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How to Make a Fortuny Gladstone Bag, Part 1

Here is the bag before I before I began the deconstruction process.
After cutting off the frame, I removed the lining to learn how the bag was put together and what structure was inside.
The gussets on the end, were sewn to a straight strip of leather, and then the leather strip was sewn onto the bag.
Here is the bag before I before I began the deconstruction process.

Here is the bag before I before I began the deconstruction process.

Recently, a friend gave me a beat-up old Gladstone bag that he'd found at an estate sale. I've liked the Gladstone bag style in the past, and this was an opportunity to make one for myself. I decided to use Fortuny fabric, as it's so beautiful.

make a fortuny gladstone bag part 1   Here is the bag before I before I began the deconstruction process.

After cutting off the frame, I removed the lining to learn how this bag was put together and what structure was inside. I saw chipboard (thick paper) for stiffening, and spring bones (called a facile spring because it has a curve lengthwise instead of being flat, like a fin from Levolor-brand blinds) in the sides to provide structure. 

make a fortuny gladstone bag part 1   Chipboard was used to stiffen the bag's sides.

Dissecting this bag clarified how it went together. 

make a fortuny gladstone bag part 1  

The gussets on the end were sewn to a straight strip of leather, and then the leather strip was sewn onto the bag.

Here are the main parts of the bag after the seams were opened. 

make a fortuny gladstone bag part 1  

Chipboard in the gussets gave stiffness to the bag ends.

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Comments (10)

LebecEgirl LebecEgirl writes: Do you have a source for the hardware (long metal closure) for the Gladstone style bag)? Would love to make a bag like this.
Posted: 9:00 pm on May 21st

deWeerd deWeerd writes: oh ... so nice to have found this site !! In the Netherlands, where I live are still made a lot of bags by hand, but really craft like here on this site, you almost do not find here. I would also like to make a Galdstone bag and teach here a lot !! Thanks for that !! After a long search, I have found a place where different types and kinds of Gladstone bag frames are sold. I think you can find these at Ohio travelbag. But for me, easier, and more choice to buy them in the Netherlands :-) Who is intrested, or for bags automakers in Europe is the web address www.emezzuhandbaghardware.com.
With greetings from the Netherlands

p.s. how can I get a patern?
Posted: 6:43 am on March 21st

KennethDKing KennethDKing writes: Sadly there's no place that I know of for a pattern. I used the dissected bag for mine...
Posted: 9:49 pm on January 27th

user-2011587 user-2011587 writes: Hi,
I love this bag!
Is there a place I can get this pattern? I would like to make one while u do yours.
Thank you,
Sheryl
Posted: 8:19 pm on January 12th

KennethDKing KennethDKing writes: To Gailete: I'm glad you find the posts interesting! Just because one won't have use for some of what I make, that doesn't mean one can't enjoy acquiring knowledge just for its own sake. It makes life far more interesting.
Posted: 1:09 pm on November 29th

gailete gailete writes: Kudos to you for even attempting this sort of project! I'm always amazed when people take on something like this.

I appreciate your many projects that I have seen you do throughout the years. As someone that usually spends most of my time home and in my nightgown due to poor health, I don't have much call for what you make, but my brain NEEDS the stimulation, so thank you!
Posted: 6:43 pm on November 27th

KennethDKing KennethDKing writes: To AterlierDesigns: I ourchased them at Pacific Trimmings in New York (http://www.pacifictrimming.com). They have a good range of things.

As for hand saddle stitching, there is a "starter kit" at Tandy leather, that has the book and the essential tools needed to learn. That's how I did...
Posted: 9:00 am on November 25th

AtelierDesigns AtelierDesigns writes: After a recent visit to the School of Leatherworking in Florence, I'm fascinated with the construction of handbags. I'm most interested in learning hand saddle stitching and plan to give it a go. You gave some great tips for construction. I'm looking to source the metal feet you used. Would you mind sharing your resources. Thank you.
Posted: 10:00 pm on November 24th

KennethDKing KennethDKing writes: Thanks for the kind words!

If you'd like to see the finished bag, you can follow me on Instagram (kennethdking), as I have photos there...
Posted: 9:19 am on November 19th

LuvThreadsMagazine LuvThreadsMagazine writes: Senor King,

You never cease to demonstrate that anything can be de-created and re-created - on behalf of my fellow Threads readers, thank you for that.

Your taste in hides and patterns proves flawless. While still in pieces, what you have constructed conveys the double-distilled elegance found among a select group who have the means for anything, but discerningly choose only timeless statement pieces.

Eagerly awaiting the rest of the series!
Posted: 6:01 pm on November 18th

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