My son's girlfriend needed a new messenger bag to carry her books, etc while at college, and of course my son thought: "Mom could make that"! I had fun putting this together for Cassie's birthday. First, I took a look at the book I have by Lexi Barnes, Sew What Bags, and made up a prototype of one I thought would work. I found this book to be a great resource, the diagrams and suggestions for sewing a messenger bag were very helpful, but my first attempt turned out too big and wasn't the style that I was looking for. I then looked around the web, searching for dimensions for bags that are sold retail that I knew she would like, and came up with what I think is a great-looking bag that is trendy and functional.
I purchased the quilting cotton at my local JoAnn Fabrics, and quilted it with a craft fleece in a simple diagonal quilt pattern. I think that this step took the most time!
I stabilized the bag some more with cotton duck cloth, and also used a fusible stabilizer on the pockets so that they wouldn't collapse with use. D-rings along with a canvas-type web were used for the handles, with additional stabilizer sewn in. I always add a lanyard for keys that drops into one of the interior pockets, and in this case I used a grosgrain ribbon.
Additonal pockets were sewn onto the exterior, at the side and under the flap for security. I love the look of the narrow binding edging the pockets and flap!
I really enjoyed working through the process of making this bag. Cassie likes it a lot and tells me that she uses it often, and that many of her friends think that was made by a popular commercial bag company, initials: V.B. :-)