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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Bag mending

I have a very lovely leather bag made by the Nancybird company. Nancy Bird was a pioneering Australian aviator, whose granddaughter set up a company in her honour, manufacturing bags that were, at least originally, reminiscent of the bags Nancy Bird carried as an aviator. Many of them are a mixture of leather and fabric.

Jim bought me two Nancybird bags. The first of these was a lovely pale green leather with tan trim and two useful small pockets on the outside. It was lined in fabric which became soiled. The fabric lining on the flap also wore through. 

I really did not want to abandon this bag. Although I could see how to take it apart, I knew I would not be able to stitch it back together through the leather. Eventually I took it to a shoe repairer who cleaned and treated the leather, washed the lining and suggested removing the torn lining of the flap to expose the interfacing.
When I got home with the bag I dug around in my stash to find some suitable strong fabric with which I could reline the flap. I found some strong, hand-printed fabric in appropriate colours and set about fixing it to the inside of the flap, over the interfacing.
It wasn't easy stitching and I did not achieve invisible stitches, but I think the result works and will prolong the life of the bag. As well as being fond of this bag and finding it useful (which is why it wore out!), my parents and grandparents were all menders and it pleases me to remember my grandfather and father mending shoes, bags or straps, tools or equipment, my grandmother darning socks, unravelling cardigans to re-knit, my mother extending the life of clothes or linens. This bag looks used. It has been my organiser and companion throughout my current move.

It gives me great pleasure to repair and renew a useful object - more pleasure than I would get from replacing it.

I hope Nancy Bird would have felt the same.


Monica said...

Your stash fabric is a very good match to the original fabric on the bag! Which one did you get first? It is nice to be able to fix up a piece with so much history, and keep it in use.

Are you moved in now? I hope it all went well. :)

margaret said...

such a good repair, it would have been a shame to abandon the bag due to the worn lining.