Vintage Handbag Renovation

Updated: Jun 27, 2018


Vintage with TLC

Have you ever stumbled upon a great #accessory at an #antique or drift store, and be tempted to buy it on impulse? We usually do not buy on impulse, au contraire mes amis, au contraire... We're planners, and unless it works with the wardrobe, we let it pass.

The Old Handbag

Look at this poor orphan child! ... Begging to be saved, to be given an opportunity to thrive again! ​ Our plan to give it a new life will consist of the following: take off all the hardware off, polish it to remove the tarnish and scratches, replace the ugly nails that are falling off with new decorative screws, remove the entire lining with care, clean the wicker, and reinforce some areas. The biggest change & challenge will be designing and installing the new lining. The key to success for this project, as usual, is to plan everything in advance.


The Interior Lining Is Old and Dusty

The hardware has been removed in order to clean it and polish it. Notice that it has wires for hinges, LMAO! I already started the repair on one of the braces going vertically across. It was breaking and newsprint with some Elmer's wood glue fixed the problem.


The Interior Lining

The hardware has been removed in order to clean it and polish it. Notice that it has wires for hinges, LMAO! We already started the repair on one of the braces going vertically across. It was breaking and newsprint with some Elmer's wood glue fixed the problem.

We Removed The Old Hardware

The Handle and Latch

The Repaired Brace

The very new hardware: hinges and round decorative gold screws for the handle and clasp. Then installation and polishing of the old hardware to make it shine.




Now that the hardware has been taken care of, let's move on to the interior #lining.


THE LINING


We decided for a medium weight polyester silk upholstery fabric in a linear pattern. See below.

The pattern for the lining has been designed. An #interfacing has been fused to the back of the lining.



THE SIDES


The side panels or #gussets have also been interfaced, and top stitched carefully. Notice the lines are not parallel to each other on one side, but converging towards the bottom.





THE ZIPPER PULL


Necessity is the mother of inventions. Here, we improvised to make the tab out of a string that held a bag of extra beads in one of my ready to wear dresses. The little clover at the end with the added black & white beads gave it a unique touch.




LINING ASSEMBLY

The zipper pocket is made out of the same lining fabric. Make a draft first before using your good fabric, specially if you are inexperienced.




The #zipper #pocket has been installed, a little ribbon rose attached, and the corners as well as the bottom of the side panels have been permanently sewn together. It is coming along nicely!



The following step should have been done prior to permanently stitching together the previous step. It is always easier to sew on the flat, than on the round. But to our defense, we will say that we weren't sure about the position of the pocket. We carefully ironed and top stitched it to 1/8 of an inch from the edge. It came out nice and even, but do not try it unless you have the muscle memory and experience necessary.





FINAL STEPS

Once the entire lining has been sewn together, it is attached to the interior of the handbag. In this case thumbnails of different sizes were required. Our orphan handbag looks like new again! Adoption of any kind is a good thing.





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