Home » Sewing Techniques » Sewing Projects » Melly’s Messenger

Melly’s Messenger

This trendy messenger bag is super practical for everyday use and will comfortably fit a good supply of paper and books. Inside there is a large double pocket as well as an internal divider to keep everything organized and easy to find. This simple design can be made as bright and fun or as minimalistic as you like – it will look classic in any combination.

Melly's Messenger 1

You will need

  • 61cm (24in) black home décor weight fabric for main bag and internal divider
  • 38cm (15in) pink print home décor weight fabric for bag flap, base and pocket
  • 40cm (153⁄4in) black and white stripe patchwork fabric for lining and buckle holder
  • 1m (40in) lightweight fusible fleece
  • 15cm (6in) square lightweight woven fusible interfacing
  • 1.1m (44in) of 4.5cm (13⁄4in) wide cotton strap webbing
  • Silver cummerbund buckle (Birch brand)

Finished size : 37 x 29cm (141⁄2 x 111⁄2in) excluding handle

Melly's Messenger 2

Cutting

  1. Trace all of the Melly’s Messenger templates (see Pattern Pullout Sheet) onto tracing paper or template plastic, transferring all the markings and cutting them out around the traced lines.
  2. From the black home décor weight fabric, cut two pieces measuring 35.5 x 39.5cm (141⁄4 x 151⁄2in) for the main bag and two pieces measuring 30 x 29cm (12 x 111⁄2in) for the internal divider.
  3. From the pink print home décor weight fabric, trace the bag flap template once onto the folded fabric and cut out along the traced line to make two pieces. Next cut a strip measuring 36 x 7.5cm (141⁄4 x 3in) for the bag base and another piece measuring 28cm (11in) square for the internal pocket.
  4. From the black and white stripe patchwork fabric, cut two 36 x 39.5cm (141⁄4 x 151⁄2in) pieces for the lining and one piece measuring 28cm (11in) square for the internal pocket lining. Now cut two pieces measuring 12.5 x 7cm (5 x 23⁄4in) for the bottom buckle holder and two pieces measuring 10 x 7cm (4 x 23⁄4in) for the flap buckle holder.
  5. From the lightweight fusible fleece, cut four pieces measuring 35.5 x 39.5cm (141⁄4 x 151⁄2in) for the main bag and lining. Trace the bag flap template once and cut out along the traced lines. Next cut out the 30 x 29cm (12 x 111⁄2in) internal divider, a 35.5 x 5cm (14 x 2in) strip, and a piece measuring 28cm (11in) square for the internal pocket.
  6. From the lightweight woven fusible interfacing, cut one piece measuring 7 x 12.5cm (23⁄4 x 5in) for the bottom buckle holder and one piece measuring 7 x 10cm (23⁄4 x 4in) for the flap buckle holder.

Preparation

  1. Interface the main bag pieces, the lining pieces, half of the bag flap, the pocket and the divider pieces with the matching lightweight fusible fleece pieces.
  2. Interface one each of the flap buckle and bottom buckle pieces with lightweight woven fusible interfacing.

Melly's Messenger 3

Construction

5mm (1⁄4in) seam allowance included.

1). Place the two black main bag pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Sew together along the bottom 35.5cm (14in) edge and press the seams open.

2). Iron the 35.5 x 5cm (14 x 2in) piece of fusible fleece to the centre of the 35.5 x 7.5cm (14 x 3in) pink fabric panel, so you have 1.5cm (1⁄2in) of fabric on either side of the fleece. Fold the extra 1.5cm (1⁄2in) of fabric under along both sides and press well in place to form the bag base panel.

3). Place the two bottom buckle pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Sew together along both 12.5cm (5in) edges, turn and press. Thread through the female section of the cummerbund buckle and fold onto itself to create a loop. Tack (baste) the raw edges together, enclosing the buckle (see Useful Stitches).

4). Open out the main bag from Step 1 and lay it out, right side up, so the bottom seam is flat on the work surface. Centre the base panel, right side up, over the seam so 2.5cm (1in) of the base is placed over the bag front and 2.5cm (1in) is placed over the bag back. Make sure that the folded under  1.5cm (1⁄2in) on each side of the base panel remains underneath.Now position the bottom buckle piece so that the raw edge sits under the base panel by 1cm (3⁄8in) and the buckle piece is positioned 9cm (31⁄2in) in from the right bag edge. Pin everything in place then topstitch onto the bag along both edges, as shown (see Useful Stitches).

5). Place the main bag right sides together again so that both the top edges and side edges meet evenly. Sew the bag sides together all the way from the top to the bottom.

6). Keeping the bag inside out, follow the box corner technique  (see Box Corners), sewing across where the triangle measures 5cm (2in) (from one edge of the base panel to the other). Repeat for the other corner. Trim the excess fabric approximately 1.5cm (1⁄2in) outside of the sewn line.

The box corners will be very thick, so take care with your needle and sew over the stitching a few times for added strength.

Melly's Messenger 4

7). Place the two flap buckle pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Sew together along both 10cm (4in) edges, then turn and press. Topstitch the strip along both 10cm (4in) edges. Thread this strip through the male section of the cummerbund buckle and fold it onto itself to create a loop. Tack the raw edges together, enclosing the buckle.

8). Position the buckle piece onto the pink main flap piece, right sides together, as shown. The raw edges should meet and the buckle piece should be centred, following the marking on the flap template. Tack into place.

9). Place the two bag flap pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Sew together along the side and bottom edges, leaving the top straight edge open for turning. Turn and press well. Topstitch the  flap along the sewn edges and machine tack the straight top edges together.

10). Place the bag flap on top of the bag back, right sides together, ensuring that the flap is evenly centred along the width. Tack into place along the top raw edges, as shown.

11). Trim the strap webbing to the desired length. Centre each end of the handle strap over either side seam on the main bag, right sides together, and tack in place. Put the main bag aside.

12). Place the two pocket pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Sew together along all four edges, leaving a 7.5cm (3in) gap in one side for turning. Snip the corners, turn and press well. Topstitch along the pocket top edge with a double row of stitching.

13). Place one of the bag lining pieces right side up on your work surface. Position the pocket onto the lining piece, approximately 7.5cm (3in) down from the top raw edge. Ensuring that the pocket is centred within the width, pin then sew in place along the side and bottom edges. Sew a line of stitching from the centre top to the centre bottom to create a double pocket, if desired.

14). Place the two divider pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Sew together along both 30cm (12in) edges, turn right side out and press well. Topstitch along both 30cm (12in) edges with a double row of stitching.

The bag handle can be shortened to suit the height of the wearer. I used the full 1.1m (44in) length, however, I am very tall!

Melly's Messenger 5

15). Place the lining front and back pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Place the divider in-between these two layers to create a sandwich. One of the raw divider side edges needs to sit against the raw left-hand side edges of the lining pieces, 4.5cm (13⁄4in) up from the bottom lining edge.

16). Sew the left-hand side edges of the lining pieces together,  capturing the divider edge in your sewing. Sew the bottom edge of the lining pieces together, leaving an 18cm (7in) gap in the centre for turning. Now position the remaining raw edge of the divider along the raw right-hand side edges of the bag lining. The divider is narrower than the lining, so pin or tack it evenly in place to secure, ensuring it is also 4.5cm (13⁄4in) up from the bottom lining edge. Next sew the right-hand side of the lining pieces together.

17). Keeping the lining bag inside out, follow the box corner technique (see Box Corners), sewing across where the triangle measures 5cm (2in). Repeat for the other corner. Trim the excess fabric approximately 5mm (1⁄4in) outside the sewn line.

18). Keeping the main bag right side out and the bag lining right side in, place the main bag inside the lining bag. Push the handle strap and closure flap inside between the two layers, making sure that they are well clear of the top edge, and then pin evenly all the way around the top edge. No carefully sew all the way around the top of the bag. Turn the bag right side out through the hole in the bottom of the lining and push the lining inside the main bag. Topstitch the top bag edge. Finally, ladder stitch the turning gap closed (see Useful Stitches).

TRY THIS!

Melly’s Messenger would make a fabulously sturdy children’s book bag. Simply shorten the strap to suit the child’s frame.

Melly's Messenger 6

The cummerbund buckle should be readily available online. If you have trouble finding one, simply use magnetic closures on the flap and omit the buckle holders.

Melly's Messenger 7

Source : Sew Cute to Carry 12 Stylish bag patterns for handbags, purses & totes Melanie Mcneice