Sew a professional bag with this free messenger bag pattern
Today I am sharing with you the latest man’s crossbody messenger bag pattern – the professional looking messenger bag has been designed with two external zip pockets and internal slip pocket. The messenger bag is created around my husband’s request’s, it is his one simple request for his 50th birthday. The bag is designed for family holidays collecting sea glass on the beach, with pockets for wallet, keys, mobile and sunglasses.
I made this bag for my husbands 50th birthday gift, I have to admit I gave in and gave it to him early. It made sense to pack it with passports etc rather than wrap it in wrapping paper!! This easy messenger bag pattern has a magnetic closure.
This DIY denim messenger bag includes two zip pockets, one on the closing flap, and one on the front panel. Internally the bag has slip pockets.
Finished DIY Messenger Bag Size
Messenger bag finished size is 9 1/2″ width 91/2″ height x 2″ depth
Large full-width zipped pocket – finished size is 9 1/2″ wide 7″ tall
Small zip pocket (on closing flap) 7″ wide and 5 1/2″ deep
Small Pocket (Phone Pocket) – finished size is 6 ” tall 5″ wide
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Worried about how to sew denim?
Many home sewing machines are fine sewing denim, but there are certain tips that will make your life considerably easier. Always use a denim needle, a long stitch length and stitch slowly. If your machine struggles you can reduce bilk be trimming the fusible fleece by the seam allowance. Check out my video how to sew denim.
Prefer a slightly more feminine version? I have made myself a khaki version from some old jeans, sewing my own bias binding from the lining fabric. I have a tutorial for how to make an adjustable bag strap which discusses a variety of options for the strap.
Love the idea of making a messenger bag but denim is not for you?
I get it, I really do – not everyone is as passionate about resuing denim as myself. You can make this bag out of home decor fabric, canvas or even waxed canvas. In order for the bag to hold its shape I recommend a heavier weight fabric. if you prefer quilting cotton I suggest changing the fabric stabilizer to something like Annies Soft and Stable.
Check out my alternative messenger bag pattern where the closing flap is made from seat belt material, I love a good upcycle!
How to make the Messenger Bag Pattern
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Watch my you tube video for the construction for the bag here.
Start by preparing your pattern pieces. I like to cut out the fusible fleece and iron to the back of denim jean legs and then cut out the denim pieces.
Repeat for your lining fabric, with iron-on interfacing.
Outside zip pocket
Start with creating zipper tabs, either end of the outer pocket. Cut two pieces of contrasting fabric 2 by 2 1/2”
Cut your zip to size, sew the end of the zipper together, this stops the zipper from spreading apart.
Finger fold and press in three sides 1/16” at the corners fold in diagonally.
Place the zip onto the folded long edge,
Then fold your fabric over encasing the zip.
Tack to hold in place then machine stitch. Repeat for the second end of the zip.
Place your zip wrong side up. Place you front bag lining (with ironed on interfacing) along zip edge and stitch (use a zipper foot).
Turn the fabric away from the zip and press.
Insert magnetic snap centrally, 2 1/2″ up from the bottom of the denim piece for this out pocket. If you have not inserted magnetic snaps I suggest reading my detailed tutorial for how to attach magnetic snaps.
Place the denim front piece on top of the zip and lining. Stitch with a zipper foot.
Place the front pocket denim piece onto the front denim piece of the bag, fold the opposite edge of the zip downwards, then flip the fabric over, pin the zipper, then stitch.
Fold the zipper piece back down, baste all around the pocket piece.
Assemble Main Bag
Place side panels, right sides together, onto the back panel of the bag.
Stitch the side seams, stopping seam allowance width away from the bottom of the bag.
Place bottom bag panel along the bottom, stitch in place, stopping seam allowance away from the edge.
Place the edge of the bottom panel parallel to the base of the side panel. Stitch in place, stopping at the seam allowance.
Add and stitch your front panel, along the side seams and bottom seam. Turn your denim bag right side out
Make inner slip pocket for the lining.
Fold the fabric in half right sides together. Machine stitch the sides and trim at the folded corner.
Turn the pocket the right side out and press. Fold the raw edge in and press. Pin the pocket onto the back piece of the lining with the folded edge at the bottom.
Machine stitch the pocket in place, taking care to backstitch at the top of the side seams (these are a potential weak point in the bag).
Stitch the lining pieces together following the outer bag assembly instructions.
Make the closing lid/flap
Mark a curved corner, I have marked an inch from the corner, both sides then placed a round object and drawn round, trim. Repeat for the lining fabric for the flap.
Trim the bottom two corners of the flap.
Hand stitch a leather jean label into the corner of the flap, using the pre-existing holes from machine stitching around the edge of the label.
Let’s prepare the zip, place a piece of red fabric on either end of the zip, machine stitch – fold over and press.
Next let’s work out the placement of the flap zip. Measure down from the top edge of the flap, my zip is 6 inches down on the left an 2 1/2 down on the right. It is deliberately off-centre to counterbalance the leather label.
Place your zip pocket fabric, right side facing the bag, an inch above this rough placement of zip, and remove the zip. Mark a rectangle for the zip 1/2″ by 7 1/4″.
Stitch along your marked rectangle. Cut the opening of the zip, carefully into the corners without cutting the stitches. Turn the lining fabric through to the back, press the opening.
Place the zip in the opening. Tack into place then machine stitch around.
Fold the zip pocket lining up so the short raw edges match. Pin then stitch around, being careful not to catch any of the front of the bag.
Mark the position of the magnetic snap 1 1/2″ (centrally) from the bottom on the lining fabric for the flap closure. Insert the magnetic snap.
Place the lining and front of the flap fabric wrong sides together. Pin bias binding around the edge, if you are adding any fabric label place it in position. Stitch the bias binding.
Fold the bias binding over and hand stitch around the inside of the lining.
Assemble the messenger bag
Place the flap right side facing the right side of the back of the bag, raw edges matching. Tack or baste with your sewing machine to hold in place.
Cut two pieces 3″ long of webbing for the strap, Place a metal loop on the webbing, fold the webbing in half and tack in place on the side of the bag. repeat on the other side.
Place the bag inside the lining so right sides of lining and bag face each other.
Machine stitch around placing an 8″ turning gap along the front. Turn the bag right sides out. Press the seam.
Fold the raw edge in along your turning gap. Topstitch all around the top of the bag – it helps to pin the lining and outer bag down first to ensure a nice finish.
Lastly, cut your main bag strap, mine is 64″ but you may be perfectly happy with a shorter strap. Thread one raw end of the strap through the center bar of the slider, fold back on itself and machine stitch.
Loop the long end around the rectangle ring.
Then thread back through the slider before wrapping through the other rectangle ring, folding and machine stitching in place.
You find all my free bag patterns here.
Are looking for ideas for what to do with your old jeans? Check out my 25+ craft ideas for old jeans