My new messenger bag is finally complete! I was so excited to test this bag pattern for Indiesew.com because it was just what I needed both functionally and also to get more practice on my “bag making” skills. My last bag, the Weekender, took many months to make and gave me many gray hairs during the process. (But it turned out to be totally worth it in the end. Remember?) And for those of you who have had the privilege of seeing me walk into work every day with my book bag on my back like a 12 year old science nerd, you will understand my need for a stylish, yet practical work bag. And now I have it!
What can I say. Leah Duncan has done it again. I have used fabric from her collections with Art Gallery Fabrics so many times, I think I should start to buy stock in her. Both the black floral for the outside (Central Park Fog) and the blue fabric used as the lining (Manhattan’s Dusk) are part of the Gramercy collection which was released last fall. I have been lusting over both those prints and found it the perfect twist of irony to use fabric that was named Central Park Fog and Manhattan’s Dusk for a bag pattern called the Midtown Messenger. It was mean to be! Add to that a little Marc Jacobs black suiting fabric (which added just the right amount of texture to an otherwise texture-less bag) and my New York City inspired bag was falling into place!
The only extra step I did to the fabric was to add an extra layer of interfacing to all of the pieces, even the suiting fabric. This is not mentioned in the instructions but I’ve learned this is good to do if using lighter weight cottons to make a bag. If you are stickler for a super stiff, super structured bag, you’ll want to do this or just choose upholstery fabrics when making your bag.
This pattern is very well written and easy to follow along. My only issue was trying to find the hardware for this bad boy. In the pattern directions Betz writes that you will need two 1 inch metal tuck catches. Well I searched far and wide for these “tuck catches” and even asked around to some fellow sewists that I know but to no avail. Turns out these are also known as “purse locks,” “tongue clasps,” or “thumb catches.” After I discovered that these were all one in the same, I was able to widen my search and found some nice antique brass and nickel thumb catches from the hardware elf. com.