How to Make a Fortuny Gladstone Bag, The Finale
In Part 1, I showed you how to deconstruct a vintage Gladstone bag and how to build a new bag body using Fortuny fabric. In Part 2, I demonstrated how to construct the end gussets and attach them to the bag body.
With the body of the Fortuny Gladstone bag finished, it was time to construct the lining. I chose the reverse side of the fabric for the lining. Stylistically, it matches the bag exterior, but it looks different enough.
Using the lining pattern pieces made from the vintage bag, I cut the fabric and installed a zippered pocket in the lining’s main body.
Afterward, I sewed the end gussets to the lining body, to complete the lining.
I slipped the sewn lining into the bag and stitched around the top edge. The gusset lining edges were turned under, but all other edges were left raw at this stage.
The leather pull tabs were sewn to the top edge at the same time.
The next challenge was to cover the frame.
Fortuny fabrics generally have a border printed along the selvages of the fabric. That would be a good trim for the frame.
I knew, after examining the frame stripped from the vintage bag, that the leather had been adhered to cardboard, and I decided to replicate that construction. Oak tag (manila folder paper) and fusible web worked well for this step.
I experimented to determine exactly what size to cut the oak tag.
To get a crisp fold, I scored the foldline lightly with a sharp blade.
The pieces for the latch side of the frame were ready to be cemented to the frame.
I used contact cement to glue the cover pieces to the frame.
After the pieces were cemented to the frame, the fabric that was pulled around to the back of the frame was glued into place with Shoe Goo, an adhesive and sealant.
For the other side of the frame, finishing the ends was more complex. I used the leather that I removed as my pattern to cut and cover the oak tag.
The fabric was adhered to the oak tag with fusible web.
The cover was adhered to the frame with contact cement, and finished with Shoe Goo.
The finished frame looks complete with the polished hardware installed.
The pattern of the border runs along the length of the frame. The frame was attached to the bag and basted in place with cord, readying it for the rivets. All the upper edges were sandwiched within channels in the frame elements. Once riveted in place, the frame enclosed the raw edges for a clean, durable finish. I constructed the handle out of the matching leather, for a custom effect.
Nestor at Star Snaps, 316 W. 39th Street, in Manhattan, set the rivets.
He’s the master: He did careful, good work in setting all of the rivets that secured the bag to the frame.
The Completed Bag
The Big Reveal: This is the front of the Fortuny Gladstone Bag.
This is a back view of the Fortuny Gladstone Bag.
The tag is a key fob. Surprisingly, the bag came to me with both keys for the latch.
This is the interior. The entire bag was a good effort and one I’m really proud of!
Now that you’ve walked through all of the steps taken to turn a vintage find into a one-of-a-kind Fortuny bag, what do you think of the process and techniques used? Would you, or have you, re-created a vintage bag? Please share your thoughts below in the comments section.
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