We are back in town and recovering from an action-packed Christmas! I reopened all my online shops and the sales are coming in again. As we speak, the boys are enjoying their new trampoline in the backyard, thereby giving me a little time to break away to check back in on Tidy Tangle.
I thought it only fitting to throw a post out there about a pinterest-inspired project I squeezed in somehow before leaving town for Christmas. Your reaction to this before-and-after is going to depend on whether you’re a glass-half-full, or glass-half-empty kind of person. Bear with me here, I’ll tell the story in a timeline of pictures…
Pictured below is a beautiful vintage suede jacket that I’ve had for several years, handed down from a friend. Please excuse the cell-phone photography, I was in between cameras at this point…
Now, if you’re a glass-half-empty kind of person, or you have a weak stomach, you might see the after picture like this:
(You might also notice the messy chair, but that’s another story…)
Yikes, I know, but keep bearing with me…
If you’re a glass-half-full kind of person, you might see the after picture like this:
In case I’ve lost you, I repurposed the jacket into a purse, using a tote bag pattern that I created a few years ago.
So, as you can see, it all depends on your perspective.
Now, for the longer version of the story. I loved this beautiful suede jacket well for the last three years. However, its age was showing, the leather was starting to wear out in some places, seams were coming loose, and it was fairly dirty. I took it to the cleaners to get a quote on repairing and cleaning it, and they came back with a “ballpark” figure of around $100. The dream of keeping the jacket alive died that day and it’s been hanging undisturbed in my closet ever since. Though tempted to take it to Goodwill, I just couldn’t bring myself to let go of it completely.
Then, I saw this inspiring picture on Pinterest, with the description below:
Well, one thing led to another, and the next thing I knew, I’d cut that jacket up and turned it into a tote bag. It’s a good thing that cow had already suffered because I seriously butchered that cow hide on my cutting table in an effort to get as much usable fabric from it as possible, it was a gruesome sight, I decided to spare y’all the pictures. There were a few times in the process where I began to doubt myself, and I longed to restore it to its original vintage glory, but I pressed ahead. The final result was a real leather handmade bag that would’ve cost me hundreds of dollars to purchase, and I gave new life and purpose to an old piece of well-worn, and well-loved leather.
That jacket was a work of art, obviously custom-made for someone decades ago who spared no expense. As someone who is a craftsman herself, I really appreciated the workmanship that went into it. My hope is that the person who made it would be proud to see it go on to have new purpose.
As well, I’m pretty sure that the fur collar left over is real fur, so the question on the table is: how can I repurpose that?? Maybe Pinterest will give me some inspiration for repurposing fur collars from vintage suede jackets too! Just in case, I’m holding onto the fur collar…