My sister asked me recently to sew a new messenger bag for her for work. She takes the subway to work and always has a number of extra things to tote along. She needed a new hands-free bag.
She chose the fabric and had it shipped to me. Because she didn't want the bag to show dirt, she choose Alexander Heath in Gray for the exterior. This fabric is not what we expected. It is not gray. When it arrived I thought they had shipped the wrong fabric, but after some research realized that other shops listed this fabric as gray/taupe or gray/natural rather than just gray. It's very much natural/taupe/tan. Gray would never come to mind when looking at this fabric. The unfortunate reality of shopping online is that some things don't arrive as expected. It was still usable, just not exactly what she was hoping for. The quality is excellent and will hopefully hold up well over time.
I used my messenger bag tutorial. I messed up a couple things because I didn't follow my own directions. It's funny how you seem to make more mistakes when you're sure you know what you are doing. Luckily they were all fixable.
I changed up the key fob for this one, making the strap longer and skinnier so the keys rest on the bottom of the purse rather than pulling on the back of the bag. My sister reports this works great for her as she doesn't even have to take them off the key fob to open the door. She also slips her metro pass into one of the front pockets and doesn't have to remove it to get through the turnstile. She simply puts her bag in front of the scanner, and she is able to pass right though. It makes me happy that the bag turned out to have added benefits for her that I didn't even think about.
I'm in the process of making myself a new version of this bag as well. It is still my favorite bag pattern, although I plan to make even more improvements in my next one.