It's Time to Do Something about the Black Hole

comments (6) January 16th, 2009     

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MaryRay Mary Ray, contributor
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My soft black purse with lots of pockets seemed to eat my belongings until I replaced the black lining with one that’s much brighter.
Lightweight fusible interfacing makes a new lining more durable.
Before: a black hole!
My soft black purse with lots of pockets seemed to eat my belongings until I replaced the black lining with one that’s much brighter.

My soft black purse with lots of pockets seemed to eat my belongings until I replaced the black lining with one that’s much brighter.

Photo: Mary Ray

My name is Mary and I’m a bagaholic. Purses, tote bags, any kind of bag—I just can’t seem to have enough of them. Of course, I’ve made a lot of them myself, but I also have many I’ve purchased. Black bags and purses seem to be the most popular in my collection, and almost all of them have black linings. Makes sense, I guess, but when a good-size purse is lined in black it’s almost impossible to find anything in it. This great bag with front zip pockets is a good example. There’s ample room for everything—and more—but it all gets lost in the “black hole.” So I decided to change the lining to a bright electric green. It was really easy to do and I’m so happy with the result.


Before: a black hole!


After: a bright new space for all my stuff!

To reline a favorite purse:

1. Choose a lightweight, tightly woven fabric for the lining and the same amount of lightweight knit fusible interfacing.

2. Remove the old lining. The top zipper on my bag was sewn between the leather facing and the lining. I didn’t want to reinsert the zipper, so I cut the old lining away a few inches below the zipper. There was a zippered pocket in the lining and I removed that zipper so I could sew it into the new lining.

3. Take the lining apart and press the pieces so you can use them as a pattern. Pay attention so you can easily reconstruct the new lining.


Use the old lining as a pattern.

4. Cut out the new lining from the fabric and the interfacing. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the lining. (Note: If you left some of the old lining in place to avoid reattaching the zipper, be sure to add a seam allowance to the top of the new lining. For a 1/2-inch seam, add 1 inch.)


Lightweight fusible interfacing makes a new lining more durable.

5. If there are inside pockets, sew them in place before sewing the side seams—it’s much easier to work on a flat surface.

6. Sew the lining in place at the top—and enjoy your purse!


If a zipper is sewn between the leather and the lining, leave some of the old fabric and attach the new lining to it.

posted in: purse, lining

Comments (6)

Sweet_Dee writes: NICE!
Posted: 2:03 am on April 1st
redronda writes: Very Good! I like the idea of replacing the lining with a bright fabric and adding LOTS OF POCKETS in various sizes for various items, cell, pens, lipstick and such.
Posted: 8:47 pm on February 8th
rainwolfe writes: This is great! Maybe now that I have a clue how to re-do the lining in a purse, I can add some pockets to a large bag I've been starting to hate, to make it more user-friendly!
Thanks!
Posted: 12:27 pm on February 2nd
ColdHeartedStitch writes: This is genius, but also such a simple solution that I feel silly for never having thought about it. Thank you for for doing the thinking for me!
Posted: 2:38 pm on January 31st
tcsewhat writes: Oh, dark linings are one of my pet peeves. You can lose money down there! Thanks for the idea to reline.
Posted: 4:34 pm on January 16th
Dampiera writes: What an awesome idea! My black purse's lining is beige, but I may just do this anyway. The thought of all of the pretty fabrics that I have that could line it makes my mouth water lol.
Posted: 9:45 am on January 16th
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