05/4/13

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

03/8/13

Guest Post: DIY Reflective band

by Jessie Kwak

Folks, I have a sad confession to make. I haven’t turned my sewing machine on in almost a month. The sewing room has become a place where I shove things I don’t have time to think about right now, so I’m not sure I could even get to my machine without a solid hour or more of cleaning. Which I certainly don’t have time to think about.

That’s why I’m oh-so grateful that Ms. Bethany Marcello is back to show us how to make reflective safety bands. You remember her–she’s an assistant editor at CraftFoxes who stopped by a few weeks back with her awesome waterproof booties tutorial. (Did you make some? How’d they turn out?)

Stay bright out there!


Reflective Band

Safe biking means being as visible as possible to everyone on the road, and as the proud (albeit scared) wife of a biker who’s been hit three times, these reflective bands go a long way towards promoting safety and visibility, which is particularly difficult with our brown-gray Pacific Northwest skies. Modify this easy sewing pattern to make arm bands, leg bands, waistbands or even to strap along a waterproof biking saddlebag.

DIY reflective band | Bicitoro

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12/7/12

Guest post: Bike Chain Ornaments

by Jessie Kwak

I’m excited to announce another tutorial guest post for this week! Today, Laura from SurlyGirlCrafts is here to tell us about making holiday ornaments out of old bike chains.

I first saw SurlyGirl’s work on the Uncommon Goods blog, and was so enchanted with how she transforms little bits of bikes into things of beauty.

In all the bike crafting that I’ve done, I’ve yet to dive into actually creating things out of bikes, which is why I asked Laura to come on over and enlighten us. Read on—there’s still time to make a few for your tree!

(If you’re feeling low on time, why not just hop on over to SurlyGirl’s Etsy shop and pick up a couple that were made by the master herself? My favorite is this adorable wreath:

Cute, right? And there’s only one left, because I already bought the other one.

Take it away, Laura.


How to Make Ornaments from Recycled Bike Chains

Turning your old chain into a holiday ornament is a great way to give it a new life, and putting a chain star on your tree will show your love of cycling in a festive way. It’s also a great way to commemorate a bike that has special meaning to you. Maybe it was the one you won your first race with, road your first century or just got you back and forth to work everyday. Chain ornaments also make great gifts for your cycling friends.

You’ll need:

  • A bike chain
  • Degreaser
  • A scrubbing brush, old toothbrush, Q-tips
  • A chain tool

Creating chain ornaments is simple. The most difficult and time consuming task is cleaning and preparing the chain.

Once the chain has been removed from your bike use a scrub brush to remove large chunks of dirt and grease. I place a piece of plastic canvas in the sink to protect it, then I use a kitchen scrub brush and the sink sprayer to get the chain as clean as possible.

After most of the dirt and grease has been removed I soak it in decreaser to remove the remainder of the grease. There are a variety of cleaners out there. I use Park Tool’s Citrus Chain Cleaner because it is effective but also environmentally friendly.

I use a solution that is part water, part degreaser. For most chains the ratio is half and half, but on dirtier chains I will use more degreaser and less water. The condition of the chain also dictates how long to soak. Sometimes it’s as short as an hour, sometimes it’s overnight.

After soaking the chain use a toothbrush dipped in degreaser to clean around the pins and in between the links. A Q-Tip also does a good job of cleaning between the links. After thoroughly rinsing the chain, use a clean shop towel to rub it dry.

After it is dry use a chain tool to break off the piece you are going to use for your ornament. I use Park Tool’s CT – 5 chain tool. This is a good tool to use because it is small enough to get into the space between the star points. It also has replaceable pins. If you make a lot of stars, you’ll go through a lot of pins.

You will need 10 chain links.

When breaking the chain don’t push the pin all the way through. Only push it far enough to separate the links, as you will need to push the pin back through to link the chain.

Once you have the correct chain length use the chain tool to attach the links creating a loop. Then shape it into the shape you desire.

Use the chain tool to tighten down the pins.

Start with the points of the star, tighten them so that they no longer bend. After those are tight tighten the pin in between the points.

Once all the pins have been tightened the chain links should not move and it will retain it’s star shape. Loop a ribbon or string through one of the points and it’s ready to hang on your tree.

Most chains, depending on condition, can yield about 10 ornaments. Make up several as decorations on gifts or as stocking stuffers for the cyclist in your life.


My real name is Laura White. Mountain biking is my passion and I raced for several years on a pink and green Surly 1 x 1, which is how I got the moniker SurlyGirl. I’m originally from Michigan, but moved to Southwestern Virginia several years ago so that I could be near mountains. I’ve always been a crafter. For years I was primarily a knitter; making hats, scarves and baby blankets, and I first started making crafts from bike parts when I had a section of pink chain leftover from the Surly. I made it into a key chain. From there I began to create other things from my old bike parts and eventually started to collect parts from local bike shops. I like to surround myself with things that remind me of my bikes and my love of cycling even when I’m not riding which is why I love making things from bike parts and incorporating bikes into my knit designs.