Denim + Leather Messenger Bag

I’m back with another Pattern Parcel…. #7. This time, it’s the handbag edition. There’s a great roundup of handbags for you in this parcel. I’ve been eyeing that Betty Bowler for a while and can’t wait to try it out! I really wanted to try it for this post but I didn’t have the necessary hardware and have not had time to get to the store to get it.

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!

Parcel #7 includes:

Barcelona Bag and Wallet by Pat Bravo
Butterfly Sling Purse by Emmaline Patterns
Evelyn Hangbag by ChrisW Designs
Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White
Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns
BONUS PATTERN: Daphne Bag by Clover & Violet

A reminder about Pattern Parcel– You name your own price for the parcel and if you choose $32 or more you get to unlock the bonus pattern. I love the mission behind this parcel- a percentage of your payment goes straight to Donor’s Choice and helps provide educational tools and supplies to needy classrooms. It’s so cool to be able to support indie designers while also giving to those in need.

denim messenger (1 of 6)

I chose the Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White for my pattern. I took the opportunity to make something for my husband. It’s fairly rare that I sew for him so I try to make up for it when I can! He’s very supportive of all my sewing craziness so he deserves something in return.

denim messenger (5 of 6)I knew he would like this messenger bag and could use it for work, but I would need to re-think it in more manly terms. I decided to use this heavy weight denim as the accent fabric and had a lightbulb moment when I realized I could use the wrong side of the denim for the main fabric. I wasn’t sure exactly how it would turn out but as soon as I got the flap sewn together, I knew this was going to be a winner! I just love the end result and it’s exactly my husband’s style.denim messenger (4 of 6)

A few modifications:

  • I used real leather for the flap accent. (from some assorted scraps sent to me by my good friend, April. Thanks April! So sweet of her to share.) The pattern calls for the front flap to be pieced together, but I chose to cut out the flap in one piece from the denim and then just sew the leather on top. I wanted that look anyway, and I was afraid piecing the leather would end up with some wonky sewing.
  • I did not interface the outer pieces because the denim is such a heavy weight that I didn’t think it would need it.
  • I didn’t use the tuck catches for the front closure. Mainly because I didn’t have any on hand. It’s not essential that this bag has a front closure because of the inner zipper, but I would eventually like to add some sort of closure.

This was my first experience sewing with leather and it went fairly smoothly. Because so many of the pieces used batting and there were bulky seams, I used my walking foot for the entire construction (sans the zipper install) and I think that helped a ton. I just sewed very slowly and carefully and did not end up with any huge issues.denim messenger (3 of 6)

The lining fabric is an Amy Butler print I had on hand that I actually had set aside for something for the boys but it went so well with the denim that I sacrificed it for the cause. This bag is the perfect size for my husband’s laptop. (mine is shown because he was at work when I took pictures) It also has a padded inner pocket that’s a great size for a tablet. I really like all the pockets included in this bag pattern. You can never have too many pockets in my opinion!denim messenger (6 of 6)

A note about this pattern: It ends up with a really professional finished product, but you definitely put the time into it! This is not a quick sew. Before you even get to the sewing there’s a bajillion pattern pieces to cut out- it might rival the cargo duffle for most pattern pieces! However, if you are willing to put the time into it, you can end up with such a fun bag at the end that I totally think it is worth it. The instructions and diagrams are very helpful and made the process as pain-free as possible. Just queue up a good movie or tv series of choice and have a cutting and sewing marathon! (FYI If you like BBC shows, I just discovered Lark Rise to Candleford on Amazon Prime and am loving it! Made the cutting time fly by.)

denim messenger (2 of 6)I think this parcel is a great idea for any who are thinking of doing handmade gifts for Christmas. There’s options for both the guys and girls on your list! I think both the Betty Bowler and this Messenger Bag are good guy patterns.  Remember this is available as a bundle for 2 weeks and then it’s gone.

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

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6 thoughts on “Denim + Leather Messenger Bag

  1. Oh heavens Brooke!! This is amazing! I want your husband’s bag!

    I have noted all of your comments for modifications, this is definitely on my list to do. And I think it looks perfect without the closures as well. Really really great job!

  2. Holy moly, this bag looks so professional. I love it. I’m never letting Danny see it though. He’ll want me to make him one too!

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