November 23, 2009

Messenger bag :: a tutorial



Last Friday, I mentioned there possibly was a tutorial in the works for little H.'s bag. It's been tested now over the weekend and she loves it - and so do I!
So, here's a tutorial for a fancy ruffled messenger bag!

This bag sort of happened. The only requirements were it had to be a messenger bag and the strap needed to be adjustable. And it definitely needed frills of some sort as little H. is a girly girl. Hence, the ruffles. All I used was my imagination and some scissors. I didn't even bother to take out a ruler or measurement tape (well, I did - afterwards, in order to write the how-to). The rounded flap and matching strap "happened" as I went.

In case you want to give it a try, here's a short description. The measurements given are approximate and include seam allowance.

For this bag you'll need:

two sets of fabric, one for the outside of the bag, one for the lining, cut as follows:

in each fabric:
- a 65x30cm rectangle, for the body,
- another 30x25cm rectangle for the flap, (long end determines the height of the flap, while the short end determines the width of the flap. The latter should be slightly less than the width of your bag pieces)
- a 4x15cm rectangle for the loop,
- a 5x105cm strip for the strap.

lining only:
- a long strip measuring roughly 7x140cm, for the ruffles


Step 1: Body of the bag

Fold the fabric in two, pin the sides, and stitch the sides closed.
Next, in order to make the boxed corners at the bottom, fold open the corner so that the side seam matches up with the bottom fabric fold, pin and mark as shown in the picture, about 4cm from the side. Stitch on the line. Repeat with the other corner. Note: it's really important to have side seam and bottom fold coincide perfectly, in order to get perfect 90° corners.



Now repeat with the lining, but leaving an opening in one of the sideseams, for turning in the last step. You should end up with two bag pieces looking like this:




Step 2: Flap

2a. Take the flap and cut curvature going from the left hand side lower corner to the right hand side upper corner.



2b. Ruffles: Fold the strip in two and iron flat. Next, on your sewing machine sew two parallel seams in a not too small stitch. Knot the four thread ends at one end to secure. At the other end take the two upper threads and start pulling on them, while pushing the fabric down. Your fabric will start ruffling. Keep going until you've reached the desired length, being the length of the curved side of the flap.

2c. Pin the ruffles to the outer fabric, such that the ruffles face inward (see picture). Secure by stitching them together really close to the side.

2d. Put the lining on top of the outer fabric, right sides facing, sandwiching the ruffles inside. Pin and next stitch the seams all the way around except for at the top (for turning). Clip the corner, turn inside out, press flat with an iron. It will look like this:




Step 3: Loop and strap

3a. Put the two strips you cut for the loop on top of each other right sides facing and stitch together. Next, turn inside out and press flat.



3b. Do the same with the strips you cut for the strap. Note: As I wanted the strip to match with the rounded flap I cut a slight curve at one end.



Step 4: Putting the bag together

4a. Pin the flap to the outer bag right sides facing while making sure to have it perfectly in the middle of the back of your bag.



4b. Fold the strip for the loop in two and pin to the left side of the bag, right sides facing and having the loop face downwards (it will face up once the bag is turned in the last step).

4c. Pin the strap to the bag at the opposite side, right sides facing.

4d. Secure everything, by stitching close to the sides.



4e. Pin the lining to the outer bag, right sides facing, and keeping the flap, the loop and the strap sandwiched inside. Stitch closed, about 1cm from the edge.

4f. Turn the bag inside out, through the opening you left in the lining. Press all seams flat. Close the gap in the lining, pull the strap through the loop and tie a knot at the desired length... and done!

Ruffled Messenger Bag



I hope I made myself clear, if not just let me know!

Good luck!

Please note, these tutorials are intended for personal use only. Therefore, do not reproduce, sell or commercialize in any form without permission. Thanks for understanding!

42 comments:

Crafty Cripple said...

Lovely bag, great tutorial. I will be adding it to my list of stuff I will make one day.

Elsa said...

love the bag! especially the ruffle, it really does make the bag! how nice of you to share the tutorial and I'm going to the fabric store TODAY to find the perfect material for it!
thanks, elsa

nicole/brussels said...

Pascale, het is een fantastisch mooie tas,het oranje boordje maakt het "af"! je hebt een feeling voor zulke dingen, je meisjes mogen zich gelukkig prijzen met zo'n creative mama!!

Lindsay C said...

This is a wonderful tutorial ! The photos are so nice. I love the colours together. The ruffle makes the bag. i can't wait to try this out ! I may try and make a larger one as well.. oh the possibilities. . .

Thanks !!

Lindsay C

One Flew Over said...

A great tut! Thank you x

gret said...

Fabulous tutorial Pascale. I might make a tiny version for my little one for christmas! Thanks so much for the hard work - I know how long it takes to write tutorials and get them up. x

Kelly O. said...

BIG THANKYOU!!

cindy said...

the time and attention you take in creating these wonderful tutorials is so appreciated. i really love the bag and never made a ruffle, although i really want to. thank you!

Altair said...

That's a great tutorial. Thank you for the idea of scrap, I hate the metal and plastic accessories. :o)

Miss Butterfly said...

Thanks so much for your nice tutorial ! It's was of a great help for me when I made a bag for my little boy (without the ruffle !) ...

Have a nice day !

PS : I linked over to you on my today post !

mayaluna said...

So beautiful! Love the curved ruffle so much.

Tracey said...

I love the linen and cute ruffle - I want one too, though my little girl would probably snaffle it! Thank you for the tutorial

sewkatiedid said...

I love the hang of it with the linen.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Wow, this is beautiful. What a gorgeous gift. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

Martys Fiber Musings said...

I love this bag. Your lining fabric is just the "cat's meow."

Che Birba said...

lovely bag!

Laura from Italy

AngJust said...

Beautiful, I love it !!!
Tank you very much ;- ))
AngJust from FRANCE

amanda said...

I love this tutorial. I have to say it's the best tutorial I've ever read, the photos are fantastic and the bag is adorable! I think I will make one, but in a smaller version as a surprise for the girl I nanny. She would love it!

Camilla said...

Love the bag, made a version of it last week. You can check it out on my blogg princeclam.blogspot.com :)

Anna said...

so cute, don't know how I missed this one. :)

Olivia said...

Great tutorial, I'm linking to you, if that's okay ^.^

Kristie said...

This is beautiful. Do you mind if I include your tutorial in a list of my favorites on my blog? I will put a picture and a link back to this post. Please let me know if you have any objections! Thanks for the great tutorial!

Amanda said...

This is a great tutorial- i'm going to make one to use as my purse(always have a book or two with me) although instead of ruffles I think I'll use 3 fabrics instead(just for the flap) so it'll still be interesting.

Suzanne said...

This is so cute!! Thank you so much! I made this in just a few hours and absolutely love it!

Stephanie said...

Great tutorial! I expanded the size a bit since the bag is for me and I wanted to be able to fit in a laptop. It was super quick and easy. Thanks!

Jennifer said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the tutorial. I just made this bag for my neice and it is possibly the best sewing project I have ever made, it all lined up and looks really professional thanks to your tutorial, now off to make my daughter one.

Lisa dawn said...

I love this bag and am making one right now. I was wondering what seam allowances you are using. I sewed the loop sides up, using 1 cm and it seemed so small. Made me wonder if I was using the wrong seam allowance. What did you you use?

McCaela said...

absolutly love this bag..i made one for myself and its gonna work great once school rolls back around again :) thanks for the

Anonymous said...

Yay! I made this yesterday, and it turned out AWESOME! I can't wait to use it. Thanks for the terrific, concise tutorial.

Gemma Day said...

A lovely project and well constructed blog :O) TYVM

Светлица Оксана said...

Merci pour l'idée!
http://rsvetlica.blogspot.com/2011/11/blog-post_18.html

Sharyn said...

I just made this for my daughter for christmas. Turned out great. Thanks for the tutorial.

JessiMendenhall@hotmail.com said...

could you tell me the dimensions of the finished bag? I was wondering if it is big enough to stow a notebook-laptop??

Pascale said...

@JessiMendenhall@hotmail.com:
Hard to tell. It all depends on the exact size of your laptop. To make sure it fits, measure your laptop and adjust the dimensions given in the tutorial accordingly. Also, to protect your laptop from shocks make sure to add a layer of batting or another material in between the layers of fabric.

Robin Correa said...

The ruffles are to die for! Very precious!!!

Michelle J said...

Adorable! I'm no whiz with the sewing machine, but I think you've inspired me to give this project a go! :)

Kali said...

Super cute purse. Threw this together this afternoon. Next time though, I'll make the strap piece longer. I like the top of my cross-body purses to hit at my hips.

Heidi Szczepanski said...

I love this little purse. So cute and the ruffle is great. Thanks for sharing.
Exede

Timi said...

This bag is beautiful!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this darling bag tutorial. I just completed it, but had to improvise on a few parts. I was unclear on a few steps- maybe b/c I'm a novice and some things were assumed...I couldn't quite see where to put the loop on the edge so the flap falls properly (aka straight). I wish the strap was longer and that I would have been reminded to hem the edges of the ruffle- I just had to do it once I attached it. I added a pocket in the lining too.

EdenClare said...

This is wonderful!
We are hoping to make one
over the summer!
Thanks...its so fun here!
I shall be back again soon!
TaTa

Unikuu said...

greeting from finland! thanks for the tutorial! must try.

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