When a friend of mine asked me recently to make her some messenger bags for her son’s birthday party, I admit that I panicked at first. I’d never made a messenger bag before, and they seemed kinda hard, with the strap and all the seams. And I had to make seven of them! But then I remembered my trusty old friend, fleece. Fleece makes all sewing projects easier, because you don’t have to hem anything. Plus it’s inexpensive, super soft, and kid-friendly. I came up with a really simple design that doesn’t take long to put together, and I’d love to share it with you.
To make the bag, you’ll need two pieces of fleece. For the body of the bag, cut a piece to 24″ x 10″. For the strap, you’ll need a piece measuring 2″ x 43″. Note that this bag was designed for kids, and the strap length is as well. If you’re making a bag for adults, you will want to add a few inches to the strap length.
Place the large piece of fabric on your table, face down, and fold the right edge over so that the folded portion measures 7″ across. Take the piece to your sewing machine and sew a row of stitches along the folded edge.
Then fold the piece over some more, this time so that the top folded piece is 9″ wide. Sew along the folded edge on the right again.
You may be thinking that it’s weird to be sewing the middle of the fabric like this, but these rows of stitches are necessary to give the body of the bag some shape and structure.
Now fold the fleece over so that the stitched part is on the bottom.
The area between the two seams will be the bottom of your bag. Place one end of your strap (face down) on top of the bag, lining it up with the edge of that bottom panel. Pin it in place.
Now bring the right side of the bag up to meet the strap and pin the edges together.
Then do the same with the left side.
Hey, look — it’s starting to look like a bag!
Attach the other end of the strap to the other side, making sure it’s not twisted along the way, and pin up the sides just like you did for the first side.
Now head to the sewing machine and sew together all your pinned edges.
Turn the thing inside out and you’ve got yourself a bag. Yup, it’s done!
Pretty cute, right? And really easy to make.
But you know me well enough to know that I’m not gonna leave it just like that. Sure, it’s a cute bag now, but I had another idea in mind to send it over the top. The theme of the party is Scooby Doo, which explains why I chose this particular Scooby-rrific color of fleece. I decided to add Scooby’s collar to the bag to make it really awesome.
To start, cut a 1″ x 10″ strip of blue fleece. Pin it to the flap of the bag, then sew it down around all the edges.
For the tag, you’ll need an image of Scooby’s dog tag. Print the tag onto iron-on transfer paper, then iron it onto some white fleece.
Cut them out and you have soft, cute, kid-friendly doggie tags to add to your collars. Just sew them onto the center of the blue strip.
I’m so tickled with how these bags came out. They didn’t take much time to make, and the colors and collar detail make them instantly recognizable as Scooby Doo.
For more details about the party, check out my Scooby Doo birthday party post!