Friday, March 22, 2013

TARDIS Messenger Bag

Generally my project ideas start with some finished concept idea. I know where I’m going and then fight to find patterns and tools that will help me reach that goal. This bag was completely different! I decided on the tools I’d use first.

My friends bought me an awesome embroidery machine that until now I’d never had a chance to use. Part of the reason had been time, but the major delay was a lack of software to create my own designs. Most of the software I’ve seen has been absolutely awful and still costs somewhere around $150, and some of these companies want upwards of $1300 for it!!! Just recently I came across a really good program that was free, Stitch Era Universal, so I just needed to find a good getting your feet wet project.

Insert McCall’s 5824. I was at Hancock's during one of their $0.99 pattern sales and came across this little gem. 

I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for messenger bags, and this one has like a zillion pockets! Plus I finally knew how I could break in my embroidery machine. Perhaps it was due to my Christmas Break marathon of all the most recent seasons of Doctor Who, but I could immediately see this as a perfect TARDIS book bag. So after a few months of slowly collecting materials I finally managed to find the time for a completely selfish project!


After scouring the internet to find the correct fonts for both the TARDIS signs, and fiddling with my awesome new software I set my embroidery machine to work.

(Gill Sans for the Police Public Call Box, and Times New Roman/VAGRounded-Thin for the Pull to Open Sign btw)

There was a bit of trial and error when it came to getting the placement of the words right since the sign was longer than the 7” hoop, but it wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately I wasn’t smart enough to throw away the bad panel and managed to accidently sew it to my bag flap!

I pouted for a few minutes about my mistake and just made a new flap.

For the most part the pattern was pretty straight forward. I had a couple of complaints about some things like the gusset and bag strap, but I loved how the pockets turned out! I made a couple of tweaks to the pattern and replaced the outdated cell phone holder with simple slip pockets so all in all I ended up with 12 different places to store stuff!

Because I absolutely abhor flimsy homemade bags I also added an entire extra layer of heavy duty stabilizer. Now it will hopefully stand up to the abuse I give my book bags on a daily basis. Anywho, here is the bag all finished!


I can’t wait to use it next week!

The only thing left is to clean up the aftermath….


  1. Love it! Twelve pockets, IS bigger on the inside! :)

    And the aftermath...oh yes, I can certainly relate to that. I always find pins in rooms I could've sworn I didn't bring pins into! They migrate.

  2. Oh, I've got the best thing for that! It's one of those telescopic magnetic wands guys use to retrieve dropped lug nuts. My husband got one for me last year from Home Depot.

    When I'm done sewing I can sweep the entire mess into a pile, run the wand over it and it will grab out any loose needles! Aside from my sewing machine, and maaaaaaybe my iron, it's the most loved tool in my workroom.

  3. I completely love this! Plus your aftermath picture made me giggle, my sewing room ALWAYS looks like that!

  4. This is an amazing bag! I love the way you altered the pattern to make it work for this TARDIS bag.

    The picture of the aftermath was the second best part. My house usually looks a lot like that when I'm sewing and thought I was the only one. Thank you so much for sharing.

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