Messenger bag pattern & sewing tutorial

Step by step instrucions to make a simple messenger bag

messenger bag pattern

A Messenger bag is a bag with a long strap, worn across the body. It is usually a big bag with the strap worn over one shoulder and is used to carry just about anything – books, mails, diapers, laptops

I do not stitch anything other than what I could with a simple home sewing machine. Because, You see, I cannot.  I have only this simple home sewing machine; which is all you need to do a whole lot of sewing – like this simple and easy to make messenger bag. And to make this, you do not need much of a pattern if you have a sheet of  A4 size paper. If you want a bigger bag, just increase the size accordingly, proportionately.

How to sew the Messenger bag Pattern

Step1 Cut out the bag fabric pieces

Take an A4 size paper and trace it on all your fabric pieces. You need outer fabric and lining and interfacing ( thick bag weight interfacing)- all should be cut into 3 pieces each. If you want to interface the lining pieces, that as well. I am using the same lining fabric as a self-interfacing for the lining – so cutting lining into 6 pieces instead of 3.

sew messenger bag pattern

For the outer bag You will need 3 pieces of outer fabric,3 pieces of interfacing for it. What I did was cut out the interfacing in the size of the A4 sie paper and then attach it to the fabric with hot iron and then cut it.


You can make a curved shape on the bottom edges of the bag pieces. keep the fabric pieces folded together. Mark the curved shape at the bottom. Cut it out

Cut out the 3 pieces of lining and interfacing attached to it – those also need to be curved the same way as the main fabric – ensure the mark is exactly the same as it is on the outer pieces.

Step 2 Make the lining bag

You will have to measure the outer edge of one of the pieces – three sides as in the picture below.

sew messenger bag

Take this measure, add 2 inches ( to be conservative) to this. This is the length of the fabric piece for the base of the messenger bag  – whiich will give depth to your bag.

As for width – Measure a  width of 2.5 or 3 inches. I took 3. Cut this out. This is your base piece.

Take one of the lining pieces (together with the interfacing-this is understood henceforth. )

Attach the base piece as shown in the picture one long edge to the outer edge of the bag lining piece right sides together.

Keep the other bag lining piece on the other long edge of the base piece, right sides together and stitch.

You will have to clip all along the curved seams very close to the seam line so that the bag turns smoothly.

messenger bag sewing tutorial

Do this to the 4 curves and anywhere you deem fit.

Cut off excess from the base piece. Trun the bag right side out and press the seams

Step 3 Make the outer bag

You should be repeating the steps for the lining bag for making this outer bag with the outer bag fabric pieces

how to sew messenger bag

This is the outer bag you have now

Step 4 Make the Flap for the messenger bag

For making the flap of the messenger bag, take the leftover outer fabric and the lining piece.

I decided to attach an applique on the flap outer piece – this is from an earlier project – DIY fabric painted roses. I cut out the painted rose with a 1/4 inch edge all around the rose.

Then kept this on top of the bag piece and made close zig zag stitches all around.

Attach a snap ( or velcro) on the lining piece of the flap ( this will ensure that nothing is visible on the outside). Attach the snap ( projecting part) on the right side some 2 to 3 inches up from the bottom edge of the lining piece

You will have to keep a piece of interfacing on the back of the snap piece so that the strain of pulling the snap donot tear the fabric.

Keep the outer main flap piece and the lining piece right sides together

Stitch along the 3 edges as in the picture below. Clip all along the seam allowance.

messenger bag pattern

Turn the flap right side out now. Top stitch the flap edge so that the lining will stay inside.

Step 4 Attach the flap to the outer bag

Keep the flap on one side of the outer bag. Pin the top edges together to attach the flap to the outer bag. Stitch with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

make messenger bag


Step 5 Attach snap on the bag

Keep the flap closed and measure where you want the other part of the snap attached on the bag, depending on where the snap on the flap rests now. Mark this and attach the snap ( with the interfacing piece behind)

Step 6 Make a  long strap for the bag

You can make the strap by cutting a long piece of fabric about 45 inches long and 5 inches wide. There are many ways of making the strap. You can even use webbing. What I did was make a fabric tube with the said fabric piece; turn it rightside out; keep the seam line to the back and press and then insert a thick interfacing piece inside with a blunt needle and thread. Press in place and top stitch along the both long edges.

Step 7 Baste the strap

sewing a messenger bag

Baste stitch (temperory stitch with machine or hand) the strap to the outer bag. right sides together.

Step 8 Stitch bag

Keep the lining wrong side out. The outer bag should be right side out.

Keep the outer bag (right side out) inside the lining bag which is wrong side out as in the picture below. Level the top edge. Pin together, and stitch together.

As you stitch leave a 3-inch section unstitched anywhere along the edge. I left it open near the flap.

Now take the outer bag out carefully out through the opening you have left unstitched.

And after that insert the lining bag to the outer bag ( you will know how to do this naturally as you get here)

The bag is almost done. Simply hand stitch the opening closed near the flap. An invisible stitch like the slip stitch is enough

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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