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Topic: messenger bag with gusset tutorial  (Read 560165 times)
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« on: February 12, 2004 07:31:20 PM »

hi everyone:
i love reading the step-by-step projects on this site, so thought i'd post one of my own.  this is intended as a sort of companion piece to Jordy's square bottom lined bag tutorial.  this is for a messenger-style bag with a flap and long strap and a gusset (inset fabric on sides and bottom).  Here's a photo of the completed bag:

And here are the instructions...

1. Cut out your fabric.  The photo below shows the pieces you need.  From top to bottom: cut 1 "flap" of fabric and 1 of lining; cut 2 "front and back" of fabric and 2 of lining; cut 3 "gusset" sections from fabric and 3 from lining (two gussets are the same size, and one is slightly smaller, for the bottom of the bag); cut 1 "strap" from fabric and 1 from lining.  The dimensions of the pieces should be the finished dimensions (see below) plus 1" for seam allowances.

2. If you're using interfacing, sew or iron it on first - to each of the pattern pieces.  I ironed mine on to the lining, since I used kind of a thin cotton for the lining and it needed some toughening up.

3. Sew the 3 gusset pieces together at the short ends, with one long section on each side of the shorter section.  You should have one long strip of fabric with two seams.  Press the seams open.

4. Pin the gusset to one of the "front and back" pieces (which are identical at this point).  Here's what it should look like:

Pin the corners first: the way to do this is to clip the gusset seam a bit and pin it to the fabric like so:

Pin the rest of the gusset on and stitch; trim the seam and clip the corners.  Stitch the gusset onto the other "front and back" section in the same way.  Here's what it looks like when both sections are pinned/stitched to the gusset - you can see the bag starting to take shape:

Turn the bag rightside out when both sides are stitched, and press seams.

5.  Next you're going to make the flap that attaches onto the front of your bag.  First, attach one half of a magnetic snap to the lining.  Pin the fabric and lining flap sections together and sew around three edges, leaving one long edge open.  Trim seam, turn rightside out, and press.  Sew optional trim around the edges.  Here's what it looks like when finished:

Attach other half of magnetic snap to bag front:

Pin the flap to the back of the bag, right sides together:

6. Pin strap and lining sections together and stitch along long edges.  Trim seam, turn righside out, and press.  Topstitch along both edges.  Pin the strap to the gusset sections, right sides together:

7. I made two interior pockets - cut four rectangles from the lining material.  Pin two pieces together for each pocket, sew around the edges, and leave a small opening for turning. Trim seams, turn, and press.  Pin the pockets to the "front and back" lining sections.  I made one a pen and pencil holder (in photo on right) and one is a regular pocket with a Velcro closure (in photo on left).

Topstitch around edges of each pocket; topstitch in 1-1/4" rows for pen holder.

8. Prepare gusset lining sections same as for main bag.  The only difference is that you should leave an opening in one side to turn the bag rightside out.  Here's a photo of the bag lining stitched together with the opening in the bottom:

9. Pin lining and bag together at top edges, with bag inside lining and right sides together.  Stitch top edges together, trim seam, and turn rightside out through hole in bottom. Here's a photo of the bag after turning:

Press the top edges of bag, and sew up the hole in the lining.  Push the lining down into the bag, and press the top edge again.  Topstitch around top edge of bag, and voila!

This particular bag's finished dimensions are: 13" long, 10"wide, and 2 1/2" deep.  The strap is 48" long and the flap is 7 1/2" long.  You can make this bag any size you want, of course.  This size can hold a good amount of stuff without feeling too bulky:

Any questions, please let me know - and I hope this is interesting/helpful!
« Last Edit: August 01, 2007 07:31:00 AM by gloriana » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2004 07:35:57 PM »

that's a great bag!!!   Grin

also a really good tutorial.  now, if only I had a sewing machine here!

« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2004 07:36:42 PM »

OMGosh!!!!  thank you for posting this awesome pictoral tutorial!!!!!!  i've been wanting to do this type of bag, but wasn't sure what the easiest method was.  i've sewn one by hand once & it was a pain, but it turned out great.  i really, really love this bag!!!!!  i can't wait to try it!  i think the directions are great.  thank you!!!!!!!
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2004 07:49:22 PM »

youre so great!...another bag to make...yay!

*...this is one side, my conventional side, an attraction to tradition, my vintage disposition...* - No Doubt
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2004 08:06:14 PM »

Adorable bag!! i also love the mojo magazine with bowie on the cover. Wink

and i'll carry you, if you promise to carry me, and we'll carry we. it's a simple thing, you and me.
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2004 09:04:50 PM »

Excellent tutorial and super cute bag, too!  Grin
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2004 09:12:53 PM »

awesome tutorial! i recently bought a pattern, and leanred how to do this, but you make it look easier then what i went through! (i think it was harder, because i put piping in it... but i love piping!!)
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2004 09:43:23 PM »

i love piping too - in fact, I was thinking about putting some around the flap - which would look very cute.  glad y'all are finding this helpful!   Smiley

Check out my knitblog - A Mingled Yarn
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2004 03:01:34 AM »

That is so great. I have made messenger bags but without heaving PLAN ( It was complete chaos Grin) Your tutorial will make me little more organized (I hope)
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2004 06:14:04 AM »

Thanks for the great tutorial!

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