So one of my first sewing projects was a messenger bag for my little sister. I used the tutorial from Hellga here http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=182863.0
and it was super easy to follow. My sister picked out the fabric, and it wasn't quite heavy enough, so I had to use interfacing on EVERYTHING which took forever, but in total it took me about 6 hours to make.
Here she is with the finished project
Here's a better look at the bag
and heres a pocket with a zipper that I added to the outside
I also put a pencil holder and another pocket on the inside, but for some reason that picture doesnt want to upload. I want to thank Hellga SO MUCH for this awesome tutorial - me and my lil sis love the results!!!