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Topic: TUTORIAL: messenger bag with zippered divider (many pics)  (Read 136088 times)
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queen of awkward
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« on: July 11, 2007 09:58:20 AM »

I made this bag over the course of sunday night and monday during the day.  it gave me a chance to try out some things I've been wanting to try.  it's not great, but I think it turned out pretty well!

(sorry for the bad mirror shot, but I wanted to show it on me)

it has two pockets (back is thinner, front is deeper) separated by a zippered section.  (it has a book and a hoodie in it to fill it up a little)

TUTORIAL (added 7-12-07)

note:  this bag does not have different sized pockets in the front and back, they are the same size for ease of a tutorial.  if you would like a larger front/back pocket you'll need to extend the tabs on the sides and bottom of the front/back piece, creating a larger square that you will sew up in step 6.  remember to also increase the dimensions of your outer fabric to compensate for the larger lining.

at its roots, this bag is basically a combination of the jordy square bottomed bag tutorial and the lined zippered pouch tutorial.  so if you're already familiar with those, you're a step ahead!


the bag I made was 12 x 9 x 4 in.  the dimensions I list correspond to that bag, but it should be simple to change these measurements.  they include a seam allowance of 5/8 in.

  • a zipper at least 12.5 in long
  • approximately 2 yds of webbing
  • a plastic clasp
  • two lining pieces 12.5 x 7.5 in (a)
  • two inner lining fabric pieces 12.5 x 7.5 in (lining for the zippered pocket) (b)
  • one lining piece 16.5 x 12.25 in with a 1.75 x 1.75 inch square cut out of each bottom corner(c)
  • one lining piece 16.5 x 21.25 in with a 1.75 x 1.75 inch square cut out of each bottom corner and a 8.75 x 1.75 in rectangle cut out of each top corner (for the flap) (d)
  • one outer piece that looks as if the two lining pieces were connected at their bottoms - 16.5 x 33 in with a 3 x 1.75 inch rectangle cut out of each middle edges and a 8.75 x 1.75 in rectangle cut out of each top corner (for the flap) (e)

Step 1
iron all your fabric - a good bag requires that extra step.  Wink  in fact, it's a good idea to keep the iron handy and iron it often.

Step 2
using fabrics (a) and (b), follow steps 1-6 in the lined zippered pouch tutorial.

top sew the inner lining to the zipper on each side as you go.

flip it around so that the zipper is right side out (it is not necessary to keep the zipper open).

Step 3
line up the bottoms of the two larger lining pieces (c) and (d) with the bottom of the zippered divider (so that the divider is sandwiched).  the two larger lining pieces should have their good sides towards the divider.  there should be 6 layers of fabric (lining, lining, divider lining, divider lining, lining, lining).  

Step 4
sew across the bottom.  do not sew all the way to each end so that you leave a seam allowance for sewing up the sides (about 5/8 in).

Step 5
now line up the sides of the larger lining pieces with the sides of the divider.  sew the side seams.

Step 6
pinch together the corners of the lining and sew across it like steps 4-5 of the jordy square bottomed bag tutorial.  do this to BOTH corners of the lining (unlike the jordy tutorial).

now is a good point to zig zag all of the seams you have sewn.  this will prevent fraying and help make the bag stronger.

you're now done with the lining!  congrats!  Smiley

Step 7
cut the webbing into two pieces 36 in long pieces.  zig zag the ends to prevent fraying.

center one piece of webbing on the right side of the outer fabric (e).  the webbing should over hang the flap end by about 2 in.

sew along each edge of the webbing to attach it to the outer fabric.  do NOT sew the very ends - end sewing 1.5 in from the edge of the flap edge and about 6.5 in from the other edge.

(I stuck paper under the portions that aren't supposed to be sewn down)

Step 8
fold your outer piece in half, right sides facing each other.  sew the sides, like step 3 of the jordy tutorial (do NOT sew the bottom since it already once piece of fabric).

Step 9
pinch the corners of the outer fabric and sew BOTH of them as we did before.

again, now is a good point to zig zag the seams you have sewn.

Step 10
leaving the outer piece turned inside out, flip the lining so that the right side of the fabric is on the outside.  place the lining inside the outer piece.

place the second webbing piece (the strap) between the two layers, leaving a small portion poking up on each side of the bag.

Step 11
sew the two pieces together.  do NOT sew the very center of the flap - this is the hole you'll use to turn the bag right side out.

again, now is a good point to zig zag the seam you have sewn, along with the unsewn portion of the flap (be careful to zigzag each layer separately since you don't want to close the hole Wink).

Step 12
turn the bag right side out.  stitch around the very edge of the bag portion and flap, closing the hole in the flap as you go.  do NOT stitch through the webbing on the flap.

Step 13
secure the strap by sewing a rectangle with cross lines where the strap is inside the bag.

Step 14
loop the flap end of the webbing through the top of the plastic clasp (rough end in back) and sew the loop closed.

take the other end of the webbing and thread it through the other end of the clasp.  fold over the webbing several times and sew through the edge (this prevents the webbing from slipping through the clasp while allowing for tightening or loosening of the bag).

and you're done!   Grin

if you make a bag from this tutorial, please post a picture!  and if you have any questions, just ask.  Smiley
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016 10:47:37 AM by kittykill » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2007 10:28:28 AM »

I think your bag looks awesome.  I have been wanting to make a messenger bag for myself, and now kind of feel inspired after looking at yours.  I would definitely love a tutorial on how you put together the inside of your bag...heck...i would love a tutorial on the whole bag.  One question, did you use a special type of fabric, i.e. nylon, or gortex, because it seems that your bag has a nice sheen to it.  Also, did you reinforce your bag in anyway to handle the heavier things we might tote around?
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2007 10:39:50 AM »

glad you liked it.  Smiley  to answer your questions, I used a random fabric that I had it my stash.  I didn't buy it (I got it from someone else) and I don't know anything about it, but it's a fairly heavy fabric that I think is a poly cotton blend, woven from thicker white thread and thinner black shiney thread, which resulted in a gray fabric with some nice sheen.

and no, I didn't reinforce my bag in any way since I don't plan to use it for heavy things.  it's a small messenger, not meant for carrying books and such.  but I can think of a few ways you could reinforce it.  for example:
  • heavy duty material
  • interfacing
  • the way I made the bag uses one piece of fabric for the outside that wraps around the bottom, so you don't have a bottom seam that could break
  • instead of attaching the strap just at the top, make it a continuous loop around the bottom of the bag

« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2007 10:43:40 AM »

Your bag looks great, hooray for pink lining (pink and grey look so good together), I like how you did your closure too, having the top come all the way down instead of just sticking out from the bottom of the flap, seems like it would stay closed better.

I would love a tutorial for the inside pockets, I have been looking for something with inside pockets like that to help keep all the junk you have to carry around for a toddler organized (you know, snacks, toys/books, diapers/wipes).

« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2007 11:34:57 AM »

I love it~ tute please?

My imagination runs wild...while my crafting skills fall asleep....

« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2007 01:09:19 PM »

sweet. looking for a bag just like this.
i would love a tute for the thing start to finish.
pretty please.
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2007 01:13:18 PM »

Very nice bag, looks like it'll carry just enough without being overly heavy. Can't wait to see the tutorial. Smiley

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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2007 02:12:08 PM »

I'd be interested in a tutorial for the inner part, especially since this is one of those things that I'm just afraid to try for fear I'll totally wreck it and waste time, fabric and money!

Thanks for offering!

The choices you make today determine the choices you will have tomorrow.

51/50: 50+ Crochet Wash Cloth Along- Finally!!! Now for the + part Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2007 02:50:47 PM »

no problem!  I might not have a chance to make a tutorial until this weekend or so, but I promise I'll make one.  Smiley

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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2007 06:23:18 PM »

I would LOVE a tutorial, thank you. Looks awesome though, too.
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