Monday, December 29, 2008

A Bicycle Yurt

Stepping away from the dinning room table covered with conspicuous amounts of white fuzz (primaloft), I emerge a "gear elf" triumphant.  To say that the bike yurt is by far the most difficult thing I have ever made is quite the understatement.  The only thing I've made that took longer and more work were my children!  But three weeks of late night sewing vigils has now paid off.  The bike yurt is done.  

I based the pattern off of our rain cover pattern and added 8 inches to the bottom so that it goes clear down to the wide loaders.  There is a liner and a shell with insulation inbetween.  So the shell pattern had to be widened by 3.5 inches across the top to allow for the lofting of the insulation.  I also shrunk the windows to keep the warmth in.  I just cut about 5 inches off the bottom of the window pattern.  The yurt is constructed of Event, a waterproof breathable fabric which takes breathability to new levels.  Most breathables have to let the moisture condense on the inside before evaporating it to the outside.  This one allows vapor to pass directly out of the garment (or yurt for this matter).  It has 2.5 inches of primaloft insulation all around.  This places it at approximately R7 for insulation.  The windows are double paned thick vinyl with an 1.5 inches of dead air insulating between them.  It's warm, really warm.  This weekend only dished out weather in the 20 degree range, but the kids were warm and toasty.  Anthony had to ride the Big Dummy with the kids on it, as my shoulder is still not strong enough to handle the bike with the kids and the gear and the dog on it.   He said it handled quite well and the ability to have the kids on the Llama means that we can bring the dog in the trailer and get to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Christmas without one of those stinky, dangerous, expensive, ugly things with 4 wheels!  ;)  We also added some 3M Scotchlite to the sides, so it is very very visible.

The hardest part of the construction?  Sewing the lining between the double paned windows.  There is no room for the machine to get in between the two windows, so I had to hand-stitch between the two windows on the second window to be sewn into place.   There were so many thick heavy layers of fabric that my fingers were raw, even with a thimble.  The second hardest part: fabric management.  Oh my goodness, that is on big heavy piece of fabric as it starts to come together.  It was too heavy for the machine to feed it through, so I had to do that by hand.  The third hardest part:  the zipper.  There were 6 layers on one side of the zipper and 8 on the other.  Not all of them had to be sewn together at once, but I had to figure out what order to sew them in so as not to sew myself into a "corner".    But it is done and I am now vacuuming up all the last bits of Primaloft before the little one decides to eat them!  It worked!  Praise the Lord!  Whew... 

Next post... Poggies

Peace to all


Kent Peterson said...

Super nifty! Please more pictures, something showing off the whole thing. What an awesome project, your kids have the best rig I've ever seen.

Catherine said...

I am soo jelous. yes. more pictures. Did you make the pattern yourself?

WheelDancer said...

Very cool but more pictures would be great.

PS. I'll really be looking forward to the Poggies!

Cycledad said...

lovelly Yurt! PS if you are sewing hard materials by hand use an awl and blunt leather needles.