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A few weeks back my brother sent me a link on how to make a messenger bag. I checked it out and decided to try to make one. I used one of the patterns from the site but added a few things that I thought would work better. All materials were graciously donated from several areas of my work. ;)
Black nylon cloth, gray tarp material, and padding.

Materials used

I then measured out the dimensions I needed and cut out all the pieces.

Measurements

cut pieces

I made this bag from one piece of material not counting the liner and padding used. I would suggest to make your bag from a couple of smaller pieces and puzzle them together. It was difficult to maneuver one big piece in and around the sewing machine.

sewing together

Here is what the bag looked like once everything was sewn together.

bag

After looking at how plain this bag looked, I decided to put some pockets underneath the cover flap. This procedure should have been done prior to puzzling the bag together. It would save you so much time and effort if you plan out exactly how you want your bag to look like. Something I figured out after the fact.

pockets

The last thing I worked on was the shoulder strap. I wanted to have an interchangeable from a right hand to a left hand user bag. This process is what took the longest. The shoulder strap is what I’m proud of the most. Materials used were scrap black nylon cloth, padding, metal buckles, plastic quick release, and a nylon belt.

shoulder strap materials

Here is the finished product.

shoulder strap

front of bag

Interchangeable shoulder strap with optional waist band.

right hand
left hand
back