Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Too Ugly to Take Home...

This red leather coat has been hanging around the store for quite some time now, and quite frankly I'm getting sick of looking at it.   So I have decided to turn it into something useful, a big red leather bag.  This post was inspired by New Dress A Day  a great little blog where the author decide to forgo traditional shopping for a year and instead with a $1 a day budget buy an unwanted piece of clothing and turn it into something wearable (Thanks Renae).   I have boxes upon boxes of clothing that I have saved with the intention of 'fixing it', so get on my back and pester me a bit and maybe I can make this a regular event.  And if you feel like saving something come visit me at The Green Man and have a dig through a box to find something salvageable.   All I ask in return is some before and after photos.

 But for now back to the big red leather coat.  Step one in the coats transformation involved removing the sleeve linings.  The arms of the coat are going to become the straps of a bag, so I want to remove the extra bulk and I need to get access to the head sized shoulder pads. 

 Sleeve linings and shoulder pads removed with the help of a seam ripper and we are off to the races. Really at this point I should stitch the lining closed where I've removed the sleeve lining but it's on the inside of my bag where no one can see it, so meh, why bother.

I now zip the coat up and flip the whole thing upside down.  It's time for the hard part, sewing the front of the coat to the back.  It's not a technical challenge, just one of strength. 

I find thimbles tricky to use, so I developed the table technique where I use a table or other solid surface to help push the needle through all the layers of leather.  It also helps whenever possible to follow the stitching already present on the coat.
The last step is figuring out how the arms of the coat wrap around you body and then stitching the cuffs together.  And voila!  A new leather satchel:

Too easy!  And all you need is an ugly jacket, needle and thread, scissors, and maybe a seam ripper.   This is a pretty simplistic coat to bag redo, but I have seen some pretty amazing transformations of this sort before.  Check ReMade USA for some inspiring looks. 

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