Right before my freshman year in college I was looking for a very specific bag to carry all my school supplies in. I wanted a messenger bag big enough to fit all my books and my laptop with a few pockets and a place to put some pencils for easy access. Unfortunately all the bags I found were too small or too expensive. I figured it was time to put my sewing skills to good use and designed my perfect bag. To this day I love that bag and It’s still in great condition.
I used duck cloth for the shell and just a regular cotton for the liner.
First I figured out how big I wanted it to be. (Mine is 15″ Wide x 13″ High x 5″ thick)
Make sure you cut each piece from both the shell and the lining.
Starting with the lining. begin by lining up one end of the bottom/sides with the top side of the back side. pin and sew along the side.
Sew all the way to the bottom of the back piece then turn and continue all the way around the bag and add the front piece the same way until you have a large pocket, and set aside. Use the same technique to finish the outside of the bag.
Next, iron a 1/2in hem on both sides of both strap pieces.
Then pin both pieces together and sew.
To make the flap piece; pin both flap pieces right sides together and sew on three sides (You can sew all four sides but I thought it would be a waste of time because it will be hidden anyway).
At this point if you would like you can sew a few pockets on the inside by cutting out a piece of fabric to the desired size of your pocket and sew a hem on the top, after wich you just sew the pocket onto the right side of the lining.
next iron 1/2in around the rim of the shell and the lining.
then put the lining into the shell and pin them together, starting with the corners so they line up correctly and sew both sides together and the front.
with the back stick the flap between the liner and shell then pin together and sew.
last but not least, the straps. pin the straps on the sides of the bag so it hangs at the right length for your height and sew in an ‘X’ pattern.
And that’s it. this bag can be used for a diaper bag, school bag, overnight bag, it is so versatile.