flutterbye messenger bag tutorial

So, here it is! A little late (sorry, took longer than I though!) but, still, here. Next blog post will be on Saturday.

So, first up- what do you need to make it? Well, I used a gorgeous patterned material, Globaltex’s “Butterfly Stripe”, which looks like this:

I used this for the outside of the bag. You can use any fabric for this, but I loved the butterflies. I used some plain pink and cream I had lying around for the lining. I hand sew this- as I do everything, as I currently have no sewing machine- but you can use a machine to do this.

For outer bag:
4x 8 inch by 12 inch outer fabric rectangles
1x 7 inch by 12 inch inner fabric rectangle
3x 4 inch by 12 inch outer fabric rectangles
2x 4 inch by 8 inch outer fabric rectangles
1x 11 inch zip
Velcro (about 2 inches)
1x LONG piece of fabric for the strap, bias binding or whatever you want to use for the strap.
For side pocket:
1x 5 inch by 6 inch outer fabric rectangle
1x 5 inch by 5 inch inner fabric square
For lining:
3x 8 inch by 12 inch inner lining fabric rectangles
3x 4 inch by 12 inch lining fabric rectangles
2x 4 inch by 8 inch lining fabric rectangles

If you don’t want to add a zip, take away one outer and one lining 4×12 piece of fabric.


Start by adding interfacing to your outer fabric. I use the stuff they sell in Dunelm Mill for under £3 a sq. metre. It’s not very firm but it works fine for this project. Interfacing really makes a big difference- I’ll do a post soon! All seam allowances are 1/4 inch.

Then make the front slip pocket. Take one of the larger outer pieces and the 7×12 lining fabric. Fold the top of the outer fabric over by about 3/4 of an inch, line the lining fabric up with the uncreased side, and fold the outer fabric over again by about half an inch. Pin and running stitch.


If you decide to add a side pocket, listen to this step. If not, skip down. So the same as you did with the front slip pocket with the 5×6 and 5×5 fabric pieces. Add a dart at the bottom and pin it to one of the 4×8 outer pieces.


Now comes the putting-it-together part.

Line the thin pieces together- 4×8, 4×12, 4×8 Stitch the three pieces short-edge together so you have one long piece of fabric. Press the seams. Add the back piece, and then pin the front slip pocket in place and sew the front on.


Make your strap. I use one long piece of the spotty material from the Butterfly Stripe material, and put it through my 2 inch bias binding tape maker, fold it over and sew along the open edge. I fasten it at either side of the bag with a box and then a cross, and there you have your strap.


Make the lid-flap. Sew one 4×12 lining to one 8×12 lining, long sides together. Do the same with the outer fabric, and then sew along three sides and turn inside out to make the flap. Pin this to the edge of the back of the outer bag.


Make the lining of the bag, repeating the steps you took to make the outer bag- BUT REMEMBER TO LEAVE A HOLE! You’ll need to turn it the right way out when you’re done.

If you want to insert a zip here, you have to cut the remaining 4×12 outer and lining pieces to fit your zip, as shown here:



Stitch the outer side of the zip piece to the outer fabric, then the inner to the inner.


Turn inside out and sew up the hole. Add the velcro to the underside of the flap and the front- at the bottom of the slip pocket.

You have your butterfly bag! Add buttons for decoration- I always put a heart on the front flap and a round pink button on each of the straps.

SAM_0548Of course, if you don’t feel like making your own you can always order one from me! Now on sale here.


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