Sunday, February 8, 2015

Upcycled Inner Tubes - A Stitch in Time Saves...

Not bad for my first attempt at sewing inner tubes.
Sewing used inner tubes is not for the faint of heart.

Initially inspired by Jessie Kwak's use of inner tubes on an oilcloth pannier and later, tips about equipping a home sewing machine with a Teflon presser foot and titanium needles, I set out to experiment, ensuring I had plenty of tubes to spare.
(Check out her Bicitoro blog for more creative things to do with inner tubes.)

I overlooked picking up a Teflon presser foot, but found that my quilting arm worked just as well. Primarily, the arm feeds the top material, or in this case, the top layer of tube, in conjunction with the bottom for even feeding through the machine.

But be prepared for lots of practice with the tension. Start by setting it higher than normal and experiment. I had trouble with bobbing thread bunching and balling. That's when I got friendly with the seam ripper, especially when I doubled the tube, attaching buckles. As Jessie recommends, you might need to further adjust tension to account for double thickness..

Once I was on a roll, however, I stitched to my hearts content, experimenting with zigzag and straight stitching, creating patterns. I have a project in mind for these straps: a continuation of upcycled bike bag tutorial.


  1. Love it! Can't wait to see what you do with these tubes. I can imagine determining the right tools for the job would be challenging, but it sounds like you've figured it out. I love experimenting with different items to see what we can do with them or how we can reuse them.


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