Upcycled Handbag

Having made myself a new purse last week I decided to make a new handbag too, mine was about four years old and looking decidedly shabby. I’ve been thinking of using the fabric from an old jacket for a while, so now was my chance!

The jacket is one I made about thirty years ago, I’ve even managed to find a photo of me wearing it! It’s very ’80’s and I now weigh about 3 stone more so there’s no way it’s going to be worn again but the wool was too nice to charity shop.

It’s a tweed made by Ankaret Cresswell, it was a little cottage weaver near Scarborough, I think I found it by chance. I remember it being pretty expensive for me and having just googled the name, they were tailors used by people such as Princess Anne.

I decided the back should give me enough for a handbag, using my usual pattern, the Mini Miranda bag by Lazy Girl Designs. I’ve made this pattern up several times now, it’s just the right size for me. Here’s photos of two of them…

I always forget with bag-making just how many pieces there are to cut out and how long it takes before you actually put it all together. There’s lining, interlining. fleece, as well as the actual fabric. I cut the back out of the jacket and it was just big enough for the two main body pieces if I cut them out as one rather than a seam down the centre of the front and back. I cut the tab out of the front after I’d made the bag up so I could pattern match the tab. The only change I made to the pattern was to add a mock flange from denim, I only remembered how I had done it by reading my last handbag post, the top edge is meant to be an extension of the lining like on the left hand photo, but I found this wears out first, so I added a narrow strip of denim to act as a binding. I used the same black denim for the base as it’s so much harder wearing than the wool. The outer fabric is meant to be quilted, I stitched down the central row and decided I didn’t want to do more, I felt it would detract from the fabric weave.

I used a cotton from my stash for the lining, I think it came from my mum’s stash, it’s a bit heavier than quilting cotton which worked well, it would have been better if I hadn’t read the instructions wrong and cut it out 1/2″ too narrow, hence the central strip which you can just see.

The lining has a row of pockets on each side, I always add a zipped pocket too where I keep my bus pass and staff ID, I also like a ribbon which my keys will be attached to – this not only saves rummaging round at the bottom of my handbag looking for my keys, it also means if I have my handbag I know I have my house key!

The handles are actually recycled from my old handbag, they look fine and I didn’t have a new pair in the right colour

After all the preparation work the final bit of stitching it all together didn’t take long at all. I took a lot of care cutting the tab out so it would match the pattern on the bag and I have to say I’m well chuffed with it…

I salvaged the designer label from my jacket, I was just going to stitch it on when I realised I’d forgotten to change my bottom thread when I stitched the tab on so I had two rows of black stitching on the lining. I stitched the label onto some plain cotton instead and then stitched the bigger label over the stitching, it almost covers it…

My new bag was ready to be filled and has been in daily use since. I just need to decide what to make from the tweed left over, maybe a card holder or a tissue holder!

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
This entry was posted in Sewing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Upcycled Handbag

  1. claire93 says:

    I never use a handbag, but appreciate the work that went into making these!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Juliana Ellington says:

    What an accomplishment! And what lovely fabric! When. you mentioned having scraps left of the tweed, I immediately wondered about some accessory for your rabbit–a hat, some boots, even a little bag for her? I also wondered if it would work on the back of one of your beautiful ‘smalls’. I don’t remember seeing the backs of your smalls, so I don’t know if you use contrasting fabrics.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kathyreeves says:

    A beautiful bag, and a great reuse of precious fabric!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Helen says:

    It’s lovely, and love all the inside pockets. Very handy for storage

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How marvelous, your reworking of that tweed into a usable tote is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Karen says:

    What a lovely bag and a great way to reuse fabric.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amo says:

    A great size bag! Look at those shoulders in the red dress. Was that really a thing 🫣 Oh my. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  8. amasambles says:

    Your ingenuity knows no bounds!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.