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today i’m mixing two types of bikers: making something that goes along with the image of a motorcycle biker (leather cuff) from a bicycle biker’s waste: inner tubes!
a couple of years ago i made my husband a bag from one of his old inner tubes and a seat belt cut from our car before junking it, and last year a belt. since then i’ve found a local bike repair shop that has started supplying me with used inner tubes (and very happily, seeing as they have to pay to dispose of them), so i have fun thinking of what to do with them.
an idea that i thought of a while ago (and then saw other places, too, like in the shop reciclarté in the city udine, which i happened upon last summer) was to make cuff-style bracelets from them.
it looks easy, just snip a piece of inner tube and stitch it down to keep it flat. but it’s not quite so simple and i ran into quite a few problems.
first of all, not all inner tubes are of the same quality. which means they can twist up while you’re sewing them.
i made four failures from one inner tube before realizing that they weren’t coming out because of the thinner and lower quality rubber. (i wonder if they would come out better with a walking foot. i don’t have one so i couldn’t try.)
then with a better inner tube i had some tension issues. i sewed the whole thing because it looked perfect on top, but underneath the thread was all bunched up! (what a shame, because i like it when there’s something on these that give away what the material is, like those stripes.) i tried to recuperate the material by ripping out the stitches…
… and that didn’t work out either! all those tiny holes make the rubber rip easily.
after quite a few fails, i figured out how to make them right and made quite a few. the first one was the one with a single snap (and that orange patch which i think is pretty cool!), but the two parts of the snap spin around so the cuff doesn’t stay on straight, but sometimes like pointed where it closes. with two snaps, though, it stays nice and straight. i also really like the contrast color stitching. in the end, despite the fails, i’m pretty pleased with these useful (and, in my opinion, funky) upcycled accessories!