After being disappointed with eBays poor range of saddle bags I decided to make my own. I wanted something vaguely vintage looking so I decided to pull apart an old army canvas bag. I used many of the pre-existing features of the bag in my final design. I needed a bag which could hold everything I needed for long rides. The bag can accommodate: Mini Pump Spare inner tube Clip on bike lights Keys Puncture repair kit Wallet
Step 1: Find A Bag To Destroy
The bag I have chosen is an old army style satchel which I found in a charity shop for about ÃÂÃÂ£2. It has an internal pockets, buckle fastening and a thick hemmed edge which I plan to utilise.
The first step is to begin disassembling the bag using a seam picker or a Stanley knife (be careful!) try not to cut through or rip the fabric.
Step 2: Salvage Useable Pieces
The design of the saddle bag is based around the pieces of material and the various existing features of the bag. You may need to alter the design to suit your materials. Here you can see the internal pocket which I plan to keep and the small metal buckles.
Step 3: Mark Out your Pattern
I decided to copy the original pattern of the bag but on a much smaller scale. I roughly marked out my chosen pattern using a market pen and made sure to measure it all TWICE! As you can see I had made several measurement errors which had to be adjusted. As I wanted to maintain the thick hemmed top of the satchel I made the front panel from a separate piece of material from the original front of the bag. This saves time and relieves the need for more time spent with the sewing machine.
Notice the internal pocket adjustments.