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Messenger Bag



Finished size approx. -

23cm x 19cm x 7cm (9" x 7 1/2" x 3")



Use a 1/4" seam unless otherwise stated

What Will You Need?

  • 1/4mtr of Fabric for the outer (dark blue)
  • ​1/4mtr of Fabric for the lining & flap (pale green spot)
  • ​1/4mtr of Fabric for the outer of the flap (multi floral)
  • ​40cm of Fabric for the strap (dark blue)
  • ​60cm of Wadding for the bag, flap & strap (I used Thermolam)
  • ​1/4mtr of medium weight iron-on interfacing
  • ​Magnetic Bag Closure
  • Co-ordinating thread
  • ​Sewing Machine, needle, scissors, iron, etc

​Cutting instructions

  • 2 pieces 30cm x 23cm (12" x 9") of fabric (outer)
  • ​2 pieces 30cm x 23cm (12" x 9") of fabric (lining)
  • 2 pieces 24cm x 20cm (9.5" x 8") of fabric, these can be the same or different (flap)
  • ​2 pieces 20cm x 75cm (8" x 29 1/2") of fabric (strap) You can vary the length of this if you want to
  • 2 pieces 30cm x 23cm (12" x 9") medium weight iron-on interfacing (lining)
  • 1piece 24cm x 20cm (9.5" x 8") of wadding (flap)
  • ​2 pieces 30cm x 23cm (12" x 9") of wadding (outer)
  • ​1 piece 5cm x 150cm (2" x 58") of wadding (strap)​
  • Take the two pieces of fabric (12" x 9") for the bag outer and the two pieces of wadding of the same size
  • Lay a piece of wadding down flat, put the two pieces of fabric right sides together and lay them on top of the wadding, then place the second piece of wadding on top of that
  • ​Pin in place
  • Stitch along the two shortest sides and along one of the longest with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving the other long side open
  • With the opening at the top, mark a 1 1/2" square at each of the bottom corners
  • ​Then cut them out
  • Open out the bag and match the side seams with the bottom seam on each corner

  • Pin in place

  • Then stitch across the corners
  • This will give you your basic bag shape
  • Turn it right side out
  • Fuse the interfacing to the two pieces of lining fabric
  • ​Place the fabric right sides together and stitch down both short sides and one long side using a 1/2" seam allowance
  • Measure 1 1/2" squares at the bottom corners and cut them out
  • ​Now match up the side seam with the bottom seam and stitch across the corners, as you did for the bag base

Now for the flap. I've used two different fabrics one pale green spot to match the lining, this will be the underside of the flap, and the other a multi-coloured floral print.

  • Fuse the interfacing to the fabric for the underside of the flap
  • ​On the interfacing side, measure 4 3/4" across the longest edge and mark the point, then 1 1/4" up from the bottom edge, this is for the clasp
  • ​Cut a small piece of interfacing and iron it over this point to add strength
  • Attach one side of the clasp on the right side of the fabric, according to the packet instructions


  • Fold the fabric in half matching up the two shortest sides
  • ​Use a mug, coaster or CD to draw a curved line round the bottom corner



  • Keeping the fabric folded, cut round this curved line
  • ​Open out the fabric. You should have two curved corners at the bottom


  • Lay the 9 1/2" x 8" piece of wadding down
  • ​lay the piece of fabric for the front of the flap on top of it, right side up
  • ​Then lay the other piece of fabric, with the clasp, on top of that, right side down

  • Pin in place
  • ​Stitch down the side following the curve round the corner, across the bottom following the curve again, then back up the other side. Leave the top open

  • Carefully snip the corners

  • Then turn right side out and press
  • Top stitch around the edge of the flap, still leaving the top open
  • Take the two pieces of fabric for the strap, put two short ends right sides together
  • ​And stitch across
  • ​This will give you a long piece of fabric 8" x 58" with a join in the middle

​This strap is designed to go across the body, you can vary the length if you want to.

  • Fold the fabric in half lengthways, press and open it out again
  • ​Then fold each side into the centre fold and press
  • ​Tuck the strip of wadding into one side and fold the fabric over it


  • Then fold the whole thing in half again. You have basically fold the fabric in quarters
  • Starting with the open side, stitch down the full length of the fabric
  • Then stitch down the other edge
  • ​Now stitch down the centre of the strap, this can be a decorative stitch if you like. (I've stitched two lines down the centre)
  • ​Trim the ends straight if necessary 
  • Take the base of your bag and line the end of the strap up with the top edge of the bag, over the side seam on the outside of the bag
  • ​Pin in place
  • ​Repeat with the other end of the strap making sure you don't twist it
  • ​Tack in place
  • Trim the open end of the bag flap if necessary
  • ​Match up the top edge of the flap with the top of the bag base. If you have used different fabrics on the flap, check that the right one will show on the outside of the bag
  • ​Tack in place


Now you need to add the other half of the clasp to the bag base.

  • Measure 4 1/4" down from the top of the bag 
  • ​And 5 3/4" in from each side, this measurement may vary, but it needs to be central
  • ​Mark this point, and fuse an extra little piece of interfacing over it for strength
  • ​You can check the position with the flap if you need to
  • ​Attach the clasp according to the packet instructions

You should still have your bag lining inside out.

  • ​Put the whole of the bag inside the bag lining, tucking in the strap and the flap
  • ​Match up the top of the lining with the top of the bag, you will need to pull it up to match
  • ​Pin in place​, I find it easier to match up the side seams then pin the rest in place
  • ​Now sew around the top with a 1/2" seam allowance, leaving a gap for turning
  • Now turn the whole thing right side out, it needs a bit of tugging and wiggling
  • Stitch up the gap
  • ​Then top stitch around the top of the bag
This bag was made using the Makower Haberdashery range of patchwork fabric

This one is larger, using the same pattern but scaling the base fabric up to 14" x 11" (35.5cm x 28cm)

​I've also only used interfacing instead of interfacing and wadding. It still works well but is a lot softer bag.


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