Wednesday, June 10, 2009

the basic messenger bag

Jamie's on the left, Chelsea's on the right. This tutorial does not include the flap designs, alas.

As promised, here is the basic bag tutorial like the one I made Jamie and Chelsea. I have not included the flap designs, just the basic bag. That will have to be another post. Be creative and come up with your own flap variations. Then show me! Jamie's was applique only, and Chelsea's was a combo of piecing and applique. I have another one to sew up for my sister Lori's birthday and I'm going to do some patchwork this time.

I considered doing a PDF of the pattern pieces, but they are mostly too big to fit on letter sized paper, and pretty easy to make yourself if you have a ruler, a 6.5 inch circle, and a coffee cup on hand. The coffee cup is to hold some hot coffee. Obviously.

Click on the image below to see or print a larger diagram for measurements. This is not to scale.


YARDAGE: Assuming the width is 45 inches, you'll need about a yard each of the outside and the liner, plus your interfacing if you are using it.

THE FINISHED BAG DIMENSIONS, EXCLUDING THE STRAP:
about 12 inches x 12 inches x 3 inches wide at the bottom.

1/4 INCH SEAM ALLOWANCE IS INCLUDED IN THE MEASUREMENTS. If you are more comfortable with a larger seam allowance, be sure to add that when you draw your pattern.

Draw and cut out all your paper pattern pieces. Draw a rectangle for the flap, then use a 6.5 inch circle to trace the curved corners on the flap. I have an obliging embroidery hoop that is just the right size.

Now trace and cut out your fabric.

NOTE: If your main fabric is not a heavy, purse-worthy weight you should consider adding a fairly stiff fusible interfacing on the strap, outside body, and outside flap pieces. Cut out the interfacing in the same size as those pieces, and iron it on according to the manufacturer's instructions. But remember, you are going to have to turn this bag through a 5 inch hole, so the interfacing shouldn't be too stiff for that.

NOTE YET AGAIN: Even if I don't specifically mention it below, you'll be of course pressing and finishing your seams in your preferred method for each step.

1) Strap. Press it in half, right sides together, longwise so you have a 2 x 45 inch piece. Sew it closed along the long edge. Turn it right side out (use a hugemongous safety pin like I do to help with this. Or if you have a fancy tube-turner, by all means, get that thing in action). Press, then edgestitch down both sides. So now you have a lovely strap with raw ends.


2) Outside Pocket. Align the outside pocket pieces right sides together and sew all around, leaving a couple inches open on the bottom side to turn it. Snip the corners. Turn and press. Pin it to the right side of the body piece, centered side to side and about 3 inches down from what will be the top of the bag. Edgestitch it on the sides and bottom, leaving the top open (obviously) and backstitching at the beginning and end to reinforce.


3) Inside Pocket. Now do the same thing to assemble your inside pocket, but pin it to the right side of the body lining fabric, centered from side to side and about 4 inches down from what will be the top of the bag. Edgestitch it on the sides and bottom, leaving the top open and backstitching at the beginning and end to reinforce. Then stitch again down the center from top to bottom to create two little pockets.


4) Flap. Now is the time to do all your embellishing of the flap on the outside piece BEFORE YOU SEW THE FLAP TOGETHER.

(Musical interlude while this creative wave crashes over you.)

Once your outside flap piece is appliqued or pieced or whatevered, you are ready to proceed.

5) Align the (fabulous) flap outside and lining pieces right sides together. Sew all around, leaving a 3 or 4 inch gap in the middle of the top edge for turning and backstitching at beginning and end. Snip the corners and clip the curves. Turn it and press, turning under the unsewn seam. Edgestitch all the way around. Now you have a lovely finished, but disembodied, bag flap.


6) Lay the flap down right side up on the right side of the body piece (same end as where your pocket is), centered side to side and about 1.5 inches from the top edge. Edgestitch following your previous stitches, then stitch again about a quarter inch from the edge, reinforcing at each end.


7) The Body. Fold the body piece in half, right sides together, so you have a 14 x 12.5 inch rectangle, with the flap tucked inside and out of the way. Pin and sew up both sides.

Finger press or press the bag flat so you have a line that goes down the center of the bottom of the bag. It's just a guideline. You are going to square the corners so your bag has a flat bottom. Heh. Pick it up, bring the side seams together at the top and lay it back down with a corner pulled out and flattened so it looks like a triangle (see drawing below), with the side seam going down the middle of the triangle and lined up with the guideline you pressed in the center of the bottom of the bag. Pin it to keep all that in place and use a ruler to draw an air soluble line at 3 inches across the width, then sew it securely. Now repeat this step with the other corner and also with your lining piece. You can trim off the excess corner or fold it under and tack it to add body to the bottom of the bag.


8) Now is the time to test the strap length. Turn the body right side out with the flap in place. Pin the strap in place on both sides of the bag, centered with the side seams, and with a 3/4 inch overlap. Sling it over your shoulder diagonally across your body. Sashay to a mirror and make any adjustments in strap length so the bag falls in a comfortable place on your opposite hip. Unpin and trim your strap to the new length, being sure to include the 3/4 inch overlap. Now baste your strap on the right side of the body upside down, centered with the side seams, and with the ends sticking out over the top 1/4 inch. (Make sure the strap is not twisted! Because that would be really embarrassing later. Ahem.)


9) Now you need to put the body and the lining right sides together. So turn the lining right side in, and then stuff the body inside that one so that their right sides are facing each other. I like my inside pocket to be on the same side of the bag as the outside pocket, but that is just me. The flap and strap will be stuffed down in between the two layers, so just tuck them in and smooth them down the inside so they stay out of the way of the stitching. Pin the body and lining together at the top, lining up the side seams and the raw edges. The strap ends will be sticking up out of both sides.


10) Sew the body and lining together, reinforcing over the straps, and leaving about 4 or 5 inches open in the center of the flap side for turning. Make sure you backstitch at the beginning and end really well. Turning this stiff fabric puts a lot of stress on your backstitches. Turn your creation and then stuff the lining down inside the bag. Wow. Now it looks like a real bag!


11) Press the seam around the top, rolling it between your fingers to get it as close to the stitching as you can. Press under the seam allowance on the opening. Edgestitch all the way around the top of the bag (don't catch the flap in your stitches. Ahem.). You'll probably need to press the rest of the bag too, because after wrestling it through the hole it tends to look crumpled all over.

Shazam! You are done. Look at that fabulous bag you just made. Bravo!

193 comments:

  1. Oh. My. I just did a search and landed on a previous post, then clicked over to see your most recent posts and found this. Thanks :). I'll give this a try!

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  2. Micah, that is freaky timing, isn't it? Let me know if you have a question on the tutorial.

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  3. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I can't wait to try it!

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  4. Thank you for putting this up! I've been looking for a cute messenger bag pattern for awhile now, I love this!

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  5. Thank you so much for the tutorial!!! This is my favorite messenger bag tutorial yet... I think I might make one soon!

    My mother in law has been complaining my purse is filled to the brim, so i think I need to make the switch back to a messenger bag...

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  6. You are so generous! Thanks for sharing this. I sure hope you get a book deal out of this blog one day!

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  7. Thank you for sharing your great tutorial!

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  8. Thank you so much! I hope to make one of these later this summer, (after I finish some WIPs).

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  9. I have enough bags for five people, but I HAVE to make this simply to practice my sewing. Right? :-) Your projects are all so very cute, I'm glad I found your site!

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  10. Great tutorial! Maybe it's weird, but I love all of the little illustrations. They were my favorite part of the Molly and Bunny patterns too. Does that me a dork? Oh well. :)

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  11. This is such a helpful tutorial. My hubby has been begging for a laptop bag for his tiny new laptop. I'm a bag newbie though, and have been scared to try! Thanks so much. He's getting a back for his b=day this week!
    Sara in Salt Lake City
    ibbyskibby.com

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  12. Oh, thank you! My daughter saw your bags and has several times asked me to make her one. I just bought some fabric to attempt one a few days ago, excellent timing as you just eliminated my guessing.

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  13. Thanks, I have been looking for a good messenger bag pattern for my nieces. And I was lusting over this in your previous post!

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  14. Jane, thanks for saying that! But not sure how I'd have time for a book when I'm already brokering the movie deal and my own brand of espresso machines and mattresses. ha. Not!

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  15. Olivia, it's a bit weird, but it's what we have in common. :-) Dorks, unite!

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  16. Sara, just a suggestion for a laptop bag, add plenty of cushion, like a double layer of batting or something, and a snap or velcro closure to prevent spills. You may need to adjust the dimensions also.

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  17. I didn't get online yesterday but I did sew. I made a little bag for my toddler that's meant to be worn across the body like the MB. I was pondering adding the strap in a diagonal fashion when I suddenly remembered your bag and boxed the bottom and added the strap to the sides instead. Which I like much better, diagonaly placed straps irritate me! Thanks for setting this all out. I'll probably apply it to creating a mommy bag.

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  18. I have been searching for weeks for a simple messenger bag pattern. I nearly wept when I saw this. thank you so much for sharing!!

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  19. ShazBraz, I know how that feels to search for a certain look and never seem to find it! Glad I could be of service!

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  20. Great tutorial. I will be trying this soon. What program did you use to make your diagrams? They look great!

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  21. Laura, thanks! I drew the diagrams in my most favoritest program, Illustrator, and parts with my most favoritist tool, my Wacom tablet.

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  22. I'm going to make a couple of these (though not nearly as cute) for my boys to use to store treasures they find when they're out adventuring. Thanks!

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  23. This is a great tute! I love the bag! I linked to it at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

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  24. Jamies bag is gorgeous! Thanks for including such a great tutorial, I might have to give it a try.

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  25. This looks great - can't wait to give it a try (just need to get heaps of WIPs out of the way first!).

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  26. Thanks for the tutorial! I made this messenger bag today for my daughter. It took all day. LOL It's very cute.

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  27. so, so lovely! just had to give it a try! THANK YOU SO MUCh for this great tutorial (the coffee thing helped a lot getting the straps (finally) right...). love, betti

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  28. What a fantastic tutorial. Very clear. Will use. Thank you! Found you via Make it Do and whipup.net

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  29. I absolutely LOVE this bag. I've made two so far, the second I altered a little so my daughter can hopefully use it for school. Thanks for this GREAT and easy to follow tutorial.

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  30. Everyone, I'm so glad the tutorial is a good resource! Never thought of it for a school bag, but that's a good idea!
    remember to share your pics in the mmmcrafts Projects Flickr pool, if you like.

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  31. I made this bag this weekend. Your tutorial was perfect! thank you so much for sharing!

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  32. I am so glad I found this tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

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  33. Just made a bag following your tutorial. It's excellent (your tutorial - the bag turned out not too shabby either). I'll post pictures soon. Thank you!

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  34. Wow... OMG... this is great!!!! I really liked it.. so hands on.. I had to translate everything in spanish so it could be easier for me to follow your tutorial, it did not take me too long, so I'm going to start right now with my new project.. :) Thanks....

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  35. Love this pattern - it makes such a great bag so quickly! The instructions were so easy to follow! Made one for my Cousin, come check it out at http://alwaysgracefulsarah.blogspot.com
    ~ Sarah

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  36. just wanted to let you know I shared your great idea on my blog today- thanks for the inspiration!

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  37. Just finished FOUR bags! Thanks for the FABULOUS tutorial!

    Check them out if you have time:
    http://www.refugeecrafter.com/2009/10/i-finished-somethng.html

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  38. Thanks for the post. My 3 year old is going to be Coraline for Halloween and I need to make a bag like her's. This will be perfect!

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  39. Cute bag! We're going to make a couple for our nieces. How much yardage is needed for the body and lining? Thanks for the great pattern :)

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  40. Katie, a yard of each for lining and outside should do it, assuming it is 45" wide fabric.

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  41. Larissa,

    Thanks again for the pattern. Check out my creations -- these are for our 9 and 11 year old nature-loving nieces :)

    http://picasaweb.google.com/katiehopp/ChristmasBags?authkey=Gv1sRgCKvV8tyBu9aKpwE&feat=directlink

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  42. katie,
    those are great! my pleasure!

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  43. So cute! I'm giving this a go this weekend so I have a winter bag for my holiday travels. Thanks for the great directions!

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  44. Thanks so much for the awesome tute! You directions are clear and the diagrams really helped me picture it. I'm making 3 or 4 of these as Christmas gifts. I just finished the first and it looks great!

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  45. just made two of the bags for my older girls for Christmas and i am so pleased! they turned out great and it was well worth staying up until 12:30 last night to finish. thanks for the awesome tute, it was so easy to follow and i very much appreciated the funny comments to keep me going as my eyes started to cross. can wait to try your other projects, thanks!

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  46. Thanks so much for the instructions. Just made this for my 12 year old who was wanting a messenger bag for Christmas. I couldn't seem to find the right one but, I had the right fabric. I am such the last minute seamstress. This was so fun to make. I think I am going to make a couple of these for the birthday gift box. :)

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  47. Y'all, I have gotten so many thank you notes from you sweet people for this pattern. I love seeing the bags you make, and thanks for your comments! I'm so glad the pattern was the source of so many handmade Christmas gifts.

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  48. Just chiming in that I also made a bag using this tute. :) It's one of the simpler ones out there that still looks good and is well-written. :D

    I made one for my father, and you can see pics here.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrea_r/4221641901/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrea_r/4221641907/

    He liked it. :)

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  49. What a fantastic and simple pattern! I make messenger bags but they are a little more complicated. Hadn't thought of making them this way. Thanks for sharing!

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  50. Love it, love it! Like everyone else has said, thank you so much for posting this! I had previously made an Amy Butler messenger bag, but it took much longer than I really wanted. I found yours and the simplicity made it perfect! I just finished my first bag (peek herel) and it turned out fantastic! Thanks again!

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  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  52. kkh, coffee bags sounds great! would love to see that.

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  53. The coffee bag messenger is done! I lined it with some blue nylon and did the pocket out of a old pair of jeans. The strap is a 2" webbing from the army-navy store: exactly 45". So it's not exact to the pattern, but all the notes really helped me get it all together!
    here it is! http://thebigboat.blogspot.com/2010/01/messenger-bag.html

    thznks

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  54. if you said it, I missed it how much fabric did you use for lining and main? I am new to sewing but I think i can manage this with your tutorial. I think. I hope.

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  55. Edie22, you can doooo eet! :-) about a yard of each for lining and outside should do it, assuming it is 45" wide fabric.

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  56. I want a non-store bought messenger bag and did a search in my reader. I found your tutorial through thelongthread's Top 100 Tutorial's post. I am so excited to try it out!! Also, going to stay a while and look around :)

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  57. In the process of making it now :)What a great tutorial...I can't wait until my bag is done!

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  58. Thank you! Excellent instruction... clearly you are quite the seamstress and artist! I made a feeble attempt (I just started sewing a few months ago) if you'd like to see: http://lumasolem.blogspot.com/2010/02/new-pattern-messenger-bag.html

    Thanks again! You are wonderful!

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  59. This tutorial is great and entertaining to read through. Anyone who uses the word "sashay" in their tutorial gets thumbs up from me. I'm going to try this right now!

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  60. Thank you so much for this...I am on my third one! Your instructions are so clear. I made one a little larger from my daughter who is traveling to Egypt soon for her master's degree. The entire class is really jealous of her bag including the guys! I really appreciate your humor and the pattern for free!!! I am a retired Home Ec teacher (30 years) and wish I had this when I was teaching. You are a doll!

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  61. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial, it is exactly what I was looking for and such clear instructions. I'm so pleased with my new bag!

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  62. Thank you so much for posting this pattern! I've been looking for a simple messenger-bag pattern for years, and I threw yours together inside of a week--even though I designed my flap from scratch! I love my new bag so much, I'm going to make a bigger version to hold my teaching supplies! Thank you!

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  63. This in awesom project...thanks so much for sharin.. I made one bag yesterday it is super cute... thanks again!!!

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  64. I wanted to thank you again for this tute. I wound up making 5 for Christmas presents and one for myself. I'll be making others for myself soon as well. I've also modified this a bit to make a laptop bag for my brother. So many, many thanks!

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  65. Wow, so thrilled with all the positive comments on the tutorial and the very nice thank yous! Y'all are all so sweet.

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  66. I was searching the internet for the perfect messenger bag and was having problems finding just what I wanted so I decided to see what I could find if I looked for patterns. I found this AMAZING tutorial. I had been planning on buying a sewing machine for a while, so I went and bought one this weekend and made TWO of these bags...this is only the second sewing project I've done...I must say that your tutorial was phenomenal. Even a beginner like myself could follow it!

    Thank you SO much! I have all my friends wanting me to make them bags like this now! Haha, guess I better get to work!

    Thanks again!

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  67. What a fantastic pattern and tutorial. I just whipped one up over the weekend after searching for the perfect sized bag to take overseas with. Very easy to follow, and works out fabulous!

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  68. sorry to be commenting so late, this was so long ago... ive been looking for a good "how to" guide to make a messenger bag for ages... thanks so much! i was going to rip apart a few pairs of jeans to make this and sew the pieces together... i think it would look cool. Thanks!

    -Sam.

    Great blog, btw. I love it! I'm secretly obsessed with reading craft blogs. It's my vice. (;

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  69. Have just found your tutorial and can't wait to try it as it looks fantastic. I want to make it as a dolly nappy bag for my two year old and am wondering what the maths is for the main body piece as I think I might need to make it smaller! Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

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  70. hi, sarah, not really sure of your specifics, but if you would like to make a smaller version for a 2yr I'd suggest reducing the size proportionally on all the pieces.

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  71. Thank you so much! I'm 12 and me and my mum have spent the afternoon sewing this up- I can't wait to use it as a school bag! :) The best thing is, no one else is going to have anything like it! :D Thank you sooooo much!!!!

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  72. Katkin, that's fantastic! Love to see a picture of what you and your Mum whipped up together! Have fun with your bag.

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  73. Thanks Larissa - this is great! I made one this evening. Really pleased with the result. ;-)

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  74. Thank you SO much! This is perfect and I love your way of writing. I am making one very soon sometime between everything else.

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  75. Unplain Jane and Cynthia, my pleasure! Jane, your bag looks great.

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  76. Hi there, I have *just* finished making my 6 year old son a messenger bag using your tutorial. I'm a newbie sewer and have used your pattern to make 3 bags with variations (2 worked, 1 didn't!). The newbie mistake I made this time is that the wadding I used to pad it was way too thick! Made sewing the lining a mission :oP

    Thank you so much for having this tutorial available, and for such clear and concise directions! It was my first sewing project and the fact that it was so simple to read, quick to sew, and produced great results is definitely a confidence booster! :o)

    Dianna

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  77. Dianna, Awesome. Love getting comments like this! I'm so glad it was a great project for you and that things went (mostly) well!

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  78. I just finished a mini-version of this super cute messenger bag - and I love it! Thank you so much for posting a great tutorial. I will probably make more of these for gifts!

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  79. Just made one using your how-to for inspiration, and linked from my blog post - http://tamdoll.blogspot.com/2010/07/one-day-sewing-frenzy.html Thank you!!!

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  80. I just found your tutorial and made my own messenger bag from some gorgeous vintage fabric I had. Thank you for making the directions so clear and easy to follow.

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  81. Thanks so much - another great tutorial! Pics of new ballet bags for the kids at:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/iwannabcreative/4842555446/in/photostream/

    I am extremely lazy and skipped pockets and curved edges - and still passes as cute! Thanks again.

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  82. Love this bag, I have it book marked to make one out of cars fabric! Thank you!!

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  83. This is an amazing tutorial! I just can't get mine to straighten up though.(when I use it, the sides droop in) How did you get yours to be so grest?

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  84. Talia, sounds like your bag needs some stiffer interfacing? If the fabric is too flimsy, it won't have much structure.

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  85. I have been hunting around all week for the perfect, easy pattern. It needed to have depth, but I didn't want to put a side piece in. This is the one! The directions are easy and completely clear. Thanks a bunch!
    I want to find some antique brass rings (about 2 inches) to hook the strap to the bag. I may not even do the flap, who knows? You saved me.

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  86. Tatiana, fabulous! I'm allergic to gussets too.

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  87. I made this bag! Here's a link:
    http://theculpfamily03.blogspot.com/2010/08/school-bag-for-brooklyn.html

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  88. This is great! Add it to my list of things to make!

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  89. I just got done making a bag for my son who is going to kindergarten next week! I love it! Thanks for such a great tutorial.

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  90. Hi Larissa
    Thanks for sharing your pattern. I've never made a bag before and haven't sewn much but I found your pattern easy to follow. The only problem was that the link to the tutorial on how to square the corners didn't work, maybe that site has taken it down?
    You can see a picture of my bag here http://twitpic.com/2pv8mf
    I also used the colourful material I used for the flap as a lining, and it looks awesome.
    Thanks again
    Kate

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  91. Kate, thanks for the heads up about the link. Her blog is still up, but the link is broken. I can't find the tute at the moment, but I'll see if I can and post an updated link.
    And, I love your bag. Especially the flair. :-)

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  92. Hello! I just started my own blog and since I also just finished my second messenger bag (using this tutorial) I decided to talk about it and I, of course, linked back to you and gave you credit. Just thought I would let you know. Thank you for the great tute!!

    http://littlethingsbybeth.blogspot.com/2010/10/beautiful-saturday-finished-bag.html

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  93. What a beautiful bag, tutorial and illustrations to help along the way!

    Thanks for sharing, I see a couple being made for my Christmas list this year!

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  94. What a beautiful bag, tutorial and illustrations to help along the way!

    Thanks for sharing, I see a couple being made for my Christmas list this year!

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  95. Used your pattern to make the messenger bag for my Granddaughter for Halloween - she was Coraline, the only adjustment I made was to make it reversable with a snazzy liner. It came out beautifully. So glad I found your blog - Thank you so much for the detailed information!

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  96. Congratulations for this bag, it's really beautiful and thank you for the tutorial.

    Greetings from SPAIN

    I Love your blog, I've just started one, I'd be very glad if you visited it

    www.charopatch.blogspot.com

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  97. Ummm, I haven't even gotten to the dirty details of the tutorial yet and I LOVE you!!!! hahaha. You're totally cracking me up...now I shall waste this entire Sunday morning reading this and digging around in my craft hole under the stairs to see if I have everything I need. Now that's inspiration! If you knew what my craft hole looked like you would be ecstatic that you've caused this! :D So thank you for a perfect Sunday morning, coffee in hand. :)

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  98. wow, folks. Almost 100 comments from happy messenger bag makers. Love to see your bags and read your comments. Tyia, I think humor is a necessary component of crafting--it keeps me from going around the bend.

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  99. I love this, I'm sooo making one but I've got the problem is I don't know how to do the squaring of the corner and can't find the tutorial on the other page. Any chance you could just put a little bit up about it for us?

    Thank you

    Stacey!!

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  100. Moulder86, your wish is my command. Sorry about the broken link! This tutorial now includes better instructions for the corners. Hope that helps!

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  101. i just finished sewing one of these up today using your tutorial... it came out great! your instructions were easy to follow and the result total awesomeness! thanks you :)

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  102. great instructions! sweet sweet bag!! I've got pics if you're interested.

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  103. I love my bag! Thanks so much for the easy tutorial.
    http://kelsimad.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/catching-up-on-sewing-stuff/

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  104. This bag was so much fun to make! Thanks for a great tutorial! http://sewingsalmon.blogspot.com/2011/01/messenger-bag.html

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  105. I made this bag for my niece this year. I linked back to you when I posted pics. Thanks for the tutorial.
    http://nrnoodle.blogspot.com/2011/01/great-start-to-year.html

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  106. Thanks for the great, easy to follow tutorial! This was my first purse.
    http://craftydiem.blogspot.com/2011/01/purse-for-present_09.html

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  107. Made this last night. Linked back to you. Just the thing to get the dust off my sewing skills.

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  108. I was able to use this to make a laptop/messenger bag, although it took a while as my sewing skills could use some refinement (and it was hard to get the dimensions right), so thank you very much :)

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  109. i have made this bag and it has come out just great
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/34097722@N02/5390237820/
    i made it from a new skirt that i was never going to wear and it will get used sooo nice thanks

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  110. Thanks for the tutorial! It was simple and very cute!

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  111. Thanks so much! This is the most ENTERTAINING pattern I have ever used!!! The bag turned out cute too-and not terribly difficult! Thanks again!!

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  112. Y'all, I love seeing your bags. Thanks so much for the tutorial love and for showing me what you are making.

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  113. I want to add to the dimensions of the bag by an inch. Do I need to add to the width of the strap any?

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  114. Hi, sewsewnet,
    It depends on where you add the inch I guess. I'd make your strap after you have constructed the rest of the bag, just in case.

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  115. I am adding an inch to the width and length of bag, flap and pockets. Do you think I need to add to the width of the strap of the messenger bag?

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  116. We have selected this tutorial to post as the "Tutorial of the Day" on the Crafty Artisan.

    Happy Crafting!

    http://wiserunning.com/blog/2011/05/14/sewing-tutorial-basic-messenger-bag/

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  117. I made this great messenger bag and blogger about it at http://www.connectingthedots.dk/2011/06/05/tutorial-mania/ - thank you so much for this! :)

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  118. Just found this messenger bag via Yahoo search! I need to make a laptop bag for my new toy and here you were! This seems soooo easy... It'll take me a couple of days bu when I get this done I'll post a pic! Thanks!

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  119. Thanks so much for this! I want to make a messenger bag for this coming school year, and this is exactly what I need! I'm bran new to the concept of sewing (the only sewing I've ever done is Grade 6 home-ec), but I've got a good old sewing machine that belonged to my aunt. Any advice for a newbie?

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  120. KenyaT, yes, I do: Don't sew your finger. That hurts! Have fun and good luck!

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  122. Thank you for your clear tutorial.

    I've made bags for both of my children. I've posted them and a link to this post on my blog nynkestone.blogspot.com

    Thanks again for sharing this

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  123. Hi, Nynke! I love your bags! And thanks for the linkage. I tried to comment on your post, but no comments allowed? So glad you enjoyed the tutorial!

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  124. I started making this bag for my daughter LAST year and kind of forgot about it, then was able to finish it up tonight for the first day of school tomorrow!! I've decided it's also the perfect pattern to use to make my son an "Indiana Jones bag" for his birthday next month! Thank you so much for the free pattern!!

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  125. I don't know if I'd call it fabulous, but it's definitely a bag. And my 6-year old thinks it's stupendous, so that is good.
    I am a terrible seamstress and this was just the right level of easy-hard for me to feel confident, but challenged. I have another daughter, so I will have another go at it. Practice makes better! (if not perfect).

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  126. Hi, Great directions! I just made four of these bags for graduation presents and they turned out great.
    Thank you!

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  127. I just finished my second bag. Such an awesome tutorial! I totally love it! Here are a few pictures:

    http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=3232839437802128265#editor/target=post;postID=3583311385665729742

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  128. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. I linked to your blog after I stitched up my own messenger bag at http://underthemulberrytree.squarespace.com/suzannes-craft-journal/2011/9/27/autumn-inspired-purse.html

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  129. Outstanding, y'all. So glad you can get good use from the tute.

    Tess, can't get to your link!

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  130. Thanks so much for posting such a great tutorial, Larissa. I posted a pic on my blog:

    http://www.brandiwiggins.com/2011/09/win-nah-win-nah-chicken-din-nah-wicked.html

    Take care!

    Brandi

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  131. Great pattern! Thanks! I am really happy with the result.
    Here is mine...
    http://bydi.blogspot.com/2011/10/messenger-bag-made.html

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  132. thank you very much for sharing how to make this lovely bag. Your tutorial is excellent!

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  133. I love these cute bags. Can't wait to make one. Thanks for sharing.

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  134. Brilliant tutorial. I made four for high school graduation presents this past year with evil eyes on them and they were very easy too make and totally turned out! Amazing!

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  135. Made your bag today! I love it. I added more pockets and a zipper pocket on the flap. Sew fun!
    Thank you for sharing!
    http://myclosetcreations.blogspot.com/

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  136. Hi, I'm a novice sewer and came across your fab tutorial while doing a search for messenger bag how-tos :) I was reading through the insructions, and the only thing that confuses me is, how does the bag lining get all nice and neat on the inside (read: stitched up)? Some facets ofwas sewing seem like magic to me, and maybe this is one of those things? :)

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  137. Hi, Amyliza! The magic part with the lining happens in steps 9 and 10 when you stuff the bag and strap inside the lining and sew them together around the top except for the opening. Then when you turn the bag right side out and stuff the lining inside it, you have a nice finished edge. Additionally you will also top stitch around the top edge to close the opening and give it a nice finish around the top. Does that make more sense?

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  138. Larissa, thanks for the clarification. I made the bag last night (or should I say early this morning? ;), and actually doing it helped me to understand what I couldn't visualize when I was reading through the tutorial. It's such a cute bag-- the one I just made is going to be a gift, but I think I'm going make one for myself as well! Thanks for sharing...

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  139. I've had your bags filed away in the back of my mind for a few months, and had the perfect fabric to finally make one this weekend!
    http://aameliahandmade.blogspot.com/2012/02/weekend-project-girls-messenger-bag.html

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  140. Thanks so much for the pattern. Made the bag on Sunday and it was easy and a lot of fun. I have posted my bag on my blog if you would like to have a look.

    x
    Natalie
    http://marigoldsloft.blogspot.com/2012/02/wip-wednesday-yarn-along_29.html

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  141. Just found this site. Can't wait to make a couple for my granddaughters. Thank you for sharing.

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  142. Thank you so much for posting this, Larissa! I used this tutorial to make a cute messenger bag for my 3 year old son. He is thrilled with it...I added a zipper closure to keep his treasures safely inside. Thanks again for making the instructions so easy to follow, the diagrams definitely helped. I have never sewn a bag before, but it still came out great! :)

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  143. I posted some photos of my messenger bag on the flickr group, including the measurements I used to size it down for my three year old, as well as some pointers on adding a zipper closure.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lambarina/7045885663/in/pool-1035154@N20/

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  144. I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for taking the time to create this tutorial. I used it to make myself a bag for my birthday in March and have since made several more bags in various sizes using what I learned from it. It is in valuable to me! I have not posted all of them on my blog (I am working on it) but I this is the one I made for my birthday (http://followgram.me/i/147899103815357544_4085212) and I will add the others to my blog and link to this post. ANYWAY, thank you, thank you, thank you!! :o) Tina

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  145. Y'all, I so enjoy seeing what you guys have been making with this tutorial. Thanks so much for your kind words and links to photos. I enjoy them all.

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  146. This may sound like a silly question but does the 1 yard of each fabric include enough to make the pockets? I'm really excited to try this! ^_^

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  147. Hey, Amber! Yes, it includes the pockets! Happy sewing!

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  148. I have been looking for a messenger bag to make for an upcoming trip because I can't find one I like in the stores. I am looking forward to working on this starting tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration, and information. Great blog!

    ~CJ

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  149. I will be making one for myself to carry through the airport this week. I promise to send a picture, since mine will be awesome, of course. I have made a messenger bag before, but I conveniently don't have that pattern here.

    Thanks so much for such an amazing tutorial.

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  150. Love the tutorial.
    Check out my first tutorial :)
    http://lavagirlart.blogspot.com/2012/07/how-to-diy-girly-sling-bag.html

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  151. Thank you for the pattern. I used it to make a bag as a birthday present for my mother (added an inner zipped pocket and a magnetic closure thanks to the wonders of in the internet) and she loved it!

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  152. wow. . .really beautiful bag. . .I love it really much appreciated. . keep it up . .
    wellhead compression

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  153. Thanks for this easy way to make this bag. I made one today for my granddaughter....you can see it at...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/35821009@N02/

    :-) Julie

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  154. hi,
    great looking tutorial! I'm going to get started tomorrow, but I have a question: does the lining get attached anywhere except the top edge? are there any problems with it not staying snugged down nicely at the bottom of the bag inside?
    thanks!

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  155. http://www.flickr.com/photos/35821009@N02/8274712336/in/photostream

    I've just made this lovely little bag (again) from your pattern but with shorter strap and flaps for my five year old granddaughter.....looks great in blue. Thanks once again for a great tutorial....easy to follow :-)

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  156. really comfortable and fashionable bags and stuff..

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  157. I needed a gift for a teenage girl at the last minute and remembered this bag. Came out awesome and was surprisingly easy with your clear directions. Now if the teenage girl in question likes the fabrics.... I'm Auntie of the year!!!! Thanks!

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  158. Christina, that's great to hear! I hope she liked the fabric and you are now sporting the trophy.

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  159. Thanks for the easy tutorial! It really helped me out in making my bag :D
    Please take a look:
    http://sewanotherday.wordpress.com/

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  160. Larissa - I have been so inspired by your blog that I have started my own - and have linked to this tutorial in a couple of places - http://alittlebirdmademe.wordpress.com

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  161. Loved your tutorial so much. Provided a link to the bag I made for a Jewish auction
    http://beazaandllama.com/2013/02/10/fabric-stamping-and-storage-solutions/#

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  162. This is a great design! Thank you.i have finished this bag today and I'm so chuffed as its the first big project I've made! X

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  163. Hello there! I made this bag today using your pattern and it turned out great! I am SO tickled with it! I made mine a little bit smaller and put the pocket under the flap instead of on the back.

    Your instructions were AWESOME and very easy to follow! Thanks for posting it!

    I will be posting photos of it on my blog (http://daisyludesign.blogspot.com/) along with a link to your blog.

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    Replies
    1. Kelly, Hello there yourself. Made my day! Thanks for the feedback! Love it.

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  164. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this wonderful pattern and tutorial. I followed it last night and made my very first bag...and loved the process so much! Your directions and illustrations were clear and I'm happy to report I didn't need to rip out one seam! (A feat for me!:)) You can see the post I wrote about it here. http://www.harbourbreezehome.com/2013/04/diy-messenger-bag/
    I put your picture and credited your blog. I hope that's ok?

    Rita

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  165. Hello Larissa,
    thanks for the fab tutorial. I made my own bag and thought you might like to see the result
    http://craftybissums.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/a-quick-messenger-bag.html
    I linked back to your blog so hopefully more folks will get crafting and make their own!
    Cheers,
    Cat

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  166. Thank you so much for such a wonderful tutorial. My 13 and 10 year old daughters have recently started sewing up a storm. I gave my eldest a fully equipped sewing room for her birthday this year. We have depended upon the kindness of experienced sewers posting free tutorials to learn techniques. It has taught both them and me a whole new set of skills. This tutorial has been our favorite and the clearest and most concise one to follow. I just want to thank you for your efforts. I appreciate your time and effort.

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    1. Hey there, "Unknown". :-)
      Thanks so much for taking the time to give feedback about the pattern. I have benefited so much myself from various free tutorials, I was happy to pay it forward. I'm so glad you could use it! And wow, what a fantastic gift for her birthday!

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  167. so stuck on step #9, I've torn this thing apart several times, HELP

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  168. when I do right sides together and sew it up, when I turn it out in ends up wrong ways out for the body

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    1. Hi, Joy! When you pin them together, you should not be able to see the right side of either one. The outer layer will the the wrong side of the lining, and the inner layer will be the wrong side of the outer fabric. Does that make sense? Look at the diagram in step ten, and imagine all that you see there is the wrong sides of the fabric. You will turn both the outside and the lining through the hole that you leave and you'll end up with the right sides of both, then you'll stuff the lining down inside the bag. HTH!

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    2. okay I'm gonna try again, thanks for responding so quickly :)thanks

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    3. It worked!!!! so happy :D I might post some pictures, finally conquered it.

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  169. What a great pattern! Your tutorial was very easy to follow and my messenger bag came out great! I used an old denim jumper for the outside fabric and drop cloth fabric for the lining.

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    Replies
    1. Mary Alice, awesome! Love it when you can recycle fabric.

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  170. Thank you so much for sharing this! I'm new to sewing and I found this an extremely easy tutorial to follow and have used your pattern to make a bag for my friend. I'm now using it again to make another one for a different friend. I was also so happy to see that you're a following of the Lord Jesus Christ, I am too :-). I was so encouraged to see your page sharing your faith and encouraging others to read the Bible. Love and Blessings, Damola Hawkes :-)

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    1. Hey, Damola, thanks so much. Great to hear the pattern is being put to good use! Thanks for being my Barnabas and encouraging me in my faith today!

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  171. How is this not the bag featured in the book zakka style??

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    1. Hi, KF! This bag was used as the base for the Zakka Style bag, only the Zakka bag includes all-the-way-around outside pockets with pen/pencil holders, more inside pockets, adjustable strap, and the flap design.

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    2. And, I thought I'd mention in case you were thinking of buying the book, there is an error in the instructions for the bag so see this page for the bag errata: http://mmmcrafts.blogspot.com/2012/03/zakka-style-errata.html

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  172. Just found this looking for a teatowel bag....gorgeous pagtern im gonna try and as a follower of Jesus I feel doubly blessed to find you xx

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  173. OH THANK YOU! BEST TUTORIAL I'VE SEEN!

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  174. Hi. Thank you for the awesome tutorial! I have a question about the flap. How many inches does it actually hang down over the edge of the top of the bag? My design (dr who themed) (the tardis) needs to be completely visible from the front and not on top of the bag.

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    1. Hey, Danielle,
      First of all you HAVE to share a picture of your awesome TARDIS bag when it's finished! Please? Secondly, I'd estimate that the first 3 inches of the bag flap will be on the top/back of the bag, maybe a bit more if the bag is stuffed full. It should be OK to start your design after that.

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  175. Thank you so much for replying so quickly! Do you have a Facebook page for your blog? If not I might need some directions on how to post to flicker(?).

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    1. Hey, Danielle, yes! See the Facebook icon at the very top right under my masthead? Click it and you'll be whisked away to my facebook page.

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  176. I was pregnant with my son when you wrote this fantastic tutorial; today is his fifth birthday and as soon as I've come out of my cake coma, I'mma make one for him and one for a friend of his! Thanks!!

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    Replies
    1. Dew, 'cake coma', haha. Actually, a sugar high might help get you through the trickier parts of the sewing. Keep some cake on hand.

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