Monday, August 9, 2010

Messenger Bag from a pair of Cargo Pants

Paige carried a Messenger Bag to school last year and really liked it - preferred it over a backpack. But the adjustable strap would never stay where we put it, so the bag usually ended up down near her knees and I hated that! So in my blog-surfing, I had stumbled upon a couple of different tutorials and patterns:

Inspiration for using cargo pants at Noddlehead here, but I wanted a horizontal vs. vertical configuration and wanted it a little bit bigger than this one.

A few more tutorials here and here I read. I wasn't sure about boxed corners at the bottom vs. a gusset but more reading indicated adding gussets will give it a little more structure.

So Saturday I made a stop at Goodwill for some cargo pants and found a cute pair of ladies Aeropostale pants. The were a little smaller than I was hoping (less fabric) but I just didn't see what I wanted in any mens pants and these had such cute pockets!

Here's the front of the bag. The flap was made from one of the leg side pockets and I ended up having to piece it. There's a part from the lower leg pieced right above the pocket because the side leg pocket was too close to the upper leg pocket to use that piece whole. I used more of that cute owl fabric I made her pencil case out of for the binding, lining and underside of the strap. There are two pockets here - one button pocket and then a zipper pocket right above it.

The other leg of the pants had two button pockets lined up, so I used that section as the back of the bag.

Here's a picture with the front flap opened up. I actually used the 'rear' of the pants to make the front inside pocket. There's one roomy pocket (top edge is the waistband) plus, of course, the additional two button pockets.

And last, here's a peek at the inside. It's fully lined with no exposed seams, topstiched everywhere in pink thread, and I even tried to put a water bottle holder on the inside (in green fabric) but the fit is a little snug after stitching it in, so I need to rework it somehow... or make it just a pen/pencil divider :-)

The gussets and strap were pieced from one lower leg and upper front sections. There was actually very little left over, so it worked out great.
I really enjoyed sewing this and might just have to make me one someday. If you missed it, check out the pencil case I made her last week here - it's out of the same owl fabric and is really cute! I need to rework the inside pocket and re-sew one side of the strap and then I'll try to get a picture with Paige wearing it.
I'm linking this post to the crafty linky parties below. Click through to get lost in blogland looking at all of the cool projects.
It's So Very Creative @ It's So Very Cheri
Make It for Monday @ Cottage Instincts
Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative
I Made the World Cuter @ Making the World Cuter
Market Yourself Monday @ Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Made By You Monday @ Skip to My Lou


  1. I love it!!!!!! Soooo cute! I've never use bias tape - it scares me. lol Thanks for linking up!!

  2. Great bag. I've also been contemplating a similar project from the same tutorials. Thanks for the inspiration. I hope your daughter loves it!

  3. Awesome bag! I'm getting ready to work on messenger bags for friends'kids birthdays. My friend made on and put a crayon/pencil holder on the front (beneath the flap). Gonna give it a try. What a great idea to use a pair of cargo pants!

  4. Amazing!! I love this-I wonder if dd would like some from ds's old cargos...

  5. This is so cute! Love the owl fabric peeping out...
    Thanks for dropping by my blog earlier