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Sew a messenger bag: free sewing pattern

aay messenger bag: free sewing pattern - Free sewing patterns - Craft -

You will need…

● Half a metre of strong cotton/canvas for the outer
● Half a metre of strong cotton/canvas for the lining
● Webbing strap: 110cm for a cross body strap - or 60cm for a shoulder strap

Cutting out

For the outer layer: Cut 2 rectangles measuring 38cm x 40cm.

For the lining: Cut 2 rectangles measuring 38cm x 40cm.

Pocket: cut 2 rectangles measuring 20cm x 16cm.

Shaping the main bag pieces

Tte outer and lining rectangles need to be slightly narrower at the top than they are at the bottom.  

Image 1: To do this, fold them in half lengthways. On the top edge, measure 2cm in and mark the point with a pin. With a ruler held against the pinned point on the top edge and your bottom corner, draw a straight line from this point – down to the bottom corner. 


On your outer bag pieces and your lining pieces, you should now have a top edge measuring 34cm and a bottom edge measuring 38cm.

The pocket

Place the two pocket pieces right sides together.

Image 2: Starting on a corner of one of the shortest sides, straight stitch (1cm from the raw edge) around three sides (backstitching at the beginning and end to secure the stitching). Make sure you leave one long edge open.

Trim the two stitched corners and turn the pocket the right way round.

Image 3: With a hot iron, press the pocket. Turn the remaining raw edge up 1cm. Press – but don’t stitch.

Attaching the pocket

Take one of your lining pieces and fold in half lengthways. Press down on the fold with your fingers to create a crease. Now take your pocket and do the same. 

Image 4: With the lining lying right side up, lay the crease on the pocket over the crease on the lining, 7cm down from the top (the shortest) edge. Make sure the folded edge of the pocket is the top edge. Pin into place.

Image 5: Now straight stitch around the sides and bottom edge of the pocket, backstitching at the two top corners to secure into place.

Stitching the bag seams

With right sides together, lay the outer bag pieces on top of each other.

Pin and with a 1cm seam, stitch around the sides and bottom edge.

Now do the same with your bag lining except – in the middle of one of the lining side seams you need to leave a 10cm hole (big enough to get your hand in). Don’t worry if you forget to do this, you can always find your seam ripper and unpick a 10cm hole.

Image 6: NB: At this point you need to make sure that the openings of the outer bag and the lining are the same measurement - this is important for the next step!

Boxing the corners

In order to give your bag a square base, you need to follow the next steps.

Take your outer bag and insert one hand inside, poking your index finger into one corner.

With your other hand pinch the corner so that the side seam and the bottom seam meet together.

Image 7: It should look like this.

Pin and stitch an 8cm long seam across the corner.

Repeat on the other outer bag corner and the two corners of the lining.

Image 8: Trim the excess corner fabric 0.5cm from the seam.

Stitching the bag together and attaching the handle

Image 9: Turn your outer bag the right way round. 

Take your strap and at the side seam of the outer bag, pin one strap end to the top raw edge, centralising the side seam. Making sure that the strap isn’t twisted, pin the other end of the strap to the other side seam.

Image 10: Stitch – we zigzagged ours as it frayed a bit. If the strap is very thick, work slowly to avoid breaking a sewing machine needle.

Now turn your bag outer inside out again – but turn your bag lining the right way round.

Image 11: Insert the bag lining into the outer bag – matching the raw edges (the right sides of the outer and lining should be facing each other).

Pin the raw edge together and stitch round, 1cm from the edge.

Turning the bag the right way round

Image 12: Now bring the lining out of the outer bag, and, inserting your hand through that 10cm hole you left in the lining, start pulling through the bag so it’s the right way round.

It’ll look like a crumpled load of washing at this point.

Push the lining down inside that bag, and carefully topstitch around the top 0.5cm from the edge (giving it a press with a hot iron helps at this point).

Fill it up and go.

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