Canvas tote inspired by cyclists’ musette bag

cyclist musette bag inspired toteMy friend, TheJen, has become an avid cyclist and she was telling me about the small bag that cyclists use for carrying food and water. Here’s a link she suggested that shows traditional styles of musette bags or feed bags. Often these are imprinted with promotional messages and handed out at big races. Anyway, I got it stuck in my head and couldn’t get it out so I decided to make a tote based on the basic proportions and idea of the musette bag used by cyclists.

Since this is not for real cyclists, I used a double layer of home dec canvas, a print called Sprig by Jessica Jones for J. Caroline Designs. I really liked this fabric although it’s a large design which is unusual for me. It’s a graphic treatment of leaves, very much up my alley. I had to have it but I really did not know what I was going to do with it! It would make great couch pillows or upholstery for cheery kitchen chairs, or any number of things. But when I got the idea to make the musette bag I knew immediately I wanted to use this fabric. I did use the basic proportions that I could find on the web, about 11x13inches I think. The strap is very long for wearing across the body rather than over the shoulder. There is no closure but I did add a teeny zippered pocket on the inside that would hold cards, money, keys. I was able to cut two bags, including the little pocket, out of a single yard so I went ahead and used the same fabric for the lining. Almost no wasted fabric!

inside zippered pocketThis construction of this lined bag is my own design and was done entirely on the serger and regular sewing machine with no handstitching! It’s roughly based on some self-lined shoe bags I made years ago, also my own design. Anyway, it went together fast and easy (except when I decided to put that little pocket in). I will definitely make this again, especially since I already have the second one cut out, lol. When I make the second one I will take pictures along the way for a tutorial. I am really excited about the construction method I used. It’s fast, trim but sturdy. Now I do have plans to make another musette bag out of a much lighter weight fabric that would actually be more practical for cyclists, but this is one we can all enjoy, yes?

Tags: ,


  1. TheJen’s avatar

    I LOVE IT…yes yelling from CA to ME!

Comments are now closed.