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How To: Bag Repair

How To: Bag Repair

Use these industry tips and tricks to fix common handbag problems and breakages such as holes in the lining.

I'm going to show you how to repair a bag. This bag has a couple of common faults: there's a hole in the bottom at the corner; and the strap is about to come off. Now, this is a lined bag, which means to get into both of those, I need to unpick the lining.

When garments, or bags, or anything that's stitched together, is made in a factory, they leave a small hole - which you can identify by this stitching - to get inside the bag. If we just unpick here, I can get right in, and I can re-machine all of this, so I'm going to take an unpicker and just unpick that row of stitching. We need a hole about this big to be able to get our hands in and get inside the bag.

I'm going to go straight into that corner, and I'm going to just pin and re-stitch on the machine that little corner there. I've taken my pinned corner to my sewing machine, and I've lined up where the stitching is still in the original part of the seam. I'm lowering my sewing foot - I'm stitching in orange, just so you can see what I'm doing.

Now this is quite thick, so you want to take this quite slowly. I'm just going to do a reverse at the beginning, and I'm just stitching around that corner, replacing the burst stitching. I'm finishing with a reverse.

So that's my corner fixed, and whilst I'm inside the bag, I can get to the strap that's come off. I'm taking all my lining out of the way. This bit's a little bit fiddly, and you may need to raise that foot just to get that in.

With my hands, I'm just making sure that this is all completely on the bag, and that there's no lining caught underneath. I'm going to bring my needle in, and I'm just going to pivot. And again, I'm going to take this nice and slowly, stitching with a slightly longer stitch because it's thick.

If you find your stitching (leather like this), it's sticking, you can put some masking tape on it, underneath of your foot, and that will help it slide better. And again, I'm finishing with a reverse. Then to finish, I'm just going to re-machine that bit of lining.

So that's my strap re-attached, in orange thread, and the corner of my bag re-stitched. And that's how you repair a bag!.