Tartan Messenger Bag

Tartan Messenger Bag 

Finished Tartan Messenger Bag, Tartan Messenger Bag
Finished Tartan Messenger Bag

I love to make bags of all kinds but I thought I would make a unisex messenger bag that would make a great gift for any male or female depending on your fabric choice.  I chose a nice blue and gold tartan remnant that I had in my remnant stockpile that I matched with a solid blue remnant from the stockpile as well.  I was really pleased with how this tartan messenger bag came out so I thought to make a tutorial for you all to follow.  It is super easy to make but there is one specialty item in this bag that you could replace with a magnetic snap or even Velcro if you wanted and that is a purse clasp turn lock.   So here it is, my Tartan Messenger Bag Tutorial.  You can either buy this at my shop or make it yourself.  It’s up to you.  This post contains affiliate links that if you click on them and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

What you will Need: Tartan Messenger Bag

  • PatternPiece 1
  • Pattern Piece 2
  • 3/4 yd of tartan fabric for the front of the bag
  • 3/4 yd of solid colored fabric for the back and the flap
  • 1 yd lining fabric
  • 1 yd Fusible fleece
  • 1 1/2 yd medium weight interfacing like Pellon 808
  • 1 12″ zipper
  • 2 1/2″ D Rings
  • 1 3/4 yd belting or Shoulder Length Purse Strap or make your own strap
  • 2 1″ swivel hooks if using belting or making your own strap
  • 1 purse clasp turn lock

Step 1: Tartan Messenger Bag

Cut the following pieces:

  • Front:  20″ x 15″ rectangle of tartan/plaid, interfacing, and fleece
  • Back with flap: Pattern made from a 20″ x 15″ rectangle and the included large arch taped together from solid fabric, interfacing and fleece. The pattern piece is only half the arch so you will need to place it on the fold.
  • Front Zippered Pocket: 11″ x 15″ rectangle of the tartan fabric and interfacing
  • Interior slip pocket: two 11″ x 6 1/2″ rectangles
  • Tabs two 3″ x 4 1/2″ rectangle from tartan
  • Lining Front: 20″ x 15″ rectangle of lining fabric
  • Lining Back with flap: Use the Pattern made from a 20″ x 15″ rectangle and the included large arch taped together

Step 2: Tartan Messenger Bag

Tape the two pattern pieces together where the diamond comes together.  This piece will serve as the back of the bag.  Place the long straight side on the fold when cutting.  Fuse the interfacing to all pieces calling for interfacing.  Then fuse the fleece on top of the interfacing for the front and back.

Step 3: Tartan Messenger Bag

Create the front zippered pocket using the method in my adding a zippered pocket tutorial.  For my pocket I measured 2 1/2″ from the top down and 4 3/4″ in from both edges to place my exterior interfaced pocket piece.  I pinned the piece to the front tartan piece.  I then measured 1″ down from the top of the pocket piece and 1 ” in from both sides and drew a rectangle 9″ x 5/8″ to accommodate my 12″ zipper.

Add Zipper Pocket to Outside Front of Messenger Bag, Tartan Messenger Bag
Add Zipper Pocket to Outside Front of Messenger Bag
Outside Zipper, Tartan Messenger Bag
Outside Zipper







Step 4: Tartan Messenger Bag

On the bottom of both the front and back pieces cut a 3″ square from the corners so that you can box the bottoms of the bag.  Sew the two tabs lengthwise to make a 1″ x 4 1/2″ tab. Place a 1/2″ D-Ring through the tab and place the tab with the D-Ring facing inside and sew the front to the back with right sides together at the side seams and at the bottom.

Tabs with D-Rings, Tartan Messenger Bag
Tabs with D-Rings
Place Tabs 1 Inch from Top of Tartan Piece, Tartan Messenger Bag
Place Tabs 1 Inch from Top of Tartan Piece








Step 5: Tartan Messenger Bag

Box the corners by matching the side seams with the bottom seams and sewing across the corners using your presser foot as your guide.  Turn the bag right side out.

Box the Bottom Corners, Tartan Messenger Bag
Box the Bottom Corners

Step 6: Tartan Messenger Bag

Take the two 11″x 61/2″ rectangles and sew them together leaving an opening at the bottom for turning.  Clip the corners and turn right side out.  I like to top stitch the top of my slip pockets for a more professional finish.  This time I took an additional piece of the tartan fabric and pressed the raw edges inward and sewed that over the top edge for a coordinated look.

Attach Slip Pocket, Tartan Messenger Bag
Attach Slip Pocket

Step 7: Tartan Messenger Bag

Attach the slip pocket to the back part of the lining.  I measured 8″ up from the bottom and 5 3/4 in from the edges and sewed around the three edges to attach my slip pocket to the lining.  Sew the lining front and back the same way you sewed the outer bag and boxing the bottoms. Remember to leave an opening in the lining bottom for turning.

Step 8: Tartan Messenger Bag

Place the right side of outer bag into the right side of the lining matching the side seams.  Sew all the way around the top of the bag including the flap.

Step 9: Tartan Messenger Bag

Turn the bag right side out.  Add the purse clasp turn lock.  I added the turn part of the two piece clasp to the center top of the outer body of the bag 6″ from the top and 10″ in from each side.  I added the hole part of the two pieces to the flap 1 1/4″ from the bottom of the curve and centered.

If you have never added a purse clasp turn lock, here is how to do it.  The turn clasp lock comes in two pieces; the turn mechanism and the hole.  The turn mechanism installs exactly the same way a magnetic snap installs.

Turn Mechanism: Purse Clasp Turn Lock

First measure your location.  Use the back grommet as the template for your slits.  Use a seam ripper or small scissors to cut the slits.  Put the legs of the turn mechanism through the slits.  I always add a small piece of heavy weight interfacing here because the mechanism gets a lot of use. Then add the grommet and pull down the legs to secure.  You have now added the turn mechanism.

Making the Hole: Purse Clasp Turn Lock

In order to add the hole that the turn mechanism goes through to lock, take the lock apart.  there are two sides that are held together with small screws.  I used an eyeglass kit screwdriver to unscrew the screws.  Draw around the inner part of the widest side of the hole onto the flap. Cut out the circle through all layers so that there is a hole.  Cut two small semi circles at the top and bottom of each hole for the screws.  Place the flap between each half of the hole piece and screw in the screws.  This completes the hole part of the clasp turn lock.

Insert the turn mechanism into the hole and turn and the lock is secured.

Step 10: Tartan Messenger Bag

Thoroughly press the bag.  Top stitch all around the top of the bag and flap for a finished look and stitch the opening in the lining closed.  Add the strap and you are finished.

Finished Tartan Messenger Bag, Tartan Messenger Bag
Finished Tartan Messenger Bag

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