Project Design Team Wednesday~Mod Messenger Bag

Posted by administrator on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Hello fellow fabric lovers! I am Amy and I blog about how to make quilts along with my own fabric fetish on my blog, Diary of a Quilter. Today I am sharing a quick and simple Mod Messenger Bag tutorial. I have two daughters who I am teaching to sew and wanted to create a simple bag tutorial perfect for beginning sewer.
Today I am using fabrics from one of Riley Blake's latest collections, Mod Studio by Holli Zollinger. I love these modern, graphic prints. The simple bags really let the fabric do the work to create a chic accessory.
I'm especially smitten with the aspen looking "branches" print. Way cool! This tutorial is for super easy lined messenger bag with a flap cover.
Fabric Requirements:
Outside of bag: 14" x 42" print
Lining: 14" x 41" solid (or contrasting print)
Pocket: 10" x 20" print
Strap: 2 pieces 3 1/2" x 42" (or width of fabric)
Match-up bag exterior and lining and trim off selvage edge. Trim lining width 1" shorter than exterior fabric.
Open up fabrics and match right sides together. Round-off the two corners at one end of the the exterior/lining pieces. (I used a super technical plate as my guide.)
Pocket (optional): The Pocket is not required, but it is a handy feature and a fun way to show-off another cute print. Fold the rectangle in half width-wise and sew 1/4" seam around three open sides, leaving an opening for turning right-sides out. Trim corners and turn right-sides-out, tuck open edges inside and press. Top-stitch along folded edge.
Center pocket and pin top-stitched edge of pocket 15" from the edge with the rounded corners. Stitch pocket in place around three remaining edges, closing opening in the process.
Match up lining right-sides-together with exterior fabric. Sew pieces together using a 1/4" seam, starting at the end of one long side, around the rounded corners and down the other long side. Leave other short-end open for turning.
Clip notches in rounded corners before turning right-sides out.
Turn bag right-sides out. To finish the open edge, fold the exterior fabric down 1/2" (make sure sides are tucked in to match seam allowances. Then fold again at the edge of the lining fabric. Top-stitch exterior edge in place to hold it down.
Fold bottom (non-curved) edge of the bag up on itself 15" with exterior fabric facing out. This should leave about 10" of bag that will become the front flap. Pin sides together. Using a 1/4" seam, start sewing a seam on one side of the folded edge. (See blue line.)
Sew sides together and continue seam around flap with rounded edges to top-stitch together and down second side sewing other second side together and ending at the folded edge.
Turn bag right-sides out. In side seams will look like "french-seams". 
Strap: Match up two 3 1/2" x 42" right sides together and sew sides together using 1/4" seams. Leave ends open. (The 42" length seems just right for adults, but it's very easy to shorten the strap and custom fit it to your height.)
 Turn strap right-sides-out, press sides, tuck in ends and top-stitch edges.
 Fold ends in half and finger-press to find center. 
Use finger-pressed crease to match-up strap with inside-side seams of the bag. Pin in place about 3" down from the front edge. Sew a rectangle to secure strap in place.
I sewed mine in place below the front edge of the bag.
And that's it! A surprisingly-sturdy bag for very little effort. A great lined-bag project for someone who is just beginning to sew. And very easily customize-able. You could make the same style bag smaller by just starting with two smaller rectangles from the beginning.
If you are looking for an even easier beginner version (without the front flap) I made a second bag using my original 32-minute Messenger Bag tutorial.
Plus, it was a fun excuse to play with more of the Mod Studio prints

Category: Project Design Team Wednesday


  1. Love that tree fabric!
    by kaholly
    February 12th, 2014 at 6:55 a.m.
  2. Thank you, Amy, for the great tutorial and for sharing this pattern with us!
    by Carmen
    February 12th, 2014 at 9:29 a.m.
  3. Great bag! I've linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip: --Anne
    by Anne
    February 14th, 2014 at 9:25 a.m.
  4. Thank you
    by billie
    February 14th, 2014 at 9:49 a.m.
  5. I have a fetish for messenger style bags. This is adorbs.. adding it to my patterns. Love the simplicity of it. Thanks. Blessings, Gweny
    by Gweny
    February 19th, 2014 at 2:35 p.m.

toll free: 888.768.8454 phone: 801.816.0540 fax: 801.816.0542 address: 468 West Universal Cir. Sandy, UT 84070