Pamela’s back this week with a great bag add-on feature for those of you that travel as much as she does! – Betz

Well before I was part of Betz’s Sewing Collective, I mentioned on my blog  that I would like to make Betz’s Midtown Messenger Bag … well, I finally made it and here it is:


Midtown Messenger Betz White


I made this bag for my fun, crazy, dog-lover, veterinarian sister using a tan canvas with black dog silhouettes for the main fabric, an amazing faux leather (vet sister wouldn’t want real leather) for accent fabric, and a bright red cotton for the lining – just for fun :).

The Midtown Messenger bag is a messenger bag with a front flap that closes with tuck catches:


Midtown Messenger Bag betz white


The tuck clips I choose are a little bigger than the one Betz says to get in the pattern, but I wanted the bag to also have a slightly retro feeling and the bigger tuck catches fit that look better. I also made the faux leather straps on the front flap slightly wider to accommodate for the larger tuck clips.

The bag also has two roomy pockets in the front when the bag is opened:


Midtown Messenger pockets Betz White


And it has a recessed zipper closure inside:


Midtown Messenger Bag betz white


I did make one addition to the back of the bag. Originally the back of the bag had a nice big roomy pocket, but I wanted to be able toothache the bag to a suitcase like this:


Midtown Messenger to go - Betz White


To do this I decided I would want to cut the Back Bag piece into three. Therefore BEFORE cutting out this pattern piece, I first added enough to the width so that I could account for the additional seam allowances when sewing it back together. Therefore, I cut so that the outside two bands are 3.5″ and the inside one is 8.5″. Later when sewn together, the total width is the same as the original Back Bag pattern piece.


Midtown Messenger mod


I cut a piece of the foam (I also used a thin foam for the batting of the bag) 4″ high x 8.5″ wide and a piece of fabric that was 8.5″ high and 8.5 wide to go around the foam to make the luggage band.

Then I folded the fabric in half and sewed with 1/4″ seam allowance across. Turned right side out. And inserted the foam inside the little sleeve (the seam won’t be visible later as it is on the inside of the luggage band)


MM Photo 8


Then you should top stitch across the luggage band 1/8″ from top and bottom (I forgot to do this and had to try to do it after I did the next step – it worked out OK but my stitching isn’t as perfect as it is everywhere else on the entire bag! That is what I get for getting excited to finish and rushing!)

Then I placed the luggage band on middle fabric piece 2 1/4″ down from the top edge of fabric. And I placed one side band on top and sewed down with a 1/4″ seam allowance. And repeated for the other side.

MM Photo 9


I top stitched down on both sides of the seams 1/8″ from the seam. And I added the bottom accent fabric to the Back Bag piece.


MM Photo 10


See how the handles just fit perfectly through the luggage band?


MM Photo 11


Just so practical when traveling to be able to attach your bag to your luggage! Of course when not on top of luggage, the bag looks so cool hanging from your shoulder


Midtown Messenger Bag betz white


Or it can be held by handle too:


Midtown Messenger Bag - betz white


The Midtown Messenger definitely is a very cool bag that I absolutely love and hope my sister does too! (pattern available here!)


[image_options image_id=”14427″ align=”none” overlay=”file”]BetzWhite-collective-Pamela[/image_options] 

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This post is part of the Betz White Sewing Collective series. Content is written by compensated contributors expressing their own views and opinions.