Picture of the visibility vest
bike front.jpg
when riding your bike at night it's important to be seen by others.
there is only so much you can do with the bike, so i wanted something wearable. unfortunately, the wearable options are either very ugly or quite expensive.

so i made my own vest from reflective fabric that is a little bit more fashionable and not as expensive.

sorry about the not-so good nightshots!
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Step 1: Drawing

Picture of drawing
i made a few drawings of how my vest should look like, and this is the final design i chose to go with.

Step 2: What you need

Picture of what you need
- reflective fabric (this is quite expensive, i paid 20 euros for a piece 30 cm long and 150cm wide
- matching grey fabric (you only need very little, some scrap piece is enough)
- yarn, pins, scisssors
- tapemeasure, ruler
- pens, paper
- dress form (if available)

Step 3: Cut the strips of reflective fabric

Picture of cut the strips of reflective fabric
on the left side of the reflective fabric, draw parralell lines 1 cm apart all along the lenght of the fabric (150 cm). i used 10 strips 1 cm wide and 150 cm long.
cut the strips. now you have nice reflective linguine!
you can see the how different the reflective material looks when reflecting or not reflecting light on the pictures - one was taken with a flash, one without.

Step 4: The shoulder part

Picture of the shoulder part
using the pattern cut out two shoulder parts out of the grey fabric (you have to double the pattern along the center back line).
add 1,5 cm of seam allowance on all sides.

maybe you might have to adjust the pattern a little if you are much smaller or taller than i am (i'm 1,67 meters tall).

on one of the shoulder part pieces make little marks 1 cm apart on the sides where the strips will later go. (see picture). you only need to do this on one of the parts of the fabric.
grannyjones21 days ago

i found some on the ground, spilled when they load the truck that paints the lines on the road. I came back with a dustpan and whiskbroom, and scored about a pint jar of the beads. I've used some on address signs for our houses. Still got a lot left!

rimar20001 year ago
Very useful and safe. I hate those cyclist that go at night without light. When a person is driving at night in a poorly lit road, and a car in front lights with bright light, the driver may be momentarily blinded and lead to tragedy.

I don't know the prices, but I think micro glass spheres are a lot cheaper than reflective fabric. You can glue them over any fabric, getting a good reflective effect.
Good idea. I bet they make light weight plastic ones as well, which would lighten the load. That would be significantly less expensive :-)
I think these glass microspheres are very lightweight. They go in a coat of only one.

Here in Argentina they cost around 12 U$S dollars/Kg. I suppose 100g are enough to cover a vest.
realife111 year ago
"BRILLIANT" idea!! I like how it's light weight and air is able to flow freely (for when you're building up a sweat while biking). It looks cool and is reflective on all sides.
One suggestion though that I personally think would make it look even more slick and fashionable: Instead of the large looping area in the middle on the back of the vest. I would have the straps intertwine each other and cross over to attach to the opposite side. That way you still get the same effect of the reflectiveness in the center, but it's in neat and flat 'woven' design. This would be a great idea for people just walking at night. I can't tell you how many times I've had pedestrians cross against the light in the middle of the road (not even on the crosswalks), and they're wearing ALL black, so that you barely see them until you're almost right on top of them. They don't seem to "get it" that cars just cannot see them at night. You barely can see a silhouette.
Fantastic idea, you should market this as part of a clothing line or 'something'. It NEEDS to be out there on the market!
bajablue1 year ago
sursula (author)  bajablue1 year ago
lindsey1231 year ago
Nice job... Great idea. and looks good