Monday, March 18, 2013

Messenger Bag Tutorial: Cutting Instructions

Find all tutorial links here.

This begins the tutorials for my messenger bag. Supply list is here. The instructions will post daily throughout this week. Because this is quite an involved project, it's too much for a single post. Due to recent events when a couple bloggers have discovered their free tutorials being printed and sold, I wanted to outline a few rules about this tutorial:
  1. Please do not copy, republish, or steal any portion of this tutorial. Do not claim any aspect of this tutorial as your own. Tutorials take a great deal of time. Please respect that. 
  2. If you make a bag from this tutorial, please link back here for others.
  3. Feel free to make bags from this tutorial to sell, but please cite this tutorial in the listing as the source for the pattern.
  4. Ask questions! If for any reason you are confused or feel I've made a mistake, please leave a constructive comment or email me. I'd actually prefer email which allows me to have a conversation about the issue and improve the tutorial.
  5. Share your projects on Flickr! I'd love to do a round-up post in a month or two to see what you make and showcase everyone's personal take on this project.
Now onto cutting out your bag:

From 1 yd, 54"width Home Dec fabric print #1 (Primrose on my bag):
(Note: You could get away with 3/4 yd, but that would be cutting it close with shrinkage and fraying). Seam allowance is included in measurements listed.

From 1 yd, 54"width Home Dec fabric print #2 (Tartan on my bag):

From 1/2 yd, 54" width Home Dec fabric print #3 (Poppy on my bag):

From 1/2 yd 54" width cotton duck, twill, denim or other heavy weight fabric for interlining:

From 1/3 yd, 42" width quilting cotton for pocket lining (I used Kona bone):

**Also cut (2) 12.75" x 17" pieces from interfacing.

Things to consider before cutting:
  • Prewash all fabrics, unless dry clean only. Press well. Don't use softeners. 
  • Be careful of directional prints when cutting. All diagrams/layouts shown are WOF/selvage-to-selvage. 
  • Remove selvages before cutting bag pieces.
  • Cut one 3" square for the zipper tabs on the larger zipper pouch. 
  • Cut two small scraps 2" x 2" of interfacing and cotton duck for snap installation (or use Peltex).
  • If making or recovering piping, 1.5 yds of 1/8" cording is needed. Cut (3) 1.25" x 19" strips of coordinating quilting cotton to cover cording. 
  • For a sturdier bag, purchase an extra 1/2 yd of cotton duck and cut two additional panels for the bag interlining.


  1. I'm looking forward to the tutorial, Kati. I was just saying to myself the other day, "It's time for a new bag." Thanks for sharing! I know it's a ton of work!

  2. Thanks so very, VERY much for sharing this!

  3. I was on the fence, but if your tutorial is anything like your cutting instructions, I'm in! They are fabulous! Thanks Kati!

  4. This is awesome Katy - thanks so much!

  5. I think it is terrible when people sell or otherwise steal tutorials (or patterns). Both consume a tremendous amount of time. I have been carousing blogs for about.....6 months now and a whole new world of sewing has open up to me thanks to wonderful bloggers like yourself. I've learned so much from all of you. I hope Karma bites all the theives in the butt!
    Thank you so much!

  6. Shame on ANYONE who takes advantage of the generosity and hard work of someone else to profit off it! We all need to be very aware of what we're buying, do some research to make sure you're purchasing from the designer or authorized dealer. That being said.. thank you for sharing your talents, and this tutorial looks to be amazingly fun!

    1. TrueGritLeather - Rugged handmade leather briefcases, laptop bags, messenger bags, duffle bags and purses built to last!

      Messenger Bags for men.

  7. I really like this bag pattern. I would like to make a smaller one (purse size 9x 10 x 4) (?) just like it. I am terrible at the math though. What cut out dimensions would you suggest including the zipper pouch?