Friday, March 22, 2013

Messenger Bag Tutorial: Finishing the Bag

Find all tutorial links here.

Basting Flap and Straps:

Needed for this step: Finished bag exterior, bag flap, strap loops, strap hardware (2 rectangle links), key fob if desired.

  • Center flap on back of bag-right side of bag to exterior of flap. Match raw edges. Pin well.
  • Thread key fob onto 1" x 4" finished strip. Fold in half and center on back of bag over flap.
  • Thread metal rings onto 1.5" x 4" strips. Fold in half and center over side seams. 
  • Baste all pieces in place. Add reinforcing stitches 1/4" from the top on the handle straps and key fob strap.

Stitching it all together:

Supplies needed for this step: Bag exterior, bag lining, walking foot, denim needle, and Wonder Clips or heavy pins

  • Turn bag exterior wrong side out. Turn lining right side out. Place lining inside exterior.
  • Match side seams. Pin or clip very well around top of bag. Although this image shows I used wonder clips, I found strong pins also work well. The clips tend to shift slightly on portions of the bag. 
  • Stitch slowly around top of bag with 1/2" seam allowance. The pouch in the lining makes this a bit difficult and may require adjusting and repinning when sewing.
  • Go especially slow along thicker areas. 
  • Using a denim needle reduced some issues on my machine when sewing through thick areas.

  • When finished stitching, turn bag through opening in lining. 
  • Push out boxed corners with chopstick. 
  • Stitch opening closed in lining bottom.
  • Ease lining into bag body. 
  • Press top edge flat. Edge stitch around the top of bag, holding flap, key fob and strap loops out of the way.

Finishing Straps:

Supplies needed for this step: Finished bag, finished strap, slider hardware piece

  • Thread one end of strap around slider bar. Secure end with two rows of stitching about 1 1/2" from hardware.

  • Thread other end of strap down through one side hardware link.  

  • Bring strap end around and thread through slider hardware. 

Finally thread end through other hardware link. Secure with two rows of stitching about 1 1/2" from hardware.



  1. This is so awesome, I can't wait to be able to get started on my daughter's bag; thank you, once again, so much, for sharing your hard work!!

  2. I'm going shopping for Materials tonight! I hope to start on 2 bags tomorrow - 1 for me and 1 for my mom!
    Thanks so much!
    Your tutorial is fantastic!

  3. I'm looking forward to trying this out soon, thank you so much for posting this detailed tutorial for such a useful and beautiful item!

  4. Your bags really are beautiful Kati! Thanks for all the time you've put into these tutorials.

  5. Thank you so much for this fabulous tutorial - your bags are so beautiful! I finished getting my supplies to make one yesterday, although I should also try to get some of those wonder clips.

  6. This is so beautiful, Kati - thanks so much for doing this series. Can't wait to try it!

  7. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I have bought several bag patterns and your pattern has taught me more then any of them. I really love the bag and the way it turned out!

  8. Thank you for all your hard work making this tutorial. I plan to use some lettering fabric I have. Your instructions were clear and made this bag look fun. I'm anxious to get started. Thank you for everything.

  9. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I just finished making my third bag using your tutorial. It is very well written!

  10. I habe a friend in mind for such a bag....I have added to my list of things to make this tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. I just finished making this bag. Thanks for your great tutorial! I'm already planning the next one :) !

  12. This turned out great! Made it as a book bag for the new school year. Thanks so much for all your time in posting this detailed tutorial.