Altered Clothes - take 3, aka Leather Binge

FINALLY finished this leather bag I have been working on forever!  I really like how it turned out and what makes it even ten times cooler is that it is a complete and total upcycle/repurpose project!!  Uh huh!

Here's the dealio.  It was a full size Taiwanese leather trench coat.  I LOVED the color of it at the thrift store but I didn't love the price.   I asked the manager if she could do better on the price and to my utter amazement, she could!  I was actually shocked because it was Goodwill and I have begun to think of them as big corporate mucky muck and I think they usually cost too much.  I am so used to asking for the "best deal," or "is this your best price," or "can you do any better," from all the junkin' I do at yard, flea, estate, rummage sales so it just came out. And she said yes.  And she said how about $10?  Well, I gotta say, I still hesitated since I can find good leather to reuse at all these other types of sales and I never pay more than $5.  I didn't balk long though since I LOVED the color and an idea was starting to formulate.
Unfortunately, my photos of the intact and original trench are on the old computer that died but I was able to give you a general idea of what the thing looked like before.  Wow, right?!  I was able to cut out the mid section of the coat, on the seams, and still have the rest to do more projects with. 

I took off the plastic buttons, even though they were cool (saved em, of course), and hand sewed on two antler buttons that I had.  Then I used my machine, which didn't like any of this sewing leather business, to sew the front panel, next to the buttons, closed.

I had some left over deep blue velvet from a wrap around skirt I made myself last winter.  I really like the contrast of the blue velvet and orangey color of the leather.  This bag has a wintery feel to it but I am trying it out for a few days now!  I used the velvet to patch over the pocket openings, line the top edge and as the "belt!"  See the original belt loops, still in place?  The velvet belt slides right thru and cinches the bag closed if need be.  I think I should still add a magnetic snap. 

My machine was so unhappy about sewing leather.  Even though this isn't thick, once you add a layer of velvet, or dare to sew two layers of leather together, she gets pissed!  I went thru a whole package of leather needles and in the end I had to heed my lovely friend Suze's suggestion and take it to a shoe repair place to finish the last step of attaching the shoulder strap.  Thank goodness I did, since now its finished and I can actually use it, kinda the point of making it in the first palce!

I took it to Woodinville Shoe Repair and for $10 (I know, It ups my overall cost and defeats the purpose of bickering over the price in the first place, but it was so nice to just GET IT DONE!), they sewed my straps on for me.  Thank you shoe repair guy!  I think my friends Katie and Dianah both have kick-ass machines that would have don't the job so I will try that next time.  This time i got too impatient!
The shoulder strap is made from the original belt.  It was a thin belt so I just cut it in half, liked that length, and had him sew each piece on, side by side.
Here is the very simple but heavy duty sewing that was done at the shoe repair place.
Overall I am very pleased with how this turned out but I am not happy my sewing machine is such a wus.  I think I will have to trade up because I have A LOT of leather projects in mind.  Mostly bags and purses but also saddle bags for my vintage Schwinn, sword and knife sheaths for J. and various gifts and whatnots for friends and family.  I will let y'all know when I have some pieces up for sale :)

So, Sew, Sow!

Dishwasher broken so off to handwash dishes, Jennette