1 Yard Magic Messenger Bag Tutorial: Makes 2 Bags!

Sew a simple bag that folds over to close. This easy messenger bag tutorial is perfect for your first sewing project, or for someone who wants to make a new bag in under 20 minutes. Did I mention it’s easy?

Lecien Fabrics has given me permission to share with you their fun new 1 Yard Magic patterns! This easy Messenger Bag Pattern is the first one that I’m sharing and sewing up with new Flower Sugar Maison Oxford fabrics. You won’t believe how beautiful they are!

My job is to ‘interpret’ the pattern above, and this blog post is really ‘part 2’ because the first time I stitched up the pattern I made only 1 messenger bag. It turned out awesome, but I had to cut off about 12” from the top to make it look like the bag in the picture. So that got me thinking… what if I cut it out the same way, but sewed 2 bags from the same pieces?

Voila! 2 messenger bags from (almost) the same instructions! I did have to cut extra strap pieces so I could sew 2 straps instead of 1. But I still only used 1 yard of fabric. In fact, I used exactly 1 yard with no waste at all!

These fabrics I used are not quilting-weight cotton. Lecien’s 100% cotton Oxford fabric is heavier, like cotton sateen or home decor-weight cotton. That makes these projects so nice even though they are very simple. The fabric is only 42” wide, so if you use a wider fabric you will have some left over.

You could still make these bags with quilting-weight fabric, but your bag will be less sturdy.

1 Yard Magic Messenger Bag Mini-Pattern for 2 Bags…

Finished dimensions: approximately 15” wide x 10” tall, not including the 2” wide strap.

So first I conquered this part of the diagram, cutting! I’m going to give you cutting dimensions for making 2 bags… you’ll cut 2 more strap pieces than the diagram shows. 


  • 4 strips 2 1/2” x 36”
  • 2 rectangles 16” x 36”

Just so you know, this darling Flower Sugar Maison fabric has 5″ red stripe portions on the sides… that’s how I got striped straps and a floral bag body from the same piece. 🙂

Sew the straps:

1. Pin two strap pieces right sides together.

2. Stitch along both long edges with a 1/4” seam allowance.

3. Turn the strap right side out and press.

4. Topstitch along both long edges about 1/8” from the edge.

5. Press the ends of the strap over about 1 3/4”. Set the strap aside.

Repeat for the other strap.

Sew the Bag Body:

1. Fold a bag rectangle in half, right sides together. Pin and stitch the sides with a 1/2” seam allowance.

2. The inside of the bag isn’t lined, so finish the seams with a zigzag stitch or serger if desired.

Repeat for the other bag.

3. Fold and press the top bag edges to the inside twice and stitch a hem. My hem is 1/2” wide.

4. Box the corners: flatten each corner by lining up a side seam with the bottom seam (feel this with your fingers). Move a ruler up and down until you can draw a line across the corner that is 3” long.

5. Stitch across the line. Make sure you backstitch!

6. Trim the corner away 1/2” past the stitching. Finish the raw edges as desired.

Repeat for all of the corners.

Attach the Straps:

1. Press the side seam flat, then measure and make a mark 7” from the top edge. 

2. Pin one end of the strap with the raw edge folded under, just covering the mark that you made 7” from the hemmed edge.

3. Sew a rectangle that is 2” tall (to enclose the folded under part of the strap) and follows the topstitching on the strap. Then sew an ‘X’ in the center of the rectangle. Backstitch neatly.

Lecien’s messenger bag has a cute little label on it, so I made some too by cutting the mason jar labels from my leftover fabric and using the technique that I shared in my ‘Applique from Novelty Fabrics’ tutorial.’ 

And now you have two adorable messenger bags! Thank you Lecien Fabrics! See the way that I interpreted this tutorial the first time I stitched it up here.

This won’t me the last 1 Yard Magic pattern that I get to share with you. Stay tuned for another one in about a month!

Happy sewing!

Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂