Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Transforming one super-large 1980's black leather coat into three new upcycled leather handbags - all handmade in New Orleans

Another fun custom project... the client offered her mother's old 1980's era extra-long, large black leather coat for upcycling.  Remember this style?

Before - the front
Before - the back

Not only did her mother wear it for years, but the client also wore it out on the town "back in the day."  I get the feeling it has seen its fair share of fun! :)

This coat was sooo large and had such awesome character and details that I was able to make not just one, but THREE bags out of it (with a little help from a few scraps of black suede I had here leftover from another project)!  Check them out:
The trio: a tote, shoulderbag, and a crossbody fringe bag

The shoulderbag and the tote - used the original coat pockets on both bags!

The tote - added a bit of suede to the top for extra texture.  That pocket will be handy too!
The backside of the tote - repieced the remnants together in a random pattern - loving that printed pattern on the trim!

The shoulderbag - single strap and a bit more slouchy

Back side of the shoulderbag

All three interiors are made with repurposed US army tent canvas, have interior pockets and magnetic snap closures, and have the all-important "Uptown Redesigns: Handmade in New Orleans" label

The Fringe Crossbody - good for nights out on the town!
Loving the long suede fringe
Ready for launch/departure back out into the world!  Have fun!

And so - the old 1980's memory lives on!  Not it has not one, but three new lives and will be back out and about on the town again!  Much better than sitting in the back of some closet not getting any use anymore, right?  I think Mom would be very proud and happy with this one. :)

Hooray for upcycling!!!

Upcycled Bags Handmade in New Orleans

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Upcycling Leather Coats into Totes - A Recent Upcycling Project (Before and After)

I always love a good custom job - especially one that presents a unique design challenge!  This client sent me three outdated leather and suede jackets that she no longer wears - all sitting in the back of her closet.  She asked that I use the leathers from each coat and put them into one bag.  Hmmm...  What would you do with all these colors??

Before - 3 colors of suede

Before - beautiful, soft teal leather

Before - a basic black leather

As you can see, there was enough leather here to do more than one bag, so I crafted two: a larger travel tote with pockets, and a smaller every-day tote.  Sometimes 3 wrongs do make a right...  Or maybe 2 "rights" in this case!

After - 2 bags from 3 different coats!
The smaller everyday tote

The larger tote - with exterior pockets (from the suede coat)

And here are the interiors - made of colorful repurposed upholstery remnants and a bit of canvas from a US army tent.  And, of course, the all-important "Uptown Redesigns - Handmade in New Orleans" labels.

And - here's the best part for me - the happy client finally receiving her newly upcycled bags!  Phew!!  Always a relief to see this smiling face! 

Another success story!!  Yay for upcycling!!!

Upcycled Bags Handmade in New Orleans