One for the craft fans! Learn how to make the prettiest bicycle basket fabric liners... read more
Own of a bike and want to add a special personalised touch to it? You’re in luck! Joining us on the blog today is Victoria, blogger at victoriascottage.co.uk and owner of the prettiest of vintage bikes we think we’ve ever laid eyes on! Showing us how to make a DIY bicycle basket liner, Victoria takes us through a rather detailed how to. Sewing machines at the ready, let’s hand over to the lady in question…
Summer is the perfect time for cycling. Although many of us ride all year round, these long, balmy days give us the perfect excuse to head off for a few hours with the pedals at our feet and the wind in our hair. There are few activities in life that are good for both body and soul and of course, the only way to make it any more enjoyable is to add some serious cute factor. A bicycle basket liner is a personal thing, it needs to bring joy to your heart and work with your bike colour too. That’s why the best way to go is to create your own, you can make a perfectly sized liner in a fabric that sets your heart a flutter. My advice is to create two contrasting liners for your bike. Why? Well, it serves many purposes, firstly on a practical level, a ‘wash and wear’ is always a good idea, meaning your bike is never without it’s textile accessory. Secondly, you can change and swap your liner to suit your mood. I am always torn between striped and floral prints, so I chose the Pink Painterly cotton fabric for it’s mood enhancing pastel stripes and the Oriental Garden Duck Egg Floral for pure romance.
To make the liner the first thing that you need to do is to make a simple paper pattern. Once made, you will always have it to hand to create more liners at a later date. To create your pattern you will need:
- – A measuring tape
- – Dot and cross paper
- – Greaseproof paper/tracing paper
- – Pencil
- – Ruler
- – Scissors
My basket has an oval bottom and the top edge of the basket is slightly larger than the bottom. Firstly, I drew around the bottom of the basket onto the greaseproof paper and cut out the shape. Then, I placed the cut shape into the bottom of the basket and trimmed it until it fitted perfectly into the base. For the sides, I measured the circumference of the base, the top edge circumference and measured the depth of the basket too. These measurements are all you need to create the side pieces.
So, starting with the base circumference (87cm), I divided the figure by two (43.5cm) and added two centimetres on for the 1cm seam allowance on each side (45.5cm). I always use dot and cross paper to map out patterns as it ensures straight lines. I drew out my bottom line and then used the basket depth figure to inform where the top of the basket line should run. Here, I divided the top circumference (107cm) by 2 (53.5cm) and added on 2cms for seam allowance and drew out the 55.5cm top line, ensuring that the centre point of each line was matched up. I then measured 13cms up again and marked a line where the fabric will end. Now, with three horizontal lines mapped out on the paper, I used a ruler to connect the ends of each line, creating a trapezium shape. Once this is cut out, you need to remove a wedge from the top corners. This will allow your liner to go around handles and helps it be securely fastened with ties. I placed a ruler vertically from the top edge of the basket measurement to where the edge of the fabric will be, marked it and cut off the corners.
You now have a pattern piece for the base and sides of the liner. To create your liner, you will need:
- – Sewing machine
- – Pins
- – Thread
- – Scissors
- – Laura Ashley Fabric
I pinned the oval base shape to the fabric and cut out the fabric 1cm larger than the pattern, to allow for a seam allowance.
The side shapes were just pinned to the fabric and cut out, as seam allowance is included in the pattern.
In addition to these pieces, I also cut out two long strips of fabric (4cm x 101cm) for the ties and a square piece, measuring (16.5cm x 16.5cm) for the pocket.
Before I started to construct the the liner, I used a zigzag stitch all around the edges of the main pieces. This stops the fabric from fraying in the wash.
I then pinned the two side pieces right side to right side, only on the angled section of the side seam, like in the picture below. This section was then stitched with a 1cm seam allowance, taking care to backstitch the start and end of the seam.
Now for the top part of the seams, where the wedge was removed, use the iron to press a small double fold hem onto each side and pin before sewing
With the sides of the liner complete, it should look like the image below.
Now for the pocket. You can make your pocket whatever size you wish. Take your pre-cut shape and double hem all four sides. Position the pocket in the liner, taking care to ensure that it sits low enough in the basket and pin and stitch into place on three sides, leaving the top open to slip in whatever you need on your cycling adventures.
For the top, first you need to make the ties that will secure the liner onto the basket. Use the iron to press the fabric strip in half. Then fold each side into the middle and again press well before sewing together.
Now, along the top edge of the sides. Fold a small hem and press and then fold again ensuring enough space for the ties to fit and stitch into place.
Once the channel has been created, I attached a safety pin to one end of the ties and fed it though the space. Now it’s time to turn your attention to securing the base of the liner to the sides. Pin the base onto the sides. To do this, I folded the circle piece in half and marked the half-way fold and then folded it the other way and marked again. When attaching the base, I matched up the marks with the seams on the side pieces. I then pinned all the way round, ensuring the fabric was evenly spread.
Once in place, stitch a 1cm seam all around the circumference, removing the pins as you sew. Once finished, the liner will just slip into place and can be secured with the ties.
Now you have everything you need to cycle off into the sunshine for countryside adventures.
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How pretty are Victoria’s basket liners? It’s such an inspiring make and do don’t you think? We’d love to hear your suggestions for the next make and do on the Laura Ashley blog. Leave us a comment below…