Wow, what a topic.!! How did I start that, you ask?
Being the thrift store junkie that I am, it was only a matter of time before I found a jacket that “looked like it could be a purse”…..or a pair of leather pants that happened to be a very large size! Wow…at least 4 purses! And, Oh the color selection.!! I also realized that the leather is already treated, so it’s easier to care for. A friend challenged me one day , saying that if I could find a jacket in a pea green color – she’d like a purse out of it……….You guessed it – I found one and made the purse – she loved it.!!!
And so she told her friends, and now I get quite a few orders like that. It’s so rewarding to make special orders…. it’s like making someone their favorite meal.!!
What I do is first take a picture of it – then cut out all the lining, (I also don’t use the underarm sections, just in case you wondered.) I use some leather cleaner and conditioner on it, and lay it out to see what kind of purse it will be. Oh, I’m so excited when I find a jacket with a belt of the same leather – that’s the purse strap.!! I also pick up thrift store purses having interesting buckles, straps, rings and things, that I can use on another purse. As for the leather pants and skirts – I don’t use the lining or the “crotch area” (just in case you wondered again.!!) I do try to incorporate the pockets however, and sometimes even the jacket cuffs………I see a new design in every piece of leather I find…….Recycling is an exciting and fun way to “lighten the load on the planet”, too. So, I feel I’m doing my part. Some of my purses are lined, and some aren’t – depending on the nature of the “backside” of the leather. I do some seams with the sewing machine, but mainly my purses are hand laced, and/or hand sewn.
I now have my daughters, my sister, and friends on the lookout for nice leather items. They love having something to look for when they go thrift store shopping, so it’s just fun for everyone!