DIY Bicycle Pannier Tutorial – and FREE giveaway!

Here it is! As promised, a DIY Bicycle Pannier Tutorial.

Full of pictures and detailed instruction, a DIY Bicycle Pannier Tutorial. Definitely not like the previous entry, where I encouraged it to be read while sipping your morning coffee. If you’re not actually working through the project yourself, I’d recommend reading this blog entry while transitioning into your Sunday afternoon nap…it’s-just-that-exciting. However, if you’ve ever wanted to make a UNIQUE, CUSTOM pannier for your summer errands on your bicycle, here it is! Each step needed to create your very own pannier!

My First FREE Give A Way – but there’s work attached :-/

In celebration of my first attempt at a tutorial and being very curious about how smoothly this tutorial works for you, I’ve put together TWO FREE pannier bundles that I will mail out to the first TWO interested readers who request it. It includes all the supplies YOU will need to sew a pannier, like the one shown (but in a different colour).

 3 Requests Attached… 

1 – I’d recommend a basic level of sewing knowledge – this is an INTERMEDIATE level project
2 – I’d recommend that you have a SEWING MACHINE that can sew through HEAVY FABRIC
3 – FEED BACK and THOUGHTS  about your experience using this Tutorial and how you use your Pannier would be greatly appreciated

Email me OR leave a comment at the end of the blog and we’ll figure out details of how to mail it out to the FIRST TWO interested readers!

Any Takers?



Let the fun begin…

Materials Needed for Pannier DIY Tutorial – Intermediate Skill Level

  • 6.5m (7yd) of 1″ Webbing
  • 4 – 1″ plastic buckles
  • Matching Thread
  • 14 or 16 gauge sewing needle for sewing machine
  • 70cm (28″) of 1/4” double folded seam binding
  • 35cm (7″) of ¾” Velcro – both HOOK and LOOP
  • 80cm (30″) ¾” Webbing
  • 31cm (12″) of Reflective/High Visibility tape
  • Heat Erasable Marking Pen (optional)

PATTERN PIECES: This pattern uses oilcloth for the fabric and poly-cotton broadcloth for the lining. Other suitable fabrics: Twill, canvas, duck, denim, cordura, lightweight vinyl. Other suitable lining: light weight cotton, poly-cotton, polyester

You will need:

  • 1.5 m (1 3/4 yd) of 45″ wide durable or water resistant fabric
  • 1.5 m (1 3/4 yd) of 45″wide lining for inside pannier

Fabric – CUT

  • 1 piece: 33cmx72cm – T – top flap
  • 2 piece: 33cmx48cm – O – outside panel
  • 1 piece: 33cmx82cm – I – inside panel
  • 4 pieces: 33cmx15cm- S – side panel

Lining- CUT

  • 1 piece: 33cmx72cm – T-Lin
  • 2 piece: 33cmx48cm – O-Lin
  • 1 piece: 33cmx82cm – I-Lin
  • 4 pieces: 33cmx15cm–S-Lin
  • 2 pieces of 33cmx33cm lining – Pkt-Lin

OPTION: on the back of each piece of FABRIC and LINING, I label them with masking tape to keep pieces in order.

Example: ‘I’ for the Fabric pieces of the INSIDE PANEL and ‘T-Lin’ for Lining side of the INSIDE PANEL
















































OVERVIEW of Instruction
        Section ‘A’ prepares the four pieces of fabric with lining, handle, buckles and
        velcro attachments with detailed, easy-to-follow instruction.

The four pieces are labeled as: Side Panel,Top Flap, Inside Panel, Outside Panel

        Section ‘B’ instructs how to sew the pieces prepared in section ‘A’ together.



     A1 – SIDE PANEL    -Four Fabric: 33cmx15cm (13”x6”) ‘S’
-Four Lining: 33cmx15cm lining (13”x6”) ‘S-Lin’
-Reflective Tape: TWO pieces 15cm (6”) long

  • Take TWO of the ‘S’ fabric pattern piece and sew reflective tape 12.5cm (5”) from the bottom.
  • Stitch along the top and bottom of tape
  • Take ALL ‘S’ pieces and match with ‘S-Lin’ pieces – wrong sides together
  • Pin them together OR baste stitch ¼” from edge around the perimeter
  • Set aside for later


  • One Fabric: 33cmx72cm (13”x28.5”) – ‘T’
  • One Lining: 33cmx72cm (13”x28.5”) – ‘T-Lin’
  • Match together ‘T’ and ‘T-Lin’ with wrong sides together
  • Pin ‘T’ and ‘T-Lin’ together OR baste stitch ¼” from edge around the perimeter
  • Take 220cm (+) of webbing and fold in half and iron. (Make sure to set temp of iron to appropriate setting to not melt poly webbing)

  • Stitch folded Webbing around perimeter of Top Flap – make sure you use a heavy gauge needle in your machine- 14g or 16g – depending on fabrics and webbing chosen.


MAKING CORNERS: Sew till the end of the fabric – FOLD corner over and adjust to make an even mitered corner – PIN just past the corner to hold it in place as you prepare to sew along the next edge


FINISING WEBBING: overlap webbing approx. 1cm (.5″) and sew in place – don’t forget to melt end of webbing to prevent fraying.

Reference Points (RP1): On ‘T-Lin’ mark out the centre 16cm (6 1/4″) with erasable pen, chalk or mark with pins (should have two equal 28cm (11″) sections on either side of the 16cm (6 1/4)

We are now going to add the HANDLE, VELCRO STRAPS


  • CUT 18cm (7”) of 1” webbing
  • On ‘T’ (fabric) side of panel mark the centre along the LONG edge with a pin – Do this for both sides – Reference Point (RP2)
  • On imaginary line between the two RP2 measure 8cm (3.25”) from edge towards centre
  • Center webbing and pin flush with 8cm(3.25”) marking
  • Do this for both sides of webbing – this should create a small gap to create a handle

  • Sew a 1”x1” square at each end of webbing to hold handle in place. (I sew a box with an X inside to reinforce) ***Thread on lining side will not show once bag is assembled***


  • Cut TWO – 5cm (2”) pieces from the HOOK side of the ¾” Velcro
  • Cut TWO – 12.5cm (5”) pieces from the LOOP side of the ¾” Velcro
  • Cut TWO – 18cm (7”) pieces from the ¾” webbing

  • Pin and Sew a 5cm(2”) HOOK and 12.5cm(5”) LOOP onto the 18cm (7”) webbing (do this for both pieces of webbing)

  • On ‘T’ (fabric) side of panel use Reference Point (RP2)– Mark 5cm (2”) on either side of CENTER and 6.5cm (2.5”) from EDGE
  • Pin Velcro Straps inside these points with HOOK velcro towards the HANDLE

  • SEW around the perimeter of the HOOK velcro creating a rectangle (LOOP velcro part of strap should be completely loose) ***Thread on lining side will not show once bag is assembled***



  • Cut FOUR 9cm (3.5”) pieces of 1” webbing
  • Take the NON ADJUSTABLE side of the BUCKLE and make a small loop of the webbing around the end of buckle and sew together ***don’t forget to melt the edges of the webbing before sewing – stops it from fraying***
On “T-Lin” side of panel:
  • The webbing attached to the buckle should sit 14cm (5.5”) from the SHORT edge and 5cm (2”) from LONG edge
  • Working from the end of the webbing SEW a 1”x1” square with a reinforced X in middle to hold strap in place. ***your bobbin thread WILL SHOW on the outside of the pannier. I changed my bobbin thread to match the ‘T” fabric***

TOP FLAP can be set aside till later


  • ONE Fabric: 33cmx82cm – ‘I’
  • ONE Lining: 33cmx82cm – ‘I-Lin’
  • TWO lining 33cmx33cm (inside pocket) – ‘Pkt-Lin’
  • Match up lining and fabric together with wrong sides together – Pin OR sew around the perimeter

  • Reference Point 3 (RP3): On I-LIN of INSIDE PANEL mark out the center 16cm (6 1/4″)with erasable pen, chalk or mark with pins (should have two equal 33cm(13″) sections on either side of the 16cm(61/4)

We will now add WEBBING STRAPS and POCKETs to the panel.

 WEBBING STRAPS with Velcro on Inside Panel
(for securing panniers to bike rack)
  • Cut TWO 20.5cm (8”) pieces of webbing
  • Cut TWO 5cm (2”) pieces of LOOP side of Velcro
  • Cut TWO 5cm (2”) pieces of HOOK side of Velcro

  • SEW 2” piece of HOOK velcro to one end of the 8” webbing – sew perimeter of velcro

  • FLIP webbing over and SEW 2” piece of LOOP Velcro to other end of 8” webbing – sew perimeter of velcro

HOOK and LOOP will match together to make a circle once complete


  • On ‘I’ (fabric) of INSIDE PANEL measure and mark center of the SHORT EDGE. Approximately 16.5cm(6.5”) from either side. And measure and mark 11.5cm(4.5”) from the SHORT edge towards the center of the panel

  • On this MARK pin the center of your 8” webbing and SEW a 1” box square with an X in the middle to reinforce.

  • Do this on both ends of INSIDE PANEL – Should end up looking like picture above
(I insert corrugated plastic into these pockets – gives panniers shape and prevents them from catching your spokes, more detail at end of Tutorial)
  • TWO pieces of 33cmx33cm lining – ‘Pkt-Lin’

  • Create a finished edge to ONE edge of ‘Pkt-Lin’ – double fold a ¼” edge and sew down – I use a surged edge as my 1/4 “ gauge.
  • Iron flat

  • Pin Pkt-Lin’to ‘I-Lin’– all edges should be flush with the edge of the ‘I-Lin’ with double folded edge parallel with the Reference Point 3 (RP3) line


  • TWO Fabric: 33cmx48cm – ‘O
  • TWO Lining: 33cmx48cm – ‘OL’
  • Match together wrong sides of ‘O’ and ‘OL’ panels
  • Pin ‘O’ and ‘OL’ together OR baste stitch ¼” from edge around the perimeter
  • Mark TOP and BOTTOM of OUTSIDE PANEL ***be mindful if fabric or lining print is directional
  • We will now add WEBBING STRAPS for Buckles


  • Cut FOUR 25cm (10”) pieces of webbing 1” wide
  • The other half of your 4 buckles

  • On the FOUR 25cm (10”) pieces of webbing, double fold 1cm (.5”) over on ONE END and SEW down (this will prevent the buckle from sliding off the webbing)

  • MARK 20cm(7¾”) from BOTTOM and 5cm(2”) from edge and mark
  • Line up OPEN corner of webbing with MARK – with DOUBLE FOLD edge going towards the top of bag
  • SEW webbing straps with 1.5”x1” square with X reinforcement starting from OPEN corner

  • OUTSIDE PANEL should look like this once you are done. Other half of BUCKLE can be added to the webbing after pannier is all sewn together.

SECTION B – SEWING the Pieces Together – Taking all the PANELS we prepared in SECTION A we are going to sew them together to create the Pannier.

Below are pictures of your finished PANELS – Front and Back

B1 – Sewing Panels Together

  • Match BOTTOM edge of ‘O’ with SHORT sides of ‘I’ – FABRICs together
  • PIN and SEW a ¼” seam along edge

  • SEW ¼” Double Folded Bias Tape over raw edge created on LINING side
  • Do this for both sides of Pannier – You will have a really long panel now and if you pinned everything earlier in the pattern you will have wished you had sewn it. 😛


B2 Sewing on Side Panels

  • Lay whole piece created in B1 and match up ‘S’ SIDE PANELS

  • PANELS should fit nicely between BIAS TAPE edge and Reference Point 3 (RP3) on I-LIN of INSIDE PANEL
  • ‘S’ SIDE PANELS with REFLECTIVE TAPE should be on the SAME EDGE with shorter portion towards BIAS tape seam and PIN

  • Sew along this edge leaving 1” from Reference Point 3 (RP3) open and ¼” open from the other end (Pictured ABOVE and BELOW)
  • Do this for all FOUR panels

B3 – Sewing the Sides up – It’s starting to look like a Pannier!!

  • Create a 90 Degree angle at BIAS tape seam and MATCH up with the SHORT edge of the ‘S’ SIDE PANEL.
  • PIN ensuring that all pieces of fabric and lining edges are flush
  • SEW ¼” seam along this edges – back stitching and ending seam ¼” from the end

  • Create another 90 degree corner with fabric and pin all FABRIC and LINING along edge. ‘O’ OUTSIDE PANEL should match up and end with top of ‘S’ SIDE PANEL

  • Do this for all FOUR ‘S’ SIDE PANELS

B4 – Finishing Edges with Webbing

WEBBING for FOUR Outside Edges
  • Cut FOUR pieces of 1″ webbing 91.5cm (36”) long
  • FOLD webbing in half and iron. (Make sure to set temp of iron to appropriate setting to not melt poly webbing)
  • Starting on the FRONT/OUTSIDE corner of pannier and sew webbing along TWO sides of Pannier (as pictured ABOVE) – there will a webbing ‘tail’, this will be attached later
  • Use method of sewing a WEBBING CORNER from earlier in Tutorial
  • Do this for all FOUR outside edges

WEBBING for Top Edge of Pannier

  • Cut TWO pieces of 1″ webbing 62cm (24.5”)
  • FOLD webbing in half and iron. (Make sure to set temp of iron to appropriate setting to not melt poly webbing)

  • Sew webbing around the Top Opening of the bag to create a finished edge (this is where it is essential that 1″ was left open on side seam)
  • Do this for BOTH Bags of the Pannier
  • Sew together the 1″ edge opening – do this for all four corners

  • Sew up the webbing ‘tail’ along inside edge
  • Webbing should END in the middle – you may need to trim a little of the webbing so that they meet flush with each other

  • All Sides and Top edges finished with webbing


Reference Points (RP3) on INSIDE PANEL LINING ‘I-Lin’ pictured ABOVE

Reference Points (RP1) on TOP FLAP LINING ‘T-Lin’ pictured ABOVE

  • Match up Reference Points (RP1) marked earlier on the TOP FLAP LINING ‘T-Lin’ with Reference Points (RP3) on INSIDE PANEL LINING ‘I-Lin’

  • PIN together between the 16cm (6 1/4″) reference points
  • Sew panels together ON webbing between the two markings – making sure to use a heavy gauge needle, 14g or 16g, and making sure not to sew through Velcro straps

  • I insert corrugated plastic (it’s like cardboard but made of plastic) picked up from your local hardware store – cut down to 33cmx33cm – one for each side. This gives the pannier stability and prevents it from going into your spoke.

FINISHED! Ready to fasten to your bicycle!

Congratulations on making it to the end of this blog entry! It’s a long one, but for the right person it’s got a lot of useful information. This entry challenged me in the technical writing aspect, but having always wanting to attempt a tutorial/pattern I’m glad I have accomplished it. Hope you are able to use it and maybe even add your own twists to it. Feel free to tell me about your experience with the tutorial in the comments below.



From this photo on the left to a full length blog. This is what my original working pattern looked like.











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