I love making handbags out of recycled leather. Making bags out of recycled leather is much more time-consuming than using original skins. But the results can be a lot more satisfying. Especially when you factor in that bags made from recycled leather are leaving a smaller footprint on the planet. Not to mention the cost of new leather vs. the cost associated with recycled leather.
When I began back making several years ago I was totally overwhelmed with the statistics regarding how much of our clothing, shoes, bags, and accessories end up in landfills due to fast fashion. The statistics are staggering! Our planet is not getting any larger but the number of items that each of us own, grows every year.
Sunday was a wonderful sunny day in central NJ. Maggie and I got out there early and set up. Most of what was on display were the wonderful infinity scarves and “scoodies” that Maggie has spent the last month creating.
I only had one thing to display – the “I Love Paris” skirt. I put it on a dress form, with a denim jacket and a cami, and figured I’d take orders from anyone who was interested in one just like it.
I was pleasantly surprised at the interest it generated!!
Here are some more pictures of Maggie’s beautiful items.
She also makes gorgeous mosaic tables!
I followed Don Morin’s “Making Leather Bags” course on Craftsy and created this fabulous leather bag. This coat’s Stitch Story starts way before I met it at a local thrift store and gave it a new life. The coat had a decidedly 80’s style.
One of the most challenging aspects of making this bag was constructing the rouleaux handles. In order to construct the handles it takes 2 strips of leather about 30 inches long, two small pieces of leather to be used as tabs to cover the ends of the handles, and cording for the inside of the handles.
The cording is placed inside of the leather strips, which is folded over the cording and then stitched on the outside.
Slits are made in the tabs, the rouleaux handles are placed on the body of the bag, through the slits and the tabs are then sewn down.
This is done before the two sides of the bag are sewn together. The result is a beautiful custom handle on a one-of-a-kind bag.
The result is a beautiful custom handle on a one-of-a-kind bag!
Got an old coat you’d like to see re-tooled into a stylish trendy tote?
“You have to like what you do, no matter what it is, to make a success of it.” —Willie Otey Kay
Willie Otey Kay was a North Carolina native who walked the color line in expert fashion to live her Stitch Story. For more than 60 years Mrs. Kay created debutante gowns, wedding dresses and fancy ball gowns for North Carolina’s elite. She was sought after by both black and white patrons and was careful to split her time 50-50 between the two communities.
She and her sisters created breath-taking one-of-a-kind dresses. An exhibit of works is on view now at the North Carolina Museum of History