Sewing a frame pump bag

Sat, Jul 27, 2019

Mocking the pump bag for the bike

Getting ready for the next hundred mile ride I wanted to lighten the load and not use the Arkel Randonneur rack and bag. They’re great for commuting but I wanted to just use a seatpack for the ride but there’s nowhere to stow the pump. The Topeak Mini Dual DXG is a superb little pump and it comes with a bottle mount bracket. However, the weather up here is usually crap and I didn’t want it exposed to the elements all day. The solution? Make a wee bag for it.

Last year I got a Brother sewing machine for a few quid off ebay, with the intention of making gear. Finding a manual for it was difficult as it seems to originate from when Brother took over Jones and my machine is actually a 1950s Jones JA-28. It’s a superb workhorse and I’ve made a few bags on it and this project was going to be a wee stuff stack and velcro straps. I get my buckles, velcro, webbing and cord locks etc from webfittings and the service is brilliant. No hassle and it arrives in a day or so with very good P&P and they’re based in a favourite spot of mine, down in St. Ives.

So the first thing I did was work out the dimensions of the stuff sack. With the pump measuring 10x2.25x1.5 inches it meant a piece of fabric 12.5x7.25 inches. I used nice yellow ripstop nylon I got from BST Fabrics which are another good stockist of interesting stuff. I chose yellow as you can never be too visible out on the roads. I lined the exits of the cord channel with 15mm orange grosgrain ribbon from Point North where I also get my cordura and other stuff. With the fabric cut, I mocked up the bag with wonder clips. These wee things are superb for prototyping as they grip the fabric well and let you shape it and try different designs out. I popped the pump in. Looking good so far.

Making sure the pump fits inside the bag before sewing

It was then a case of sewing it up, strengthening the bottom with more grosgrain and knocking up a couple of velcro straps to keep it in place in the bracket. I find that the roads up here vibrate it out of the bracket at the bottom so I wanted a couple of straps to keep it from doing that. The design is based on this really good tutorial:

Sewing finished, the magic moment arrived of turning it right-side out and popping the pump in. Quick check on the bike, sew the straps and install them on the bracket. Job done.

The finished pump bag on the bag with a couple of velcro straps to keep it secured in the holder