Tuesday, February 04, 2014

leather coat to leather bag project




It's been almost a year since I mentioned my hope of creating a bag from a thrifted leather coat...and, after a bit of trial and error, here is the result. 
What's left of the coat is shown in the top picture.  The sleeves and back yielded the best pieces of leather.  Some of the coat seams were incorporated into my design.  I added some long horizontal zippers--one front and one back--to join a sleeve piece and a jacket-back piece of leather to form both the front and back of the bag.  I also used some narrow bands of leather to form the top strip and inner facing.
Brass rectangular rings, buckle, and rivets, that I had on hand, were used for the strap--the strap is a thrifted Gap leather belt. 
I'm fairly sure that the lining fabric is a Kaffe Fassett print; I've been hanging on to it for years, waiting for just the right project.
The leather coat was on sale for $5, and I think the leather belt was $1; so, even adding in the zippers, hardware, and lining, I would guess I have spent less than $20 to create a leather bag for myself.  Deconstructing the coat was tedious, and stitching through the leather seams was a challenge, but overall I'm glad I gave it a try.

56 comments:

  1. wow - I'm hugely impressed - it is a lovely, lovely bag!

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  2. That is FANTASTIC!!!! GREAT job!!!!! :)

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  3. I never thought of re-purposing leather coats...great idea! Of course, I wouldn't know how to make a bag out of it but you obviously do! Great job! Stunning purse and stunning lining...it does look like Kaffe.

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  4. Beautiful bag!
    Question: I have some recycled leather from a couch we were throwing away and I've been wanting to sew some of it into a tote, however, I wonder if I could use my old Viking 101 to do it or will it burn out my motor? I planned to order some leather needles, but still, I'm unsure if I should try it? Do you use a regular sewing machine? Walking foot? Other? This is my only sewing machine so I hate to mess it up. Or....maybe it would be the perfect opportunity to find a new/old sew-er!

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    1. Thanks Jody! Having broken my Viking machine once, I understand your concern. I did use my Viking {which is a Platinum 715} for this project. This leather is not real heavy like some leathers I use; it's probably considered a garment weight? I have a special foot for sewing leather, but found in this case that my walking foot worked the best for me. I also used a leather needle. Some of the leather pieces I used for the bag had the existing seam, and that is where I had some trouble sewing, but managed to get through it. I also have a sewing awl, so for any real thick spots I can sew by hand.
      I suppose, if the leather you have is not too thick, you would be safe to give it try with your machine and see how it does. I can usually tell if my machine is laboring by how it sounds, and now I know enough to quit before something breaks :) ...........Deb

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    2. Thank you for answering my questions, Deb. I might give it a try, or at least fiddle around with sewing on my leather and see what happens first before trying to make a tote. I do have a sewing awl, but I haven't used it yet. Does the awl give you a fairly good looking stitch?

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    3. My sewing tool is the 'Awl for All' brand; with some practice, I think I am coming up with a fairly even stitch. I carefully pre-punch the holes every 1/4" using a scratch awl and then do my stitching. Most of the time I am hand stitching an inner seam that doesn't show, but I have also used it on the exterior of a bag. Personally, I think it gives a nice hand crafted look. I would love to hear back if you give it a try!....Deb

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  5. Gorgeous! You are a pro. I'd like one in Brown please ;)

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  6. very nice. Your work is beautiful. thank you for your blog. :)

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    1. Thanks Kathryn, I'm so happy you stop by, Deb

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  7. Honestly Deb you amaze me. That is a fabulous job!

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    1. Thanks Rose--you're very kind...Deb

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  8. oh my gosh what a fabulous job, congratulations :-).

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    1. Thank you Lynn--I appreciate it...Deb

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  9. Wow, impressive project! Good for you for trying this. You did an amazing job!

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    1. Thanks so much--I appreciate the kind words....Deb

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  10. That is really nice. Great job! Thank you for sharing it.

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  11. Wow! what a great job you did reusing the coat. My brother-in-law worked in the leather mills in Upstate NY for years and it was a hard job so seeing that the coat didn't get wasted was a good thing! I love seeing your projects - especially your knit items. Thanks for sharing with us - sincerely, jeannette

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    1. Thanks Jeannette, I'm glad you stop by...Deb

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  12. Wow! That is a gorgeous handbag! Did you use any special needles for sewing on leather?

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    1. Thanks Debbie--I do use a leather needle.

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  13. Beautifully done......but what a difficult job I'm sure.

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  14. Wow. This is amazing. I can't believe you did this without a commercial machine. I have trouble with upholstery fabric on my regular machine. Just beautiful.

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  15. that is incredible! you are so talented!

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  16. It's gorgeous! Do you have an industrial sewing machine? Surely a regular machine wouldn't stitch multiple layers of leather?

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    1. Thanks Kathleen. I use either an old 30's Singer or my Viking Platinum 715--this leather was a garment weight, so not real thick.

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  17. Wow, you are so talented. Love it.

    God bless.

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  18. There is very little that I can add to what everyone is saying.All I can say is "My jaw dropped down to the floor" Waaaaaaay above my skills but, still appreciate what you have done. Last year I made 2 children's Christmas wish pillowcases using french seams and piping for the first time. Took me 3 weeks of sewing and ripping.........Now, stop that chuckling;-)

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    1. Absolutely no chuckling here! -- I have been there myself. It has taken me many years of 'ripping out' mistakes to get where I am, and I still struggle sometimes!
      Deb

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  19. I am so impressed with your talent, creativity and resourcefulness! You are amazing and I always look forward to seeing what you make of your thrifted treasures. The table was absolutely fabulous as well.

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    1. Thank you Chris--I appreciate the comment...Deb

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  20. This is amazing! I was searching high and low online for a perfect handbag last night! I think you may have created it! Great work! WOWZERS!!!

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    1. Thank you so much........Deb

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  22. Yes! it's all been said before but it bears repeating...

    WOW~ what a fabulous job!!

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    1. Thanks Bevy--I appreciate it......Deb

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  23. It's wonderful, Deb. It really looks very nice "soft" and "cushy" for some reason!!!

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    1. Thanks Leianna! It is a soft, supple leather--great to work with.........Deb

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  24. Hello from the UK! I have been moving an old leather coat around my house for a few years now - intending to do something creative with it! I have been searching for the 'perfect' bag for sometime now! I see a size, shape I almost like BUT there is always something I don't like! Maybe it has gold coloured trims, buckles etc that I don't want I want silver! Or it is too wide, too deep etc! I thought I had found the one a month or so ago - almost, but no! I could have accepted that it was brown and not black. It didn't have too many 'trims' on it so, I could accept the gold coloured zip; and after all it was brown and heavier than I wanted - you will see I am making quite a few compromises here, but I had been looking for a LONG time! So, final test what did it feel like on my shoulder? Too Small and handles too long to carry the bag by without it dragging on the floor - and I am NOT short!! This was a serious design flaw and had clearly been designed for someone very skinny, nearly six -foot tall and who didn't live by the sea - which I do! - and never has to wear a coat!! You have inspired my Deb to get my finger out and make that bag I want, that suits me and is fit for purpose! This is not the first time, of course, that I have found inspiration on your blog so, thank you again! The standard of your work is amazing and your generosity with your ideas and 'how to's' is GREATLY appreciated, Thank you! I just thought I would take this opportunity to you. God bless you and yours. P.S How do you keep your home so tidy and where do you get your energy from?!

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    1. Thanks for the kindest words! ....Deb

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  25. Simply amazing .....stunning....you are quite talented

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  26. Absolutely gorgeous... You are quite talented

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    1. Thank you Jean--I appreciate your comment...........Deb

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Thank you for taking time to leave a comment--I love reading each and every one! I will try to answer any questions you have in the comment section. Due to the amount of spam, I am sadly no longer able to accept Anonymous comments....Kindly, Deb

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