Mark Rutley writes:
Seeing as how it’s close to Earth Day, I thought I’d send in some pics of the green messenger bag I made for my wife. The bag measures 14″ wide, but 13″ tall, by about 4″ deep. It’s made from 95% reused material. The 5% non-reused material was from some scrap webbing, the thread, and a few leftover hardware pieces I had laying around from a previous project. At any rate, no new material was purchased to make this bag. The green outer layer was made from a military duffel bag that had torn irreparably along one of the seams. The inner liner was made from some used canvas fabric I found in a local thrift store. The edging came from various other military kit bags I had been issued over the years but never used (and having torn those bags apart stitch by stitch I now have extra material to make a few more). The outer material has a water-resistant vinyl layer on the “wrong” side so the bag provides some protection from the elements. The bag’s history is betrayed by the fact that the outer layer has my name and service number written in black marker on it from when the bag was a duffel. What’s more, it was created absolutely electricity free – having been sewn on our 1915 treadle-powered singer sewing machine.
Its got a large cargo pocket on the back wall for her laptop, with a velcro flap closure at the top. The laptop is protected from bumps by sandwiching a piece of scrap foam between the inner and outer layers in the back wall. On the front inner wall of the bag are two large pouch pockets for everyday objects. All that’s left to do is sew some fastex clips and straps on the front so she can keep the lid closed. She’s had the bag for a month now, and it’s standing up to the daily use very well. Which is surprising because its the first-ever “large” sewing project I’ve ever done (as you can see in the wonderfully neat stitching I job). There was no official “pattern” – I had an idea of what I wanted the bag to be like. To gain an understanding of messenger bag construction techniques (and desirable features) I did a little online research of other people’s bags. I then measured out the various pieces, and just started sewing.
My wife loves it and uses it everyday, and I fully enjoyed making it.