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Old 04-05-09, 06:59 PM   #1
folder fanatic
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Poor Person's Brompton Home Sewed Bags

Hello Everyone,

I have new ideas for home sewed Brompton Bags. My “Poor Person's Brompton Home Sewed Bags” are ready to view and enjoy at my original Flickr World Of Folding Bicycles Website. I hope you stop by and have a look at my mini series located at the end of the “Creative Projects For You And Your Folding Bicycle” set. It is the first update I had a chance to do since I finished the set a year and a half ago. This particular project grew out a desire to use the many, many reusable shopping or tote bags I was given or bought extremely cheap on my own Brompton. I bought a bare frame from my local Brompton dealer and set out to work out the details. I used a bit of plain black demin left over from a previous project for the support pocket or pouch. I bought some end of the bolt fashion metallic demin Butterfly print from the “bargain table” at my local fabric store and this is what I came up with.

I would appreciate if my readers from the UK can tell me if reusable shopping tote bags like this one is used in their own shops. If you can, please include some photos as the ideas, not the actual photos, will be incorporated in future versions of this particular project. I try to be as global as I can now to include everyone.

Thank you,

“Folder Fanatic”

Last edited by folder fanatic; 04-05-09 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 04-05-09, 07:28 PM   #2
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Wow, those look amazing! I really like the slipcover and saddlebag--so pretty! I wish I had sewing skills, but whenever I try to do something with the sewing machine something bad happens (last time it was the needle piercing my right middle finger ). What is the pattern for the slipcover? Maybe I can ask my mum or teh bf's mum to sew it for me...

Also, does the slipcover allow for letting the handlebars stay unfolded while in the bag? With my new skate wheel mod the bike rolls so easily, and I wonder if I can just push it around with the handlebars up but still in the slipcover.
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Old 04-05-09, 08:08 PM   #3
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Incredible! Wow! I'd love to have some panniers like that that actually fit on my tiny folder's rear rack... Or maybe a big front pannier like the one you have for your Brommie. That would me excellent.
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Old 04-06-09, 01:00 AM   #4
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These home sewn bags have been around for some time: http://www.toehead.plus.com/bagmain.htm
I've always wanted to give them a go.
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Old 04-06-09, 01:38 AM   #5
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Bloody brilliant! You could create a small business making these! How much was the core frame?
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Old 04-06-09, 11:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by nekohime View Post
Wow, those look amazing! I really like the slipcover and saddlebag--so pretty! I wish I had sewing skills, but whenever I try to do something with the sewing machine something bad happens (last time it was the needle piercing my right middle finger ). What is the pattern for the slipcover? Maybe I can ask my mum or teh bf's mum to sew it for me...

Also, does the slipcover allow for letting the handlebars stay unfolded while in the bag? With my new skate wheel mod the bike rolls so easily, and I wonder if I can just push it around with the handlebars up but still in the slipcover.
Thank you Nekohime. This version does not allow for the handlebars to fold up to tow the bike about since I did not add zippers to the bag like the store bought Brompton ones. Besides, if you pull up the handlebars, that might defeat the purpose of disguising the bike. As I said before, I prefer to use a luggage cart to tow the bike around even for short distances. I find it to be more balanced and I could choose to walk farther. But I could roll the bike around like the purchased Brompton one-even without zippers. If you look closely at the Fold-A-Bike demonstration video on You Tube, he just grabs the bike and tilts it slightly upwards on the rear wheels without unzipping it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ic6cssX_50

My standard stock rear wheels are a bit too small in diameter for this. But I think if I did, all I have to do is do the same thing as he did. I would pull up the bottom of the bag a little bit to allow this if necessary though.

The patterns are ones I draft myself. But if you wish, I will draft another working copy, measurements, and general instructions and give them to you in person the next time I attend one of your bike rides. I generally just draw directly on the fabric and cut & sew as it is done in the fashion industry-especially if I am doing a series of prototypes or samples. I am a bit concerned that you did not have a good time with your own sewing experience. Might I suggest taking some classes or even private lessons? You might be surprised at your own undeveloped ability! This "survival skill" will prove useful for sure no matter what you choose in life. I still sew even though I actually have not worked in the fashion industry for a very long time.

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Incredible! Wow! I'd love to have some panniers like that that actually fit on my tiny folder's rear rack... Or maybe a big front pannier like the one you have for your Brommie. That would me excellent.
I did this sewing series to encourage others in their own pursuits of accessorizing your bikes. I try to keep it as simple and useful as possible.

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These home sewn bags have been around for some time: http://www.toehead.plus.com/bagmain.htm
I've always wanted to give them a go.
Thank you for listing these links. I was aware of these Websites for a long time, but could not locate them. I do like the bags, but I like to simplify my sewing as much as possible both in industry and for educational purposes. I like to attract, keep, and have people successfully complete their own projects without much problem as I am not there and can't help them.

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Bloody brilliant! You could create a small business making these! How much was the core frame?
Thank you (blush!). I thought about opening my own little business but the economy has put it on hold for now. The basic frame is priced at $32.96 U.S. Dollars. I am sure that it is priced similarly in the UK too. You are just purchasing a frame only-not the bag. The bag is what is the major expense.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 04-06-09 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 04-06-09, 04:02 PM   #7
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FF, I'm ok at hand-sewing--I've embroidered some of my own clothes--but I suck at using the machine, especially if it's electric. Maybe I'll take lessons after I graduate in June.
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