I made Oliver + S Messenger Bags from Liesl Gibson's book Little Things to Sew for Xanthe and Alannah's Christmas presents. As with all Oliver + S patterns I found it to be a great pattern, very straight forward to sew together with loads of tips and a detailed pattern. There are lots of pieces but it came together quickly once the fiddly bits like the bias binding is made! I used webbing tape for the straps to save time, but the pattern details how to make your own from fabric.
I made Xanthe's bag first. As I was not really sure what to expect I made it exactly to pattern. Using a very cute hedgehog linen fabric from a local fabric shop for the exterior and a mushroom print in her favourite colour for the lining.
For Alannah's bag I didn't want to alter the overall bag but did want to add a closure of some sort. After looking around at other messenger bags, I decided on a simple plastic buckle and clip. I made some extra slightly wider binding in blue and hid the joins in the binding. It is the perfect closure nice and lightweight and easy to open for little fingers. I decided magnet closures would not work well with the front pockets which I didn't want to change, and Velcro would not have such a neat finish.
The outer fabric for Alannah's bag was a light weight striped denim I found at Ikea and the lining was also a mushroom print but in blue, Alannah's favourite colour. The hearts were free drawn and machine appliqued on, all the spotty fabric was from Sarah Jane's, "Children at Play" line of fabric. I used a plain black webbing for the strap but tarted it up a bit by sewing some red spotty ribbon around the center.
The girls love their bags and especially Alannah uses it all the time. They also happen to be very similar in size to the little messenger bags that are used to take snack to Kindergarten here in our part of Switzerland. So sometime before August I will try and make another one for Xanthe in a more Kindy friendly fabric and with a buckle.