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Back to School Messenger Bag

Here it is ... the messenger bag.

Happily I didn't have to resort to implicating an imaginary dog ...  ;). 

What do you think?

My daughter loves it.  I'm sorta impressed with it myself.

One fabric change and few additions were required since my last post. 

First, I talked her into going with the polka dot instead of the red tonal - I thought the dots would look just a bit softer.  Plus, dots are happy ... and little sister's backpack has them.  I like doing things like that. 

I needed more fabrics because the pocket on the back was an afterthought and I made the flap bigger than originally planned (better too big than too small) so we added the pretty scallop and flowers to the mix. 

She resisted the flowers a bit because she was trying so hard to achieve her idea of grown-up, but it was the last gray print in the bundle and she reeeeeeeally wanted to stick with the one color.  She's quite happy with it on the inside. ;)

And I forgot to show you the fabrics she chose for the inside lining ...


When I started making all the different components of the bag, I asked her how she wanted me to top-stitch each piece.  She asked what her choices were. 

"Well, my dear child.  That is an EXCELLENT question.  Let me show you what your mama can do NOW!"

One problem:  we both became crippled with indecision.  Who knew an FMQ repertoire could cause a problem?  haha

So, she went with a few different ones ...


Back (with a little heart in the top right corner ... because I love her.)

A small monogram for the flap embellishment was all she wanted with the FMQ flowers.  And for the first time ever I tried my hand a raw-edge applique.  Turned out great!  Thank you Miss Amy for the inspiration ;)

I added a large pocket to the back and a handle for hanging on a hook.

I installed an easy-to-use zipper on the inside ... TWICE.  (Yep ... I knew y'all were waiting for my screw-up confessional.)  The first time it went in upside down.  It was late and I was tired so I didn't take a picture of it.  But here's the evidence. 

Second time ...

She INSISTED on a red zipper ... to go with all the little red accents on the bag.  She's so cute. 

I used two different fabrics for the zipper to "make do".  They are the leftovers from the front and back panels.  A little scrappy ... but not TOO scrappy.

And check out the shoulder pad!  Thanks for the suggestion, Kate. 

I made the entire bag with 10 fat quarters - no yardage - and only scraps for leftovers ...

Check back tomorrow to see what I did with them.

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Reader Comments (48)

Wow! Absolutely fabulous. You've now achieved the status of Supermom! Beautiful sewing job.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

In my next life I want to be one of your little girls. I love her bag. You are sooo super talented. She will be the envy of all the other girls in school, not to mention the teachers. You Rock!!
Take care,
Carole Y

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarole Y.

your welcome!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkate

I'm really in love with the bag! It's simply awesome! Would you please make a pattern that I can sew my own?

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHildy

So you were wondering what you would do after finishing up Simplify....I think you just found out my dear....tutorial please....this is exactly how I envisioned my messenger bag to be, but I am not even close to your talent and finding the time to figure one out! Your daughter's bag turned out just absolutely beautiful, super duper great job!
Lisa in Texas

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa LeBlanc

I agree with Lisa, PLEASE do a tutorial on this bag.....I would even pay for the finished bag! I love this and your nearly grown up daughter (!) has excellent taste!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDana

You are AWESOME! I agree with the others, I would LOVE to see a tutorial or would even consider paying for a pattern. Can't wait to see what you made with the scraps.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterColette

I love it!! Well done!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBabychaser

I love your fabric choices. Do you know the designer/manufacturer of the gray scallop fabric.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnita

Wow, I'm sure impressed! Agree with others, this deserves a tutorial.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

best. mom. ever. That bag is adorable! Your daughter will look so stylish and grown-up toting back and forth to school.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Wow! Great bag and very impressive. The fabrics all go together perfectly, and I love the FMQ you did on the flap. I'm not surprised your daughter is thrilled.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNic

Oh my gosh, this turned out so cute!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Bravo!!!! Gorgeous! You already know how much I love the fabric! Ditto on the pleas for a tutorial or pattern! You should be in the business, K! I'd snatch it up in a heartbeat! And I gotta say it again...I love that your daughter knows what she likes. That red zipper is divine!!! :)

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterA Little Blue Dragonfly

Wonderful! Marvelous! Delicious! Awesome! I'm out of superlatives! Would you consider a tutorial or a pattern? What a lucky gal is your daughter to have such a talented mom!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarge

Totally Awesome. Hope you can feel the love from the quilting community coming at you because you nailed this one. Such a great idea and implementation. Your young lady may not understand it now but there will come a time when she thinks back on all the stuff mom did for her and cherish those memories.

You rock!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLee

That is the cutest book bag ever.....great job with the colors and everything!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTami

Oh my goodness.... YOU, my dear, are the bag whisperer. This is AH-MAZ-ING.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

Wow Kristyne, the bag is sensational, you are clever!! There'll not be another child in school with a bag as beautiful as your daughters.
Vivienne x

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergreenrabbitdesigns

This is fabulous - I love all the fmq. She will the envy of all her friends!!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfrayedattheedge

OH WOW!!! This is so wonderful - from the fabric choices (love the colors!) to the design, to the FABULOUS quilting! You are one talented lady!!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTina

Absolutely gorgeous. I must make one. Please share!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterApril R

AWESOME!!! Again....I want one....pretty please with a cherry on top??! ;0

Tell the model she didn't an excellent job of showing the bag in the 'on' position. ;0

Really Miss K, what will you do next? Really. What's next??

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterina

I'm in love with this bag! Pretty please make a tutorial, would love to make one for my girls!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley G.

GREAT Bag! Love the mix of patterns and quilting.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCJ

That is amazing!! I love it and I'd love to see a tutorial. You're halfway there already with the great photos. Well done mama!!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

Love love love!!!! Yes please to pattern/tutorial :-). I could see a couple of those in my future ( daughter and me). Loved your project simplify too and so glad I found your blog. It's now one of my favs :-)

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca Woods

The messenger bag is so gorgeous!!! Give your "grown up" girl a pat on the back for such great taste in color and fabric combinations. Beyond that, I am so proud of YOU for your perseverence on your FMQ...it has paid off trememdously.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristy

WOW - that bag is super awesome! I agree with the others - a tutorial on this would be fantabulous. I'd carry that messenger bag :-)

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarlene

CUTE!! I'm a little jealous. I'm not in school anymore, but would love a bag like this! Your daughter is incredibly lucky to have a mama like you! :)

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Are you going to do a tutorial? great job!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSheryl F.

Ladies, ladies, ladies, I just thought of something! Remember elementary school and if the teacher caught you with gum or candy she would say, "Ina, I hope you brought enough to share with the entire class. Otherwise, I suggest you despose of it immediately." Yikes! Talk about the 'walk of shame'...beet red and humbled.

I got over it because I did it over and over again...I just loved Bazooka bubble gum. ;0

Wow, where was I going with this?? Oh that's right, "Miss K, I hope you made one for everyone?" Akward! ;0

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterina

The bag is magnificent - congratulations! I love everything about it.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlynda

That is simply gorgeous!!! I would love to have one of those bags NOW as an adult! :-) The lining is really cute, and I love the aqua. Amazing job on the FMQing as well! Hopefully one day I will master it as you seem to have. :-)

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoanna @ Southern Daisy

Absolutly Wonderful! I am so impressed. Oh you are the BEST! Don't be surprised if you get requests from some of her friends. Yes, I need the pattern or a tutorial.
Love, Love, that bag!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJudy Blinkenberg

WOW! I'm so impressed. I want one - my laptop would fit so nicely in that bag and would be so pretty! You're daughter is very lucky. :)

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaige

The bag turned out wonderful. I love the colors and the fabrics look great. What a lucky daughter.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

I love it!! You are so talented. I of course heart the fabrics you used also!!
I would go back to school if I had a bag that looked like that.

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNadine Woodraska

Ok, I thought you once told me something like you couldn't sew? That you only pieced a bit??? You're delusional! This bag is fantastic! Very, Very Cute Ms. Pretty. I LOVE your fabric choices!!!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThimbleanna


August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Just love this messenger bag! You've done a lovely job putting together .Nice fabric choices too!

August 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercatherine

holy crap Kristyne! that's awesome. your sewing is perfection... it's scary good. Love the monogram... glad I could "inspire"! ha! xoxo amy

August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

WHOA!!! Seriously impressive! I'm another who would love a tutorial or pattern to buy. My daughter would like me to make her a messenger bag for school, so she just googled "sewn messenger bags" and yours came up, she squealed "That's the one I want!!" We both love it. Great job, well done.

August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerri

Amazing, you are one talented lady.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSandra

Little late in getting here to this post, but here I am -- Thanks to Camille. I love your blog, patterns, & all. (Just had to let you know) So I had to go backwards to look as your older posts. And I love this bag and pencil roll.

September 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarcyne

If you've never made a messenger bag before, the first one is supposed to come out a bit rubbish - not Super Fantistic Cool I Love That Grey, Oh Heck What'll She Make Next, good.

December 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterA Peppermint Penguin
Wow! I have to make that. Love your fabric choices.
November 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam
Amazing tote bag. Seriously beautiful! Is there any chance you have any of the Ruby Dainty (the almost solid red with the tiny flower print) left you would be willing to sell? I have been searching everywhere for either a FQ or 1/4 yd. :) That is one amazing bag!
April 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

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