D.I.Y with Nichelle B.

D.I.Y Adult Size Messenger Bag

I wanted to give you all the details on how to create this bag! Whether it’s for yourself, someone else as a gift, or your little one this bag is fun to make and perfect for everyday use. This is the tutorial I followed to make this bag. However, I made alot of adjustments because this pattern is really for a kids size messenger bag. I really just made it bigger and added lots of hardware, some of it is optional. So for this bag you will need everything listed/pictured below. I use heavy fusible interfacing for the body, a medium weight for the flap, and a lightweight interfacing for the straps and tabs on the side. You can also use fusible fleece if you want a softer bag without as much structure.

For this bag you will need:

  • 1 yard of fabric for outside of bag, cotton or canvas
  • 1 yard of fabric for inside lining,
  • 1 yard of interfacing for outside of bag
  • 1/2 yard of medium weight interfacing for the flap
  • 1/2 yard of lightweight interfacing for the straps and tabs (optional)
  • pins, scissors, chalk, pattern weights
  • 2 swivel hooks
  • 2 1 inch D- Rings or you can use the triangle rings
  • a purse closure of your choice (flip, turn, or press, lock)
  • a fashion slide adjuster (optional if you want adjustable strap)
  • small closure for the inside of the bag

So to construct the bag you are going to follow the tutorial, ignoring her dimensions because again, they are for a kids bag. So follow her construction process and when it comes time to actually sew the lining to the bag, sandwiched in the middle will be your flap, 2 side tabs, and small closure in the middle. The last step is the most important part in the construction of this bag. You need to make sure everything is being caught then sew over it a couple times for security. Also don’t forget to add the shorter hand strap in the back! I like being able to carry the bag 2 ways.

ALOT of the time that goes into making this bag is in the prep work. So before you actually sew the bag I suggest you to prep everything. That means making the flap, sewing pockets on your lining, making the bag straps, and making all the tab pieces for the D-rings and inside closure. ISo now onto the dimensions. The body of my bag is about 15 inches x 27 inches. Thats 15 inches across and 27 inches down just so were clear. LOL So you will cut your bag and your lining out at that size.

Interface your outside bag piece and be sure not to interface your seam allowance, if you are using a stiff interfacing it will be too bulky to sew over. If you are using fusible interfacing you should be fine with interfacing your entire outside bag piece. If you are doing purse feet add them on after you interface the outside bag piece. You can do 2 or 4 purse feet on the bottom if you desire.

Then you will cut out the flap which is 13 inches x 9 inches. As she does in the tutorial cut a rectangle first then use something round to cut 2 corners off to have rounded edges. I normally just use my curve ruler, but you can use a bowl, a cup, anything round. Rounding the corners is also optional but I think it looks best.

To make the straps and tabs I use a 4 inch wide piece of fabric. Fold the ends in to meet each other, press, then fold them in again to have those ends meet and press. Sew down both sides. After the flap is cut out interface one side of it and sew the 2 flap pieces together. I use a medium weight fusible interfacing for my flaps and lightweight for the tabs.

Then, after you have done all of that, you are ready to sew the bag together. Now if you are using really stiff interfacing keep in mind this bag does have to be turned right side out, so you will have to use a bit of force with that part. Also another note I like to do a small strip of lightweight interfacing in my strap and on my bag tabs.

Here is the bag with everything prepped. interfacing on. Lining has pockets on it, straps made, tabs completed, and flap sewn. Now its ready to assemble.

Again interfacing the tabs and straps is optional and I know you probably want to just skip it but I think you should do it. This bag is big enough to hold a 13 inch Macbook Air and I carry my laptop in it sometimes but the tabs on my first bag were not interfaced, so they kept doing this. lol

This was soooo annoying. These interfaced tabs aren’t going anywhere.. They sit perfectly in the D-ring and I know this bag can support alot of weight. The straps on my other bag weren’t a problem so just using a small strip of lightweight interfacing in the middle of those should be enough!

Be VERY precise when inserting your lock so it is straight! I find a press lock to be the easiest if you are a beginner, I think it is the easiest to line up. I feel like this lock on this one is a tiiny bit crooked. Also the flap is a bit too big, but it was already topstitched so I wasn’t going back. The dimensions I gave will give you a perfectly sized flap. I think after making this bag about 5-6 times I’ve mastered it. So don’t be hard on yourself if your first one isn’t perfect! Keep practicing and trying!
Here is the bag in action, paired with my refashioned button up shirt! Go back a couple posts if you missed that one!

Pleasee let me know if you have any questions about this bag or if you create this bag for yourself. I know this was alot of info but if you read everything thoroughly before getting started you will be good! I’m here if you have any questions! Add a comment here, email me, or find me on social media @itsnichelleb! I’m still trying to play around with how to have this bag convert into a backpack so if you have any suggestions on that help a sistah out!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day beautiful! XOXO

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