Saturday, November 2, 2013

Before and After Pictures

I haven't updated in quite some time, but I have finished a few bags over the last few months.  I'll start with the most recent one first.  This was an easy rehab of a Logan Bag.  It looks brand new.  I just needed to give it a bath to reshape because it had been smushed by the prior owner during storage.  It clearly had been well cared for as I didn't even need to polish the brass.  I forgot to take a before shot, so here are the finished results:

Next up is what has become one of my favorite bags.  I'm usually not a satchel person, but I just love the classic doctor-bag style of the Baxter.  This one had completely lost its shape and was rather beat up.

I gave it a bath, reconditioned, and finished with Blackrocks.  I added a scarf to dress her up.

Next up is a Post Pouch.  This is such a cute little bag that is great to carry around for quick errands or while on vacation.  This one was looking a little ragged when I got her:

She rehabbed beautifully.  The discoloration on the bottom front of the bag completely went away during the rehab process.

I'll end with another classic.  Classic Willis bags can be found, with some hunting, at very good prices.  I found this one and went to work.  Here is what she looked like when I started:

When I finished, I had a brand new Willis at a fraction of the retail price.  Again, I dressed her up with a cute scarf as a finishing touch.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Stewardess - To Dye For

 I had too high of expectations for this Stewardess bag when I started working on it.  Here are the before shots.

I washed it, but the staining was very bad.  It also had lots of very bad scuffing and scratches.  It was a very light chocolate brown color, and even with a couple coats of Leather Therapy, I didn't feel like I'd be able to get this bag to a condition where I'd want to carry it without drastic intervention.

I decided to try my hand at redying my first bag.  I used deglazer to prep the bag, then applied chocolate brown colored dye using a cotton cloth.  I touched up the next day using a q-tip and applied a second light coat to ensure good coverage.  I then waited a couple days and applied two light coats of acrylic resolene mixed 50/50 with water.  I'm hoping it is waterproof.  

Here are the after pictures:

It looks like a brand new bag.  I've worn it a few times, and so far so good.  We will see how it holds up over time.  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Vintage Coach Saddlery Bag Restoration

I found this old saddlery bag that need a little bit of love.  It had an old ink stain on the bottom.  Some ink was also visible on the back.  

I tried to see if I could get the ink to come out of the bag, but I did not have any luck.  Instead, I used EdgeKote mixed with conditioner to cover the stain.  In real life, the ink is barely noticeable.  There are a couple very small spots on the leather above the turnlock that are slightly discolored, but overall an excellent result.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

The British Tan Musette that Wasn't British Tan

In getting started with learning how to restore leather, and in particular seeing the work of several people who have been working on Coach leather bags for sometime, I couldn't help but fall in love with the Musette.  The Musette is the classic 1970s Coach leather bag.  It's made of high-qualify glove-tanned leather, and the style is timelessly fashionable.  (Coach just brought back the style in their Legacy line.)  Size-wise, it is smaller than a typical briefcase, but large enough for a few files, an iPad, and all the stuff I would normally carry in my bag to work.

I really wanted to find a British Tan Musette to restore and started looking for one.  I saw one on eBay, but was outbid by someone willing to pay more than I was.  I shortly thereafter found one on Etsy in my price range.  I haven't been doing this long, so when I saw the pictures online and when I received it, I just assumed it would be British Tan.

It was very, very dirty, and very, very dry.  So dry that parts of the bag almost felt like suede.  I was actually a little worried about how dry it was.  This bag hadn't seen a conditioning in years.

I immediately bathed it, and immediately realized this bag was definitely not British Tan.  The bag released quite a bit of very dark dye, and it was obvious the bag was a much darker color. 

The restoration process was quite lengthy.  Through much of the process I wasn't sure if the bag would be more red or a dark brown chocolate color.  Here's a picture midway through the restoration:

I used so many coats of Leather Therapy that I lost track.  Eventually, the natural oils of the leather were restored, and the bag turned into a beautiful, deep reddish brown tobacco color.  

I polished the brass and tacked down some loose pieces in the bottom, and it is now almost-new.  The leather is super soft.  There is one place where the piping is worn through near one of the buckles, but the bag is in overall great shape.   

I'm still looking for a British Tan to restore.  I think my wardrobe can handle multiple Musettes. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Mini-Briefcase Project

This smaller briefcase was made in the 1970s and became my first restoration project.  I was looking for something I could carry to work that would fit my iPad along with the stuff I usually carry.  When I received it, the piping on two corners was damaged and the leather was very dried out.

Here are a couple of before pictures:

I honestly had no clue what to do with the piping.  I took a needle and thread to it, which may not have been the best idea.  I then gave the bag a bath to get it clean.  After several days of applying Leather Therapy, followed by Blackrock, followed by Obenauf's, with lots of brushing and buffing in between, the leather turned into this:

It is now a beautiful, dark chocolate brown leather.  I put several coats of EdgeKote over the piping.  It is passable, but not great.  I'll try something else next time.  For my purposes, it is fine.  

I absolutely love my "new" old bag. 

Welcome to my blog!

If you don't understand the title of my blog, you clearly don't read nearly as much Deadspin as I do.  I don't intend to blog about Chris Berman all that often, though when he annoys me during home run derby or when they trot him out for the US Open, I may throw in a reference or two.  I have a little bit of a Coach addition, and I've recently started rehabbing Coach bags.  My intention is to use this space to blog about my rehab projects.  My first project turned out much better than expected, and my second one is going very well, too. I'm hoping this space will turn into something fun to showcase my leather projects.