Vintage Barkcloth Messenger Bag

13 Jun

One of the first sewing projects I did was a tote in a great vintage pink barkcloth. It was my main bag for over a year in the mid-1990s- overalls, my Doc Martens and my homemade tote. Oh yeah. But despite all the use, I always thought the double handles were kind of odd, and I always wished they were long enough to wear the bag cross-body.

I forgot I wanted to take a picture of the tote until after I cut the sides, but you can see how it was.

I’ve been trying to make an effort to use supplies I already own in all my crafty pursuits. Minimal shopping with maximal making. I didn’t use a pattern, but instead pieced together the bag’s rectangle from the pink barkcloth and some leftover purple upholstery fabric. The lining is muslin I had on hand.

I had a little figuring out to do over how to sew it all together with the lining, and because I couldn’t find an online reference quick enough, I used some safety pins to try my options until I puzzled it out. I sewed the flap’s three sides together with the purse and lining still inside-out and with the pockets facing. This worked for me because I planned on doing some topstitching and I knew I could close the remaining seam of the pocket part in that way.

Here’s how it turned out:

I think I’m going to use this bag as frequently as I used that tote bag, and I’m happy to have that vintage barkcloth back in use!


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