noelle o designs

creativity + sewing + upcycling inspiration

fabric, felt, purses, sewing

Messenger bags… handmade

Ahhh, personalized messenger bags handmade- for the kids. Just below ‘Nintendo DS’ on the Christmas wish lists were messenger bags- not from the store, but made by me. Kids- requesting handmade gifts, from me? aww shucks.
I’ve been playing with the Amy Butler High Street Messenger Bag pattern. For these bags I added extra width, a couple of inches across the bottom to accommodate books and lunch boxes.
I took out the floating pocket panel suggested in the pattern and added two internal pockets, one sewn to the front of the lining, one on the back. I divided up these internal pockets for pencils, pens and other little things that need a home.

Everyone got a little personalized detail on the front flap.
This horsey is made with felt and hand stitched on with embroidery floss.

I mixed a little felt with cotton fabrics to make the owl and branch he’s sitting on. To save a little time I machine stitched on the branch, most of the owl and just embroidered on the details.

I mixed up a few different fabrics for the lining. I love this Alexander Henry skateboarding fabric that is used for the inside of the bag. On the inside of the flap I used a sturdier striped canvas- trying to keep it manly looking. On the two front outside pockets, I lined them with the striped fabric and skipped the pleats on the pockets- keeping it simple for the masculine feel that’s so important in 5th grade.
They have given me some good feedback so I can keep perfecting the finished product. Mostly suggestions on strap length, width, adjustability. That is the one part that still needs perfecting.

They have used their messenger bags nonstop since unwrapping them on Christmas morning (a pretty good sign I think) lots of compliments and special order requests too. I need to get to get back to work in the sewing room. For more pictures of the messenger bags look here.


  1. The Wilkinson Clan

    January 17, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Would you be able to make some for scripture bags?

  2. noelle

    January 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    sure could make scripture bags… whatcha thinking exactly?- call me and we’ll figure it out.

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