June 20, 2011

Patchwork Messenger Bag

When I started sewing, one my first projects was the Patchwork Messenger Bag by Ali Foster. My sister (MC) loves messenger bags and I thought I'd make her one for her birthday! She helped me pick out the fabric and away we went. At the time, it was hard! Deffinitly the toughest thing I'd ever made. There were so many layers and things to think about. It was also my introduction to quilting techniques. In the end, I made it twice b/c I sewed the flap on backwards and the fabric we chose for the flap outside was her favorite (it wouldn't do to have it on the inside!). There were lots of mistakes and I decided to just chuck it and start over. The second attempt went much more smoothly, but it was still diffucult.

MC is a professional flute player and she's worked with the same teacher for years. Her teacher loved MC's bag and often commented on how she's love to have one. MC asked me to make one for her so we chose the fabrics and away I went. A year later, I sailed through this pattern! It was really awesome to see how much I've grown and how much more skill I have now. I remember telling MC when I gave her the first purse "if I can make this, I can make anything!". And it really was true-- that project was the confidence booster I needed to get out there and try it. I mean, what was the worst that could happen? I'd already failed and survived.

I really hope MC's teacher likes her new bag. It was a great collaboration with MC!

I love the purples and patterns MC chose! I especially love how the diamonds tie the purples and greens together!

The green from the strap goes all the way around the edges and bottom of the bag, giving it a really pulled together look.
The back is so pretty! I can't choose a favorite fabric in this bag!

I added a zippered pocket to the bag for little things that could get lost in the bottom of the bag (don't you hate it when that happens!?)

What was the hardest thing you've ever tried? Did it get easier with time?


  1. Oh wow - I LOVE that bag! Way cool!

    For me, I can definitely say that writing children's curriculum has been the most challenging thing that I do think is getting easier... I LOVE the challenge for sure!

  2. My teacher LOVED the bag! She immediately took everything from the purse she was using and put it in her new bag. We sat on the floor of her studio talking and she commented that she just wanted to keep holding it in her lap all day! Thanks sis! MC

  3. Good for you! The bag looks awesome :) The more you sew, the better you will get!! It just takes time, patience, and willingness to learn from mistakes (I've done plenty of that!).