Monthly Archives: June 2014

Messenger Bags


I saw this lovely messenger bag tutorial on Pinterest and decided to give it a go as my Nephew and Sister-in-Law’s birthdays were coming up.

My nephew was getting a bike, and I have been experimenting with freehand machine embroidery, so I knew I wanted to use a bike motif on his bag. My Sister-in-Law is a teacher, so I wanted to make one large enough to carry her files.

I used this great tutorial on Crazy Little Projects blog. I followed her measurements for my Nephew’s bag, and made one slightly larger for my Sister-in-Law’s.

Design-wise one thing I changed with the second one was was to make the strap slightly narrower, and the back (which also makes the front) slightly longer so that it overlaps more. I also added in pockets onto both pieces of lining fabric.

So my measurements are:

Front: width 45cm, height 40cm
Back (and flap): width 45cm. Height 80cm
Gusset: width 10cm, length 130cm
Strap: width 8cm, length 115cm

The bike bag is made out of some old ikea curtains with a cool lining of bike fabric which I bought from The Remnant House (awesome fabric shop in Harrogate, who are also online!!).

I drew a picture of a bike on the outer fabric with a pen which washes off in cold water. I then freehand machine embroidered it and washed it in cold water to remove the pen. If you want to know more about freehand machine embroidery then Poppy Treffy is really inspiring.


I put in a couple of pockets (pocket fabric right sides together, sewn and turned right side out.

And on this bag I used some interfacing to stiffen it as both fabrics were quite soft.
Here is the finished product.



For the second bag I made it larger, put pockets on the front and back inners and didn’t bother with interfacing as the flamingo fabric (bought from Fabric Rehab) was cotton canvas and quite stiff already. Lining fabric for both bags also came from fabric rehab. Just plain cotton. They have it in a great range of colours.




One thing to note when using a fabric with a pattern that has a definite direction is that you can’t have the back and front panel as one piece of fabric (unless you are happy with the pattern being upside down at the back), so I cut it in two and sewed it back together so that the pattern was upright on both pieces.


So here they both are.


I have a request from my Mum to make one for her, and I have some lovely flowery Ikea fabric for that. So I will post pictures of that once it’s done too.

Here it is!