Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
Here is a Sling bag (aka. Messenger bag) I made for my three-year-old, four months ago. In Japan, this type of school bag is more commonly known as a Shorudā Baggu (ショルダーバッグ / Shoulder Bag), and it is used on days without his Bento (lunchbox).
Okay, without further ado, let me share with you how I DIY-ed the bag:
The main part of the bag was made up of: (A) 2 pieces of vehicle-patterned fabrics; (B) 2 pieces of polyester battings; and (C) 2 pieces of plain blue fabrics. All pieces measured 18 x 24 cm, with 1-cm seam allowances on all sides.
I wanted the bag to have round corners. So, I used my hubby’s saving coin can to achieve that.
After I cut the corners of the fabrics (i.e. A & C), I used zigzag seam to stop raw edges from fraying. Then, I “quilted” (B) to (C), and trimmed off the extra batting.
(D) is a Printable Cotton, which measured 15.5 x 24 cm, featuring an illustration I did for my son. I also created the name label. (Click here to know more). The Batting (E) & Patterned Fabric (F) both measures 14.5 x 24 cm.
In contrast to the main body, the pocket has only two sets of round corners. After I cut the lower corners of the fabrics (i.e. D & F), I used zigzag seam to stop raw edges from fraying. Then, I “quilted” (E) to (F), and trimmed off the extra batting.
I aligned the lower parts of the pockets. Folded the extra fabric of D over E+F. Machined the double-fold with matching thread. Sewed the rest of DEF together.
Then I attached the pocket & name label to the exterior front of the main body.
(G) 2 pieces of 9 x 32 cm patterned fabrics, where the 30-cm zipper would be attached to.
(H) A bottom piece that measured 18 x 42 cm.
Then, I folded all the fabric pieces according to the folding line.
To help me to sew closely to the zipper, I used double-sided tapes (meant for fabric) to hold it in place while machine-stitched with a zipper foot (Kawaguchi brand). I also sewed the zipper on the wrong side to secure it further.
(G) Finished attaching the zipper to the two pieces.
(H) was folded in half.
(I) Steps to attach the two D-rings (3 cm).
1. I cut a 8 x 14 cm blue fabric. Folded it into half.
2. Folded the two sides 1 cm inwards, and sewed a 0.5 cm seam over to close them.
3. Cut the fabric stripe half.
4. Inserted a fabric stripe into one D-ring.
5. Sew closely to the D-ring.
Repeat step 4 & 5 for second D-ring set.
6. This is how I placed one of the D-ring set on top of both (G) & (H). Once again, I used double-side tapes (meant for fabric) here.
7. It was too thick to machine stitch the layers (i.e. D-ring stripe +G +H), so I had to hand-sew with the help of a thimble.
8. Here is how it looked on the right side.
9. I repeated the steps with my mighty needle and thimble.
10 & 11. This part of the bag’s DONE!
Next, I joined the top parts of main body to the Zipper D-ring set.
IMPORTANT: Unzip slightly from this point onwards.
Working with the bag inside out, I hand-sewed the rest of the edges together (i.e. main body with the Zipper + D-ring set). Then I neaten the edges with a 20mm cotton tape before inverting the bag back to its exterior.
(J) I used a 3 cm wide, 110 cm long navy blue cotton webbing tapes to make the adjustable shoulder strap. And the picture below will show how I threaded the strap through the D-rings and Bar Slide Buckle.
Okay, it’s done! And I can tell that my son loves it ^_^Y