Iris Messenger Bag PDF sewing pattern

The Iris Messenger bag

A PDF sewing pattern for confident beginner to advanced levels.

Iris is named after the Greek messenger of the gods and goddess of the rainbow. Her name contains a double meaning- "iris" the Greek word for rainbow (which to me means hope), and "eiris" the word for messenger. 

 This slouchy version was made with Pink Crackle faux leather vinyl in my shop.

Updated pattern June 2019 
If you purchased in 2018 email me for the update.

There are lots of options with this bag including:

-adjustable strap
-optional zipper pocket on back exterior
-optional zipper pockets inside
-slip-in vinyl pockets 
-recessed zipper panel for main closure
-cross body style  

As with most of my patterns, you can simply omit any part that doesn't suit you. I've made a bag without the recessed zipper panel, which makes it more of a hobo style. I've made one without pockets inside. One has a zipper pocket on the lining instead of flap. MIX and MATCH- it's YOUR bag. Explore and learn while having fun.

Simply shorten the strap if you prefer regular shoulder carry, or if you don't have hardware on hand. 

The large roomy style is great for carrying everything you need while distributing weight across the body. 

 The inside security pocket on the flap allows me to stash my keys (or whatever I need at the ready)- always knowing I won't have to dig to find them.

This pattern has pages of full color photos and digitally drawn diagrams to help you through each step in this bag making process. 

PDF pattern available here.

The far left bag is stuffed into oblivion with packing material.

Ideal fabrics for this bag include linens, canvas, quilting cotton, sateen, home dec, duck cloth, or lighter fabrics if interfaced properly such as lawn or shirting.

Interfacing is KEY to making a bag you will love and enjoy using. 

I always ALWAYS interface with Pellon SF101 and either Soft & Stable foam, batting, or fusible fleece. EVERY bag. It adds body and strength while creating a more polished piece.

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My friend Cyndi of The Nosy Pepper has a blog post about interfacing cost breakdown HERE.

She has another post about sewing bags that look professional HERE. I always learn something from her blog.

The zipper pocket on the back of the bag is my favorite- I've been placing my wallet there for easy access, along with my sunglasses. The boxed bottom ensures the bag is balanced when full, so it does not lay on its back, but sits upright like a good lil' munchkin. 

I buy ALLLLLLL my zippers from Zip It on Etsy.
Get 10% off your order with coupon code "hungryhippie".

Don't be afraid of zippers - once you insert one it's like riding a bike. Sort of.
Except on your sewing machine.
Hahaha ok maybe not a great analogy.

I use double zippers because I bought a bunch of them one night while internet shopping. 

NEVER drink wine and internet shop. LMAO

Unless you're shopping on my store- then drink away!! 

Ready for the pattern yet?  

You can get it here on Etsy or here in my shop.

Now on to the fun part - Tester bags with photos! 

Rachel of @sterlingsewn sent me photos of her bag and they took my breath away. This is so classic. It's something I'd carry every single day. LOVE it Rachel!   Check that piecing out on the flap. HEART EYES!!

Trina  @Trina_Peterson made this beautiful bag with Anna Maria Horner "Social Climber" fabric. Stunning bag Trina!  
Roses are my Bae.

Here she's showing the zipper not tucked in, so you can see the tabs and how it sits down into the bag a bit. I love this view of the flap pocket. I envisioned it like this so when you flip the flap open it's easy to slide zipper open to grab what you need. I wanted a place to put secret stuff.

Yellow is SO happy!

 Back zipper security pocket

Inside slip-in pockets

Jackie's bag pOps in this lucious pink! I can't stop looking.

Jackie is on IG @jaxco

 If I see this bag in the wild I'm going to steal it! :D  LOL

That AMH fabric!

Wanda  @mopheaded1 made this gorgeous bag with pink piping--she totally astounded me! 

I love this fabric too- Nature is so beautiful and the moth shape so delicate and feminine.

PERFECT zipper construction- I can't even sew it this well. 

Maryanna  @marvelousauntiem made this eye-catching bag with happy bright fabric that pulls me in completely! 

FLOWER POWER! Nothing makes me happier!

Stacey @twoterriersstudio made this beautiful crisp & colorful bag--when this came through my email inbox I literally gasped!

So clean and bright! Makes me smile every time I look at it.

Shelia @geekdoutgoodies made this beautiful bag. It reminds me of Olde Times - in a Downton Abbey way which means AWESOME. 

Rebecca of @ambrosia_and_bliss made this gorgeously embroidered bag with peacock feathers. 

Everything Peacock is my fave- the teal color, the feather style, the animal itself being so exotic and beautiful. I love this bag.

Those feathers are embroidered detailing on the fabric. 

Jeana @coveredthread came in with this beautiful linen bag using her most favorite designer's fabric as accent material. This girl is Anna Maria Horner's most enthusiastic fan, and I feel it's my duty to let Anna know! LOL! I mean she has BOLTS of her fabric just for eye candy and petting. I LOVE THAT! 

A huge thank you to Trish @trishfrankland for being copy editor once again. 

Thank you to Blue Bar Quilts for fabric support on the cover photo bag. It was made with Cotton & Flax linen blend that feels canvas - like and is a dream to sew. They have more available so get it now! I will be teaching classes there this summer as well- just so ya know.    ;)

If you make an Iris Messenger I'd love to see it!

Feel free to tag me on IG @sewhungryhippie or post it on my Facebook group page here. 

Newsletter readers get a 50% off code for this pattern for the next week (until May 5)!         Sign up HERE

You'll also receive a free bag pattern- my Easy Sew Market Tote.

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  1. Those are some AMAZING tester bags! Love this pattern. Great work, Lady!! ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Thanks so much Trina- your support means the world to me.

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