My cousin Amber is running a Learn to Sew series on her blog, Crazy Little Projects, so I wrote up this super simple sewing project tutorial for her blog last week. If you can get past her Lesson #1 (Sewing in a STRAIGHT LINE!) then you can do this! Woohoo! Let’s get going!
My son is highly impressionable. He is three years old and his vivid imagination latches onto any cartoon character with an interesting animal and runs with that fantasy. Sometimes he is Prince Philip from Sleeping Beauty, who gets to ride Samson the horse and fight a dragon. Most of the time he is Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon, who trains the Night Fury Dragon, Toothless. He is always the hero, and his daddy is always the animal.
This week my boy has declared himself to be Flynn Rider from Tangled, which would make his daddy Maximus. Let’s be honest: that movie is all about Maximus. Maximus rocks. Anyway, in his attempt to become Flynn Rider (who he clearly doesn’t understand is actually a bad guy at the beginning) he has become obsessed with having a “satchel” to carry around his precious crown, which, naturally, is a tiara that he found in his Aunt Laura’s former high school bedroom. Because she just happens to own three tiaras. Alrighty then. But the poor little guy can’t seem to find a satchel! He carries that tiara in little bags, grocery bags, backpacks, and so on. He tried to stretch a normal bag over his head and shoulder like a messenger bag and it got stuck. He was quite distraught, and at that moment it occurred to me that it would be incredibly simple to just make him a “satchel” of his very own.
So to my fabric stash I went. Much to my delight, I found this fabulously fun and tacky pirate fleece I had grabbed when I spotted it in the remnant bin at JoAnn’s a month or two ago. My boy loves pirates, and I love that you don’t have to hem fleece if you don’t want to, so I knew it would come in handy eventually. I was right.
If you are looking to make yourself or others a beautiful and sturdy messenger bag then I suggest checking out Amber’s Messenger Bag Tutorial or her Reversible Messenger Bag Tutorial. But if you’re looking for something quick and easy for a kid or yourself then look no further. No hemming. All straight lines. If you’ve completed Lesson #1 in Amber’s Learn to Sew Series then you are ready. This project took me less than thirty minutes. Truly. (Although I am a fairly experienced seamstress compared to some of you, so be patient with yourself if it takes you longer!) Now let’s get started!
1. Grab some fabric. I used fleece because you don’t have to hem it if you are lazy like myself. I also love how it feels. I am a texture junky. I got this fabulously fun and tacky fleece from the remnant bin at JoAnn’s. You will also need thread, scissors, pins, and velcro if you choose to use it.
2. Decide how big you want your satchel and do some cutting. I decided that I wanted it about as big as a piece of paper since he is so little. (I held a piece of paper up to his body to be sure.) I cut one rectangle that was 8 1/2 inches by 11 1/2 inches and one that was 16 inches by 11 1/2 inches. Next I took a flexible measuring tape and measured from his hip, up across his chest and shoulder and down his back to his hip again, just like the strap of a messenger bag that would be going across his body. It was 35 inches, so I cut my strip 35 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide.
3. Pin your rectangle pieces together with right sides facing inward.
4. Time to sew. You will be sewing three sides and leaving the third open. This is the top of the bag. Start at one of the top corners and be sure to backstitch. Slowly stitch down the side of your bag using a 1/2 inch seam. As you near the end slow down. Now this is how I do corners. When you reach the bottom make sure the needle is DOWN. Now lift up your presser foot, swivel the bag around 45 degrees, and place the foot back down. Now sew that side and repeat this process at the other corner. Be sure to backstitch at the end before you cut your strings.
5. Trim the strings and you can cut down your hem a bit if you would like to so that it’s not so bulky. Don’t trim too closely though or you may end up having to re-sew some parts that you cut through. *Ahem.*
5. Time for your strap! Your bag is still turned inside out. Eyeball where you want it and then pin it in place.
6. Sew your strap in place. I sewed two different lines for extra strength. (Don’t forget: always backstitch at the start and end of your lines/stitching!)
7. If you would like velcro to hold your satchel shut then now is the time to attach it. I eyeballed where I wanted it and pinned it on. Next I sewed my velcro into place by sewing a line across the top and bottom of each piece.
9. Now turn the satchel right-sides-out (that’s a very technical term, right there) and VOILA! Satchel.
I hope your kiddo loves theirs as much as mine loves his! He was very upset when he had to take it off long enough for me to double check the measurements. I would call that a Mom SUCCESS!