Recently, Mary Alice, a commenter on my 2017 post, Just.In.Case, wondered how the singer featherweight case handle was sewn. I’m not sure if she wanted to know how the handle itself was made, or how it was attached to the case.
The D-ring handle on my case was really damaged beyond repair.
If you want to replace the handle with one that is as close to vintage as possible, try picking up a replica replacement handle like they carry at The Featherweight Shop. As I was not maintaining the “vintage” replica feel, I really love the approach that my dad took with my case. He shopped thrift stores for a leather bag with a handle the size, style and color he needed. Then, he went to the business of deconstruction and replacement. I am posting some additional images and details that he shared with me on the repair so that you can, hopefully, see how the handle was originally attached.
Here are some details from my dad, the magician.
If you look at the stripped case lid in the top left, “you can see the holes where the original leather was sewn on and the slots where metal prongs of the main handle anchors passed. On the inside, there is a metal plate the anchors passed through to distribute the load to the lid. I reused the metal pieces that passed through the lid and the holes for the leather, I laced by hand. You can use tracing paper to copy the holes to the leather and use an awl to duplicate the hole to the lid.”
If I was to fix anything else on this case, it would be to replace the clasp on the right. It’s pretty finicky, and I alway worry that it won’t stay latched. Between that and the age of the wood, I think that my dad’s solution of the strapping for longer carry times worked out nicely.