Reverse engineering - repairing a shop bought bag

My sister has this really pretty pink bag she had bought on holiday, but it was only cheap, so before long the zip broke, the thin lining started to fray and the bottom seams started to unravel.  So she gave it to me to fix.  I re-stitched the seams and overlocked all the raw edges inside the outer bag.  My first mistake was not taking pictures of it before I took it apart to use the original lining as a pattern!  It was wedge shaped, zipped flat at the top with a wide flat bottom.

Here are the lining side panels.  You can see it is a thin synthetic, zipped across the top and with a simple slip pocket.  My second mistake was not taking any measurements from the original bag as regards width of seams, positions of handles, length of zip opening etc!  

This was the bottom, which enclosed the foam stiffener as part of the bag - I usually add a loose bag bottom to my bags, so this was something new for me.  Hadn't thought of using craft foam sheets either, light and water resistant but not very stiff.  You could put 2 in to make it stiffer I suppose?

So I made the new side panels out of cotton sheeting, with a slip pocket, and attached the zip across the top, then joined the sides together.  I had overlocked all the raw edges, but forgot to note which side of the bag the pocket had been on! (Mistake number 3)

I made the new bottom with the foam stiffener enclosed, and again all the raw edges overlocked. However, when it came to pinning it all together I struggled to fit it round the corners.  In the end I sewed the 4 straight sides and stopped at the corners, then stitched them by hand.  When it came to fitting the lining inside the outer I discovered it was an inch too big, so I had to re-stitch the side seams and taper them to make it fit - I was not going to unpick the bottom! All out of sight in the finished bag though, and topstitched to finish it off.

I had referred to Lisa Lam's The Bag Making Bible when it came to the zip, and had added tabs to the ends (which handily stopped the zip coming off) but as I hadn't checked the measurements the tabs ended up disappearing down the side seams!

I used a heavier duty zip too so it should last her a bit longer!

So here it is, restored and ready to go, looking good despite my mistakes!


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