September 27, 2012

DIY Skirt Guards

Skirt guards, also known as dress or coat guards, are useful to have on a transportation bicycle. They protect your clothing from getting caught in the spokes and protect you from a resulting wreck. Velouria at Lovely Bicycle! sums up the merits of skirt guards well, and her post is a good read if you are unsure if skirt guards are for you.
Skirt guards are an uncommon bicycle accessory in the U.S., but you can make your own. This gives you the freedom to personalize them. Let's get started!

In addition to a sewing machine, you'll need:
The materials list is a general guide. I choose the denim because I wanted the skirt guards to match a bag I'd already made. These aren't meant to be all weather, but they will hold up better if you use a heavy material for the inner pieces. If you wanted to make them more durable, you could use waxed canvas or a heavy, waterproof cotton duck.
I had skirt guards that I used as a pattern; however, you can make your own pattern using an X-Acto knife and a large sheet of paper or newspaper. Tape the paper to your fender in one place and use the knife to trace the curve of your fender and cut the sides at whatever angle you like.
Use your pattern to cut out your pieces. You'll need an inner and outer piece as well as interfacing for both sides. I used a rotary cutter, but any sharp scissors will do.
Press your pieces and fuse the interfacing to the outer piece per the interfacing's instructions. If you want to add a pocket, sew it onto the outer piece before fusing with the interfacing.
 Pin the inner piece to the outer piece.
Use your machine to sew the pieces together. Use the same color thread in your bobbin.
Pink the edges being careful not to clip any stitches. Use a small pair of scissors to clean up the hole for the wheel lock.
Using your bike, mark where the grommets will be placed.
Using the directions that came with the grommet kit, install grommets at the points of attachment. Almost done!
Using ribbon, string, or twine, attach the skirt guards to your bike. Be sure to double knot and cut any long hanging ribbon. Finished! 
If you give this project a try, please post photos at the Madison Bike Life Facebook page - I'd love to see what you come up with.


  1. Thank you for sharing! I will try to make one soon. I do not have Facebook to share, but I will send you a picture and maybe you can post it there.
    Warmly from Athens,

  2. Thank you so much for this tutorial. It was a breeze to follow and I was very simple to modify for a woven fabric. I plan to make many more, knits and wovens!

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