DIY Saddle Roll

It's amazing what you find yourself doing to pass the time in the winter. In a recent search for a saddle bag for my new bike I wasn't happy with the options I found. Nothing seemed right.... then I came across some saddle rolls that looked interesting. Since I couldn't find the perfect one I figured I would make one. That is where the #DIY  #saddleroll project started. With supplies left over from the saddle recovering, I set out to make a template. But, rather than wasting leather on a prototype I decided to use canvas. 


After a trip to the a local leather supply shop (Tandy Leather) and to a textile supplier for supplies, I sat down to draw a template. Using my iPad and my 53 Pencil, I drew out a template for a very simple bi-fold saddle roll based on the one from Rapha. With my measurements in hand, I created a pattern template with craft paper.

For the exterior I used light weight black canvas and for the interior I used natural medium weight canvas. Tracing the pattern onto the material with a chalk pencil, I then cut them out with a rotary cutter. Using the same 3M Super 77 adhesive that I used for the saddle, I adhered the two together and trimmed with the template. As seperate pieces the canvas was quite pliable, adhered together they become quite rigid.

Similar to the Rapha saddle roll, I created a fold on the long side and hand stitched it. Using matching bias tape, I hand stitched the edges with waxed cotton thread. To protect the saddle roll from weather and elements I used Otterwax to seal it and turn it to waxed canvas. It gives it a softer texture in hand and a more utilitarian look.

With a few lessons learned and a prototype completed, I used an Ostrich leather textured vinyl and white bias tape to create a second prototype. The interior is waxed natural canvas. Although it doesn't match any of my bikes, I really like the look of the tan and white contrast. 

Feeling confident, I moved on to create a matching #blackonblackonblack leather saddle roll to match my newly recovered saddle for a full #DIY setup. I think it looks stealthy hot.

It was a fun project but the hand stitching leather was a lot more intensive than I thought. Especially after the 3rd saddle roll. Next up is a card wallet to go inside and made from a piece of buffalo leather I got recently.