Personal setups » 2011 Kit – DIY Frame Bag
I am a newbie on this site and having just finished making my first custom frame bag (sourced a lot of the info from this forum) so I thought I’d post the results with some further instructions and things I learned during my fight with a sewing machine.
First off, shout out to Justin. His step by step instructions were the starting point for this project. http://bikepathwarrior.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-build-bicycle-frame-bag.htm
I did the template on poster board as many have suggested. Worked like a charm. Ordered 2 yards of white widow spectra ripstop. In retrospect, 1 yard would have been plenty, but I will use the left overs to make some extra strong gaiters and some rain covers. The fabric is very flexible, waterPROOF and very light. I used polyester upholstery thread for the stitching. It’s amazing. I tried to pull it apart with my hands to no avail. It is, however, really tough on the machine. Go slow with the stitch, otherwise you will get your needle stuck or broken.
First I cut out the panels and then added the zipper.
Cut the opening for the zipper, pinch back the fabric and sew the cut down. I used a zig-zag stitch sized to cover the whole are between the zippers outter stich and the edge of the folded under fabric. Huge pain because this fabric is thick. Not cordura thick, but still…more than a standard sewing machine “likes” to handle.
Notice the pin below? Like i said, the thickness of the fabric meant it wasn’t perfect and i had to do touch ups by hand.
So I modified the bag to include an internal pocket. I made it from a left over mesh “soccer ball bag.” I cut the mesh into a triangle to fit on the inside of the bag, added a strip of elastic to the top and used the excess material from the seems (which you cut last) to sew the pocket in.
The side panels are 2.75 inches.
Next I sewed all the seems. I pined in the Velcro straps between the panels so i could sew it in the seam as well. I had seen some bags done with the Velcro straps on the outside and thought it would be stronger and better looking to put it up in the seems. Just back over it a few extra passes on the machine to give it some extra strength. For the top tube I added to pieces of fabric to which I sewed Velcro the entire way across it. I sewed it in the same as the straps. With the top panel seams. It feels really secure on the top tube. I also added a Velcro strap to the front tube to prevent it from sliding back. That was the hardest part besides the zipper, but it really secures the bag laterally
After the seems are finished (the bag will be inside out) pull the bag out through the zipper and test the size.
Finished! 4.5 hours. $38.00 in materials.
Custom frame bag for my old Iron Horse hardtail. Took it out this morning in a steady rain for about 2 hours. Crossed 3 larger streams. Stayed dry inside! I didn’t