Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bicycle Built for Necessity

Summer is meant for creativity after I've rode my bike and walked. However, for a couple of years now I've been meaning to make a bicycle bag to carry  my stuff: mail ( if I have to), iphone (to listen to books), keys (if needed), and a variety of whatever else needs to go on the trip.   I thought about a basket, but that seemed to juvenile and too big. This year I finally decided to take the plunge and see what I could come up with.

I found this really cute bicycle fabric on Etsy. I  am also in love with the Basal double sided fusible foam. I saw this on a video with Jenny and the Crafty Gemini when they showed how to make a quilt as you go bag. I hope to have one of these made by the end of the summer and posted here.

Thanks to Missouri Star Quilt Co. I was able to purchase to Basal Foam as part of their daily deals. I highly recommend signing up for  those deals. However, be warned fellow sewers, it is very dangerous. :)  I bought one (actually many)  to make the bag (sometime in the future) and one to cut into pieces for other projects. I hope to show you some coasters in the future as well.

This tutorial may not be the best because I was really flying by the seat of my pants, or rather the seat of my bicycle seat. I  didn't have a true pattern, just improvised a lot.  The basic idea for the bag came from  this make up bag tutorial at Sew Like My Mom. There wasn't much needed except for some fabric, foam, a zipper and I decided to add some rick rack.  Check with the tutorial for much more detailed directions.

I measured the area of my bike I could fit in a bag. I wanted a bag that faced me as I ride, not facing the front as a basket would.  I doubled the size of the foam and fabric adding an extra 1/2 inch to the fabric.  I cut a piece for the lining as well as the outside. 

Then sewed the outer fabric and lining to the first half of the zipper.  Before sewing the second half, I added some rick rack for a visual effect. 

Once the zipper was sewn on both sides, I turned it inside out in order to sew both sides.  I started with a full length of the zipper and only cut it when I sewed the sides. At the point of sewing across the zipper, I made sure to reinforce the area by going back and forth a few times. 

After each side was sewn, I used pinking shears to trim away the extra fabric.  
I then made a standard "box"  on the bottom of the bag to give it some dimension. I trimmed again with pinking shears.  

After both sides were sewn, I turned it right side out. It's finally looking as I expected.
Now this is kind of hard to see: the two pins with a white head are where I planned to devise straps to anchor it to my bike. You can see it is not symmetrical at all.  I also carry a water bottle on the bike which my husband moved from facing me on the bike to facing outward. The only way I can attach this bag is in the positions of where the pins are.  So here is what I did: 
I added a very think tie strap to the far left of the bag. 
And a velcro strap to the left.  
I tacked both on by hand sewing them to the outside on the back.  

For today it seems to work out well. The straps are positioned  perfectly in order to have my water bottle holder too.
I'm able to fit some mail, my keys, my iPhone in the bag with room enough for more if I need it.

I'm glad to have this bag done. Tomorrow will be my first outing with the new accessory for my necessities. I think it's going to work out great. 

Lessons Learned: 

1. Be mindful of using one way designs  on fabric. If I showed you the side of the bag that is facing the front, the bicycles would be upside down.  You can see this if you look at the photo where I was attaching the straps that would hold it to the bike. 

Do you have a necessity you just had to make that  you couldn't find just the right one in the store? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below. 
Happy Bicycling Everyone. 
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Megan Lang said...

I made a little pouch for my Dad to use on his bike. It hangs on the middle bar between the handlebars and the seat. It's double-sided so there's an elastic topped pouch on both sides just big enough to fit some snacks and a cell phone. Works great! I love the idea of putting yours on the handle bars. Easy access while you're riding.

Valerie Reynolds said...

CUTE!!! I just made a quilt with this line of fabric and the red bike fabric was used for my backing! LOVE IT!

Tracy said...

Thanks Megan. The bike I used to have was a man's style. I would have put the bag where you did. On this bike it was more challenging, but it did work out great. Thanks for reading and commenting.