Canvas Messenger Bag – 12″ W x 12″ H


Material Needed:

1 yd of 44 inch canvas fabric (or other heavyweight material)

1 large magnetic purse snap

2 – 1 ½ inch square rings for handle

1 – 1 ½ inch slide (for adjustable handle)

1 package of double wide folded bias tape


Front and Back (one long piece) – 16″ W x 36″ L

Pockets (cut 2) – 10″ W x 12″ L

Placket – 12″ W x 14″ L

Handle Tabs (2) – 4″ W x 6″ L

Handle – 4″ W x 36″ L

Bottom Reinforcement – 4″ L x 12″ W

Reinforcement for snap – 3″ x 3″


image1. Serge or zig zag all raw edges to prevent unraveling.

2. Turn under 2 inches at top and bottom of 36 inch piece of canvas to create top hem of purse. Sew ½ inch from raw edge.







3. Attach one side of magnetic snap to top of one pocket 1/2 inch from top.

4. Turn under 2 inches at top of both pockets. Sew ½ inch from raw edge.





5. Trim bottom corners of pockets – turn under sides and bottom and press.

6. Sew one pocket to inside of back of purse three inches down from top. Sew down one side, across bottom and up second side. Reinforce stitching at top of pocket by back stitching at the beginning and end. Sew a line down the middle of the pocket to create to two pockets


imageimageimage 7. Lay exterior pocket on front of purse. Determine placement, then attach second side of snap to front of bag (see instructions above). Sew reinforcement piece over back of snap inside purse.

8. Match snap and sew pocket to outside of front.






9. Trace small plate or lid to round two corners of placket. Cut corners.

10. Apply bias tape to three sides of placket. Put wider end of bias tape on the bottom and sew close to the edge of tape on the top. This insures that you catch both sides of the tape.

imageimage11. Fold under unfinished edge of placket, center on back of purse and sew one inch from top. Turn and sew close to top on other side.

12. Fold purse in half, aligning top edges and iron.



image13. Open, lay flat and center reinforcement material over bottom of purse. Sew both long edges of reinforcement material beginning one inch in from end and ending one inch from other end (leaving a three inch channel for stiffener).

14. Fold purse in half, right sides together aligning tops. Sew sides of purse – reinforce at top edges- press seams flat






15. Fold bottom corners matching center bottom to center of side seam and sew, creating a 3 inch bottom for purse – see illustration (fold reinforcement material out of the way before sewing corners).


16. Cut a piece of stiffener 12 inches long by 3 inches wide and slide into channel at bottom of purse. Insert corner tabs to hold stabilizer in place. Turn purse right side out.

imageimage17. Fold in long sides of straps and tabs ½ inch, then fold long sides into middle and sew both sides close to edges.

18. Slide rings over tabs, fold in half and center on side seams with bottom edge one inch from top of purse on inside. Sew tabs to purse then sew again close to top of purse.

IMG_058519. Slide handle through both rings and fold handle over top half of ring matching interior seam of handle. Sew ends then sew again ½ inch from first stitching..

20. If using slide to make adjustable handle, sew handle to one side of purse then thread through slide before threading through other ring. Tread back through center pole of slide, fold over and sew.