Thursday, September 23, 2010

Messenger Bag version 2.0

The week before school started, I made Paige this cute messenger bag (and matching pencil case) from a pair of Goodwill cargo pants and cute, cute owl fabric. Post with more pictures here and here.
It was cute - it was perfect for her first day of school. She was ready! See?

BUT (isn't there always a but?) when I made the bag I based my measurements on a small stack of folders, notebooks, and a small binder. Well.... after that first day of school she comes home with a HUGE zippered Trapper-Keeper type binder that's about 4 inches thick and way bigger than that stack I measured by. The binder fit in her messenger bag, but barely... there was NO room for a water bottle, pencil bag, or much of anything.

So... take 2. Back to Goodwill and I found a dark chocolate brown pair of cargo capris with cute cinch embellishment at the bottoms of the legs and grommets on the pockets. I was hesitant using capris (less fabric) but really liked it so went with it. Paige went with me to the fabric store to pick out the accent fabric. She chose a green frog and lizard print (no idea why!) - not what I would have picked, but it's HER bag so we went with it.

I also decided to orient the bag the other way... portrait instead of landscape. It's a lot roomer and I was able to add a few extras - like a water bottle holder on the outside (so condenstation from her cold bottle doesn't get any of her papers or stuff damp. The button pocket on the front flap was one from the outer side of the leg of the capris. Pic from the front:

Here's another view of the front showing the water bottle holder better. The legs of the capris could be cinched with an elastic cord. I was running out of fabric so had to piece the water bottle holder, but it's a really nice addition. It's roomy to hold either disposable water bottles or any of her reusable ones.

The other cinch cord went along the upper front of the inside. I don't think she ever really uses this one, but it's cute and can help hold in everything. The front flap pocket are the two angle pockets from the upper front of the pants - the zipper was cut out and those two sides sewn together. I used the accent fabric behind that flap pocket.

Here's her big binder inside the bag. There's still lots of room left for a lunch bag, pencil case, etc. What I forgot to get a picture of is the inside of the bag - along the front (under the cinch cord) are the pockets from the rear of the pants. The inside of the bag is lined with the accent fabric except for that front panel. It was the accent fabric on the ouside (behind the flap pocket) and cargo material on the inside with additional inside pockets.

Here's the front cinched up a little:

And one more view of the front showing the flap pocket - you can see stray papers down in there...

And finally, here's the back. This is the other outer leg pocket. I did end up running out of fabric from the cargo capris and did not have enough to do one side of the strap with it. I had to use the froggy fabric for both sides of the strap. Not ideal, but still cute.

However, NOW we're all aware that the pencil case no longer matches... so guess what the next project is?
I'm really happy with how this one turned out. It's a little bigger for her frame, but it was too big of a hassle for her to have to carry her lunch bag or anything else she needed separate as the binder literally filled the other messenger bag very snugly with room for nothing else.
So, now... what do I do with the owl one???
I've posted at the following linky parties! Go visit to see lots of bloggy craftiness :-)


  1. I am following you back! Thanks for the follow! And a great bag!

  2. Hi! I'm your newest Friday Follower. Would love it if you'd follow me back at Mom of all Trades.

  3. oh my goodness, that's awesome! it looks great, totally bought it in a store professional! hope she's proud to carry around something her mama made!

  4. Both bags are amazing. I'm surprised you had the patience to do two. I love how you used the pockets and cinching to work for you. Very nice.

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  6. I think that bag is so creative. I love all kinds of bags and I think it is a perfect school bag.

  7. This is so cute, creative and functional! I love functional. The water bottle holder was a great addition (and you can't tell it was pieced together, at least not from the pictures). Came over from Fun To Craft.


  8. Adorable - AND useful. Good combo.

    Thanks for linking up to Fab Friday -


  9. Hey! Just wanted to let you know I featured this today on FTF! Thanks for linking up and go ahead and grab a featured button if you would like!