Monday, March 7, 2011

Oilcloth Bicycle Bags

Snow day!  Since it was an unexpected day off, I justified spending it sewing.  I did the bicycle bags from the book, The Feisty Stitcher.    I have the book, BUT I found a pdf  for them from the publishers.  Lucky you!  If you want to try these, you don't have to buy the book or even borrow the book from the library!  (You will, however, be missing out of more great project ideas.)  Either Google "oilcloth bike bag" or go to this link:  and find another link at the end of the article.  For some reason, the direct link to the pdf does not work when I put it in here.
With nice weather on its way, these would made great gifts for bicyclists!  Here is the bag for the front of the bike.   I like the buttons on this one.
And, this shows the velcro for fastening it onto the bike.  I have both methods on since I don't know which will work best with my bike.  (Sorry, I refuse to shovel my way to she shed to show these on an actual bike.  It is still winter here as in, I am having a snow day!)  Take a look at the pdf to see how they look on a bike (and in some much more "grown-up" looking fabric.)

This is the bag for behind the bike seat.

I am NOT liking those buttons.  New picture of new buttons.  I like these better.  The book pattern calls for four buttons and the hair band closures.  I thought buttons and polka dots would be great together, but it was just overwhelming on this one.  I put on snap closures to cut down on the buttons. 

I do, however,  like the red Velcro on the back of this one.

I actually used PUL instead of the oilcloth suggested because this PUL was already in the stash.  I am keeping my pledge not to buy fabric til I get the stash way down.  This is not the lighter weight, stretchier, shiny PUL that people use for diaper covers.  This is a nice cotton poly-laminate. It was really easy to work with. 

I tried this pattern once without the the bias tape or braid, too.  I DO like easy.  I turned the flap pieces under a quarter of an inch and sewed a top stitch.  If you want to try this simpler design, I've included some pics to show you what I did below.

Follow the directions to create the basic rectangular piece in the book/pdf. Once you have finished putting together the two rectangles, turned it right-side out,  and sewn on the strap for holding the Velcro, DON'T turn the bottom up and sew it in place.  Instead, cut the angles for the flap as in the directions.  Now start folding in a quarter of an inch on each side.  .

You need to clip off  this point in the seamed corner to make it less bulky. 
Start folding the 1/4 inch.  This is really easy with the PUL as I think it would be with oilcloth because the fabrics tend to hold a finger fold well.  Once the back side is folded under, it is easy to match the front fabric to it.  Just a few pins will hold it in place for sewing.
If you want, you could sew the hair band in at the center point now eliminating the need for two buttons. This way you will only need one button to hook the hair band around.
This is what you'll have at the end of pinning.   You are ready to top stitch!

Here it is with the top stitching completed.  NOW fold up the bottom the suggested number of inches.  Remember that the Velcro strap will be INSIDE because you are about to sew the seams.  Continue on with the pattern creating the boxed corners.  If you put the hair band in the point seam, you only need to sew on one button now.  I do love easy!

One other change I made was to make the box corners 3/4 of an inch instead of 1 1/4 to give the bag just a bit more room.  If you make some of these, I'd love to see them.  Leave me a link to your blog in the comments or email me.

I'll leave you with a picture from the icy, snowy day--sun glistening off the branches in the aftermath.  It IS pretty.


  1. How cute! Yeah, the buttons are a bit much with the polka-dots. But still so creative! :D

    (found & following you b.c of Tip Junkie's Tip Me Tuesday)

  2. So cute!!! Love the fabric!

    I'd love to have you link up at my For the Kids Fridays party at


  3. Thanks so much for linking up!!! Can't wait to see what you have to share next!


  4. What a great idea!! I am going to follow your blog. Thanks for sharing. I love the "happy" fabric you chose.

  5. nice tutorial!

    I am having a giveaway on my blog. A chance to win $15 store credit to buy great hair accessories, pettikirts, hair bow organizers,zipper flower clips, bottlecap necklaces and more. All you have to do is leave a comment .

    check it out.

  6. I found you from WeAreThatFamily. I'm showing my girls this project. Their bikes don't have baskets but this looks cuter than a basket. Thanks! I'm following you.

  7. I wish I could sew as well as you... right now getting a straight stitch is enough of a challenge with a 3 & 1 year old! :) If I get good enough, these would make nice birthday gifts for my friends with those fancy, pretty banana seat bikes!

    I'm visiting from WFMW. Today I posted about monthly menu planning/

  8. You are in luck Jennifer because this is really nothing BUT straight stitch. Using the fold-in method I showed at the end eliminates having to fool around with the binding/braid making it even easier. These really could be done in so many other fabrics, too. I'm going to try denim next.

  9. Great project! My oldest just barely started riding a bicycle (with training wheels) when the snow hit last year, so I bet a little bag like this would be the icing on his cake when he can finally 'hit the road' again this year.

  10. OH great job! I wish I still had a bike...I would totally make one of these for myself!

    Thanks so much for linking to "20 Below Thursday"!! :)

  11. This is a great idea! I'm going to have to do one for my bike. Thanks for linking up at I Made It! Monday. Hope you link up again this week.

  12. This is such a great idea & fantastic tutorial. It's that time to get out on a bike too! Thanks for sharing at Gettin' Krafty With It!