Under The Knife: Building A Better Bag

A while back, my husband gave me this bag (which I love) from Ness of Scotland.

Ness tweed and leather "Missy" mini bag. They make them in a variety of colours. 

 I love this bag, love the colour, but find myself not using it. The strap falls at an "in-between" place, kind of like when you are growing out your hair and can't to a thing with it.  It seems to always be in the way, but yet you can't bear to part with it.  It is perhaps a strap length that is reminiscent of the 90's, when mini bags were everywhere and the Fendi Baguette Bag reigned supreme.

So today, I have finally decided to so something about it. I am taking pro-active action against my awkward bag strap once and for all.  My Ness bag is going under the knife.

So.  I started in my husband's tool shed, braved the bird droppings and the threat of stepping on something that my cat has recently dispached, and armed myself with some tools to complete the procedure.

Needle-nosed pliers (all rusted...and they used to be mine...I must remember to talk to him about that...), epoxy glue to take care of any wayward ends, and a small scissors from my knitting bag ( I don't usually need a childproof scissors,  I think they were airplane friendly or something), and lastly, a Chanel-esque belt that I got at New Look for about five pounds.  Not pictured: cafe latte. For me.

Before beginning, it is important to take a time-out, as one does in any good operating theatre, to mentally collect oneself and verbally verify the procedure with your colleagues. This is a practise that prevents the removal of inappropriate appendages due to inattention or assumption.  Thus I began.

"This is Tuesday, the 3rd of July, and this is a removal and reattachment anastamosis procedure of the strapular aspect of the Ness tweed Missy mini bag, are we all in agreement?"

..........I'll take that as a yes. 

First, came the brave no-going-back step of removing the original leather strap.

The initial,  lateral incision...proximal to the the D-ring. 

Leaving behind a nice, clean work surface to attach the new strap.

Next,  I had to prepare the donor strap for the attachment procedure to the host bag.

Gingerly working the vasculature of the new strap free from the buckle-end as to not damage any parts.

And as you can see,  the buckle-end was cleanly removed with minimal damage to the new, donor strap.

The remainder of the procedure was quite straightforward. With the needle nosed pliers, simply separate the end link of the new strap and attach it to the D-ring on both sides.

Et, voila.

The reattachment was a success!

So there it is. It had been my intention to use some of the leather from the strap to make some wee tassels for the D-ring ends of the new strap, but the leather was too thick. I will probably still add some the next time I am in the city and can hit the upholstery section of the fabric store. I had also thought about weaving some grosgrain ribbon through the chain to tie-in some of the blue colour. Maybe, again that will probably take place down the line. But for now, I have myself a brand-new chain-strap tweed bag. Your thoughts, as always, are encouraged. 


  1. Looks like a totally different bag. Genius. Much improved!

    1. Thanks very much. I will get so much more use out of it now.

  2. Well done - you are much braver than I! I'm sure you will enjoy it plus you have the added benefit (IMO) of having a one-of-a-kind bag!

    1. Exactly, and I like that I can wear it as a cross-body bad now. Makes it more user-friendly.

    2. Oops. Cross-body bag. Not bad. Luckily, it didn't turn out to be a cross-body bad.

  3. The strap needs to be long enough that you/one/I can get the keys out of the purse without removing it from the shoulder or short enough that it fits snugly under the armpit. Bouncing on the waist or top of the hip is all wrong.

  4. What a great idea! I know those in-between straps. They're so annoying.


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