Colette Cooper messenger bag in waxed cotton

Colette Cooper messenger bag in waxed cotton

What to get Mr D for his birthday?  Every morning he walks to our nearest village to get the newspapers, and the bag he has been using to carry them back was breaking.  So, a new bag!


The Colette Cooper messenger bag looked ideal, and I decided to make it in waxed cotton to keep the papers dry.

It’s a fantastic pattern, but I’m surprised it’s labelled ‘beginner’.  I’ve made a few (much simpler) bags before, but I still found all the different stages rather daunting.  Nothing is especially difficult, but there are a lot of steps, and you need to be precise and get things lined up.


I took it slowly, and the bag came together over a week or so.  I know that if I rush something complicated I’ll get impatient and make mistakes.


I’m so pleased with the result – it’s a proper bag!

To sew the waxed cotton I used a denim needle and small bulldog clips to avoid making holes.  There were a few times where I had to use pins (such as the decorative straps on the front) so I pinned in the stitching line.

I used my edge and quarter inch feet to get neat rows of double stitching.


The lining is a vintage wool check fabric (the pattern recommends ripstop lining) so I interfaced it and bound the bottom edge of the inside pockets with bias binding.


It took me a little while to find the supplies, so here’s a list of  the UK suppliers I used.

Waxed cotton – FabCrafts
Cotton webbing – Habercrafts
Bronze sliders and magnetic snaps  –
Rivets – Dale Leathercrafts

Colette_patterns_cooper_bag-003Mr D loves his new bag and it has been much admired in the village.  So happy!

9 thoughts on “Colette Cooper messenger bag in waxed cotton

  1. The “beginner” label surprised me too! It was definitely not a simple bag to sew. I did complicate mine slightly by adding a zipper closure to the top, since I wanted to use it as a traveling bag and wanted some extra protection against pickpockets. But I honestly think that trying to source all of those bag notions alone would ward off a lot of beginner sewists! Your version looks good, so it was definitely worth the effort, and I’m glad your husband likes it!

    1. That’s good to hear I’m not alone in feeling challenged! And I agree about sourcing, it was originally intended as a Christmas present, but I couldn’t get everything together in time.

  2. Fantastic job!! I know what you mean about the ‘beginner’ label – it’s not particularly difficult per se, but you’re right, there are a lot of steps, and a lot of precision and accuracy is required to get it right 🙂 You’re gonna get a TON of use out of it though – I made mine about a year ago, and have been using it every day since then – it’s holding up fabulously!! 🙂

      1. Thank you!! I’m sure your stitching will hold up beautifully – as long as Mr. D isn’t carrying any small children around regularly in it LOL

  3. Bags aren’t easy! I’m not sure I’d describe this pattern as beginner either. All that hardware!
    You’ve done an excellent job of this though, I’m envious of Mr D!

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