I was randomly searching for patterns for making a messenger bag and I fell in love with this one and had
to make it. I had to beg the prettier fabric from my sister (strangely I don't own any myself), but it was completely worth it, I'm very happy with it!
I used this tutorial: http://bluebirdbaby.typepad.com/photos/messanger_bag_tutorial/index.html
I changed a couple of things. I didn't have any fusible fleece, so I decided to 'quilt' the inside of the bag by sewing regular fleece to the lining pieces. I love this method, I've never done this before, anything to do with interfacing or anything like that, it certainly leant a certain heaviness to this bag, which I was quite pleased with.
I also added an extra line or two of stitching to the inside of the bag, so that my books would rest in the bag a bit better. You can kind of see what I did in the picture of the lining and pockets.
I found that when you follow the tutorial word-for-word, however, your flap ends up much bigger than it should, both ways. I don't mind it being longer than it really should be, because I don't have any other closing method for this bag, so may as well have some more fabric on there. It being wider than it should have been (even with me doing something funny with one of the side seams and using a HUGE seam allowance for one side) was a bit of a pain when I was sewing the handles on, and it ripples and folds cause it's too big, but I like it anyway.
Here's the flap of the bag, with the very plain fabric that I used on the outside, and three tags that were meant to be for holding keys with, but I decided that they just looked cool so added two more in pretty fabrics. Also, the fabric is kind of furry. XD
This is the inside of the flap, you can see what I mean about it being a kind of quilted thing:
The lining and the pockets! The pockets look really wide here, but my hand is just hiding one of the lines of stitching and the other line of stitching on the other side is only just out of shot as well.
I like these pockets. ^^
And because I was too lazy to go all the way back inside and get my books, here's a picture of the bag holding a very fat cat, Tabbitha. He looks rather serene, no?
What these photos don't show is a close up of a very comfortable strap, which really does look quilted.
It even got my big brother's seal of approval, which doesn't happen very often!
And the P.E. gear bag that I made from this wonderful tutorial: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=177482.0
The stripes match the fabrics I used for the front of the messenger bag.
And again with Tabby:
Edited to add a picture of the lining and pocket: