Monday, January 7, 2013

Repairing and Accessorizing my Vera Bradley Purse

I love my Vera Bradley purse. When the print I wanted was discontinued I watched the online price carefully until it got low enough that I could justify buying it, and I bought two coordinating napkins so I could make my own accessories.
I made one key fob three months later, and then five months after that I made a second key fob that was longer in length.
And then nothing... no more in-the-hoop accessories even though I had lofty goals.

I've used the purse for 2 years now and it's starting to show it's age, especially the handles with exposed batting. Before retiring the bag, I decided to attempt repairing it myself with the napkins I still had laying around! I am blown away by how just a little bit of effort made a huge difference in the appearance!
I don't really have good pics of how I did it. I just cut 3.5" strips, wrapped them around the handles, folding in the outside edge, pinned in place, and stitched three quilting lines like what was already on the handle. It's not perfect, but it sure looks better than it did!
Then with the remaining fabric I finally took time to make some coordinating zipper totes:
The first two cases are from Embroidery Garden's Zipper Cases set. This is the debit/business card holder. I used the Smaller Fancy Circle monogram from the Itch 2 Stitch.
I also followed the directions for adding a divider in the middle. I'm not the best photographer though. :)
I also made the iPhone case. I wish I could claim that this was on purpose, but check out my happy accident! I could not have matched those fabrics along the zipper more perfectly if I tried!!
FYI, even though this zipper case was designed for the shorter iPhone 4, an iPhone 5 does fit comfortably inside, as long as it isn't in a case. Right now I have my iPhone in a silicone case, and while I can get it in the zipper tote, I can't quickly remove it, which might be problematic while answering a call. But that may be more the nature of the stickyish silicone and not the size. In reality it doesn't matter, I wasn't planning on using it as an iPhone case, just wanted to make this size. :)
And finally I made a see-through case. This 4x4 design is currently a freebie on EG's Facebook page, so if you do machine embroidery, go grab it fast!
So in this case, procrastination paid off. I still had fabric left to fix my handles, and I was less nervous about cutting apart my napkins and trying out these zipper cases since it was for an old bag anyway. Now that I've practiced, I can move forward confidently making accessories for my new VB backpack, which I got on sale after Christmas. Hopefully that blog post won't be another 2 years off. :)

Let me add that I use Vera Bradley napkins for personal use only. I haven't done any research, but I'm guessing their fabrics would fall under the same category as licensed fabric which is not intended for commercial use.

5 comments on "Repairing and Accessorizing my Vera Bradley Purse"

Tiffany on January 8, 2013 at 11:00 AM said...

I am speechless. Your ingenuity and creative problem-solving never cease to amaze me! These are all fabulous!!!

Kelli on January 11, 2013 at 1:23 AM said...

Bummer.....I don't see that case at EG anywhere. Can you post link on AT&TT if you get a chance? Love your stuff!!!! And awesome job with your purse!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! These are excellent. Here is the link for the EG freebie, I just grabbed it. Thanks!

Unknown on October 22, 2019 at 3:36 PM said...

I have the same VB bag with worn out handles. Been trying to come up with a solution. Wish I had had the foresight to purchase another piece of the same print because I love your solution. My bag, however, was a gift so didn't have that option. Glad I kept the blue VB bag because I saw another solution to repair the handles. Love your repair!

Unknown on July 13, 2020 at 10:47 AM said...

Thank you so very much for your brilliant concept of repairing the Vera Bradley handbag straps.
For years I've wondered why the straps are usually frayed on most of her bags I have found in thrift stores. I have over twenty lovely Vera Bradley bags of different styles, all of which came from thrift stores or tag sales at super great prices. The only wear being the straps fraying.
I had no idea Vera Bradley sold fabric matching her bags. I've always said I'm going to re-enforce the straps with material someday.
I've actually contacted the company and asked why they don't use thicker material, or quality plastic or leather on the straps to prevent fraying, but, never received a response.
Thanks, Janay





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