Thursday, July 8, 2010
Bicycle Basket Liner
I live in a small village. The library is about 4 blocks away. The grocery store is about two blocks from my house. We do not have home mail delivery, but instead, must go to the post office daily to check the mail. It seems senseless to me to waste gasoline to drive to these places. And one of the benefits of living in a small town is everything is close by AND I need the exercise.
And even though my old, beatup bicycle has a basket, things would bounce and fly out or I'd run the risk of loosing my keys if I'd hit a bump. I've seen some lovely bicycle basket liners for sale online. They also come with quite a big price tag so I thought I'd give it a go to create my own bicycle basket liner that would double as a shopping bag and have all of the features I would need to keep my purchases, mail or books neatly in place.
My bike isn't a fancy or expensive cruiser and I'm afraid too that the basket has taken a bit of wear and tear over the years so I wanted my liner to be frilly and feminine and pretty!
And this is the liner I created. I am considering replacing the bow with a big flower. I'll update if I do indeed do that.
While the size of the basket would seem to limit the space of my bag, it didn't really. The gathers allow for expansion so that when I remove the liner at my destination and pick up the handles, you can see it is quite a room and very sturdy bag. I've used heavy weight interfacing to give my liner heft and durability.
The handles lay neatly inside the liner while riding...
...but easily lift up to carry once you are ready to take it with you.
And now for the details. The criteria for my bicycle basket liner was that I did not want to have to carry a purse too so I'd need my liner to be able to carry my wallet, cell phone, library card and my keys in a secure manner so that they couldn't bounce out while riding. The zippered pouch is big enough to hold my oversized wallet. And the snap clip/hook will securely hold my keys to the house and our mailbox without the risk of them bouncing out of the bag.
I wanted the hardware but I wanted it to be feminine and flowery and frilly too. The fabric store carries the handle webbing in a huge variety of colors. I happened to have this pink webbing in my sewing supplies and it worked out perfectly.
Another criteria when I set about making this project was that I refused to go out and purchase anything at all for it. I used all fabrics, interfacing, zipper, button, lace and webbing from my home supplies. Afterall, I'm making an effort to conserve, reuse and save money and energy so I didn't want to invest in something that was supposed to be cost efficient.
So here she is! My very own bicycle basket liner. It really was NOT difficult to make at all. In creating and sewing it, I worked backwards in its construction, visualizing the final product and imagining how it would need to be sewn with each step.
I just bought some beautiful raspberries and strawberries and rhubarb from the local fruit market. Wouldn't you know it? I realized that my jam jars don't have any new lids, so I'm off on my bicycle for a fast trip to the store so I can put up some jams and preserves today with my fresh yummy fruit.