Skip Navigation

Messenger Bag

Print PDF

Sometimes with all these neat designs floating around, a girl wants to embroider on something other than simple fabric.Sometimes an occasion arises where you want to stitch some swank on something a little less typical, and perhaps a bit more difficult to get under your sewing machine.A messenger bag is one such example. Bags, totes and purses are perfect contenders for a little embroidery bling, but you have to be able to hoop them, and then fit them under your machine.This isn’t always easy, so today I’m going to show you how I tackled one such adversary: the little messenger bag.

Designs Used

The first thing you must do is find a suitable bag for embroidering on. You want a bag that’s got room for embroidery, preferably blank, is soft enough to be sewn on, and flexible and large enough to hoop. It would also be nice if it didn’t cost you an arm and a leg.I found this little bag online for wholesale at As little bird tells it, it’s quite a steal.

So now you’ve got your bag. We’re going to start with a bang and get the most difficult part over first: hooping it.

Cut out a piece of stabilizer slightly larger than your hoop. If your bag is nice and thick like mine, you can use something as thin as tear-away stabilizer.When hooping, keep in mind any buckles, bits and bobs that might be on your bag that you don’t want to embroider over.For really stiff material, don’t be afraid to open your hoop up nice and wide.

This bag is canvas, and is just barely large enough for my hoop, so I’ve got a real challenge on my hands. Let me tell you ladies and gentlemen, if you can hoop this, you’re ready for anything. Just open the hoop wide and use a lot of arm strength. I think I broke two nails that day.

Take a break, have a Coke, and rest up after all that huffing and puffing. Find someone to massage your sore muscles. Now back to it! 

Now we need to get it under the machine.If you can at all help it, keep any material off your embroidery arm.Any interference with its movement can make your happy bear design not so happy anymore.Trust me on this.

Fold your bag under the machine, tucking in any buckles or straps.Keep and eye on it to make sure it doesn’t slip under the needle while it sews, and that it doesn’t bunch up and cause interference with your sewing.

For my bag, I chose guest artist Chris Crammer’s design, the little happy bear.Stitch by stitch, happy bear happily inhabited his homey new habitat.Say that five times fast.

When your design is done sewing, turn it over and carefully tear away the stabilizer. With small tricky corners, it may be best to hold down the design as you do this, so you don’t disturb any threads.

Huzzah! Happy bear can now help you tote your belongings to and fro in this hip little messenger bag. Now you know you can hoop more difficult fabrics, go to town with your newfound abilities and stick some art on something new!