Wednesday, July 13, 2011

tuttie tute: bike basket linner/tote bag

Bike basket liner and tote! Ok I know I went on and on about my old Schwinn bike and the cover was cute and easy but a cute seat cover can only do so much for a sad little bike.  It looked good but rode bad :( I need to be able to go for long rides with my kids and pull a few kids behind me from time to time.   I needed a new bike.  So With my new bike I needed a cute basket liner.  After some etsy surfing on what people are making I got a general idea of what my needs were and what I wanted to create.  My basket is the quick release by wald.  The quick release mechanism prevents the liner from going around the top in a continuous piece so I had to adapt the top, more about that later.  Here is the list of likes and wants for my bag.
zipper pocket
key fob
water bottle holder
ability to take out and carry
pocket for phone and glasses
AND to be CUTE!

Ok so I started,  here is what I did.  Spread out all my fabric scraps to decide my fabric combination, I wanted the bag to compliment my bike colors and I found I had enough of these wonderful Amy Butler prints. Gathered some other supplies like yellow webbing for the straps, a zipper for pocket and a clasp from an old duffel bag.  So I got to work.  First by measuring the basket and drawing a rough picture with dimensions to go from.  If you have not discovered pattern paper, you need to if you like to make your own patterns...its a must.  The pattern paper has marks in inch squares so it helps you keep things straight and it has a wax paper backing that you can iron onto your fabric to help cut it out. 

So I created my pattern.

The top was 2" larger than the bottom so I created by patterns

Here is a picture of the pattern paper ironed onto the fabric.  This is also helpful if you want to line up your patterns and center the fabric.  This takes time and uses more fabric sometimes but it makes the difference between homemade and boutique, if you ask me.

Here are my lining pieces ready to add inside details of your choice.

I made a simple pocket on the top peice, placed elastic on the left for a drink, key fob on the right and a zipper pocket.  I have been wanting to learn how to insert a zipper pocket so this was the perfect project to test it out.  Found this tutorial and its perfect. I made my pocket 8x8.
My pocket is not perfect and a little puckery on the corner but a good first try and good enough for the lining of this project.
I assembled the lining sewing the side seams first, being careful to sew only  a 1/2 from the bottom in each side seam.  Cut my bottom piece and then attached the bottom.  There are many tutorials out there about basic tote bag construction if this is your first time.  I will skip alot of the basic construction steps and only tell about the different things I did to customize the bag for a basket.
I then added the straps.

This picture is an example of where I put a dot on the bottom for where to stop sewing to get your bottom to come out square.

Now repeat for the outer minus the pockets and extras.

I like to press my seams out and them top stitch on both sides of the seam, this adds strength and structure to the bag as wall as a nice decorative touch.

I made my casing in two pieces to the handle is able to go up and sown and not interfere with the bag.
Sew the casing to the outer and turn the outer bag inside out and insert in the lining, right sides together.  Stitch around the top, I prefer to rip open a piece of my lining rather than have the top opening left.  So then rip a lining side seam and turn bag right side out. 
I inserted a piece of template plastic for my bottom to have a bit of sturdiness in the side seam opening and then stitched shut.  Iron seams and top stitch again under the casing.
Thread you tie through the casing
cant wait to test it out!


  1. Always make sure your beach cruiser is locked up with the proper lock.
    Also make sure you lock your tire to the frame of the bike, and the bike frame to the bike rack.
    bike basket liner

  2. I have the exact same basket on my bike. Do you remember the measurements you used? I'm kind of a sewing newbie, but would love to try and make this.

    1. no im sorry, i dont have the dimensions but give instructions how to obtain them in the tute!

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  5. We can not find where you created a "bottom" for this project. It appears that you do by looking at the seams. We can figure it out, but it may be easier for others if you included the bottom?

    Thank you for this post. It is a super cool idea!

  6. Do you have a more defined breakdown with specific instructions? The photos aren't loading

  7. where are the pictures? its all blank.

  8. Oh no! The pictures aren't loading anymore and it sounds like the perfect liner for my friend's new basket - can you reload it or post new pictures?