Saturday, March 19, 2011

messenger bag tutorial (part 5)

Wow, it's almost done!! Just the finishing touches today!

Part 1: fabric requirements and cutting
Part 2: outer bag assembly
Part 3: lining and side seams
Part 4: flap and assembly

First things first, you'll need to determine what kind of strap you want, and how long it needs to be.

The strap can be either a fixed length, or adjustable; in which case, you'll need to add a 1.5" rectangular slide to your list of requirements.

To determine how long the strap needs to be, attach a measuring tape to one buckle with a bull-clip or paper clip or some such non-marring fastening system; hook the tape over your shoulder, and adjust it to where it feels comfortable. Voila, you have your basic measurement. Add 3-4" to this number to allow for fold-overs.

I am using my full fabric width of 56", and making the strap adjustable.

So, to start with, fold your strap fabric in half, lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press. Open it up, then fold each raw edge in to the middle, and press again.
Open up the folds again, and fold each short end in 1/4" and press; then re-fold the strap again, enclosing the raw edges, to make a 1.5" wide strap.
Stitch the usual double row of stitching along each of the long sides of the strap.
If you are making the strap adjustable, feed one end of the strap through the slide, and stitch the strap together in a box-with-an-X configuration.

Feed the other end of the strap through one of the side strap rings, from the inside of the bag toward the outside, and then loop it through the slide.
Now loop the free end of the strap through the other side ring, from the outside toward the inside of the bag, and stitch it down with a box as well.
If you are not making the strap adjustable, just stitch each end to one of the rectangle rings, as shown above.

That's the strap done.

Now, following the instructions that accompany your snaps, apply one set of snaps to the fastening strap as shown here:
To close your bag, just loop the strap through the center rectangular ring, from top to bottom, and fasten the snap.

And you're done!
If you have any questions, or if any of my steps seem unclear, please let me know, and I'll try to explain better.
And if you do make one of these bags, I'd love to see it!!


  1. fabulous detailed directions for a wonderful bag. thank you so much.

  2. You're very welcome!
    I'd love to see a picture if you make a bag :)

  3. where can I by 10 ounce waxed canvas

  4. I got it at Fairfield Textile.


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