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Topic: what do you think about this messenger bag?  (Read 1589 times)
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« on: April 05, 2009 03:14:51 PM »

So i'm going to be making a 'real' messenger bag, but this time i wanted to plan ahead and make it perfect. I practiced and drew up plans/measurements and everything and made it out of muslin.  I didn't use any interfacing on it, so its pretty floppy... but i just wanted to make sure the size and everything worked well together before using good fabric/interfacing. I also 'drew' in where inside zipper pockets and snaps would be.   The final dimensions come to be about 16.5"x11.5x4".

So i was wondering if i should use really stiff interfacing, OR use not as stiff interfacing, and use polyester boning on the seams to help hold it up  without it being really stiff.... Huh

i'd appreciate any advice or thoughts on it? Smiley
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2009 06:07:13 PM »

Cording for the structure seams comes to mind. Just to hold the shape.

It all depends on how stiff you want it to be. What are you "message"ing? Bread...then you want stiff sides. Laptop, spiral, and lunch. Then you probably want it to flex a bit.

Think about the difference in a paper grocery sack. Brand new and stiff...how it holds items. Then scrunch it up, and reload it. Soft and caressingly holding items.

There is no one right way. What do you wish the bag to hold?

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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2009 06:08:45 PM »

I think your mock-up is very nice.  Great job with planning ahead.  

As to interfacing, I think you need to ask yourself how stiff you want it to be.  The type of interfacing can be anything from a really lightweight pellon that stimply supports the fabric to keep it from stretching out, to timtex/stiffy to make it really stiff.  

Without knowing what your other fabrics will be, it is hard to make a recommendation as to interfacing.  If you are using a heavy-weight upholstery fabric, you may not need much interfacing.  If you are using calico, you will definately want interfacing.

Consider using felt, warm and natural quilt batting (thinner than polyester batting), an old blanket. canvas, or other fabric for interfacing to give more substance without making it as stiff as timtex/stiffy would.  If you want a stiff bottom, you could use timtex or needlepoint canvas, even a piece of thin plywood.  

Your question is a good one, but I don't think there is an easy answer.  

Good luck,
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2009 06:41:29 PM »

it will mostly be used for books and stuff... so it needs to be pretty strong and i want it to 'hold its shape...'

the fabric i'm using is not super thick, but not super thin... its about medium weight cotton type fabric...

i've used to really thick interfacing on a previous bag i've made and i like it cause it really holds the shape well, it was just kind of a pain to sew through--(very thick layers--my sewing machine had some troubles..:/ i'm not sure if its the timtex that you are referring too...?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2009 08:25:26 AM »

What about using an iron-on interfacing on the fabric of about the same weight, then using fusible fleece over top of that? I just did a bag that way and I'm really thrilled with how it turned out - it's soft yet still holds its shape really well. In order to solve the issue of having too much stuff to sew through in the seams, I cut the fleece to the same size as the fabric pieces, and then after sewing each piece together I trimmed the fleece back as close to the stitching as possible. That way when I turned the bag there wasn't all that fleece in the seam allowance, if that makes sense.

I would definitely use something very stiff in the bottom of the bag.
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2009 01:41:07 PM »

I've made a similar messenger bag and used duck cloth for interfacing. Worked perfect for me! I also reinforced the bottom with cardboard which I think helps the shape, especially if you are carrying a laptop within!

If you like unique and custom handbags, check out my blog and my etsy.
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2009 08:39:34 PM »

Love the bag.  Giving me ideas.  The others have given you some very good suggestions.  Not much else I could add.
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2009 12:38:01 PM »

if you want to use the bag you made though, you could dye the white fabric a color Smiley

I am taking a break from swaps for a while.  I am not accepting any personal swaps at this time until around Christmas time.  Sorry for the inconvenience.
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2009 09:46:25 PM »

Great post!

Personally, I would use something like a heavy Denim. Perhaps interfaced with a heavy duck cloth and then have a light lining.


Your pics and explanation are great.

If you want to use a lightweight material, doing an interfacing or using the duck canvas (cut 1 piece out of each, then use both pieces as 1 piece. Back to back and don't think of them as 2 pieces: Am I making any sense? I hope so.)

That will make your lighterweight material heavier.

Post pics when you're done. I'd be interested to see what you've produced. Thanks

A.T. Morel
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