What is El Tour de Tucson? It’s a cycling event which attracts about 10,000 participates from all around the world each year, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The main event is a 104 mile ride around the perimeter of Tucson, AZ. I’m proud to say that I have family members who are avid cyclists, & fierce competitors who tackle this ride each year. That’s not the most amazing part – they hold the Platinum designation, which means that they complete this ride in under 5 hours!
They are quite the impressive group both on and off the course. Up until a few days ago, I had never heard of a musette feed bag. Apparently it’s a bag that contains food & beverages that are handed to the riders along certain points (feed zones) of a long race. My nephew Mike provided the required specifications, & I decided to sew some for family members & friends who are riding in El Tour de Tucson this Saturday. I had so much fun making them, & it felt good to be involved in a very small way. So just in case you’d like to make your own, (& to serve as a reminder for next year!) I’ve decided to blog the particulars. 🙂 These were made from a medium weight poplin fabric. The finished dimensions were 12″ h x 14″ w, with the finished strap measuring 38″ x 1″ For 1 musette bag, you’ll need to cut: 2 pieces measuring 14.5″ h x 15″ w 1 piece measuring 40″ x 4″ First, take 1 main piece at a time, & fold down the top by 1″, iron in place, then fold over again, & iron. The picture below shows one of the pieces folded into place (hiding the raw edge – the one above my fingers), the other piece has been unfolded.
Next, fold the strap in half – lengthwise, & iron into place. Next, take one of the raw edges & fold it up lengthwise to the middle point that you just ironed. Now fold up the other raw edge the same way, & iron into place. I was making more than one bag, so you’ll see the folded/ironed straps on the left (with no raw edges showing), & I’ve unfolded another piece on the right so you can see how it’s divided & ironed into fourths.
Sew a straight stitch lengthwise on both edges of the strap, using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance. You now have a strap with 4 thicknesses for stability. Next, retrieve those 2 main pieces again, and top stitch both the top & the bottom of the band lengthwise, using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.
Take one of the main pieces with the top stitching facing up (this is the right side) & position the strap end at a 45 degree angle, and a little down from the top edge of the band. Allow a little overage when you position the strap, for security. Sew or baste the strap to this main piece. Next, take the 2nd main piece, & position facing down, on top of the strap & other main piece. The strap should now be sandwiched between the two main pieces. Starting at the top, make sure the tops are lined up, then begin stitching using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance down one of the sides, but reinforcing the strap in place, back-stitching & sewing several times over this spot. Continue to sew to the bottom, back-stitch. Repeat this process with the other side, lining up the tops, then sewing across the bottom last, back-stitching start & finish points. Trim the raw edges of the straps so that they are even with edges of the bag. Trim up any excess thread. Turn the bag right-side out, push out the corners, & iron. Using a 1/4″‘ seam allowance, top-stitch around all three sides, and again reinforcing the straps. Top-stitching will provide stability to the bag, and raw edges will be hidden within the seams. Your musette bag is ready for use! Good luck!