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How to Make a Fortuny Gladstone Bag, The Finale

Follow along to learn how to I completed this handsome Fortuny Gladstone bag. 

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.

gladstone fortuny bag finale

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.

Fortuny Gladstone vintage bag how to

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.

Fortuny Gladstone Bag how to

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. 

Fortuny Gladstone Bag how to

I used contact cement to glue the cover pieces to the frame.

Fortuny Gladstone bag how to

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.

Fortuny Gladstone bag how to

The fabric was adhered to the oak tag with fusible web.

Fortuny Gladstone bag how toThe cover was adhered to the frame with contact cement, and finished with Shoe Goo.

The finished frame looks complete with the polished hardware installed.

Fortuny Gladstone Bag how toThe pattern of the border runs along the length of the frame. Fortuny Gladstone bag how toThe 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. Fortuny Gladstone bag how to 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.

Fortuny Gladstone bag how to

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

Gladstone Fortuny BagThe Big Reveal: This is the front of the Fortuny Gladstone Bag. Fortuny Gladstone bag how to

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.

Fortuny Gladstone Bag how toThis 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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  1. Magi48 | | #1

    This is a brilliant piece of work. No, I've never done anything like it; after 6 months of lessons I'm still struggling to sew a straight line. Gladstone bags have great sentimental value for me, since my father carried one all through my growing years and it often contained treats for us kids. Congratulations on a job well done!

  2. User avater
    LuvThreadsMagazine | | #2

    Senor King,

    The reality exceeds the promise.

    The handle, that pocket, and don't get me started on Nestor's rivets - you are a maestro at orchestrating show-stopping compilations. The lining was yet another turn at incorporating the unexpected, and elevating the entire effort.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    A huge fan

  3. User avater
    kennethdking | | #3

    Thanks for the kind words!

    This piece worked out really well, and Fortuny is interested in seeing if we can market them. The challenge will be finding suitable hardware, but I'm pursuing it!

    1. [email protected] | | #13

      5 years later and I’m seeing this for the first time. Wondering if you have been successful in the ‘suitable hardware?’ Ie - where do i find a nice frame - I think that’s the critical piece here.

  4. User avater
    LaContessa | | #4

    I loved seeing the progress of your bag. I am a vintage nut so I often resurrect old bags and use them. Recently I found a reptile skin bag in desperate need of love. Some of the bag is unusable but after looking at your bag I got the idea of adding fabric and salvaging what I can. Working the frame was daunting me but now I am not scared! The texture theme will save some of the look or maybe adding fur...I an think about that. The biggest problem I have with old bags is finding handles. One day I copied a Lanvin idea and covered the old handle with grosgrain the look was perfect for the bag.
    Well done on your bag!

  5. bluesnake397 | | #5

    It was a long way to go but I have finally finished mine. It looks amazing. I will be carrying it around for whole world to see. :)

  6. User avater
    KatMW | | #6

    This is a lovely vintage design.

  7. denisesews1 | | #7

    Amazing bag. If you do an instructional video, I'd be interested in making one if you give sources for the hardware.

  8. Motard | | #8

    Wow it's seems a little bit complicated but the result is amazing !!! I really love vintage design <3

  9. User avater
    BobTenant | | #9

    This looks perfect for decorating a house in a rustic style. If you rent your place you can also store things in it and use it when you're moving houses. Cool!

  10. BonBon22 | | #10

    Beautiful, beautiful work. I loved the pocket in the lining also. That was a surprise. I am afraid I would not have the patience for something like this. A long time ago I would have. Thank you for sharing your masterful work.

  11. andrearoseus | | #11

    Nice Creativity...Keep it up

  12. user-2418027 | | #12

    can we still buy the hardware

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