Monday, June 20, 2011

how to fix shredded purse lining

I don't know about you, but I'm kind of tired of hearing about how all women love shoes. Apparently, we all have a huge collection of shoes, want or have an entire closet devoted to shoes, or want a pair of shoes for every hour of every day and it's really starting to bug me. Especially after reading that women on average will spend $25,000 in their lifetime on shoes. Are you kidding me?

You know what? That may be true for some women but as with all stereotypes, it does not apply to everyone. I'm definitely not in that category as I find shoe shopping extraordinarily difficult and it always takes me forever to find a pair I like. I don't run into shoe stores and find I just can't decide on what pair to get so I must get them all. That's totally not me.

Purses, on the other hand, could definitely put me in that position -- where I find myself torn between one bag and another. In fact, I can think I've found the perfect bag for everything and forever, but then I see another one that seems to promise the same. But don't worry. I'm still thrifty to the end and I don't think I'd ever be able to spend $25,000 on purses in my lifetime. In fact, all of the ones I have were either gifts, found on sale (eh hem, clearance), or found at the thrift store.

I will say that I think purses rank higher than shoes, because they always have them in my size. And there's nothing worse for me than (finally) finding a pair of shoes I really love only to find out they don't have my size or even worse they don't have any size that works. So take that, shoes.


So when my favourite right-now over-the-shoulder purse was mysteriously damaged, I sobbed. A little. (Let's be clear here, I'm not purse crazy!)

I don't know how it happened, but between one day and the next, I reached inside my bag to find this:


It's never happened to me until now, but I've seen it in many purse orphans at the thrift store.

So how do you fix it? Fabric glue to the rescue!


Turn the bag inside out so it's easier to work with.

crazy double-jointed thumbs. what would I do without you?

Do a dry run first by tucking the effected area back to where it probably should be and shift the zipper area up to overlap the rip. This way you'll have a better idea of exactly where you should put the glue so the lining and zipper area looks right. You'll also reduce the risk of over or under applying the glue or applying it in the wrong area.

It's kind of important to get an idea of the fix before actually gluing it on your own purse. Every purse is different, so what worked for mine may not work exactly for yours.


Use a brush or your finger to swipe on some fabric glue (I got mine at FabricLand). Put it all along the fabric just above the rip (if there are any loose strings from the fray, you should trim them before gluing. I didn't and wish I had). I was pretty generous with the glue and it's ok if you happen to brush a bit out of the area. It dries clear so you won't even notice any mistakes.

The glue does not dry instantly so secure it with some binder clips, clothespins, whatever you've got handy if you find it doesn't want to stay in the position you want it to be in. Try to make sure to only clip to the pocket and the lining. I managed to pinch some of the outer leather, so now I've got a tiny crease on the outside of the purse but since it's pretty obvious which side of my bag is the front, I'll never be wearing it opposite to that so no one will ever see that pinch. It's not a really terrible crease that destroys the look of the purse, just a tiny fold, but you'll want to watch out for that if your purse has no defined front.

I let mine dry overnight just to be doubly sure it had bonded.


Remove the binder clips and voila! My purse is back to new again! You wouldn't even know it had been ripped. The binder clip marks fade within a day so don't worry about that.

Now I have my purse back and I'm continuing my habit of idly ruffling the fringe while shopping, sitting in the car, waiting in line... Boy, I missed that. 

What's almost better than tassels? Fringe! And metal chain fringe at that.

4 comments:

Jane said...

I can see why you wouldn't want to give up this purse - it's great and from what I can see, you did an amazing job :) Fabric glue is not something I'd automatically think of, but I can see it has one obvious advantage - it dries clear. Enjoy!

I'm a shoe person, but not a crazy one.

danielle and dinosaur toes said...

i think i'm a lot like you in the whole shoe vs. purse thing. don't get me wrong, i love shoes, but i just don't buy that many of them. 1. i have a hard time finding them in my size since i only wear a 5, and 2. i'm incredibly picky about style, color, fit, etc. purses i'm not so picky about and i've found tons of them thrifting (or on clearance like you), so i figure, if they're cheap, why not get them?!

Idle Wife said...

Jane: I didn't automatically think of fabric glue either and the whole time I was doing it, I thought it would never work. But then the purse was basically lost anyway, so I figured I had nothing to lose by trying! I'm so glad I did cuz it's completely back to normal and I was able to use it all weekend.

Danielle and Dinosaur Toes: I'm really picky about shoes, too. I'd always get in trouble cuz it would take me forever to decide and then I still wouldn't get them. But they had to look right from the top, you know? Sure if other people see them, they look fine, but I'm the one looking down at them all the time, and if they don't look right from my view, then they're just not right at all. I'm trying to cut back on my purses by coming up with rules for them, but it's really hard not to get them when I find them on sale or thrifting!

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

Awesome! I'm so glad you fixed it because that purse is super cool.