Purse Palooza :: Pattern Review : Make It Perfect Mini Messenger Bag


This post is part of Purse Palooza. For contest rules, full details, and schedule, please click here! Today’s post is from Allison of Allison Sews.

Hi Sew Sweetness readers! Allison here from Allison Sews. I’m excited to be part of Purse Palooza this year. I love making bags and pouches in addition to quilts. I really love free motion quilting and try to incorporate that info my blog as much as possible. Come check out some of my quilts if you’d like!

In my sewing life, I’ve come across tons of great patterns and tons of not so great ones so I really appreciate that Sara puts this tour together to help weed them out.
Front of the Mini Messenger – I lined the flap upside down so it’s cute if flipped totally open

I always love making a new bag for myself but I have a three year old niece who also loves purses. With a baby brother due to arrive in her house next week, I thought it might be nice to make a big sister present for her instead. I had pinned the Make It Perfect Mini Messenger awhile back, and I knew this was the time to make it. As the pattern says, the Mini Messenger is the perfect size for kids to carry their own stuff around to free up some room in Mom’s purse.

Back of the Mini Messenger

The pattern is offered for free, which is great. It’s a little smaller than I had imagined but just the right size for toddlers to carry around. I guess I’m not so great at imagining what the final size will be from the dimensions given. The bag finishes at 7″ tall by 10″ wide.


The directions were straight forward and easy to follow for the most part. They have you put bias binding around the perimeter of the bag flap but their directions for doing so were a little hard for me to follow. As a quilter since that’s not the way I usually do binding, and it was also more narrow than I’m used to using. They also do not give you a total amount of binding you’ll need – it’s about 23″. If you are accustomed to sewing on double-fold bias tape
Mini Messenger flap binding
Inside the Mini Messenger

I wanted this bag to be pretty stiff and maintain it’s shape so I used the stiffest stuff I had at home. I believe it was Pellon 926 Extra-Firm stabilizer. It definitely gave the bag the shape I wanted but was so stiff that some parts of the sewing were more difficult than they needed to be. I would recommend something a little lighter weight and possibly fusible to make life easier. I was able to make some good creases in the flap but I think it would be better a little less stiff.

Add some princess stickers and she’s ready to go!
Aside from the bias tape issue, the rest of the bag went together fairly easily. Using webbing for the strap was a great idea and I was able to find it in a variety of colors. If you’re looking for a simple bag for the toddler (or a little older) in your life, this one is simple and cute and can be sewn up in an afternoon. I suspect I’ll be making one for her brother in a few years so he can carry around some of his little treasures as well. I may have to add a pocket or two next time though.
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