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Dear Diary, I need a new Messanger Bag…

I’d like to welcome Amy from Diary of a Quilter.  Amy is not only very talented and funny, she’s also a good friend.  We met through blogging… but luckily for me our friendship has spanned into real life.  Amy and I have more than a few things in common: We both love all things British and Jane Austin.  We also both love fabric, Barbacoa Grill, our sewing machines, and being moms- not necessarily in that order.  Thank you Amy for sharing your wonderful Messenger Bag Tutorial.  I love it’s simplicity and functionality.  I also love the Wonderland Fabric you’ve used.  I still have some bits of Wonderland in my stash that I’m saving for something special.  Maybe it wants to be an messenger bag!  So here’s Amy:

This little bag pattern is “easy-peasy-chunky-cheesy” as my 5-year-old likes to say.

You will feel so proud of yourself when it’s done in no time!

For an adult/bigger-kid size bag the fabric requirement are 2 coordinating half yards.
For a smaller child’s bag you will only need two pieces at 3/8 of a yard.

I will demonstrate with the larger bag
and give the measurements for the child’s bag at the end.

First: from both half-yard pieces, cut a 4″ strip off one end.
This will be for your strap.
Cut the remaining piece down to 14″ x 30″.
(You can save the remnant for a pocket, if you want.)

If you are going to put a pocket on, do it now. To make the pocket, fold the remnant in half and sew three sides shut with a 1/4″ seam, leaving an opening to turn right side out. Clip corners and turn right side out. Press, tucking edges in at opening. Fold outside bag piece in half and center the pocket where it will appear on finished bag. Pin in place and sew close to the edge along three sides, sewing opening shut as you go.

Now on to the bag: Place two 14″ x 30″ pieces right sides together and pin together at ends.

Sew 3/8″ seams on either end.
Now take to your ironing board.
Bring the seams to the center and match them up.
Press seams open.
You will now have your lining-piece folded in half on one side and
your outside piece folded in half on the other.

Pin open sides together, leaving a 3″ opening on one side of the lining fabric
for turning right side out. Sew 3/8″ seams on both sides.
Turn bag right-side out and top-stitch opening closed. It will look like a flat, empty pillow.Tuck lining fabric inside the outside bag fabric.
Now it’s starting to look like an actual bag!
To make the band of trim around the top of the bag,
roll the lining fabric above the bag about 1/4″.
Pin to hold fabrics in place and press.
Top stitch around the edge of the bag at the top of the outer fabric
AND at the top of the lining fabric.
This is easy, and it will give the bag a nice, finished edge.
Now, place both strap pieces right sides together
and sew down both long sides using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Turn right-side out, press, and top-stitch along both edges.
Now is the time to decide how long you want your bag strap.
(This strap is meant to be worn diagonally across the chest.)
For an adult, it’s about the right length as it is.
For an older child, you might want to cut-off a few inches.

If you leave one end with selvage edges on the end you don’t
need to do anything to the strap before you start sewing.
If you cut-off one end, you may want to tuck raw edges under and press.

Now, pinch the end of the strap in half to find the center.

Line up that pinched crease with the seam on the side of the bag.
Place end of strap about two inches inside the bag.
Pin the strap in place
And sew around the edges and along the top of the bag,
creating a rectangle to secure the strap in place.
Repeat with other side.
And Voila! You are seriously done. Pretty awesome, huh?
To make a child size bag cut a 2 1/2″ strip off the side of both pieces.
Then cut the bag pieces 11″ x 24″.
Repeat all the same steps.
(You will probably want to shorten the strap.)
These are so fast, you really might get addicted. And the possibilities are endless.
We used a heavier, canvas fabric on the cowboy bag.
The other bag is made from the Wonderland by MoMo collection for Moda.
Thanks Amy, I can’t wait to make one for myself!

Cheers ta, Calli

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