Friday, May 19, 2017

MJ's Messenger Bag

Annie Unrein of byAnnie Patterns had several patterns to test recently, but I chose to test MJ's Messenger Bag. This is Annie's longest pattern to date. It took me 3 long days to cut and sew this bag together too! But the sewing is really not that difficult if you take it one step-at-a-time (although not a bag to tackle for a beginner). There are so many nice features to this bag and of course using Soft and Stable foam stabilizer (a byAnnie product) really gives this bag structure and the padding it needs to hold a laptop or other electronic device. The pattern comes with a small and a large version. I chose to make the large bag and it is a big bag.

Here is my MJ's Messenger Bag~
I had this fabric for several years. I bought it when I was in California visiting a childhood friend about 10 years ago! I knew it would make a nice bag, but no bag pattern seemed quilt right until I saw this messenger bag.

On the sides of the bag are pockets. I chose to use triangle rings instead of the D-rings because when you are using swivel hooks the D-rings (or square or rectangle rings) end up shifting because the hook wants to grab the ring in the corner. So round rings or these triangle rings work best with swivel hooks. I told this to Annie and I am not sure if she made another bag with the triangle rings yet. But for anyone wanting to use swivel hooks on any bag, you should get triangle rings or round rings and not use rings with corners.

Under the flap there is a zippered closure too. The zipper provides that extra security that nothing falls out of the bag if you have it sitting on the car seat for example.

Under the flap there are 3 pen pockets.

Inside the bag is a pocket with a tab that has a Velcro closure to keep your device cushioned and secure. Across from that pocket is a slip pocket. I made my slip pocket out of fabric. The instructions have you use a mesh pocket, but I didn't have a good color mesh that would work, so I chose to make a fabric pocket instead.

There is an adjustable strap with an additional padded shoulder pad and a carrying handle too. The flap stays in place with the 2 swivel hooks and rings, keeping this bag very secure.

I quilted the bag in wavy lines and then stitched a decorative wavy stitch across the dark blue pocket flap, the carry handle and the strap too. My signature zipper pull is on the zipper.

The back of the bag has a large pocket that you can divide in half if you want to. I thought this would be a nice place to hold a folder or papers, so instead of stitching a dividing line in the middle of the bag, I added a snap closure that can be unsnapped for adding large papers, and kept snapped for putting in smaller items.

Looking into the back pocket you can see the snap above.

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  1. Hi Daryl,
    Your bag is quite fantastic from the fabric choices to the finishing touches! I've never seen triangle hardware. You'll have to let all of us know where to purchase it!
    Pugs and kisses,

  2. I love your fabric and the quilting that you did on it. It actually looks very southwestern. And yes, as Nancy says - where did you source your triangle rings?

  3. wow, I think this might be the perfect bag. I love messenger bags because it feels so much better to have a bag go across my body. The little touches make it so usable as well. I love the big size and the stability of the bag as well. your fabric choice is so southwest and fun at first I thought it really was made out of a heavy woven fabric like an old rug. I know you'll get a lot of use out of it. enjoy and great job.


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