Sunday, May 19, 2024

Mending the handles on a handbag with faux leather

Do you like shopping for handbags? I do NOT! 

I like a functional (not trendy) handbag/purse that holds all my stuff in an organized fashion. I like a purse in a basic color, sections on the inside, a light-colored interior, pockets on the inside and outside, and zippered or flapped pockets are even better. The bag also has to completely close—so if it slides or tips over in the car, the contents do not fall out. So when I find one that suits my criteria, I want it to last!

My functional purse with worn out handles.

I’ve had this purse for several years. It fits my needs! But, as you can see, the fabric is cracked and worn at the “bendy” place on the handles.

Cracked and worn purse handles.

On a visit to Wilson’s Fabric in Boaz, AL, I talked to the expert in their upholstery department. I asked her about a faux leather fabric, showed her the purse, and she fixed me right up!

Faux leather, tools and old handles.

The purse repair process

The repair was quick and fairly easy. After removing one of the old handles, I measured it, added about an inch to accommodate the fold around the hardware, and cut four pieces (two for each handle). The faux leather was easily cut with a rotary cutter and ruler.

With wrong sides together, two pieces were edge stitched to each other for each handle. The faux leather does not slide as easily under the presser foot as does other fabrics. A roller presser foot would have helped with this.

I left one of the old handles attached so I could use it as reference on how to attach the new one. It was a bit cumbersome to get the handle and bag under the needle at the sewing machine, but I took it slow and managed. I used binding/hem tape to hold the handle in place while sewing—a good tip as I couldn’t get a pin through two layers of the faux leather. The black thread (top and bobbin) blended with the faux leather to camouflage any stitching inaccuracies.

Successful handbag repair!

So, here is a completed project for “Me Mend May#memendmay! The project supports the concepts of slow fashion, sustainability, making do, and prevents me from making a trip to the mall and facing the arduous task of finding a suitable replacement. The new handles work great and it’s like having a brand new handbag.

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