I've made a little boat out of cotton fabric-well that's what it looks like! It has an elasticated pocket one side and a little bit of wadding between the layers. I decided to use tacks to fix it into the bag rather than attempt to sew through the slats. It was fiddly trying to place the tacks and keep them upright and then hit them with the hammer (Not my forte!)
Just the lid to do now, plus solving the little problem of how to attach some loops for the new handle to clip on to. Please come back for Part Four!
Firstly I took it into the garden and removed as much dust as I could with a stiff clothes brush. It then had a gentle wash with an old washing up brush. I let it dry then carried out a second wash. It certainly looks brighter, but its difficult to clean between the individual canes. I decided that would do, as a certain amount of patina is expected on vintage items.
I then tackled the brittle leather strap, applying first a neutral then a brown polish. It has become more pliable, but I think would still eventually break with use, so I'll ditch that and use a shiny new adjustable cross body brown leather strap instead!
I then made some paper patterns for the lining, which will be double sided so that I can sandwich a thin layer of wadding between the two sides and it won't show from the outside. Come back later to see what's next!
I've bought a cute but old, tired, dusty, dirty little wicker handbag with a crusty, hard, inflexible leather strap that looks as though it may have once had a buckle and has been attached in a Heath Robinson way to the base so when you hold it the bag tips upside down! K. Oliver used to own it (whoever she may be) as she written her name on it three times! The bag is more or less structurally sound, but just needs some Toots Totes magic. I intend to transform it into something lovely and useful once more.
First job is to start dismantling. Luckily the lid is easily removable and I remove the decorative cane on one side, where it remains, so it matches the other side and the the strap is easier to take off without damaging it. Before cleaning I need to try and stabilise any damage with wood glue. Luckily it's mostly intact.
Come back later to follow the process and the progress!
A lovely client has a new scooter and asked me to make a posh zip topped tote bag to fit onto the handlebars. I made a prototype first to check how the dimensions would work and how the velcro straps to attach to the handlebars would sit. I finally decided it was best to have little loops to thread the straps through so that they could be removed for carrying the bag by hand. Here is the result in a William Morris print. With its leather handles it's dead posh and she'll have the smartest scooter for miles around!
Hello, I'm Ruth Overton. My nickname as a child was 'Ruthie Toots' which is how the name