Soft Bike Basket
Spring is here and it’s time to get outside and get active. My little one is learning how to ride a balance bike, and part of the fun of getting your first bike is kitting it out with all the bells and whistles (literally). Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of little boy accessories, so I promised him I would make him his own little basket so all his stuffies and toy cars can go for a ride, too.
To make a soft bike basket, you will need the following:
– 1 fat quarter of your main fabric (I used a quilting cotton – lots of great options for kids)
– 1 fat quarter of fabric for lining (again, I used a quilting cotton)
– interfacing for stability: I recommend a lightweight fusible as it’s easier to ease the pieces together
– Velcro – 2 pieces of 3/4″ tape cut in 3/4″ lengths
– paper for making a pattern
1. Start by drafting the following shapes from paper: one rectangle 8 x 6.5″ inches for the back, one 14 x 6.5″ for the front, two 3.5″ x 6.5″ for the straps (if you only draft one like I did you can cut it out TWICE). To make the bottom, fold a 3.75″x 8″ rectangle in half and round one corner using a small round object like a soup can. Unfold and you will have two rounded corners.
2. Press your main and lining fabrics and lay flat. Place the pattern pieces on top of your main fabric and pin in place – one of each, making sure to cut two of the straps. Repeat with the lining fabric, cutting the back, front and bottom (no straps) and then the interfacing (again, no straps). Following the manufacturer’s instructions, iron the interfacing to the back of your main fabric.
3. Pin together the front and back pieces along the short edges of the rectangles, with the right sides together. Sew a 1/4″ seam allowance and press the seams towards the front.
4. Pin together the bottom and sides, lining up the straight edge of the bottom with the back panel. Carefully pin the front around the curves – you will need to ease the straight edge around the curves. TIP: Place your pins face-up on the bottom so that when you sew, the feed dogs of the machine will help ease in the side panels.
5. Sew a 1/4″ seam around the bottom and press the seam allowance towards the side panels. Trim down the curved edges.
6. Repeat the side panel construction with the lining. When sewing the bottom on, leave a small opening approximately 2″ in the middle of the back section.
7. Turn the main fabric inside out and place the lining inside. With the two right sides together, pin the lining and main piece along the raw edge. Sew a 1/4″ seam.
8. Pull the lining out and carefully reach into the small opening. Pull the entire basket through the opening until it is completely right side out. Tuck in the raw edges of the opening and sew shut by hand or machine.
9. Tuck the lining into the basket and press the edge flat. Topstitch along the edge, approximately 1/4″ from the edge.
10. To make the straps, fold in half, right sides in. Sew a 1/4″ seam along the edge and turn right side out. Press flat with the seam in the centre. Fold in the edges approximately 1/4″, press flat and sew shut.
11. Centre the velcro pieces on each strap and sew in place – the scratchy hook section should be on the side with the seam, the soft loop section on the side without.
12. Loop the straps closed and pin in place along the back seams with the hook section towards the top. You may choose to adjust the placement based on your child’s bike – if it has a metal frame, you should be able to loop over the centre bar of the handlebars. For a wooden bike, you may need to loop around the actual handles. Pin in place, open flat and stitch a square to secure. You can mark a square with tailor’s chalk or light pencil if needed.
To install on a bike, open the Velcro closures and strap in place. The best part (for me, anyway) is that it can be easily removed and washed. It also fits on his little ride-on toy so even in the house he can cart his pals around. Now I have to make another one as big brother is an interested customer as well. Happy riding!