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Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

This free child-sized messenger bag pattern is the perfect shrunken size for the special kid in your life.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

It’s a simplified messenger bag pattern of my adult-sized messenger bag and you can knock it out in a couple evenings. I was pressed for time so left out interior pockets and such but if your kid wants a couple of interior pockets in the messenger bag I can show you how to add those in too.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

I made the messenger bag outside in black corduroy with a floral flap and lining. And you know that I like to add a little whimsy in my patterns here and there so I made peek-a-boo mini-portrait of Elise’s beloved pink monkey under the flap. Elise loves lifting the flap and seeing the homage to her best pal.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

I used to sew handbags. A lot of handbags. Sold them with my friend Heather at Chicago boutiques and craft fairs out of recycled t-shirts and my precious vintage linen calendars. And then I burned out. I didn’t want to be saddled to just handbags. And I realized that my favorite part was actually dreaming up and figuring out the bag patterns …not sales and production. So I gave it up and started merrimentdesign.com and shelved all my handbag patterns in the back of my craft closet.

But here and there I’m dipping back into my old handbag stash and I will share my bag sewing patterns here at merrimentdesign.com for free. What type of bag pattern would you like to see next?

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

WANNA MAKE IT? Keep reading to see my free sewing pattern, step-by-step tutorial and supply list for making a kid-sized messenger bag –>

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial
Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial


Supplies for making my kid-sized messenger bag free pattern (final measurements are 9 inches wide x 7 inches tall x 2 inches deep):

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How to make a kid-sized messenger bag (final measurements are 9 inches wide x 7 inches tall x 2 inches deep):

Step 1: Cut all the pieces out and interface a couple of them

Cut your kid-sized messenger bag pieces:

  • One 12″ X 17″ piece of fabric for bag outside
  • One 12″ X 17″ piece of fabric for bag inside lining
  • One 12″ X 17″ piece of iron-on interfacing for bag outside
  • One 26″ x 8″ piece of fabric for strap (NOTE: Measure your kid first and add or subtract strap inches as needed)
  • Two 9.5″ X 8″ pieces of fabric for flap
  • One 9.5″ X 8″ piece of iron-on interfacing for flap

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Iron on your interfacing to the wrong side of the bag outside.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Fold your bag outside piece in half to make a rectangle. Draw teeny rectangles in each corner along the fold, 1″ tall by 1-1/2″ wide. This is going to make your messenger bag bottom.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Carefully cut out the marked rectangle from each corner (which is actually a larger rectangle because you’re cutting across the fold).

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Repeat the folding, marking, and cutting on the lining piece of your kid’s messenger bag.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Step 2: Sew lining of the kid’s messenger bag

Now if you’re going to add an interior pocket, this is the time to do it. Go to my bird handbag tutorial to add any interior pockets. Any questions, let me know.

Now let’s sew up the lining.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Sew the left and right sides of the lining using 1/2″ seams, making sure to leave both the cut out rectangles at the bottom and the top of the messenger bag lining unsewn.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Iron the seams open. Pretty.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Now this is the magic part. Squeeze the unsewn corner rectangles into a flat sandwich with the seam in the middle. See how it’s making a bottom?

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Sew 1/4″ from the raw edge to secure. Repeat on the other side.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

And here is your lining bottom. Let’s move to the messenger bag outside …but first, I’m going to add in a surprise for Elise.

Step 3 (Optional): Add a special peek-a-boo friend

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Here’s how to make an optional peek-a-boo monkey or any other special friend that your kid would like to see. Now alternatively, you could put an exterior pocket here if you’d like, just see my medium shoulder handbag free sewing pattern to see how to make a pocket.

Cut out your special friend from felt. Mark the mouth and use embroidery thread to make a smile.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

And fill in the eyes using embroidery thread like I did here and also on my Halloween no-sew felt and VELCRO One-Wrap bracelets.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Place it centered on the bag outside piece about 1″ or 1-1/2″ from the top edge.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Sew close to the edge of the felt pieces to secure them to the bag outside. I left the monkey ears loose on the sides.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Step 4: Sew messenger bag outside

Now fold the handbag in half right sides together.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

And sew 1/2″ seams making sure to keep the cut rectangles and messenger bag top unsewn. Iron open the seams. Sounding familiar?

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Pinch the cut rectangles together with the ironed seam in the middle.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

And sew 1-4″ seams to close the messenger bag bottom.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

And here’s your handbag bottom.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Turn it right side out. Hi little Pink Monkey!

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Step 5: Sew messenger bag strap

Fold the strap piece together length-wise and iron. The strap piece is 8″ wide so after you iron it you’ll have a 4″ width piece.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Now open up the ironed edge and carefully fold the sides in half again. This will make a 2″ strap.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Iron it all as flat as you can.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

And topstitch close to the edge all sides around the messenger bag strap.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Place the strap and messenger bag outside together. Sew 1/4″ close to the edge back and forth a number of times to make sure it’s really secure. Repeat on the other side.

Step 6: Sew and attach messenger bag flap

Grab your two fabric pieces for your messenger bag flap. Iron on interfacing onto the outside piece of the flap.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Put the flap piece onto your cutting surface.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

I rounded off the corners for my flap but you can leave them as corners if you’d like. If you do want rounded corners like mine, place a coaster or a glass on the bottom corners and trace the curve.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Cut off the corners and repeat on the other flap piece.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Place the flap pieces together, right sides together, and sew 1/2″ inch seams (making sure to leave the top edge unsewn so you can turn it) and clip the curves.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Turn the messenger bag flap right-side out.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

And iron it flat.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Top stitch close to the edge.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Place the right side of the flap against the back of the messenger bag. Sew the flap to the back side of the messenger bag 1/4″ from the raw edge.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Step 7 (last step!): Attach lining to the bag

This step can sound tricky at first so read it all through before giving it a go. With the lining inside out, slip the outside messenger bag/straps/flap *inside* the lining. I know, it sounds weird. It’ll look like this:

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Sew around the lining 1/2″ leaving about 6 inches open to turn the messenger bag right-side out in a minute.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Now turn it through the open gap.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Pin the open gap shut…

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

…and iron (or vice versa).

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Topstitch around the messenger bag edge which will close your open gap…

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

…and also reinforce the flap a bit more.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

I added some VELCRO Fabric Adhesive fasteners (if you want to use the sew-on fastener then you can affix those earlier when you’re making the bag outside and flap). Now it’s ready for your kid to fill with Thomas the Train and other take-along treasures.

Kid messenger bag free pattern and sewing tutorial

Like it? Share it!
The nicest way to say you like it is to pin it on pinterest, post a comment, follow Merriment Design on Facebook, twitter, pinterest, Google+ or sign up for monthly emails. Enjoy! :)

Copyright stuff: You’re more than welcome to use this free project and tutorial for personal use. Contact me for commercial use and etsy sales.

 
 




40 Responses to “Kid-sized Messenger Bag Free Pattern and Sewing Tutorial”


  1. Judy McNeece Says:

    Hi: Love your pattern, however, I am having a bit of a problem finding directions on how to add pockets? Can you tell me how to find that tutorial? Thank you

  2. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hey Roxane, love your comment. I try really super hard to make my tutorials detailed and easy to follow so it makes my day to hear that it worked for you. And I hope your granddaughters like their new messenger bags!

  3. Roxane Says:

    Thank u for your tutorial, I have 4 granddaughters and I am new to sewing(no joke) and I have been looking for months for an easy to understand tutorial and yours is simply the ultimate best:) I have made the girls all bags and one for me and will be making more to send to Africa in a few months:) thank u again.God Bless

  4. Abby Says:

    I just finished a pair of these for my kids to take on holidays in the morning. They went together really easily and look just like the pictures.
    I think they look great. And better still the kids love them.
    I’ll definitely be making more for gifts in the near future.
    Thank you

  5. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Grace, sorry for the confusion. Just keep scrolling down and the measurements are there to cut for pattern pieces. I didn’t put interfacing on the strap but it’s up to you. If you do choose to put it on, I’d recommend putting it just on the middle 1/2, like leave 1/4 empty, then put interfacing on the middle 1/2, then leave the last 1/4 empty. That way it’s not totally bulky. Can’t wait to see your version!

  6. Grace Says:

    Is the pattern a pdf or just the measurements? The link went back to the tutorial. I would love to make this messenger bag for my girls. Did you iron on the interfacinginto the strap?

  7. Kaley Says:

    Thank you, yes that does make sense! I have never heard of block out but I will look into it, thanks!!

  8. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Kaley, yes, you should be able to size it up and the pattern should work fine. You could add some pockets too, interior and maybe an exterior one under the flap. I am not sure about peltex as I haven’t used it but my favorite liner is actually blockout drapery liner because it drapes well and doesn’t feel stiff like typical interfacing. I think your biggest challenge is going to be making sure the straps are sewn on strongly enough to hold heavy books. You may want to make them long enough so there’s extra down there (like 2 inches instead of just 1/4 inch like I did) and then sew them on like a rectangle with an ‘X’ in the middle. Does that make sense?

  9. Kaley Says:

    I love this! But I’ve been looking for a pattern/tutorial to make one for myself as I am in college and can’t seem to find one in stores that I like… I come across this after searching for a while and it’s the exact look/shape that I want except it’s for a child. Do you have one like this in adult size? Just increasing the dimensions would work? Also I’m wondering if it would be a bad idea to use peltex in this, because I need something that will hold shape carrying some really heavy anatomy and physiology books :-)

  10. Kristi Says:

    Just used your tutorial for a Christmas gift. Thanks so much for posting it. It worked out great. I am highlighting it on my blog tomorrow. Happy New Year!

  11. Gwendolyn Says:

    This tutorial was JUST the perfect size! I needed a pretend diaper bag to go with all the baby doll stuff I made for my daughter. The tutorial was easy to follow.

    Here’s my version: http://notyournormalsteam.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/homemade-christmas-last-minute-crafts-for-the-mini-steams/

    I gave you credit and gave a link back to your site.

  12. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Thanks for letting me know, An! Made my day :D Happy holidays to you too!

  13. An Says:

    Thanks so much for the pattern. Just finished making one for my son and he loves it. I love it too :). Happy holidays!

  14. Jenny Says:

    This is fabulous, exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!

  15. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Sharyn, the final measurements are 9 inches wide x 7 inches tall x 2 inches deep. Hope it works for your niece!

  16. Sharyn Says:

    Hi
    Just wondering what is the finished size of this bag. I want to make one as a library bag for my niece and need to make sure the size will be suitable

  17. sweetfe Says:

    Fabulous tutorial! Thank you!

  18. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Kat! So glad that the pattern and tutorial worked for you. I am impressed that you made three in one day. I wish I could sew that fast! Thanks and if you want to post any photos I’ll share them with my followers at facebook.com/merrimentdesign

  19. Kristi Says:

    Love this bag! I was searching for a little girls’ bag just like this. Thanks for the great tutorial! Can’t wait to make it up!

  20. Kat Says:

    This was a great tutorial!! I made three of them yesterday for my littlies and they’re adorable. They were going to be a xmas present but Miss 3 spotted hers and well you can imagine what happened :) Thanks for posting.

  21. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Thanks Faiza! I’m so happy to hear that you’re using it, and I hope your daughter loves her bag!

  22. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Kathleen, thank you so much! I really to try hard to make my instructions simple and I’m glad to hear that this one is working for you. As far as the lining, theoretically it is supposed to be the same as the exterior bag. Is your lining bigger width-wise or top to bottom? Did you happen to use fusible interfacing on the exterior because I notice sometimes that pulls in the exterior fibers and can make it a bit smaller. Would love to see a picture! You can post it at facebook.com/merrimentdesign and thanks again for stopping by!

  23. Kathleen Says:

    Thanks for posting how to do this wonderful bag, I had started one with some other site and those instructions were making me crazy, yours were simple and easy to follow………Also have question, my lining seem to be slight larger than my bag, is that they way its suppose to be…. I was very carefuly with measurements and made lining same of outer bag…….

  24. Faiza Says:

    I’m new to sewing and have been looking for an easily understandable tutorial for making a mess anger bag. I love yours and I’m about to embark on making one for my daughter after I finish writing this. Thank you for the amazing instructions. Faiza

  25. Carrie Says:

    Thank you so much for this pattern.. I just made it for my nephew with Disney Cars fabric and black corduroy! It turned out so cute and thank you so much.. I will blog about my bag and I pinned your tutorial!

  26. JUDITH Says:

    Can’t wait to get started have some doggie material I want to use. Child is doggie mad. J

  27. amber Says:

    Thank you! I loved the instructions. I made a great bag.

  28. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Bhavini, very happy to hear from you, and I’m glad that your niece liked the messenger bag! Looking forward to seeing what you try next.

  29. Bhavini Says:

    Hi,
    Thank you for sharing this design. I made it and gift it to my niece. She and her mum both were well impressed. :)
    I love your site and going to try more designs.

  30. Kathy Beymer Says:

    @Juanita, thank you for finding that typo! You’re totally right, I’ve fixed it. I’d love to see your finished messenger bag! Please send me a pic on facebook.com/merrimentdesign or twitter.com/merrimentdesign Thanks!

  31. Juanita Says:

    Hi,

    In Step 6, you said ‘Place the flap pieces together, wrong sides together, and sew 1/2″ inch seams (making sure to leave the top edge unsewn so you can turn it) and clip the curves’. Did you mean ‘place the flap pieces together, RIGHT sides together’? Right sides instead of wrong sides together?

    Thanks!

  32. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi @Farzana, the final measurements are 9 inches wide x 7 inches tall x 2 inches deep. How did I miss putting that in the original post? Ah, the hazards of working after the kids are in bed (and when I should be, ha). Would love to hear any feedback you have about the pattern!

  33. farzana Says:

    What are the final measurements/size of this bag please? Thank you :)

  34. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Thanks, Jane! Would love to hear what you think of the pattern and instructions. And would of course love to see photos!

  35. Jane Says:

    Thanks for the sweet pattern I am going to try it and make three of them for my granddaughters in Valentine colours. Wish me luck!

  36. Michele Says:

    I love it! Especially the hidden monkey. I think I know just who to make one of these for.


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