Back in October/November I attempted to modify the Andrea Bag below into a messenger style bag.
Several people had suggested this and I really wanted a bag that was big enough to put a folder or pad of paper in for when I go to conferences or at work, etc. So, I enlarged the bag and changed from 2 straps in front and back to one side-to-side strap.
Just looking at it like this, I am fairly pleased with it. I love the fabric on the inside and the belt/bow. But, when I started using it I realized that I really was not happy with it. I think moving the handle to the side made it lose some of it's shape. It is too flat across the top. But even worse, I made it too wide but not deep enough, so it still doesn't really hold papers or folders very well, and it is so wide that I fell like my things might just fall out. Also, you might be able to see in the bottom picture, that by placing the handle on the sides, it pulls the two sides together when you actually use it and the top bunches up because of that.
Overall, I am considering this a good design learning experience. I eventually want to take a second attempt at this and will probably go back to the original handle style, but just make it a little bigger. I might also consider going with the side strap but changing the shape so that the top naturally is narrower to avoid the bunching that it does now. Oh, and I'll use a sturdier interfacing. This bag just feels flimsy. Hopefully I'll have better luck next time!