I thought I'd create a messenger bag. There are a number of tutorials, including a great one on OCD: Obsissive Crafting Disorder.
I made a messenger bag last year and liked it because I could throw a lot of things in it like my knitting, papers and a laptop. I ended up using it as a purse and found myself always digging through it. I also found that the flap was a constant irritant. So I went through my patterns and saw this pattern for Simplicity 2168.
Bag "B" intrigued me. I felt it had a messenger bag feel. There are two strap locations so it could be used as a long, rectangular bag or a smaller bag with a fold down top. There are no zippers, buttons or anything to get in the way of easily getting out my wallet.
I think I took photos of the coat-cutting process but I can no longer find them. There isn't a science to it, really. I mainly cut the coat apart to create the largest pieces. If there was a seam, I kept it. In addition, I pieced a number of pieces together to create pieces large enough for the pattern.
The pattern was not difficult to follow. However, I added a lot of extras so it took me extra time (ripping and resewing, of course!)
The pattern calls for one large pocket on the outside. I added a small pocket on the outside for my cell phone, which I can never manage to reach before the call ends. I edged the pocket and the top of the bag with a fun Simplicity trim of black and white stripes.
On the inside, I used some leftover fabric from Contemporary Cloth. I added a bunch of pockets. A pleated one for my wallet, small ones for my small stuff. After sewing on some of the pockets I removed them because I realized that I should not have a pocket where the bag is going to fold over. So I lowered all the pockets and kept one small one at the top for when I use the bag that way.
It took two engineers to figure out how to make the adjustable strap. I made it very long so that it could be work cross-body like a messenger or small, as a purse. Don't try to turn a tube inside out that is this narrow and make out of wool!
This was a challenging, but fun project. I learned some great ideas about purse construction and I salvaged the wool to make a durable bag.