Hot! The ‘Future’s So Bright’ Bike Apron | Veronica Darling

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Fabric: Fluro Nylon material “Ripstop” from Spotlight, $14
PatternButterick 9809, thrifted, ~$1
Year: 1950s/1960s
Notions: Faux glass buttons, $12 from Spotlight
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: December 2011
Wear again? Yes, whilst I’m on the bike!

Total Cost: ~$26



For this week’s theme, I’ve been planning to STAND OUT on Melbourne’s roads! And whilst I’ve never SEEN anyone wearing a bike apron before, I became determined to make one!

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Since my darling Cambodian bike riding holiday, I’ve been riding to work a few times a week! It’s about a 20 kilometre (12 miles) round trip, and just enough for a bit of fitness (for a non-fitness fanatic like me) but not too much to gain gigantic calf muscles.

My fashion observations for bike riding in Melbourne is lycra or tight clothing, like sportswear, or the exact opposite: hipster and vintage cool. Personally, I’m not cycling fast enough to break a sweat so I just wear my normal work clothes (No Lycra for me), BUT often I’ve found my skirts fly up around my ears if they’re not super long. This springtime dress is actually perfect and long for bike riding, but most of my other fuller skirts are just way too floppy, and frankly I love my pins, but not *that* much to show off my legs to the entire Melbourne commuting community.

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I thought a ‘Bike Apron’ would work to weigh the shorter skirts & dresses down, and make me brighter to fast vehicles! Adding larger pockets (with a nifty smaller iPhone pocket inside one of the pockets!) would also help as I LOVE listening to the radio on my ride in.

The Butterick house dress and pajama pattern was just perfect (I really wanted a drawn in waist for my apron), but Heavens To Betsy’s I have NO idea where and when I got it. For this week, I actually shopped at Spotlight to pick up the FLURO nylon fabric and faux glass buttons for I really wanted to be SEEN and this fabric is probably the same as workmen’s safety vests. There was also bright pink, bright orange and a bright green to choose from, but I thought yellow stood out well for me (and my new hair!).

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Sewing with the nylon was a breeze! I had to resize the pattern a little to make it smaller in the bodice, but I wasn’t too worried as I’m always going to wear it over my normal clothes. The fabric is slightly see through and didn’t iron flat too well, so I decided to topstitch (in bright orange thread, no less) everywhere that suited topstitching.

There were normal neckline facings, but not for the armholes, so I created some fluro bias binding and also added a little tab/loop of fabric  to one shoulder in case I needed to add a little light on my right (and traffic side) shoulder. Totally practical!

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The faux glass buttons took up most of my time, and whilst they are so cute, if I’d have found a reflective zipper (you know those silver reflector fabrics?) at Spotlight, I would have made it a zip up instead. I made the hem a little thicker than usual, so to weigh it down a little more, and it turned out so well!

My bike route is mostly off road pathways (like this one near my house!) but there are some thundering trucks in some parts of the route, so with this fluro, I’ll stand out a mile! Husbie and I took these photos just after the sun went down, to show you just how bright the fabric is!

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AND in case you’re wondering: I don’t ride 20 km in these wedges! I usually wear flats on the bike, and take my heels with me to change into once I get to work!

Honestly, I *can’t* believe the year is almost over! Wishing you a happy holiday season, and please drive safely on the roads if you have to travel. Until next week! xoxo


Veronica Darling

Veronica Darling has been sewing well for about 4 years, blogging for 5 years and smiling for over 33 years. In 2011, she joined Mena's Sew Weekly in sewing through the year, and in 2012 will keep challenges slightly smaller in scale.


Comments are closed.

  1. This is brilliant! Both literally and figuratively :) I dub thee Veronica Daring, for daring to sew with neon nylon!

  2. Fashion AND function. You’re so clever!

  3. That is an incredible idea! I’ve never heard of a bike apron – did you invent it yourself, or find it somewhere? Either way, it looks about a million times better than the workmen vests that you normally see on cyclists.

  4. I Love it. What a fab idea!

  5. A bike apron?! That’s the best idea I’ve heard for a long while. And you look so cute and practical wearing it I’m quite envious.

  6. I also need one! This is great, especially for me living I Sweden where it is dark all the time!

  7. Sooo cute! What a great idea =) You’ll definitely stand out!!

  8. Excellent idea! I am thinking of biking to work starting next spring and something like this would be perfect.

  9. You will never be missed in that, although it might cause an accident behind you with everyone checking you out!

  10. wowie! What a cool and clever idea! Lateral thinking at its best. and the colours is awesome with the new hair.
    If it does flap too much for your legs :), why don’t you do a Chanel and put a chain in the hem? I read that she used to do it with jackets and skirts to weigh them down.

  11. margueritedesigns

    Isn’t that fab! Maybe you’ve discovered a gap in the market – hope you don’t cause any car crashes though!

  12. Gosh this is the coolest bright “vest” ever.. I almost wish I could ride a bike to wear something like this. Xx

  13. What a great idea. Much better than those health and safety vests that only look ok on men with clipboards.

  14. So clever! Looks good on you, too. Thank you for sharing this inventive safety tip with all of us biker-girls!

  15. Innovative on so many fronts – fabulous as always :-D

  16. Oh i’ll be watching out for you in this on my rides! ;)
    I must say though, i’m not too keen on you listening to the radio on your ride, eyes AND ears should always be on the road and what’s going on around you, especially on that big busy road we ride on. Stay safe! xx

  17. This is AWESOME! I don’t ride a bike but I’ve had a couple of conversations recently with people who do but are dismayed by the lack of stylish high visibility gear. You should start a line of these on Etsy, you’d make a mint!
    Ooh but just to be a Jewish mother for a minute, I’m really nervous about you cycling with your iPod on. Is it really worth the risk? Can’t you sing to yourself instead, while paying close attention to external sounds?
    Stay safe, sunshine!

  18. HAPPY and adorable, so smart and clever! Be safe on your rides back and forth! Lovely photos too, so engaging!

  19. You are the most adorable person ever. I LOVE this idea! Can you imagine a whole fleet of ladies biking about in them? Because I can.

  20. Clarissa Henderson

    Your bike apron is great. I love the florescent fabric. Kuddos!

  21. Oh my goodness, you look so cute riding on your bike in your new bike apron! I’d never heard of one of those, but I can imagine how helpful it would be! :) Merry Christmas!!

  22. Very cool idea, there is no way anyone will miss you now!

  23. What a fantastic idea!!! Both fashionable and purposeful :)

  24. Oh, wow–you look great even in glow-in-the-dark yellow, and the apron is just beyond awesome. I may have to steal your idea and try making one of these for myself.

  25. This is such a completely awesome idea!!! Looks great!

  26. This is great! I need to figure out the male equivalent for my boyfriend. And please wear your helmet!

  27. I love this idea, and will sey about to making one immediately!

  28. Wow, that’s amazing! Great idea! And where did you get those shoes?

  29. One of the best ideas I have heard of in a long time!

  30. That’s awesome! And I was going to make the same suggestion as francesca, putting weights in the bottom of the skirt! I’ve worn a skirt on my 14km bike route and always ran the risk of it blowing up!

  31. That is one of the best ideas I have heard of in a long time…cudo’s to you!

  32. That is great! Hi Vis Pinny!

  33. i love this wonderful ‘bright’ idea!

  34. This is so fun!! And thanks for adding my shop to your favs! :)

  35. You are too cool for school! Awesome!

  36. A-ma-zing! Such a great idea, I’d also love to know if you came up with it or saw it somewhere. I’m also seriously impressed with your ability to bike in those high wedges!!

  37. OK, that pretty much ROCKS on you! I’m looking to build a wardrobe for my new-to-me bike, and this is inspiring, thanks!

  38. BRILLIANT!! this is a smashing idea, I would totally do the pink fluro, I wonder if the hipsters with their fixies would wear one? I wear a garter on my thigh which has a clip to attach your skirt too, very handy. You could totally patent these. Happy and safe tredling.

  39. Sheer brilliance! If i were still bike riding i would totally steal this idea.

  40. You and your pins are incredibly wonderful! xx