Thursday, January 12, 2012

Making A Laminated Messenger Bag

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I love versatile bags and today's messenger bag tutorial is just that - VERSATILE.  Great for use as a diaper bag, computer bag, book carrier or overnight bag.  Using a good stabilizer gives it great shape and structure with too much bulk.  With a laminated cotton outer fabric it's easy to keep fresh looking too.  Padded inner pockets let you carry things large and small and keep them all organized.


And with two easy access side pockets on the outside, there's even more handy storage. Now if you're unfamiliar/nervous about sewing with laminated cotton, this is the tutorial for you.  With no top stitching required, sewing this fabric is a breeze.  I promise!!


I bought this fantastic laminated cotton from one of my sponsors, Just Laminates, and knew it would be perfect for a bag.  It's Riley Blake's Fox Trails and I just love it.  It's whimsical, but has a style that works for both kids and adults.  I'm currently using mine as a diaper bag for my 2yr old, but when she no longer needs it I can totally snag it for myself;)  Want to make your own?

You'll Need:
1 yd Laminated Cotton
1 yd Cotton for Interior
1 yd of Fusible Stabilizer (mid-weight)
1/4yd Polyester Batting
1 package of extra wide double fold bias tape
Basic notions (sewing machine, pins, marking pen, shears/rotary cutter. etc.)

Cut the following pieces:
- Front/Back Piece 16"w x 14"h (cut 2 outer fabric, 2 lining, 2 fusible)
- Side Piece 6"w x 14" h (cut 2 outer fabric, 2 lining, 2 fusible)
- Bottom Piece 16"w x 6"h (cut 1 outer fabric, 1 lining, 1 fusible)
- Flap Piece 15"w x 18"h (cut 1 outer fabric, 1 lining, 1 fusible) To curve the bottom corners, use a glass or small plate to trace a curve shape and then cut.
- Strap 44"l x 5" w (cut 1 outer fabric, 1 lining, 1 fusible, 1 batting)
- Outer Pocket 6" w x 6"h (cut 2 outer)
- Inner pocket 16" w x 16" h (1 lining) and 16"w x 8"h (1 batting)



Step 1 - Fuse the stabilizer to the wrong sides of all the brown pieces.  Set aside. Take folded inner pocket fabric and measure inward 5 inches on either side.  Draw lines downward with marking pen.  Insert batting into fold.  Encase the folded end into bias tape and stitch in place.


Step 2 - Line up inner pocket along the bottom of back lining piece and pin together. Stitch down lines to form the pockets:


Step 3 - Fold strap in half as shown.  Measure 1.5 inches inward on each side of folded end.  Lay a ruler along this point and angle out towards the fabric edge about half way down the strap and cut to get this shape:


Step 4 - With right sides facing out, layer the outer strap and inner strap with the batting in between and attach bias tape on either side to complete strap.  With right sides facing out on flap pieces, attach along sides and bottom with bias tape.  Stitch bias tape along tops of outer pocket pieces:


Step 5 - With right sides facing stitch a side piece to either long side of the bottom piece with a .5 inch seam allowance.


Repeat with lining, but leave a 2 inch gap in the middle of side without inner pocket (this will be needed for turning the bag right side out at the end).



Step 6 - Line up the outside pocket with side bottom with right sides facing out:


Step 7 - Place these stacked pieces face down over the bottom side edge and stitch together - leaving .5 inch unstitched at beginning and end.  Repeat on other side:


Step 8 - Next pull together long sides of side piece and front & back pieces and stitch together.  Repeat on with other side.  Do the same with lining pieces.  Trim all the seam edges close to stitching.


Step 9 - Take flap piece and measure down 4 inches from raw edge on outer fabric side and mark horizontally.  I use such a big allowance so it's easier to position the flap when pinning it to the bag & it's easier to hold in place when stitching together.


Step 10 - With the outer bag fabric turned wrong side out, pin together back side of outer bag with the flap along this newly drawn line.  Then take the strap and, with the outer side of the strap facing the outer fabric of the bag sides, pin their raw edges together too.


Step 11 - With the lining bag's right side out, insert into outer bag so that the inner pocket is facing the inner side of the flap.  Pin all fabrics together along raw edge:


Step 12- Stitch together all the way around with a .5 inch seam allowance.  Trim off excess:


Step 13 - Pull bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining.  Smooth all corners into place and then hand stitch the opening closed.  Now you're ready to tote in style!!

Sharing this with my FAVE LINK PARTIES too so click HERE to check them out!

51 comments:

  1. This is a great tutorial, thank you!

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  2. Great tut, and I ADORE the fabric! Well done ;)

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  3. This is a very well written tutorial. Great job and super cute bag

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  4. great tutorial! I love the idea of laminate!
    you should join me for handmade 52! http://raisingoranges.blogspot.com/2012/01/handmade-52-2.html

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  5. So great tutorial. And I love the fabric, would be so cute for a changing bag :)

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  6. I love the tutorial for making this bag.. A laminating bag is a must have for a mommy..
    Thanks for sharing at Craftionary
    Love
    Hani

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  7. I love messenger bags and this is a great tutorial - thanks for this - I'll be bookmarking it to make when I get a free weekend

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  8. I really like the electronics cases and the messenger bag, and I'd use the beginner's half-square triangle quilt pattern to make them. Thank you for sharing!

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  9. Awesome tutorial and awesome giveaway! Love it! Pinning it to pinterest now! Would you mind linking this project and/or the giveaway up to SaMiE's first ever SURPRISE linky party, found here: http://samiedesigns.blogspot.com/p/samies-surprise-linky-parties.html

    Thanks!

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  10. That looks really great - thanks for the idea :)

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  11. I HAVE to make the 2 block Christmas quilt!

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    Replies
    1. Michelle I think you're trying to enter my Pellon Goodies Giveaway. Just leave the same comment here: http://sewcando.blogspot.com/2012/01/pellon-bag-making-goodies-giveaway.html

      And then you'll be entered:)

      Delete
  12. Glad everyone loves this tutorial - it's a great bag. Definitely worth making!!

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  13. Looks great. Did you have any problems with your foot sewing with the laminated fabric? I've never sewed with it. I've heard some people use a teflon foot so as not to stick. I've sewn vinyl before and it stuck a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not at all, since there was no sewing where the foot touched the laminated side (which makes this project ideal for someone new to using it).

      When I've topstitched laminate I've always used tissue paper on top and then torn it away when done - works great. Also using Chapstick on the fabric and wiping it away after is another trick to keeping things from sticking:)

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  14. SO cute! I definitely need to make a new bag like this to hold all our "kid junk". They never quite seem big enough ; ) LOVE that fabric too!

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  15. I'm just starting to make this bag, (super excited about it!) Did you trim off the 4 inch piece of the top flap after sewing it all together or does it just end up inside?

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    Replies
    1. Yay!! I trimmed it off (just to save bulk and weight). It was a lot easier to hold onto such a big section while piecing things together so that's why it's such a big "extra" bit! Excited to see your bag when it's finished!!

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    2. I finished it and love how it turned out. You can see it on my blog at http://ireneandandrew.blogspot.com/2012/01/sleepy-child-and-new-diaper-bag.html

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    3. Irene this turned out great! I love the addition of a back pocket too. I always have plenty of room for more in this bag so you'll definitely get the whole family's things in it:) Great job and so glad you used my tutorial:)

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  16. Love this bag! If I still had a sticky toddler, I would totally make one! Thanks so much for linking up to Made With Love! You are being featured on my FB page today! http://www.facebook.com/SewChatty

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  17. Wow! Thanks for the awesome tutorial! New follower from The Sasse Life :)

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  18. Thanks for linking your tutorial up to Sugar and Spice! I've been looking for cheap laminated fabric and hadn't found any under $15.00. I linked up my pattern review of McCall's 6360, women's leggings at 733:
    http://thepetitesewist.blogspot.com/2012/01/m6360-misses-leggings.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephanie, check out one of my sponsors, Just Laminates (http://www.etsy.com/shop/Laminates). Her prices are under $15/yd and she's got an excellent selection of cute prints (and is super sweet too)!

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  19. Fabulous bag - and I just love the fabric you used to make it with!


    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  20. Absolutely amazing! Although my babies are out of diapers and in to dances, I'm pinning your post in the hopes that I'll have a niece or nephew to make one for in the future!

    Thank you so much for sharing your talent and creativity on “A Little Birdie Told Me…” at Rook No. 17! Looking forward to seeing what inspirations you’ll share tomorrow!
    Warmest wishes,
    Jenn

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  21. Silly me, it's a messenger bag...not a diaper bag. Well, in that case, I'll have to slate this project for this summer! Perfect for Back-to-school for my girls!

    Jenn

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    Replies
    1. I'm using mine as a diaper bag for my 2yr old right now, but am going to use it for myself when our diapering days are over, so you're right both times! It would be great for school stuff, work tote, as an overnight bag - whatever you can fit in it (which is a lot!). So glad you like it:)

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  22. Love it! I need a diaperbag pronto, so this if perfect! I'm featuring it on Topsy Turvy Tuesdays. thanks for linking up!

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  23. Could you put laminate cotton on the inside as well? Or would it be too hard to flip inside out when finished? (I'm new to sewing)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you could, you'd just have to stitch on the stabilizer instead of ironing it to the lining fabric. Everything will be a little stiffer to work with, but then you've got a wipe clean interior which is nice.

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  24. Comprehensive tutorial and a great, all purpose bag. Love that it has pockets on the outside. You've made sewing with laminate fabric sound easy!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! It really isn't as scary as everyone thinks. Just a few tricks and it's easy. I have my tips & tricks for sewing with laminates under the CraftShare tab at the top of the page too.

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  25. Hi there, I am very new to sewing so I may have a rather novice question. I have 1 yard of 42" wide laminated cotton fabric but I can't get all the pieces to fit on it. Is it possible or should I get some 52" or 58" wide fabric.

    THanks for any help offered! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laminated cotton usually comes 56-58 inches wide, so you'll probably need to get additional fabric if yours is just 42 inches wide - probably an extra 1/2yd. Just Laminates (http://www.etsy.com/shop/Laminates) has a great selection of laminates and indicates the width on each print. Hope that helps!

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  26. Is it possible to add a magnetic rhinestone buckle to the front of the bag?? Would you do this while sewing it together or after it is done? I have never attached hardware before!!

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    Replies
    1. Great question! Yes you can. You can use any kind of hardware, but for most magnetic types you need to do it while sewing together and use some stabilizer around the closure area for extra strength (since it will be getting tugged on regularly). Most hardware is surprisingly easy to attach - just follow manufacturer's instructions.

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  27. Cute prints! That bag just looks so adorable!! Here's one that I made for myself =)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks & yours is very nice too. I'd love for you to link it to my current Craftastic Link Party.

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    2. That'll be great!! Thanks! How do I go about doing that?

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    3. On starting on Sunday night the newest Craftastic Monday Link Party will begin and remain open until Friday night. You'll be able to add a link & image of your post to it.

      Delete

  28. Thank you, amazing job! This was the information I required.

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  29. I love this bag! Thank you! You're awesome

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  30. I am out of the diaper bag stage, wohoo, but I can think of so many great uses for this bag! I love it :) You are fabulous! Krista @ A Handful of Everything

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  31. What thickness of batting/wadding did you use, there are so many out there but I was thinking 2oz wadding? I've heard Polyester is difficult to sew with and that cotton or cotton blend is better? I don't know which to buy to make my bag more sturdy.....

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    Replies
    1. You could use low-loft or traditional weight batting. It's just for padding the strap and inner pocket, so any type should work. I've never had any difficulty sewing with polyester batting and actually prefer the loft of it to cotton on projects like this.

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  32. This is just what I was looking for! I have included it on my blog - http://alittlebirdmademe.com/2013/07/19/friday-finds-a-list-of-23-free-tutorials-and-patterns-to-make-messenger-bags/

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  33. Hi i want to ask something about the straps you stiched it at outer or inside..thank you..(sorry if my english not so good)

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure I understand your question, but the strap is put in-between the inner and outer (see Step 10), so it is sewn inside the layers and then turned out when the bag is pulled right side out.

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