One of the great things about the Nintendo Switch is that it can be used on the go. We end up taking ours to breweries and play games with friends. This means we also occasionally bring the pro controller, charging pack, and other accessories. Bringing all this around in a non-padded tote bag with all the stuff sloshing around was making me concerned, so I decided to make a messenger bag made for the needs of the switch!
I roughly based my sewing off of this tutorial because I wanted a two dividers inside to hold the console itself. There are quite a few changes that I’ve made however, hence why I went through and basically rewrote their tutorial. I want to give full credit to the original maker of the tutorial however, because I wouldn’t have been able to make this without them.
The linked diaper bag tutorial has you adhere fusible fleece to all exterior sides, but I know from the past that this makes a bulky, fluffy bag that I’m personally not a fan of. Here, I use a medium weight interfacing to add extra support. I also opted to make a flap to go over the top of the bag, rather than adding a magnetic closure, and I didn’t add any of the decorative piping that they did.
I made sure the pockets within would provide room for the pro controller, controller thing that holds the Joy-cons, charging cable, and battery pack. In the end, this bag will measure about 11x10x4 inches, have four pockets, and further space for other books, keys, wallets, etc.
Supplies you will need: (I used scraps for this bag so I’m not sure, but you’ll need less than 1 yard of each!)
- Exterior fabric
- Interior fabric
- Fusible fleece
- Medium weight interfacing
There’s a lot of parts and pieces to cut out for this, so staying organized will help. I labeled my pieces as I sewed to stay organized, and will use these labels through the tutorial to help you follow along. Pieces to cut are as follows:
- 2 – Front and back 12×11 inches
- 2 – Sides 5×11 inches
- 1- Bottom 12×5 inches
- 2 – Outside flap 12×20 inches
- 2 – Straps 3×40 inches
- 2 – Front and back 12×11 inches (note: for this bag, I cut these out of my exterior fabric because I ran out of scraps!)
- 4 – Sides 3×11 inches
- 2 – Bottom 12×3 inches
- 4 – Divider 12×8.5 inches
- also cut 2-4 pieces of fusible fleece depending on how much padding you want and fuse to divider pieces. I only fused one of my four divider pieces, but you can do all four if you’d like!
- 2 – Inside pockets 12×8.5 inches
This is one section of the tutorial that I loosely followed where I noticed an error in language. Not a great way to start this, I know, but bear with me! It states to sew the exterior bottom to the exterior sides, but in fact we’re sewing the bottom to the front/back. We do so by beginning and ending 1/2 in from either side, to make it easier to stitch our corners together later. I used chalk to march 1/2 in from the edges prior to stitching to ensure I didn’t forget (I did when I first made this bag!).
We’re then going to sew the sides to the front of the exterior, leaving 1/2 in unsewn at the bottom but stitching all the way to top. Then, leaving the bottom/side seam open, stitch the side to the back again leaving the bottom 1/2 in unsewn. These seams should nearly meet or meet, but not have one seam go past the other. Aka, make a nice little right angle.
We’re almost done with our box! This is a weird little seam to line up, I did so by pulling the corners taught and pinning right in the middle. Let the sides/front/back fall in a little triangle away from the corner and stitch from where the seams begin to the seams end, corner to corner. The reference tutorial makes no mention of trimming the corners or seams, but I highly recommend it (especially the corners)! Otherwise it’ll be a little bulky. Just be sure you don’t cut your seam when being trim happy.
This section is nice and easy! We’re going to leave a 1 in gap at the top of your two flap pieces, and sew three sides together with right sides facing each other. Trim the corners, turn it right side out, and fold two bits of 1 in fabric to the inside. Iron, and top stitch all the way around.
At this point we attach the flap to the exterior of the bag. Turn it right side out, stand it up (holy crap it looks like a bag!) and look at where you want the flap to lay. I want mine to be flush with the bottom of the front of the bag, so I’ll hold it there and see where the back of the flap ends up and pin in there, lining up the edges of the flap with the seam of the side/back. This ends up being 5 inches from the unfinished top of the bag for me, but you can adjust it as you want. Make sure it’s the formerly open part of the flap that’s being pinned to the back of the bag. Stitch it down, sewing over where you had top stitched before, and backstitch the heck out of it at the edges! This flap will see a lot of wear and you want to make sure it’s secure.
We’re going to finish up the rest of the exterior components of the bag before diving inside by making our strap. I don’t like to turn out long straps like this because it tends to add bulk. You can reference this non-turning tutorial to see what I loosely based mine on. Due to fabric restrictions, I used two different fabrics (thanks scraps!) and cut mine 3 in wide and folded them in to the crease in on each side (3/4 in fold over), sandwiched the two strips with the wrong sides together, and top stitched them down. We will come back to the straps in a little bit when the bag is assembled!
Note: I like to do a crossbody length strap so it looks more like a messenger bag, which measures about 40-45 inches long. If you want, you can make it the length of a purse strap like the linked tutorial, which is 30 inches long.
Congratulations! You’ve finished the outside, and we’re onto the inside. It’ll be a little different for the side seams and bottom because of the attached divider, but other than that it’s mostly the same methodology. We’re still going to leave a 1/2 in unsewn for the seams at the corners to make them nicer.
Start off with interior pockets. Fold top of the pocket down 1/4 inch twice and top stitch so no raw edge is exposed. Pin each pocket to a respective interior front and back piece, lining the edges of the sides and bottom. Sew or baste down within the seam allowance (I did 3/8 in).
With chalk or another fabric marking tool, draw a vertical line down the middle of the pocket (6 in from either edge). Sewing from the bottom to the top so it doesn’t gather on accident and backstitching at the top, stitch the middle of the pocket to the front/back of the interior.
To make our divider pocket for the switch, we’re adding not one but two divider inserts that are both padded with the fusible fleece. Right sides together, sew only the top (long edge) of the divider pieces remembering that you should have two of these. The fusible fleece likes to wiggle as you sew, so I’d recommend a walking foot. If you don’t have one, pin it like mad. Iron it down right side out. Because we will be treating the two dividers as one, baste the sides and bottoms together, right sides together. This will shift as you sew, so be consistent with your stitch direction (top to bottom center to corner, etc.) and adjust as needed. At this point you can test the fit of the switch in the pocket, and see if there’s anything else you want to add (flap on top with a button for security, stitch up the sides closer to the switch to hold it in tighter).
Because we’re stitching the divider into the interior of the bag, we have two bottom pieces. Sandwich the bottom edge of the divider between the two interior bottom pieces and sew, again leaving the beginning and end 1/2 in unsewn.
We’re now going to attach the interior front/back to the interior bottom pieces. Same as before, we’re putting the raw edges together and leaving the 1/2 inch unsewn. The photos have it all laid out flat, flip flopping the divider from one side to the other, so you can see how it’s all coming together.
We’re almost there, your messy sewing space has so few free-floating pieces now! We’re going to attach the four side interior pieces to the rest of the interior. We first sew the long edges of the side interior pieces to the front/back, lining up the top edge and sewing to the bottom seam, lining it up best you can but not exceeding the bottom stitching line. Ensure that you leave a large gap (~4-5 inches) on one of these seams, with backstitching on either side of the hole, to turn the bag right-side out when it’s all assembled.
Leaving the divider free, we’re going to attach the 4 side segments to the interior bottom. It feels really weird to pin this, but pull the corners of the parts that you want to attach and let the other sections fall away. It’ll come together!
For the last bit of sewing, we’re going to sew up the interior side seams. Sandwich the divider between the two long, unsewn edges of the side interior fabric, and sew from bottom to top (to prevent gathers). And that’s the end of your interior! Clean up the corners again, do some last bits of ironing, and we’re moving onto the home stretch.
It’s time for the bag assembly. We’re essentially putting the exterior inside the interior, and sandwiching the strap in between.
There’s a few ways you can go about attaching the straps. In a previous make, I added tabs with a D-ring and stitched the strap around those. The D-ring allows for greater movement and less strain on the bag from the strap, but for this scrappy bag I didn’t have the right size D-ring sitting around. Instead, I’m sewing the straps directly into the top seam between the interior and exterior of the bag, then top stitching from the outside for extra security. This way, I don’t have to hide any unsightly raw edges and I know it’s secure. I basted the straps to the exterior of the bag to make sure they were evenly spaced.
Note: I forgot to extend the strap down a few inches within the seam allowance when I initially pinned it together, so it’s only in the second photo! But, I’d recommend you leave 1-1 1/2 inches in the seam allowance, and top stitch in a square then an X from the exterior of the bag to ensure that it’s securely in place in the seam allowance.
The bag exterior is going to be right-side out, while the bag interior will be inside out (so that the right sides are together for both of them). To make it easier to turn it right side out, roll up the flap and secure it to the exterior. I did this by stabbing it with a pin because I was too lazy to find a safety pin and like to live dangerously. Nestle the exterior into the interior, choosing one side of the divider. It doesn’t matter which, as long as you can line up the top of the bag. match up the seams, pin all the way around, and sew it down!
It’s time for the big reveal! It seem’s like a lot to cram into the hole you (hopefully) remembered to leave in the interior, but take it little by little and slowly you’ll turn it right side out. We have some finishing touches to do still. Pin the hole inside the bag and stitch it closed. I machine stitch it because I’m too lazy to hand sew, but if you want a clean finish you can hand sew it together! Lastly, iron down the top of the bag, and top stitch it all down. This is the point where you top stitch the extra bit of strap from the outside of the bag to ensure it’s not slipping out of the seam allowance over time.
Now, bask in the glory of your new bag!