I took up cycle commuting to work last September and usually plonk my handbag in the basket up front, when it rained I’d shove it in a plastic carrier bag. I do use pannier bags, I have a pair of Ortlieb front roller bags but only use one for work in which I keep my waterproofs, extra gloves and shoes to wear in the office.
So I needed a simple waterproof cover for the basket. Here’s one you can buy from Georgia in Dublin. This fits like a shower cap. I didn’t think this would work for me as my basket is secured to the handle bars with straps at the top edge.
I found a great on-line site for buying just the fabric I needed. Pennine Outdoor. You can buy everything you need to make your own outdoor gear including all accessories like zippers, reflective trims, elastic shock cord, toggles etc.
I bought this PU coated nylon at £5.75 per metre, along with some reflective piping. I also bought elastic shockcord, a toggle and some 1″ wide elastic, as at this point I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to secure the cover.
I started by taking a pattern for the top shape of the basket. I stitched the reflective piping around the sides and front. I then added a strip to form the side panel. I had to start and finish where the handle bar straps were then I added a small section between these points.
The top of cover fitted great but the sides stood away from the sides as the basket sloped inwards slightly. I had originally thought I would secure the cover to the basket with two loops of elastic which would secure underneath. I thought about adding narrow elastic to the hem to pull it in slightly and then I went for the shock cord. I had originally bought this and the toggle to make a seat cover. I wasted a bit of time trying to thread the cord though the hem I’d sewn in the panel. It wasn’t going to work but I had enough depth to cut off the hem and do this properly. This took some thinking about 🙂 (don’t try to unpick waterproof fabric, you’ll be left with a load of needle holes).
If I wanted the toggle at the front I’d need to thread it on to the cord first and make a buttonhole for it to exit from.
To secure the ends of the cord to the cover I added a piece of self fabric to each end (I only broke one needle doing this) then secured the self fabric into the hem and stitched the hem with the cord in position.
I added some squares of stick on Velcro to the areas just by the handlebar straps but these lasted one journey but actually the cover is secure enough without these.
The cover has been put to the test a few times so far and it’s standing up to the job.