noelle o designs

creativity + sewing + upcycling inspiration

1 of 1 messenger bag
Upcycling

Making a mini messenger bag

make a mini messenger bag

This mini messenger bag is a pattern and design that I’ve always loved. (Watch the short video) As a matter of fact the purse I use every day looks exactly like this one. I’ve made it many, many times over the years for the Beehive Bazaar, a local handmade market in Utah, where I live. When a quilter friend of mine asked me to make one for her, we agreed on a trade and then 3 years passed…

sewing table

And now, at long last, I have redeemed myself and actually made (and delivered) her bag.

messenger bag pattern

It was fun for me to rediscover this pattern that I’ve tweaked and shifted over the years. It was like revisiting an old, familiar friend.

zipper pocket on a bag

This zipper technique of sewing one side of the zipper directly to the bag face is one of my favorite time-saving hacks. Zippers can be tricky to install but this method makes it easy.

sewing a bag

I use a heavy interfacing with the lining pieces to add stand up sturdiness to the internal portion of the bag.

mini messenger bag lining

The interfacing really gives the mini messenger bag a professional feel and eliminates floppiness.

internal zipper pocket on a bag flap

There is another zipper pocket in the flap. A regular pocket wouldn’t work since the flap is constantly being flipped upside down when the bag is opened and closed.

top stitching bag flap

Top stitching the flap after sewing it all together- including a hand sewn patch with a bit of color and unique flair. Never underestimate the power of ironing seams before you sew- another trick to a professional quality finished product.

sewing a leather handle in place

Use a leather needle when working with leather, it cuts as it punctures and sews. Take your time and remember once a hole has been made in the leather it will always be there and likely visible.

sewing the lining into a bag

Placing the outside of the bag inside the lining to sew together can be an adventure. Be patient and take your time lining up seams and stitching. Also, leave a good size gap (about 5 inches) for reaching in and turning the whole thing right side out.

make a mini messenger bag

The finished bag

Here’s a look at the completed mini messenger bag, with an added oversized snap for complete closure and a professional look.

zipper pocket on a messenger bag

Backside view with zipper back pocket. I don’t zipper this pocket closed all the time but it’s nice to have the option.

mini messenger embroidery detail

And there are the basics of making a mini messenger bag. Handmade and especially sturdy. I’ve used mine for years with minimal wear and tear and several washings. Try bag making for yourself- let the creativity flow and learn as you go! Watch the short here.

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