Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cover for the hatch and Underneath

I park my RotoVelo outside at work, and also when I'm lazy at home. If it rains the seat gets wet, and it accumulates leaves and stuff.  So I've made a nylon cover that goes over the top of the hatch cover and makes it waterproof.  My sewing skills are awful but it does actually work. I'm sure that Ben will provide a proper one with the final vehicle.
The first version was too narrow, and also showed that I can't sew curves so I needed to leave bigger borders than I did. So I cut a paper template that turned out to be just the right size once I'd made the second version. I also tried pulling it closed with string but that was too hard, I needed three hands to hold the cover in place, plus one to hold the spring-loaded clamp on the string and another to pull the string tight; then with some 6mm shock cord which works but is much too strong for the task; so today I bought some 8mm sewing elastic and that's much better.
Now I wonder if a proper version of this could just sew the elastic straight to the nylon, which might make it easier to fit. I could inpick the first cover and buy more elastic to try that idea out, but it means sewing elastic that's under tension which could be fun.
Cover Mk 1 on top of the template
Cover Mk 2 fillted, hooked over the mirror.
From a distance it looks fine
And finally, here's a photo of the underside because I know you're all dying to see what it looks like.

Followup: The elastic works better than I expected. I can now fit the cover by clamping the front under the hatch cover, pulling the other end to the back and fitting it from there, running a hand down each side to the front. It's much faster than my first attempts and really only possible because the elastic is fairly week so it's easy to work with. The shock cord was way, way too strong.
The main problem now is that the channel I sewed for the elastic is too wide, so the elastic tends to pull up and out of the channel as I'm fitting it. It's definitely time to find someone who can sew properly.


  1. Coo - there is a lot of bike hanging outside underneath isn't there!? Looks like it is missing a panel!

  2. You are on the right track with the cover.
    However I would sew a wide hem and insert an elastic chord in it. Then fit the cover and tighten the chord to the correct tension. the ends of the chord could tie together at the front. Add some velcro to the back inside and to the area at the bottom of the headrest. When removing the cover, start at the front and roll it to the back. The velcro pieces line up and keep the cover at the bottom of the headrest.

  3. The elastic doesn't work unless the strip it's in is very narrow. It's much easier just to sew the elastic straight onto the nylon. If you re-read you might notice that I started with the wide hem and loose elastic.

  4. Try duct tape and heat shrink plastic on the bottom. Tape the plastic loosely over the bottom and then use a heat gun to tighten it up where appropriate.

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