4" of your ruffle piece on both long sides. Now comes the fun part. I put my ruffle near the center of my flap. You can put yours wherever you want. I also drew a pencil line on my fabric piece to help me keep my ruffle straight. Attach the ruffle to the edge of where you want it. Every 3/4" or 1" fold under a tiny bit of fabric and keep sewing. Keep going until you reach the edge of your flap piece. Go ahead and sew the bottom of the ruffle as well.

6. Make your flap
Measure the distance on your bag from one strap to the other, where your flap will go. My flap ended up being 12". SO I trimmed my flap pieces to 12.5" x 12" (I left a half inch for seam allowance. Next, I took a plate and rounded off the corners of my flap. I just drew the line and cut the fabric. Next, I placed the flap pieces right sides together and sewed around everything but the flat top where it attaches to the bag. I turned it right side out and ironed it.

7. Attach your flap.
On the open side of your flap, go ahead and fold about 1/2" of the fabric and canvas in side the flap and iron it. This is just to tuck away the raw edge. Next pin it to the back of your bag about an inch from the top. Sew and ENJOY!!

PS. Be prepared to have your kids oohing and ahhing. These are so fun and super cute. Start to finish... about 1.5 hours. Not bad for a first try.

Linked Up to Some Parties!!
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Damaris said...

Very CHEERFUL!! Love it!! Thank YOU!! XXOO

Dawn Gross said...

Who needs Vera Bradley? Lovely!!

Anna said...

Ahhh! Thanks you guys!

Ladybird Ln said...

Oh, I just love it! The colors are beautiful, I love the simple design! Thanks for the great tut. I found you at All things Inspired. I am your newest follower and would be just thrilled if you followed back!


Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

this is sooo beautiful! love your fabric!! and i love messenger bags too. so easy to tote around :)

I'd love for you to link this up to my link party, Your Whims Wednesday! http://mygirlishwhims.blogspot.com/2011/04/your-whims-wednesday-2-and-features.html

Anna said...

Rebecca, I linked up to your cute party as well. Thanks for the heads up. What a great blog you have!

sewhappiness said...

This is such a girly messenger bag!! Purple is my favorite color!!!!!! I would so love to carry this bag!!!!!!!!!!!Thank you so much for sharing this:-)


MarieElizabeth said...

Beautiful! Thanks for the links, I would love to try making one of these.

Rachael @ The Little Birdie said...

What a great tutorial! I can't believe you're not selling this pattern on your etsy site! Thank you so much for linking up this week at The Little Birdie... don't be surprised if you see an order for some of this fabric from me today!!!

Anna said...

Rachael, you are too nice!! If I were ever going to sell patterns, I'd have to actually learn sewing terms! Anyhow, glad you like it!

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing your bag! I love the fabric! I don't blame you for wanting to start using it right away!!

Kelli W said...

That bag is so fun! I love the colors, they are perfect for spring!

Marina said...

I LOVE this bag! It's so darling!
Stopping by from Justsewsassy.com

Sara @ Sew Sweetness said...

So beautiful! I love your bag, and thanks for the tutorial! Wonderful shop!

Unknown said...

I love the colour!!!

Misty @Creative Itch said...

I.MUST.HAVE.THAT.BAG!! So beautiful!! Thanks for linking @"Sew Cute Tuesday"!!

Jill said...

Beautiful fabric - and such a gorgeous bag!
I would love if you came over and linked this project to my weekly Round Tuit party at:
Have a great week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Christine @ sugarandtrash.com said...

What an adorable bag. Thanks for the tute! I love making bags.....

Karen said...

Oh, I love it! Such pretty colors:) Thanks for sharing the tutorial. I am a new follower.

Unknown said...

Love the fabric!!

Katy said...

I love the fabric.

Sweet Peas and Bumblebees said...

So Adorable!!

I would love it if you would link it up to our What I Made Wednesday Linky Party!!

Also, stop in for a chance to win our 100 Follower Giveaway {{Beaded Watch & Hobby Lobby Gift Card}}

Sweet Peas and Bumblebees

Katie {Sweet Rose Studio} said...

Okay, I LOVE this! SO girly and fun but completely practical too. I found you through the Sugar and Dots Liny Party!


Quiltstory said...

That fabric and bag make my heart skip a beat! LOVE! Thanks for linking to Quiltstory!

Juli said...

I LOVE it!!! I sooo wish I had the sewing skills to make one of these!! Thanks for sharing! -Juli

patternpile.com said...

Well done. Loved your Etsy shop. Have it bookmarked. Thanks.