Finished Briefcase for BlogHer Food

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Finally! I just finished my “new to me” briefcase for BlogHer Food. This year's conference is in Seattle and I'm excited to be attending as well as a speaker. This briefcase turned out quite nicely considering how it began – as an estate sale find that was $1.50 and destined for the garbage heap if I hadn’t saved it. Even though it sat on my sewing table for a while, patiently waiting its turn in the do-it-yourself, re-do-it, tear-it-apart and fancy-it-up pile, it’s done now and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

Upcycled bag

Finished Briefcase for BlogHer Food

DIY briefcase It has all new leather straps. I wasn’t planning to replace these but I had to replace one and that made the others look bad, so off they went. I cut the leather with a utility knife and then used a regular old finger nail file to round off the edges. Finished Briefcase for BlogHer Food I don’t have a leather punch but used these simple tools instead to punch holes in the leather. If you don’t have an awl (pictured below), you can use a nail instead. Leather punch alternatives The top holes have new leather rivets. Finished Briefcase for BlogHer Food (14) These were installed with a hammer and this thick nail set. Attaching leather rivets The rivets seem sturdier than these little brackets that were holding the strap together previously. Finished Briefcase for BlogHer Food After using the old plastic lining as a pattern for sewing the new lining, I placed it inside the briefcase. Notice how all of the seams are on the outside in the below picture? Once the lining is in place, you won't see any of the seams. Finished Briefcase for BlogHer Food Got it into the right spot….. Finished Briefcase for BlogHer Food and carefully hand stitched around the top with doubled-up thread. Finished Briefcase for BlogHer Food I attached some of the stitching around the sturdier spots on the briefcase. If it comes undone, I can always re-sew these.

DIY briefcase for BlogHer Food


It’s lined with oil cloth fabric that can be easily sewn on a standard sewing machine. Finished Briefcase for BlogHer Food You can’t use pins when working with oil cloth. It leaves little holes that don’t disappear. The zipper pocket was a hassle to sew but I like having a little secret pocket for my checkbook or wallet. I sewed the pocket section first and then added the fabric to the sides.

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