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Messenger Bag from Cargo Pants

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Want to make one of these?


From a pair of these?


Materials:

1 pair cargo pants (from the going to Goodwill pile of course)
1/2 yard lining material
bias tape (store bought or make your own)
thread
{1/4″ seam allowances throughout}

Getting started…

Take your pair of cargo pants and cut the inseam of each leg of the pants up to the crotch area.  Cut straight across the leg of the pants in either direction.  This should give you enough fabric to work with, you’ll have two large pieces to cut your exterior bag pieces from.

Cut the bag exterior pieces:


  • ront flap (this is where the cargo pocket comes in handy – cool pockets you don’t have to sew!) 10″ wide x 13″ tall, round the corners by tracing the edge of a small bowl (or roll of tape in my case)
  • front and back of bag 10.5″wide by 11.5″ tall
  • side gusset (cut 2) 12″ x 2.5″
  • bottom gusset 11″ x 2.5″
  • strap 44-52″ long by 2.5″ wide (leaving this measurement up to you on the length, whatever you feel comfortable with)  I ended up piecing my strap together because I didn’t end up with a piece long enough.
Cut the same size pieces from the lining material.  I used a fat quarter to make the bias tape and part of the lining (gusset) on my tan cargo pant bag.


Make the strap
by placing the long pieces right sides together, sew down each side.  Turn tube of fabric right side out with a safety pin.  Press.  Topstitch down both sides about an 1/8″ from each side.  Set strap aside.


Now make the front flap. Put the exterior flap piece and lining flap piece WRONG sides together. Take the bias tape and attach it along the sides and bottom of the flap. Set aside.



Assembling the lining: Take gusset pieces (2 sides and a bottom) and sew the short ends together.  Sew one side piece to the bottom piece and then the remaining side piece to the other side of the bottom piece.  Sorry, I guess a picture is worth 1,000 words here.


Lay your connected gusset pieces right sides together on top of the front of the bag piece, pin, sew.  The tricky part is the corners.  Stitch down the right side until you get about 1/4″ from the bottom of the bag, lift your presser foot and tuck the gusset fabric to the left side, then turn the fabric 90 degrees and continue stitching the bottom part of the bag.
Lay the back of the bag down and set the front/gusset piece on top, pin in place.  Stitch the gusset to the back of the bag just like you did to the front.

Make the exterior just like you did the lining of the bag.


Assembling the bag:  Turn the exterior of the bag right side out.  Place the exterior of the bag into the lining so that they are facing RIGHT sides together.  Place the strap with RIGHT sides facing the exterior {making sure not to get the strap twisted} onto each side of the gusset.  And finally, place the front flap RIGHT sides together with the exterior of the bag.  Pin all in place.


Stitch all around the opening leaving a 5-6″ opening for turning.  Pull bag through the opening.  Push lining into bag exterior, press around the top edge making sure to tuck in the raw edged from the opening.


Topstitch around the entire opening of the bag.  You’re done!  Now stick some books and your wallet in the bag and you’re ready to go!

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