Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Mark 5 strap

I know there are people out there who like hearing about my favourite orange Italian bag. Well, there's something new. A further development of the homemade cross-body strap I fitted in 2013.

When first bought in Florence in 2009, the bag had a short shoulder-strap. Let's call that Mark 1. Here it is in early 2013, just after I had decided to use the bag myself (it had been a rejected gift, that lay in my wardrobe, pristine in its cotton bag, for four long years):


I loved the bag, and was glad I had resurrected it, but I couldn't get on with that strap - it continually slid off my shoulder. So I decided to fit a homemade cross-body strap, made out of a man's leather belt, and using brass fittings cannibalised from an unwanted bag in my attic:


This Mark 2 strap made my bag practical. And the substitute brass bits that connected the strap to the bag worked well for several months. But brass wears fast, and late in 2013 one end of the strap came free, and that was that.

However, I'd kept the original short strap. Now I sacrificed it, in order to use its quite substantial brass fittings on my homemade cross-body belt. The strap leather had to be carefully cut away to accommodate the new brasswork - I used the original strap as a template:


The result seemed pretty good:


This improved Mark 3 strap now gave me excellent service for three years, lasting until the end of 2016. But once again the brass failed because of wear, and I had to find - urgently of course - another way of attaching the cross-body strap to the bag. This time I used brass rings, which I just happened to have in the house (see A bag strap solution, 5th December 2016):


It was a makeshift solution, but the Mark 4 strap looked OK, and certainly worked fine as a strong and secure way of attaching the cross-body strap.

There was, however, a minor issue. The strap, with its new chrome rings, was now shorter. The difference wasn't a serious matter, but nevertheless it bothered me. When I mentioned it the other day to my friend Jackie she suggested that I simply add two more rings, which would effectively lengthen the strap. I mulled this over, thinking that it might look odd; but yesterday I went out to buy those extra rings. And I have to say they seem to do the job:


So Jackie was right. The bag strap is now a more comfortable length, and fits better against my hips, whether worn on one shoulder (as above) or across the body. And the rings don't jangle as I walk along, which I thought they might do.

How long the Mark 5 strap will last is anybody's guess, but the chrome rings are substantial and easily-replaced.

1 comment:

  1. It gives the bag an element of lightness by separating the strap from the bag, girl after my own heart.

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