Looks like I’m on a refashion roll! I’ve had this leather bag for about fifteen years and I’ve been carrying it everywhere since. It was my mother’s in the eighties: she used it a lot, too, even on her wedding day! Oh, and she bought it second hand of course, so it has lived at least three lives… which explains why it was so damaged.
The front was completely scratched and the leather bias binding was crumbling in a lot of places. I knew I could use leather polish to restore the front, but I still had to find a solution for the bias binding.
The bag began looking so beaten up I stopped using it altogether a few months ago. But I couldn’t resign myself to getting rid of it, not only because it used to be such a nice, practical bag, but also because of its history.
I didn’t see myself sewing leather bias, so I decided to change the look of the bag by using a liberty(-ish) bias binding instead. It’s bound to be less durable than leather, of course, but I like the look of the blue flowers with the leather of the bag, and I can replace it later if I ever feel like sewing leather.
At first I hesitated replacing the binding of the pocket because it was much less damaged than the outside one, but it wasn’t perfect either and the bag looked kind of weird with two different bindings, so I decided to replace it anyway. And I must say I love the way it looks now.
I sewed the bias binding by hand… because at first I didn’t realise I could sew it by machine. I thought about it after sewing the first part, but all in all I also thought the hand would give me more control to sew through the already existing holes in order not to damade the bag and to be able to change the binding more easily in the future. I used a green metallic thread that perfectly matched the green of the fabric.
As you can see I made a new strap loop with the same fabric bias to replace the old elastic.
The principle of this refashion is so simple I even hesitated using the term refashion, but let me tell you that I finished it yesterday and my fingers still hurt from sewing by hand through leather, even though I mostly used the pre-existing holes. I used a thimble of course, but the thimble itself gave me a blister because my fingers were swollen from the heat and the effort…
But all is well that ends well, and I love my new old bag which I already used yesterday as soon as it was finished. Now let’s hope I won’t forgot to break out the shoe polish more often in order to keep the leather in good condition.
In any case, I’m really happy to have found back my favourite bag!