Guest post: Top Tips and Tricks for Creating Your Own Cycling Jersey

by Jessie Kwak

It’s a gorgeous weekend in the Northwest! I’m traveling (which is why this post is late, sorry), and I’m pleased to report that the good weather Seattle was supposed to have is reflected throughout the Northwest. I was going to be so bummed if I missed 80-degree sunny days in Seattle only to get rained on in Newport.

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Julianne Staino. Julianne is a NYC based runner/triathlete who can be found running and biking around town. You can follow her training over at rungerpains or, if you like puppy photos, you can get your daily fill by following her on Twitter (@JulianneStaino).

Thanks, Julianne!

On the pavement or blazing a trail, the thing that stands out most about a cyclist is the gear. A professional looking jersey will set you apart from the rookies. Whether you’re a seasoned roadie or mounting your steed for the first time, creating your own cycling jersey is fun and easy! So, lose the baggy t-shirts and hairy legs and use the tips below to create a professional-looking jersey and avoid looking like a Fred or Doris.

Source: www.shutterstock.com

Source: www.shutterstock.com

Step 1: Choose a pattern and fabric

For you crafty chasers, sewing your own cycling jerseys is the way to go. Jerseys are tight-fitting so keep that in mind when you choose your pattern. You can find patterns online and in some stores. Cotton allows the skin to breathe and cool itself naturally but holds the sweat, while synthetic material like polyester wicks sweat off the rider and dries quickly. Preshrink your chosen fabric in the wash. Chalk your pattern line and use a rotary cutter to cut through fabric. With polyester thread and a ball point needle, use an overlock stitch and a quarter-inch seam allowance.

Tip 2: Screen printing

Screen printing is one of the most durable ways to customize your jersey and though it’s a little more complicated to do it yourself, you’ll likely save a lot of time. Whether you’re just planning on riding your beater bike but want to look legit, or part of a cycling club or team, this method is ideal. Start by tracing your desired image onto a piece of nylon stretched across an embroidery hoop. Fill in the areas you do not want transferred to your jersey with Mod Podge and let it dry. Clip the hoop to your jersey and evenly cover the design with fabric ink. Carefully lift the pattern away, allow the paint to dry and then heat seal it according to the directions on your paint.

Source: http://craftgrrl.livejournal.com

Source: http://craftgrrl.livejournal.com

Tip 3: Iron-on Transfer

Weekend Warriors who want to look the part without shelling out the cash should start here. Print your image onto a transfer paper and trim excess paper and any part of the design you don’t want to transfer. Smooth any wrinkles on your jersey, place the transfer paper on top. With the steam setting off, run a preheated iron across the surface, allowing it to rest in one spot for 15 seconds at a time. Gently rub the whole design with a clean cloth for another few seconds and then remove the transfer paper.

Source: www.needlenthread.com

Source: www.needlenthread.com

Tip 4: Design a custom logo online

For a custom logo professionally printed, the best way is to choose a template from the jersey company website you’ve decided to work with and import it into a design program like Adobe Illustrator. You can lay out your design the way you like it. If graphic design isn’t your thing, you could always get a custom shirt online for your ride! Teams that are looking for a polished and consistent look for large numbers of jerseys will often ride this route.

Whatever your cadence, you’re going to be riding in style!

Source: www.shutterstock.com

Source: www.shutterstock.com


Tutorial: reflective recycled inner tube mudflap

by Jessie Kwak

This tutorial originally appeared in Momentum Magazine’s Winter 2012 issue. It’s a good way to play around with the gluing techniques discussed in Wednesdays installment of the inner tube crafting series, how to glue inner tubes.

I’m a big fan of reflective bits whilst cycling. My obsession hasn’t quite reached the heights of Tin Lizzie’s, but I try to add some reflective pizzazz wherever I can. That’s mostly because I rarely wear cycling-specific clothing, nor do I wear a lot of attention-getting neons.

Kwak_DIY mudflap-finished (flash)

Reflective accents can still look classy, while providing that “look at me!” flash when you need it.

In that spirit, I present the recycled inner tube mud flap. Here in Seattle, we’ve still got a few months of fender weather left. Do yourself (and your riding buddies) a favor and add a set of mudflaps.

(Not into stars? Check out this printable shape guide.)

You’ll need:

  • A punctured mountain bike inner tube (one tube makes 2 flaps)
  • 2″ reflective tape
  • Contact cement
  • X-ACTO knife
  • 2 Zip ties

1. Cut four 6″ lengths of inner tube, then cut each open at the inner curve. Wash and dry each piece thoroughly.

2. Choose the nicest-looking piece for the outside. Trace your stencil your design 2-3″ down from the top edge, and cut it out with your craft knife.

Kwak_DIY mudflap 1

3. Apply reflective tape to the top of a second piece, in the same spot where the design will show through. Spread contact cement over both pieces, being careful not to cover the tape—you can always tack down any loose edges later.

Kwak_DIY mudflap 2

4. Spread contact cement over one front and one back of the remaining pieces.

5. When the contact cement on both sets of flaps has dried, carefully press them together. Then glue your new double pieces together. Press the whole thing under a stack of books for at least 30 minutes.

When attaching the stenciled top layer to the layer with the reflective tape, lay two sheets of waxed paper between them: one above and one below the design. That way you can place the design perfectly, then remove one piece of waxed paper at a time and carefully bond the rest of the rubber.

Kwak_DIY mudflap 3

6. To shape the flap, use an X-ACTO knife and a ruler to square the top and bottom edges. Making sure your design is centered, measure 2.5″ at the top and 3.5″ at the bottom, then cut at an angle to join the two points. Round the bottom edges.

Kwak_DIY mudflap 4

7. Attach it to your fender: cut a pair of holes in the top, drill 2 holes in your fender, and attach each side with a zip tie.

Want more inner tube crafts? Check out my ebook Crafting with Inner Tubes.

Crafting with Inner tubes | Bicitoro bikes and crafts


Guest Post: DIY waterproof cycling booties

by Jessie Kwak

If you’ve never ended a ride with soaking wet shoes, then I don’t want to talk to you. If you have, then read on—Bethany Marcello, an assistant editor at CraftFoxes is here to show you how to make your own rainproof booties. She’s an avid biker, writer and crafter living in Portland, Oregon

If you want booties that are warm as well as waterproof, you could get some neoprene from Seattle Fabrics—or even from a beat-up wet suit you might find at Goodwill. After yesterday’s ride, I definitely need some to cover my Docs.


Soggy shoes have long plagued my husband’s daily work commutes, but the $50 price tag for a standard pair of bike booties was too much for our tiny budget. Making these DIY bike booties was an exciting and practical alternative. With a bright orange waterproof fabric, I made these rain covers in 2 hours and my final cost was only $10. There are lots of ways to customize this pattern, and it’s even appropriate for beginner sewists.

DIY cycling booties | Bicitoro

*Note: thinner fabric will last one winter and thicker fabric will last 2-3 winters

You need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Pattern paper or newspaper
  • 1 yard of waterproof fabric (possible alternatives: an unwanted waterproof jacket, umbrella or even scuba gear)
  • Sewing machine, scissors & thread
  • Chalk
  • 1-1/2-inch elastic
  • Velcro or ties for the back closure (optional)

Step 1: Create Pattern

Take the following measurements:

  • Along the inner foot, from outer to heel (1)
  • Circumference of calf (where you want the bootie to end) (2)
  • Over the top of shoe, from sole to sole (3)
  • For straps, measure from toe to where you want the bottom strap to go (more for those with clip-in bike shoes) (4)

Step 1-taking-measurements-bethanymarcello-

On pattern paper, trace the bottom of the bike shoe, making sure that sole is as long as (1) measurement.

Next, trace on pattern paper around toe of shoe and over laces. Check that this measurement is at least half of (3) measurement. Extend line up to shin.

Trace along the heel and up along the calf. Extend the leg-part of the booties as high as you choose. If you’re tucking the booties under your pants, about 3-5-inches will work. If tucking pants into booties, you may want at least 5-inches. The width of the pattern at top should be at least half of (2) measurement.


Add at least a 5/8-inch seam hemline for experienced sewists and at least a 1-inch hemline for newer sewists.

On pattern, mark where straps and closures are going.

Step 2: Cut Fabric

Note: If using expensive fabric, consider making a test piece on less expensive fabric to confirm sizing.

With fabric folded wrong sides together, trace pattern onto fabric and cut. Be sure to mark hemlines on fabric if you are new to sewing.

Step 2-cut-fabric-bethanymarcello-

Step 3: Hem & Sew

Unpin fabric, and create a double hem along the edges of each piece. Once all cut edges are hemmed on both pieces, sew heel and top of shoe and laces. Attach elastic straps across the bottom.


Step 4: Finishing (optional)

Line top of the bootie with elastic, and add Velcro to close the back opening. (Other options include leaving it open to tuck in your pants, or using laces to tie it shut.)

Attach reflective ribbon along the back for better visibility.

Step 4-finishing-bethanymarcello-



Bike crafting link love: Valentine’s Day edition

by Jessie Kwak

Next week, you might be planning to celebrate to celebrate a certain lovers’ holiday. Or not. For some reason, Valentine’s Day seems to be one of those contentious holidays that people either love or hate.

For me, with the exception of one boyfriend in college, Valentine’s Day has never been a big date night. Every once in a while I’ve gone out of my way to cook a special dinner—generally steak, though I’m not sure why. Probably the bloodiness of it is a nice tie-in to the color scheme of the day. Also, it’s one of those things men like to eat, right? Plus it’s one of those things I like to eat. Steak, undeniably, is tasty.

Anyway, I hadn’t meant to go on quite so long about how delicious steak is. I had a nice transition planned out from the first paragraph to the paragraph where I tell you about these Valentine’s Day bike crafts I’ve collected for you, but in my newfound hunger I’ve forgotten how it went.

So—this is for those of you who plan to celebrate a certain lovers’ holiday and also like bikes ‘n’ crafts.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Bicycle chain heart

First up: Cannibalize your second love to make a thoughtful Valentine for your first love*.

(* I’m assuming you love your partner more than you love your bike. I’m really not advocating murder of anyone. Also, I’d be kind of worried to say that sentence to Rob….)

bike chain valentines heart

Personalized spoke bracelet

This isn’t a tutorial, but it would be easy to figure these out. (Or you could just buy one from the BeachBMXDesigns—who also sells heart-shaped chain ornaments.)

bicycle spoke valentines bracelet

Crayon Valentine Hearts

The bicycle wheel display of these crayon Valentines is just fun. And it could just be the childrens catalog writer in me, but seriously—who doesn’t love melt-together crayons?

crayons and bicycle wheels

Bicycle chain dragonfly necklace

And yet another not-a-tutorial that would be pretty simple to DIY (from SpokenStitch).

bicycle chain dragonfly necklace

Your gift to me

Also, if you love me for Valentine’s Day, you can get me the red one of these:


I shall wear it with a red miniskirt and black boots as a tribute to the fabulous Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura.


Look how gorgeous she still is!


(So sorry, folks. My geek filter seems to be malfunctioning lately. It’s too soon to tell if this will be a long-term problem.)

What are you doing or not doing for V-day? Taking a romantic bike ride, I hope.


Guest tutorial: DIY Cycling Cap with a Vintage Twist

by Jessie Kwak

We’re joined today by Andrew Stephen, who is here to unravel the mystery of the cycling cap for us. Andrew is a content writer and marketing exec for Bikes and Bits.

Even though I’m a pretty advanced sewist, I’ve actually been pretty intimidated by caps. Andrew, on the other hand, dove right in. I dig the spin he put on the project (especially the elastic), and I think the finished cap turned out pretty rad. Enjoy!

DIY cycling cap with a vintage twist

The reason I wanted to do this project was because I can never find cycling caps in fabrics and patterns I love. There were a few local loved brands when I lived in San Francisco, but even then I never found the perfect one. Most of the time I ended up buying plain white caps to use cycling. By doing it yourself though, you get to pick out the perfect material for yourself. I love vintage, so I went to a local thrift shop in Berlin and found two vintage skirts that would afford me plenty of material for my cycling cap. I got one fabric for the bill and one for the crown of the cap.

Note on buying fabric:

  • Don’t buy fabric that stretches, this will be difficult to sew. I would go for medium weight material, not too thick and not too thin, like I said I just used some cotton skirts. You can’t go too wrong.

I have very basic sewing and crafting knowledge and this project was no problem. This is the video tutorial I followed from DudeCraft.com, which was excellent. I wanted to share it because I don’t think I would have been able to do the project very easily without it. The link to the pattern didn’t work so I used this pattern from Panda Face on Flickr. I actually ended up drawing my own pattern from the dimensions given and using a ruler because I didn’t have access to a printer. It wasn’t too difficult – you have to improvise a little with the curved lines, but it turned out totally fine.

For this tutorial, I’m going to record what I used and did, instead of what’s recommended in the video tutorial. Basically I made shortcuts and improvisations, which just goes to show you don’t need much craft specific material or skill to make a sick hat.

I would follow the video tutorial and pay special attention to my “Note” sections for the shortcuts and advice I learned. Using the video makes it much easier because you are able to see what’s happening.

My materials

My materials

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