In this edition of the CRAFT Video, I’ll show you how to make a custom fabric bike seat cover. You might make one if your bike seat is in disrepair, needs protection from rain, or, if you’re like me, you want to cover up your nice saddle to deter potential thieves from lifting your seat while your bike is locked up outside.
Step 1: Make a pattern
To create a cover that fits your bike seat perfectly, trace a pattern onto paper, following the outside contour of the bike saddle. don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be pretty. To clean up the pattern, fold it in half and draw one smooth line approximating the edge you traced earlier. Add a one inch seam allowance while you’re at it, and cut out the pattern piece, which will now be symmetrical.
Step 2: Pin, cut, and pin
Pin the pattern to your fabric. I’m using a stretch polyester, which will fit snugly and help repel moisture. Cut the fabric all the way around the pattern. Since we’ll be sewing the drawstring casing to the wrong side of the fabric, cut 1/2-inch slits along any concave curves to allow the edge to fold easily. Start pinning a 3/4-inch hem along the edge. I like to pin points directly across from each other first, then gradually fill in the remaining sections by bisecting them with pins until the entire edge is secured. For this project, the more pins, the better.
Step 3: Sew the casing
Move over to the sewing machine and sew along the pinned edge, leaving a space at the center back for inserting the drawstring. This is where having lots of pins helps create a flat casing by preventing bunching. I’m using an old conference lanyard as a drawstring, since it has a convenient little spring-loaded plastic adjuster, but you could just as easily use an old shoelace or a small scrap of elastic. Use a safety pin to thread the drawstring through the casing.
Step 4: Affix to your bike seat
The anatomy of your bike seat might be different than mine, but for me it was best to start by securing the cover over the nose of the saddle, then hold it in place while stretching it over the wider back section. Tighten the drawstring, and you’re ready to ride.
Let us know about your bike mods and accessories in a comment below! Photo above is by Matt Mets.