So I used to make these bomb toddler messenger bags in my etsy shop. They're super cute and I love them, but I just don't have the time to make and sell them anymore. However, I still get emails occasionally asking if I make them and so I thought I'd just do a tutorial for anyone who would like to make their own. Now this isn't difficult to make, but can still take some time, I'd say give yourself at least 3 hours. So here we go!
18"x13" outer fabric
18"x13" lining fabric
9"x10" outer fabric (for flap)
9x10 lining fabric (for flap)
5 1/2"x28"fabric (strap--should match outer fabric)
5 1/2'x4 1/2" fabric (pocket)
2 4"-5" pieces sew on velcro
See... a lot of work goes into a little bag.
Now place your outer fabric on top of the lining with the velcro (right sides together--again, you should have sewn the velcro to the right side) and sew along the longer side, the bottom by the velcro, and back up the other longer side. Leave the top completely open.
Before you flip the fabric right side out, clip the corners. Then flip and press with iron. Now top stitch around all 3 sides. Again, not completely necessary, but if you top stitched the strap and body, you should really top stitch this as well or it will just look silly and your sewing friends will make fun of you.
OK now to put everything together. First you'll want to turn your outer fabric inside out (seams on the outside) and you're lining will be turned right-side out (seams on the inside). First, take your outer fabric and place the strap inside, lining up the middle of the strap with the side seams. Pin together.
Now take your lining and place it on the inside, lining up the side seams. Make sure the pocket on the lining is on the opposite side of the velcro on the outer fabric. Make sure that strap isn't twisted inside the bag! Pin in place (you may want to remove the pins holding the strap and re-pin to include the lining).
Lastly, take your flap and put the velcro and sewn edge side down, between the outer fabric and lining. Make sure to place the flap on the pocket side of the bag and that the two lining sides of the fabric are touching and the two our sides of the fabric are touching. This part can be confusing so read again and see picture below.
Now this is what it all should look like--all the raw edges lined up, that the strap and the flap are between the outer fabric and lining and then pin in place. Leave a 3-4 inch gap marked with pins, because as you're going to sew around the top you need to leave an opening that you don't sew around. Now sew a stitch all around the top of the bag, except for the 3-4 inch opening and give yourself a nice wide seam allowance. It's also a good idea to use a basting stitch for this part in case you make a mistake and need to pick out the stitch.
Now take the bag and through the little opening you're going to flip everything inside out (actually right side out, but whatever.)
And you're bag will look like this. Now is the time to inspect the bag and make sure the straps are lined up correctly and not twisted and that the flap is in the right position. If you need to go back and fix anything now is the time! Simply turn you bag inside out again, unpick the basting stitch and move it around. (For this bag I had to fix the strap and it moved a little during sewing).
Now if everything looks good, take an iron and press the top of your bag and get a nice crisp edge around the top, then finally top stitch around the entire top of the bag and close that gap. Again you want to make sure that top stitch is nice and close to the edge (very small seam allowance). And you're done!
Feel free to email me with any questions!
Maybe next I'll do a tutorial on my play tents... remember those?
Also, as a disclaimer: It is OK to freely use this pattern and make your own toddler bags. Please do not sell pattern or bags made from pattern.