1-Yard Magic Messenger Bag: free Sewing pattern


Learn how to sew an easy messenger bag with just one yard of fabric. This easy messenger bag sewing pattern is perfect for a beginner learning how to sew, or someone who just wants to make a a fast and easy bag!

I know you all want to get right to the Messenger Bag tutorial and I don’t want to waste any more time, but I do need to say again that I will simply be sharing with you my interpretation of the 1 Yard Magic patterns from Lecien. And I actually came up with 2 interpretations. This interpretation gave me 1 big bag.

My second interpretation gave me 2 just as wonderful smaller bags.

Click this image to download a PDF of this pattern.

Lecien Fabrics gave me permission to share with you their 1 Yard Magic mini-patterns and is allowing me to interpret them in more detail (like specific cutting dimensions). For this project I used their gorgeous Oxford-weight fabrics.

Lecien’s 100% cotton Oxford fabric is heavier than quilting cotton. It is comparable to cotton sateen or home decor weight cotton. That’s what makes these bags so nice even though they are very simple. The fabric is only 42” wide, so if you are using 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.

Take note: The name Lecien comes from the French language. ‘Maison’ is French for ‘house.’ The fabric collection is called Flower Sugar Maison, and it features charming household objects, including mason jars. So clever!

This free sewing tutorial includes my first interpretation: 1 big bag from a yard of Flower Sugar Maison Oxford fabric.

I have already shared my second interpretation: 2 smaller bags. Make sure you see how to make these two bags from 1 yard of fabric!

This easy, easy, easy messenger bag just folds over to close. Did I mention it’s easy? Like perfect for your first sewing project ever. Or when you are tired of your purse and you want a new one in 20 minutes.

1 Yard Magic Messenger Bag Pattern for 1 Bag…

Finished dimensions: approximately 17” wide x 13” 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 that reflect my finished bag… not what I started out with.  I started out cutting all 36” tall pieces. My bag was way too tall, and that got me thinking that I could make 2 bags by interpreting the pattern another way… but that’s for the next post.


  • 2 strips 3” x 36”

  • 2 rectangles 18” x 24”

Sew the strap:

1. Pin the two strap pieces right sides together.

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

Sew the Bag Body:

1. Pin the two bag rectangles right sides together. Stitch around the long edges and one short end.

2. The inside of the bag isn’t lined, so finish the seam with a zigzag stitch or serger if desired. You could also use a French seam if you don’t want any raw edges. Learn more about how to sew a French seam.

3. Fold, press, and stitch a hem at the top of the bag. I sewed a 1” hem on mine.

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 4” 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.

Attach the Strap:

1. Press the side seam flat, then measure and make a mark 8” from the top edge. (it’s hard to see my mark in this picture)

2. Pin one end of the strap with the raw edge folded under, just covering the mark that you made 8” 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 one 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 there’s your adorable new bag! Thank you Lecien Fabrics!

Click here to see my 2nd interpretation of this same mini-pattern: 2 messenger bag totes from 1 yard of fabric. 🙂

Happy sewing!

p.s. This free pattern is included in my Ultimate List of Fast and Easy Tote Bags to Sew and Fast & Easy Cross Body Bag Patterns. Check them out!

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. 🙂