Mend It May: Carrying On

A little over a year ago, my husband surprised me with a new handbag! I was carrying one that was several years old and had a hole, and I think he took pity on me. I gasped, because I recognized the brand from the ladies I see on the train. I knew it was pricey and something I’d never buy for myself!

Imagine my dismay when I noticed the sides on the straps cracking. I ignored it — it wasn’t a big deal — until chunks of the leather started falling off, exposing the sides of the straps with lots of white strings. It looked unsightly, not to mention I wouldn’t have straps left if this kept up!


I was trying to google fixes, and found this Fiebing’s Edge Kote. It looked like it would work! I did some research and found that many people’s fancy bags have this very issue quite often, and this is one way people fix it themselves. I also read a warning that it ran with water. Since I walk to and from the train, sometimes in rain, that wasn’t going to fly (not to mention sweaty hands!). So I also picked up some Fiebing’s Resolene to seal the Edge Kote.

Finally, my supplies came! I got started and realized that I ordered Black Edge Kote, and my edges were actually a medium brown. D’oh. I went ahead and used it anyway, and my fixed edges looked stark and horrible! What to do, what to do?

Being the avant-garde person that I am, I decided to paint black accents on the rest of the bag with the Edge Kote. I was taking a gamble, and my bag wasn’t going to look like the bags of the ladies on the train any more (which, honestly, isn’t a terrible thing, especially now that I know the quality of these bags is nothing to write home about). This took forever! I had to do several coats, and let them dry a day between coats, and used a tiny brush. This mend was much more involved than the little edging on the straps I believed would encompass the fix.

Finally, I was done, and did the Resolene coating (which was pretty simple).


Notice the leg of my little helper, Woody 🙂

I let it dry a few more days, and — I think it looks ok!


I walked to work this morning, and no rub off on my (sweaty) hands. I also slung it over my shoulder, and all was well. No rub off on my clothes. No one has said to me “What kind of weird thing did you do to your formerly nice bag?” yet, either. Best of all, I have the supplies to keep fixing it if it happens again, or happens to my other bags. I also think I can use these supplies on my shoes! I bet the Edge Kote then Resolene would work well on scuffs. Yay!


  1. Bravo with this mend. I love that you a/ fixed one of those pricey bags, b/ doctored it and c/ admit what few will, that it may be an aspirational brand but the quality… pfff! I hope you get a lot more use out of your emended bag!

    1. I was astonished that this happened, and was even more astonished when I saw how many people had this same problem. This brand, and another muckety muck expensive brand were the worst offenders. How frustrating. I have $20 fabric tote bags that have lasted in better condition than this! I hope that if I give it a coat of Edge Kote every now and again I’ll be able to use it for years and years. It does have this sort of leash inside that I can clip my keys and train pass to which I love!

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