Leather messenger bags hold worlds of potential for users. Water proof, able to support heavy loads and comfortable for the wearer, these bags make excellent alternatives to handbags and back packs. Whether driven by frugality or the desire to create your own one of a kind master piece, making a leather messenger bag is easier than you might think.
Making a Leather Messenger Bag
Purchase your leather pieces. Leather can be found in larger fabric stores, at feed stores and in stores where horse tack is sold. Check online retailers and hobby shops for additional options or local contacts. Review your options, and choose the type, color and condition you like best.
Cut your leather into the basic pieces of the messenger bag with a very sharp and clean razor. Cut one flap , 2 pieces that will become the front and back from both the leather and the lining fabric, one gusset for the bottom of the bag, and one long strap. When cutting the strap piece, longer is better than shorter. You can always go back and remove any excess leather. Take care to cut straight, even lines. If necessary, use a straight edge.
With a strip of seam tape, tape one edge of the gusset to the front piece. With your heavy duty thread, sew the gusset to the front piece. Repeat this step with the back piece. The gusset forms the bottom to allow more storage space. Once sewn together, the gusset and front and back pieces form the body of the messenger bag.
Attach the front and back pieces of the leather right sides together with seam tape on the side edges. Sew these sides together, and turn the bag right side out. Take care to make sure the leather sits smoothly. Do not stretch the leather.
Attach the flap to the top of the back piece of the bag. With seam tape, secure the flap to the top, right sides together and stitch it into place. Attach your closures to the flap.
Make your strap. Double the leather over, wrong sides together, securing them with seam tape. Stitch the pieces together. Trim the seams to be as straight as possible, and cut any excess length from the strap. Pin the strap to the sides and sew. Trim the excess thread.
Add pockets and compartments. Cut front and pack pieces from lining fabric, place them right sides together and pin. Sew the side and bottom seams, leaving the top open. Hem the top edge. Attach the pockets to the lining of the messenger bag.
Insert the lining. Pin and sew the lining together, as you did for the outer shell of the bag. Hem the top edge. Stitch the top edge of the lining to the top edge of the leather shell, and trim away any excess thread. Using a binding stitch over the top edge of the leather to finish off the bag.