Monday, May 23, 2011

Messenger Bag Tutorial - Part 1

     Say hi to my new diaper bag.

     I fully intend to swipe her for my own personal use when my little ladies are past needing me to pack everything and the kitchen sink along with them. This is what the back looks like. Those are two pockets with elastic run along the tops.

     I stashed a pocket anywhere my little hands could get one. There are nine pockets in this bag. Have I mentioned I love pockets? There is nothing more annoying than trying to hold a squirming baby in one hand while frantically digging under piles of stuff in a black hole of  a bag trying to fish out the pacifier or some other such desperately needed item with the other. All the pockets should keep everything nice and tidy so I can find it. This would also be a great bag for accessories while traveling, or a school bag.
     When you open the flap, directly on the front is a large pocket. It is easily large enough to hold a notebook, or changing mat.

     On the front inside and the back inside is another large pocket the same size and then two smaller pockets with elastic along the tops to hold things nice and snug.

    The pockets are large enough to hold wipes, burp cloth, a change of clothes, pull ups or diapers, my cell phone, wallet, story book and toys, or anything else I might need.

    There is a loop snapped to the inside to hold keys within easy reach.

     There is also elastic sewn to the inside side panels.

     These are sewn so that one loop can hold a bottle or sippy cup, and the other loop can hold something smaller, like diaper cream.

     The outside sides also have pockets, wide enough to hold a water bottle, more cups or bottles, or whatever.

     I can comfortable fit cloth diapers and supplies for the baby, pull ups and supplies for the toddler, and my own needed things in it without it being a jumbled, crammed mess.
    If you would like to make one the directions are as follows.  I am going to break this up into at least two posts because it is a rather long project. If you don't want to make one, have one last look before you exit. =)

     I used left over home decor fabric from recovering my car seat. You could also use cotton or canvas. The whole bag and every pocket is fully lined so you will need at least a yard and a half of each your outer and inner fabric. If you are using cotton, I would use an interfacing or a stabilizer of some kind for every section to keep it from being floppy. Since my fabric was so thick to start with, I only used interfuse between the layer of the front panel and the back panel. I also wanted the bag to collapse in on the sides when it wasn't full completely.
     These are the pieces you need to cut. Cut one of both your lining and outer fabric unless otherwise stated. If you are putting interfuse between the pieces you'll need to cut out a piece for each as well.
Front Panel - 13 inches wide x 14 inches tall
Back Panel - 13 inches wide x 14 inches tall
Two Sides - 6 inches wide x 14 inches tall
Bottom - 6 inches wide x 13 inches tall
Flap - 12 inches wide x 16 inches tall
Front inside large pocket - 13 inches wide x 12 inches tall
Back inside large pocket - 13 inches wide x 12 inches tall
Front inside small pockets - 21 inches wide x 8 inches tall
Back inside small pockets - 21 inches wide x 8 inches tall
Front outside large pocket - 13 inches wide x 12 inches tall
Back outside small pockets - 21 inches wide x 8 inches tall
Two Side outside pockets - 6 inches wide x 8 inches tall
Two pieces of 1/2 inch elastic - 8 inches long
Three pieces of 1/2 inch elastic - 10 inches long
Snapped loop for keys - 2 inches wide x 6 inches long
Strap - 33 inches long x 4 inches *only cut ONE
Two D-ring loops - 1 1/2 inches wide x 3 inches long
You will also need a snap, two 1 1/2 inch D-rings, and bias tape
     Phew! All that cutting is the worst part, I promise! The rest goes pretty fast. Check back tomorrow for the rest of the directions. Have a happy Monday!
****Updated: See part 2 here.*****

Linking to:
Between Naps on the Porch
The Girl Creative
The Stories of A to Z
Not Just a Housewife
Fabric Bows and More
My Girlish Whims
Tea Rose Home
Someday Crafts
Sew Woodsy
Sew Much Ado
Freckled Laundry
Sun Scholars
Simple Home Life


  1. I can see why you will use this great bag for yourself once all the diapers are done! It looks like it would be perfect for so many things - a shopping trip, going to the gym, etc.

  2. Hi Abby,
    Wonderful job! I love the diaper bag very much...
    The flower is so perfect :)
    I use to sew so many of my girls dresses when they were little. I would dress them the same, it was so fun.
    Have a sweet day, Elizabeth

  3. Love this!! I don't need a diaper bag but this can be used in so many ways!!

  4. Great bag and love the fabric. TFS!! Stopping by from Sew Much Ado and your newest follower.

    Here is what I shared this week:

  5. This is a great bag! Love the pockets and that you have a spot for everything.

  6. great job! i love the stripes!

  7. What a fantastic bag! All the compartments would be so useful. Gorgeous fabric choice too.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting on my baby shower crafting. x

  8. Where is the 2d part! !!?? :) Love it!

  9. Part two is here.
    Thank you!

  10. Wow, such a cute and amazing large messenger bag! You have a great artist in yourself. You have made a really awesome looking bag. Thank you for sharing a very valuable information to us. I will definitely to create for me as i'm not much creative I know it will not look as cool as you had created. I'll sure update this kind of stuff in my collection soon so you can even earn money for your creativity. Check this website for more collection of handbags products.