Monday, July 25, 2011

Messenger Bag

Ikea is having a sale now and I got this home furnishing fabric for $6 per metre!

Bought 2 metres as I thought the blue is so dreamy looking and hey, my daughter needs a bag for school. Her current bag just disintegrated! I mean, the zipper tab came off, her strap buckle broke and it's really getting very sorry looking. She looks sling bag and so the birth of a new Messenger Bag! It's really easy and I love how it turns out. Follow on if you want to sew along..

1 metre of med weight cotton fabric {go get them at Ikea at only $6/m!}
0.5 metre of light weight cotton or muslin {i bought these from Ikea too at $2.40/m}

Cutting Instruction
[Main fabric A]
Front and back: cut 2 pieces @ 13.5" X 12"
Flap: cut 1 piece @ 13.5" X 16"
Base: cut 1 piece @ 36" X 5"
Strap: 19" X 5"
Inner Pocket: 11" X 8" (Optional)

[Lining fabric B]
Front and back: cut 2 pieces @ 13.5" X 12"
Base: cut 1 piece @ 36" X 5"

Sewing Instruction
Main body
1. First, lay the base fabric A right side up. Find the centre of the base piece and match with the centre of the Front panel piece.  Pin and align the bottom edge for the Front panel piece.

2. Turn the 2 pieces, so that the Front panel is now below, facing up.  Flip the base piece down at the corner, making a shart 45 degree turn [see below for better illustration].
Then, flip up again so that it is now Right Side facing down.
 Align the side seam and pin all the way up on the side of the Front panel.
 Do the same for the other side so that you have the base panel all pin nicely around the front panel.
Do the same for the Lining pieces.

3. Start sewing from the top of the panel all the way down the bottom and up again.  

4. After you have sewn the Front panel to the base, pin the Back panel to the other side of the base. Do the same step as 1-2 and sew. Repeat the same for the other back panel for the lining piece.  Turn your bag (Main Fabric) Right Side Out.  Your bag should take shape now.

1. Fold the flap piece Right Side together to measure 13.5" X 8".  Sew the two 8" sides with 3/8" seam allowance.  Clip corners and turn Right Side out. Press.

2. Sew all round the folded edge with a straigth stitch, leaving the top unsew.

Attach Flap to Bag body
1. Pin the flap to the top edge of the bag Back panel, Right Side facing. Leave about 0.5" from the top of the main bag and pin the flap. Make sure your flap is pinned straightly. The reason for the gap is when you sew the bag to the lining piece, you don't want to have so many bulk in the seam.

2. Sew with straight stitch along the pinned flap top edge, using 1/4" seam allowance. Make sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of the stitch to secure.

it looks almost like a bag now..
Inner Pocket (Optional)
If you like to have a pocket in the bag, you can sew it in before you sew up the lining pieces or like me, which is an after thought, sew in after you have sewn the lining piece. It's still possible but abit trouble some.

1. Simliar method as the construction of the Flap. Fold the pocket piece, Right Side Facing, into half to measure 8" X 5.5".  Sew the 2 short edges, clip corners and flip over and press. Fold in 1/4" from the top open edge and press.

2. Decide on the position of your pocket and pin in place on the lining piece. Sew a straight stitch around the pocket, U shape, starting from the top right to the bottom and up to the left.

1. Fold the strap Right Side Facing, into half lengthwise and sew the edge close with 1/2" seam allowance. Turn it Right Side Out.

2. Press and sew two rows of straight stitch along the length of the strap.

3. Mark 2.5" from the top edge on the side panel of the bag and 2" measure from the side of the bag.

4. Pin the strap to the bag and fold in the edge.  Sew a box stitch to secure. Do the same for the other end of the strap.

Putting the Bags together
1. Insert the Main Bag (Right Side Facing Out) into the Lining Bag (Right Side Facing In). Align side seams. 

2. As I like my inner pocket to be at the back of the bag, make sure that the Main bag with the flap (back) is facing the Inner pocket on the lining bag.  Tuck in the strap.

3. Pin around the top edges of both bags and sew with 3/8" seam allowance. Be sure to catch both the main and lining bag as you sew. I've used a size 90 needle and longer stitch width and tension to sew. Go slowly.  Leave a 2" gap at the opening for turning.

4. Turn the bag out from the gap and sew the gap close.  You can also sew the label and velcro on the flap
 and the bag is good to go!
front view

Inner pocket

1 comment:

Esther said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I love the bag and your instructions are very clear.