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DIY bag making

Old 09-14-15, 06:42 AM
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DIY bag making

Who here has made their own bike bags? Post 'em! I recently inherited an old Singer sewing machine so I want to start making some, maybe start off with some tool rolls and work my way up to a handlebar bag. Any tips/tricks? What materials worked best for you?
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Old 09-14-15, 07:20 AM
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I haven't done any machine sewing, but I hand stitched these bags. The material is an artificially waterproofed leather, with a rather bizarre sparkly finish, not especially attractive but they've proved to be extremely useful. The material really is waterproof, and I stitched the seams tight enough that very little water gets in.



The big one on the back is an exact copy of an old English bag. Sometimes you see bags like this bearing the Schwinn brand.

The one in front is customized for the Soma 'Lauterwasser' bar, and I now have it on my commuter bike.

I've made a couple other bags, more or less by the same method, not always successful.
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Old 09-14-15, 07:25 AM
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that is GORGEOUS. do you remember what type of thread you used?
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Old 09-14-15, 07:36 AM
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I have an old Singer,


But I couldn't use it to make these,


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Old 09-14-15, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by aquateen
that is GORGEOUS. do you remember what type of thread you used?
Thanks! Up close, my workmanship pales in comparison to @rootboy's . But it's utilitarian. As for the thread, I'm not sure I remember it exactly, but I think it was this:

Tandy Leather - Tejas Waxed Thread 132 yds (120 m)
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Old 09-14-15, 08:47 AM
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You guys have some serious talent.
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Old 09-14-15, 08:53 AM
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rootboy we have the same sewing machine! now i just need some of your talent
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Old 09-14-15, 12:36 PM
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Canvas and leather?

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Old 09-14-15, 12:54 PM
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^ Whoa!

Close up of the woody chainguard, pretty please. Did you make that too?

Originally Posted by michael k
Canvas and leather?
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Old 09-14-15, 01:21 PM
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I love my Rootboy Original:



DD
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Old 09-14-15, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman
^ Whoa!

Close up of the woody chainguard, pretty please. Did you make that too?



No...no no. Not mine. Found this image and saved from BF about six years ago.
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Old 09-14-15, 04:35 PM
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I have a question in regards to seam binding. Is this stuff just cut from fabric or can you purchase it separately? Specifically for things like this:

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Old 09-14-15, 04:45 PM
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It can be cut from fabric, yes, but it's more often a sturdy cloth tape. A shop that does custom carpet or rug binding will have a selection.
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Old 09-15-15, 04:55 AM
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any suggestions as to where i can purchase material for this clear plastic?

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Old 09-15-15, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by aquateen
any suggestions as to where i can purchase material for this clear plastic?

I would look at the online specs of handlebar bags that have a map case, and see how they describe that material. I imagine the best bags will give the best description of material. Once you know what the material is called, search for it on eBay and Google. Someone has some that they want to sell. Ebay searches are good because (at the left side of the screen) you can see in what categories the product was found; you want it in something like industrial materials, or home crafts, rather than (say) sports equipment.

Or just get a yard of this and see what happens:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MARINE-40-GA...item3f53275567
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Old 09-15-15, 05:54 AM
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Our Ace Hardware in town has rolls of this film in different weights, you can also find it at upholstery & fabric shops.
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Old 09-15-15, 06:00 AM
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You want a clear vinyl sheet.

Most other plastic films will tear along the stitch line.
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Old 09-15-15, 06:18 AM
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I've seen clear vinyl at Hancock or Joanns by their marine vinyl section.

But oh man don't get these guys started on sewing machine. This'll turn into a C&V sewing machine thread. lol.
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Old 09-15-15, 06:34 AM
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This was an experiment/wild hair last spring. I designed the bag based upon a pattern I found on the web, specified and sourced the materials locally, and then had one of my art students (who specializes in soft sculpture) assemble it for me. I think the total cost - if that's important - came to around $40, including labor and I had sufficient material left over to make at least one or two more. Important note: my student swears she'll never do one of these again!


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Old 09-15-15, 07:51 AM
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Look for posts from vqstaphbeard.

He posted some nice pix of construction of his rando bag, and some really nice shots of his Voyageur.
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Old 09-15-15, 08:46 AM
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Thanks all!
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Old 09-15-15, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Henry III
But oh man don't get these guys started on sewing machine. This'll turn into a C&V sewing machine thread. lol.
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Old 09-15-15, 09:44 AM
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Here's those pix from Virgil:

Originally Posted by vqstaphbeard
No problem. I went ahead and threw in some in-progress shots. I recently outlined the lugs and painted the seatpost flutes with a gold paint pen. I'm working on converting the 7400 RD into a long cage and wrapping the DS chainstay with the same tape/shellac as the bars. I plan on getting a T.A. or similar crankset and a dynamo hub/lights for it.









Sorry to flood with pictures, I got a bit out of hand.
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Old 09-15-15, 11:15 AM
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My not so fancy tool bag that I made with a 1958 Singer 401...
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Old 09-15-15, 02:20 PM
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Also quite modest but DIY never the less. I do like the classic idea of a tool roll or old sock or specific (ex: Cinelli) pouches for a spare tubie or a few tools. I'd rather not have more complexity and fabric than really needed so I went sorta the stuff sack route. An old piece of cotton canvas, a draw string and a few measurements got me to just big enough to hold the stuff I always carry - the emergency kit.



Of course it must be strapped on with a proper toe strap. Got the look I think. Actually how would I know? Folks quit using these before I learned to ride. I've made several other things for camping gear but this is the only cycling bag so far.
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