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Refashioning Treasure

The patterned blue and purple fabric of a vintage bag.

Sometimes, I feel like a pirate. Just less swashbuckley. Also, I don’t have a parrot. But I do love hunting for, and finding, treasure.

The patterned blue and purple fabric of a vintage bag.

At a vintage market last month, the colours and patterns of a small bag got my treasure sensors tingling. For £3.00, it was impossible to resist. However, it was going to take some taking apart, some sewing, and some putting back together again.

Inside, there was a plastic lining with marks of foundation dotted over it. To take this lining out, I had to first remove the bag from the metal frame. This was an epic struggle that, thankfully, I won (I was beginning to doubt whether my hands would survive). Then began the unpicking. When it was all taken apart, I cut out pieces for the new lining by using the outer fabric as a template.

The finished new lining for the vintage bag. Completed refashioned vintage bag.

After that was my favourite part: the sewing. Firstly, I sewed the outer fabric pieces together, then the lining pieces together, and then sewed these two together along the top edges.

Handle fabric, cut into strips. Liberty print. Blue, red and purple patterned fabric. Refashioned vintage bag.Finished handles for vintage bag.

Originally, there were two short handles on the bag – they were too short. So out came the unpicker again, and, although to start with they’d seemed quite thin, there was enough fabric in them to cut them in half lengthways, and still be wide enough to make a reasonable handle. I stitched theses four pieces together width-ways, cut out a complimenting fabric to back it, and stitched it all together.

Finally, I had to reattach the bag and handles by slotting the tops and sides back into the metal frame – they went in more easily than they came out. Using a pair of pliers, I clamped the frame shut. Then I danced around the house with happiness (and relief).

Finished refashioned vintage bag. Liberty print. Blue, red and purple patterened fabric.

I think I’m going to call it the Humpty Dumpty bag. It didn’t take all the King’s horses, and it didn’t take all the King’s men (from the ending of the nursery rhyme, they seemed pretty rubbish anyway), but it did take a lot of work, and a lot of accidentally stabbing myself in the hand, to take it apart and put it back together again.



    • The pattern does look a lot like a Liberty print – I was wondering whether it was as I was sewing. When I first saw the fabric, I knew that I couldn’t walk passed it – too many lovely blues, purples, and reds!

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