The Mesmerizing Messenger Bag was a very special request – from my 11 year old daughter Riley! My kids inspire many of my designs, but the credit for this free crochet pattern really does go to Ri! After seeing the Leaping Stripes and Blocks Blankets I made for her new cousins, she promptly declared that she wanted a crochet messenger bag using the same stitch pattern. So we took a trip to the store, where she picked out the yarn and all the details. And now our collaboration is ready to share!
The Mesmerizing Messenger Bag looks great, but it’s also very functional. It’s big enough to hold a binder 3 inches wide – nice and roomy! It’s also completely lined with fluffy fleece, so it’s padded to protect your precious cargo. Don’t balk – the fleece lining is super easy to make, and I’ve included all the steps below. Add the optional strap adjuster and it’s the perfect crochet bag pattern for tweens to adults!
Mesmerizing Messenger Bag
- US – H, 5.0mm hook
- 750 yds worsted/aran weight yarn, 250 yds each of 3 colors (Red Heart Soft in Teal, Dark Leaf, and Berry shown)
- 47″ by 17.5″ fabric for lining – fleece or other non-raveling fabric preferred
- 2 yds 1″ wide polyester/nylon strap/webbing, or strap of your choice
- 2″ button
- crochet thread, size 5 or 10
- sewing thread
- sharp tapestry/yarn needle
- strap adjuster (optional)
- stitch markers
- Video tutorial for the crochet stitch pattern HERE
Instructions for the Front Piece: (Finished measurement: 13.5″ wide x 12″ long)
Row 1: With Color A, ch 50. Dc in the 4th ch from hook, then dc in the next ch. *Ch 2, skip 2 ch, dc in next 2 ch. Repeat from * until last ch remains, dc in the last ch. Turn. (48 sts and ch)
Row 2: Ch 1 and sc in the 1st st. Ch 2, skip next 2 sts. *Working over the chains and into the unworked foundation chains below, dc in each of the next two foundation chs. (The chains from Row 1 are enclosed within these dc sts.) Ch 2, skip the next 2 sts. Repeat from * until last st remains. Sc in the last st (top of ch 3), finishing the st with Color B. Drop first color to carry along the side. Turn. (48 sts and ch)
Row 3: Continuing with Color B, ch 1 and sc in the 1st st. *Working over the chains and into the top of the sts from two rows previous, dc in each of the next two sts.** Ch 2, skip the next 2 sts. Repeat from * across, ending last repeat at ** with last st remaining. Sc in the last st. Turn. (48 sts and ch)
Row 4: Ch 1 and sc in the 1st st. Ch 2, skip next 2 sts. *Working over the chains and into the top of the sts from two rows previous, dc in each of the next two sts. Ch 2, skip the next 2 sts. Repeat from * until last st remains. Sc in the last st, finishing the st with the Color C. Drop last color to carry along the side. Turn. (48 sts and ch)
Rows 5 – 43: Repeat Rows 3 and 4, switching colors every 2 rows. If using 3 colors, Row 43 should be made with Color A.
Row 44: (Continuing with Color A) Ch 1, sc in the 1st 3 sts. *Working over the chains and into the top of the sts from two rows previous, dc in each of the next two sts. Sc in the next 2 sts. Repeat from * until last st remains. Sc in last st. Break yarn and weave in ends. (48 sts)
Instructions for the Back & Flap Piece: (Finished measurement: 13.5″ wide x 24″ long)
Rows 1 – 88: Repeat the directions for the Front Piece above, switching colors every 2 rows, with Row 88 the same as Row 44 above (the finishing row). If using 3 colors in the same pattern as the Front, Rows 87 and 88 should be made with Color B.
Instructions for the Sides & Bottom Piece: (Finished measurement: 3″ wide x 37.5″ long)
Row 1: With Color A, ch 14. Follow stitch pattern directions as above. (12 sts and ch)
Rows 2 – 134: Repeat the stitch pattern, switching colors every 2 rows, with Row 134 the same as Row 44/88 above (the finishing row). If using 3 colors in the same pattern as the Front, Rows 133 and 134 should be made with Color A.
Assembling the Crochet Pieces:
Using color(s) of choice, sc the Front and Back/Flap pieces to either side of the Sides/Bottom Piece. While crocheting, hold the WS of the pieces together, with the Front or Back facing you, and the Sides/Bottom facing away from you. Use stitch markers or paperclips to hold the pieces together so the stitching is even. Make sure to leave the Flap portion (the second half) of the Back free and unworked!
Instructions for the Lining and Handles:
Starting with a 41″ x 17.5″ piece of fleece or other non-raveling fabric, fold one end of the fabric up 14″ from the bottom, so that 13″ is left at the top. (The bottom becomes the pouch or bag lining, and the single layer top becomes the flap lining.)
Sew a line 1/2″ from the edge on both sides of the pouch, so that the seams are 16.5 inches apart. Then, fold the corners as shown below, so that the seam is in the middle of the triangle, and sew across the fabric where it is 3 ” wide. This creates the flat bottom of the pouch.
Insert the lining in the bag, and trim off the excess on either side of the flap, as shown below. Remove the lining from the bag.
If your strap is polyester or nylon, melt the raw edges of the strapping using a lighter or match. If it’s natural fabric that frays, be sure to fold over and sew the ends securely. Sew the ends of the handle to either side of the outside of the pouch, along the seam line, as shown below. (Please ignore my messy hand stitching here!)
If you are using a strap adjuster, length isn’t as important (as long as it’s not too short), but if not be sure the strap is the right length before sewing it on. Cut the strap and add the strap adjuster according to package directions if desired.
Assembling the Lining and Bag:
Sew around the entire opening and flap of the lining with the blanket stitch, using the tapestry or yarn needle and crochet thread. Skip over the handles. If you are unfamiliar with the blanket stitch, please view the tutorial here. You make wish to practice on a scrap of fabric first. Try to make the sts about as far apart as the crochet sts, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect – you can see mine aren’t!
Place a stitch marker in the center of the end of the crocheted flap. Insert the lining in the bag. Sc all around the open edges evenly, being sure to go through a blanket stitch with each sc st.
You can skip a blanket st occasionally if necessary to make sure it all lines up. Use stitch markers to hold the corners and halfway points together to help you stay on track!
When you come to the stitch marker in the center of the end of the flap, sc in the marked st. Then ch 10 (or length needed to get around button you chose). Sc in the same st and then continue around the opening as before.
Sew the button to the front of the bag so that it lines up with the loop. Sew through the lining, handle, and crochet pieces on both sides to secure the handles all the way through the bag.
Tah dah! One Mesmerizing Messenger Bag! It’s a lot of steps and a bit of work, but the result is a sturdy, well padded bag that’s big enough for several notebooks, sketchpads, binders, a small laptop – or diapers, wipes, toys, and a camera – or wallet, makeup and other essentials – almost anything! My daughter is very pleased, and I hope you will be too!
Written pattern copyright Tamara Kelly 2013. Please do not reprint or repost this pattern, but please do link to this page to share this pattern with others. If you wish to make items for sale from this pattern, please visit the About page for details.You can contact me via Facebook messages or at TamaraKelly@mooglyblog.com.