Messenger Bag

By  April Moffatt 

size: 14"x30"

  • Messenger Bag
  • Inside View
  • Fig. 1


  • Dark wash denim canvas fabric, 1 yd.
  • Coordinating-color fabrics, three 1/4 yd. strips
  • Coordinating-color buttons
  • White thread
  • Coordinating-color thread


  • Rotary cutter and self-healing mat (optional)

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, sewing machine, pins, tape measure/ruler, iron and ironing board
  • Note
  • 1. All seam allowances are 1/2".
  • Bag
  • 1. From denim fabric, cut: two 12"x28" rectangles (purse back and flap), two 12"x12" squares (purse front), four 4"x12" rectangles (purse sides), four 4"x22" rectangles (purse straps). (Note: Use sticky notes to mark purse strap, purse front, etc. to avoid confusion when stitching together.) From coordinating-color fabric, cut: two 8"x9" rectangles (big pocket) and eight 2-1/2"x20" strips from various colors (ruffles).
  • 2. Finish long edge of each ruffle with tight zigzag stitch. Baste stitch down center of each strip, creating ruffle. Set aside.
  • 3. Fold both purse back/flap pieces in half lengthwise. Cut corners slightly, rounding like photo. Separate pieces. Position one purse back/flaps on work surface and pin ruffles horizontally on rounded flap section, positioning bottom ruffle 4" from bottom edge. Continue pinning ruffles, so each ruffle slightly touches next. Straight stitch two lines down center of each ruffle. Set aside.
  • 4. Position big pocket pieces with right sides together. Stitch around edges, leaving 3" opening at bottom. Clip corners. Turn right side out. Press.
  • 5. Position other purse back/flap piece on work surface and pin big pocket on center. Stitch on sides and bottom.
  • 6. Stitch purse together as shown in Fig. 1. Measure 4-1/2" from bottom of purse back/flap and begin side corner there. Clip corners.

    Fig. 1
  • 7. Repeat process with other pieces so there are two purse shapes. Pin exterior purse to interior lining with exterior right side out and lining wrong side out. Slide lining over exterior purse. Align top edges of purse and flap; pin. Stitch around purse edges and flap but make sure to leave 5" opening at bottom edge of flap. Clip every 1" in seam allowance around edges to release tension.
  • 8. Turn purse right side out through 5" opening. Press well and slipstitch opening closed. Topstitch in white thread 1/4" from finished edge around opening and front flap.
  • 9. For strap, position four 4"x22" rectangles on work surface. Stitch both sets of straps end to end creating two 44"-long straps. Press open seams. Pin two long straps right sides together and stitch around outside edge, leaving 5" opening on one side. Clip corners and turn right side out. Press. Topstitch 1/4" from finished edge in white thread around all edges.
  • 10. Pin one end of strap 3" from top edge of purse. Stitch 1/4" in rectangle on strap end, criss-crossing stitch lines, creating "X" shape. Repeat on other side.