Spring has finally sprung in these parts, and this weekend it was time to switch over to a spring/summer purse. But I didn’t really have one I wanted to switch to, so I made one—the beauty of knowing how to sew!
First, I stopped by Sewn Studio to find some fabrics. I thought about getting heavyweight fabric but decided to just go with regular weight once I saw this pretty blue floral fabric by Joel Dewberry. Next I hunted around for messenger bag tutorials and ended up using this one from No Time To Sew as a guide. The size and shape were just about what I was looking for, and the instructions are nice and clear.
As I cut out my pieces, I made the bag a bit longer than was called for in the tutorial—her bag is about 8 inches long and mine is a little over 9 inches. I also changed up some of the pockets.
Above are the outside panels for the bag, which I stiffened with fusible fleece. I thought her idea for the panel pocket was super cute, so I made one for the front panel. For the back outside panel, I added a small, low zippered pocket for keys.
The lining panels, above, are interfaced with just plain fusible. I added another zippered pocket on one panel; on the other I made a divided pocket for my phone, hand sanitizer, and a pen. I love knowing exactly what I need in my bags!
The tutorial called for an adjustable strap, but I just didn’t feel like fussing with that. So I made just a regular one. But I did feel like fussing with a two-fabric strap, and I wanted to get it nice and stiff, so I again used both the fusible interfacing and the fusible fleece.
I cut the strap sections to 3 inches wide and the fusibles to 2 inches wide. I ironed the fusibles to the center of the strap fabric, leaving the 1/2-inch seam allowances unfused. I thought sewing a tube with the strap and turning it right side out with all that fusible would be tough. So I sewed one long seam, with wrong sides facing, and then folded up the seam allowances for the second seam.
I then pinned the folded seam allowances together and sewed about 1/8 inch from the edge. It’s not perfect, but it looks good. I think it helped that I could press the seam allowances crisply thanks to the fusibles forming a guideline.
Overall, I’m happy with the way it turned out. I kind of like that the side of the bag has two fabrics, and I think the inside fabric of the strap adds a nice pop of color. The strap could have been a smidge longer than 40 inches, just because I like to my bags to hang a bit below my hipbone.
The bag is already filled up and in use. Hooray for spring!