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While getting ready for back to school this year, I discovered that child-sized messenger bags are few and far between. Finding one that’;s made for boys is even harder. So this year, I decided to make a messenger bag that not only suits my child’;s interests (which is currently Pokemon Go), but is the perfect size for little ones to carry around (and?still holds plenty for school). Finished measurements are 10″; high x 12″; wide ?x 3″; deep and can easily hold two?1″; ring binders.

Seam allowances are 1/2″; unless otherwise noted.

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Attach fusible fleece to the wrong side of lining pieces. Center fusible interfacing to the wrong side of d-ring tabs and strap. Attach fusible interfacing to the lower half of pocket piece following manufacturers instructions.

Fold pocket in half with wrong side together and press. Topstitch 1/8″; away from folded edge.

Increase stitch length to the largest setting (5.0) and baste the?pocket to the right side of bag bottom, matching raw edges on sides and bottom. Fold pocket in half and stitch along fold line.

On lower edge of bag, remove 1 1/2″; square from both edges. Repeat for bag front.

Sew sides and bottom edge of bagfunny pillow cases, leaving notched edges free from stitching.

Open out bag, match side and bottom seams and stitch. Trim seams.

Turn bag right side out. Press, creating creases along bag sides and bottom.

Repeat steps above to create the lining.

Add magnetic snap 1 1/2″; from side and bottom edge of flap lining. Repeat for second snap.

With right sides together, sew flap and flap lining together, leaving top edge free from stitching. Clip corners, turn right side out and stitch 1/8″; away from finished edge.

With right sides together, baste?the flap to the exterior bag back, matching centers. The finished edges of the flap should line up with creases pressed earlier.

Create the d-ring tabs by folding the rectangle in half, lengthwise. Open out fold and bring raw edges to meet crease. Press and topstitch 1/8″; away on?each long edge.

Thread a d-ring through the tab and fold in half. Center the raw edges of tab along?side seam and baste in place. Repeat for the second d-ring\tab.

To attach the magnetic snaps to the bag front: Measure down 8″; from top edge and 1″; away from each creased side and mark. Before installing the snap, you can double check the placement by folding down the?flap. TIP: If your fabric is thin, it’;s a good idea to place a scrap piece of interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric in the area the snap will be placed to keep the material from stretching and\or tearing.

Place the bag inside the lining, right sides together. Match raw edges and seams. Sew around top edge, leaving a 4-6″; opening in the front of the bag for turning.

Turn bag right side out through opening and press. Topstitch along top edge of bag, making sure to keep the flap and d-ring tabs free from stitching.

Fold the strap in half, lengthwise. Open out fold and bring raw edges to meet crease. Press and stitch 1/8″; away on?each long edge.

Thread strap though one d-ring 1 1/2″;. Fold under the raw edge toward strap, creating a finished edge. Stitch close to edge. Stitch again 1/8″; away to secure.

Being careful not to twist the strap, thread strap through slider buckle, then through the d-ring, then back through the center bar?of the slider buckle. Fold the?raw edge of the strap over toward the bottom edge like the picture below, and sew close to edge. Stitch again 1/8″; away to secure.

Fill with school supplies and you’;re set for the new year!

By Ed Roux, author of a series on heirloom sewing techniques for WeAllSew and Through the Needle ONLINE magazine:

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