I very rarely see a bag I've made after its been shipped to its new owner - it's happened less than 10 times in 15 years! Well, this was one of those instances, so I wanted to document the process of repairing a bag to extend its life for many more years of service!
In May 2015, Melissa purchased her Custom Archive in Cinnamon Red aniline leather. A beautiful smooth-finish bold red leather with a vibrant pullup, aniline leathers are a favorite among leather lovers due to their unique patina. Overtime you can expect aniline leather to fold, crease, and create a unique wear pattern according to what's inside your bag.
Melissa used her bag everyday since the day it arrived and she wasn't ready to replace it with a new bag, but asked if I could replace the zipper closure, which was giving her some troubles after 8 years of daily use.
When I found her Archive in my photo archives (hah!), it brought back so many memories since the day I made this bag.
In the 8 years since I made Melissa's Custom Archive, I've made and shipped a few thousand more bags to customers, improved my construction methods and materials, we moved from a 500 sqft studio apartment in the Strip District in Pittsburgh, PA (where the photo above is taken!) to the suburbs of Dallas, TX where we bought our first house, had our daughter, who is going to be a 1st grader in August! Whoa! So much life happened in 8 years!
Imagine the life this bag has experienced in 8 years!
I was only too happy to replace the top closure to extend the life of the bag for another 8+ years of adventures.
Replacing the top closure is a labor-intensive process because I have the take the entire bag apart, destroying all the exterior hardware in the process. Thread snipping scissors, end cutting pliers, lots of grip strength, and tons of patience is all it takes to complete this process.
After the hardware and thread are all removed and cleaned up, I construct the new parts, then very carefully sew the new lining into the exterior, careful to go over each original hole from the initial sewing to avoid damaging the leather. It's a tedious process that involves a lot of focus!
Then, she gets brand new rivets and button snaps, and is ready for another 8+ years of life with her owner!
Hope this serves Melissa well for many many more years to come!