Member since 6/18/03
Date: 2/6/10 7:59 AM
DH has bought a Vespa and is having fun buzzing around on it. I want to learn to ride it too, and DH is pleased that I want to.
Being a keen dressmaker, I immediately began thinking about making myself a jacket to wear on the Vespa. (I have very big arms and cannot find RTW upper-body garments that fit. Mostly I can't even get them on. So I'll need to make a jacket rather than buying one.)
I would appreciate some advice from PR people who ride motorcycles/scooters. What features are essential in a motorcycle jacket?
My local fabric shop has a sale on heavy-weight corduroy. Would that be a suitable fabric?
And can anybody recommend a suitable pattern?
TIA from a future Vespa rider!
It's a custom-made designer original. I made it myself.
Member since 9/26/07
Date: 2/6/10 8:06 AM
I believe Burda has some very cute jacket styles that would probably suit. I don't know any pattern numbers and have no idea how to link thme here though - So sorry!
Member since 10/1/06
Date: 2/6/10 8:17 AM
I would think a jeans jacket style would be a great start
Member since 7/20/07
In reply to juliette2
Date: 2/6/10 8:42 AM
What about V2973, it's a motorcycle jacket and it's on clearance!
Member since 9/7/04
Date: 2/6/10 9:09 AM
Yeah for the both of you, we have a couple of Honda ruckus scooters that we have a blast on in summer. I wear a helmet but DH goes komando! even against my judgement, had fast mototcycles when young.
I had a Vespa when in high school, it was about the only one, the new ones are really nice.
Member since 3/27/08
Date: 2/6/10 9:23 AM
When I think of a "practical" motorcycle jacket I think of a heavy leather or specially made jacket to minimize injuries in case of a wipeout. I'm not sure design matters as much I guess. You'd want a jacket to fit snugly and keep out the elements. There are many designs now for motorcycle jackets, many have mandarin collars and raglan sleeves, not your typical style when you think of a biker jacket.
I'd look for a pattern with reinforced elbows as that could take the brunt of injury in a fall or something you could reinforce. I think Vogue has one like that. Burda Magazine has several motorcycle jackets in the last year. I made one from 9-2008 that if made out of some heavier fabric like denim could work. It was actually a pretty straightforward pattern. I'd be a lot stiffer but that's what you'd want in a "practical" motorcycle jacket.
You might want to snoop shop some motorcycle accessories shops, even just online to see what they have and what kind of features are most important.
Have fun on your Vespa!
Member since 3/28/08
Date: 2/6/10 10:03 AM
Bike jackets are made to protect the rider in a fall, and keep the rider comfortable in both hot and cold weather. Usually the arms are curved into the shape of the riding position. There are numerous vents you can open and close. The collar is designed to close but not chafe at the neck. There is often armor integrated into elbows & back. The front will close all the way to the bottom.
There is actually a woman I just read about making stylish scooter jackets that look like fashion coats. I will see if I can find the link.
Member since 6/30/05
Date: 2/6/10 10:49 AM
Kwik Sew has a new pattern out that might suit your needs, Kwik Sew # 3764
Member since 2/17/07
Date: 2/6/10 5:44 PM
As an ex avid motorcyclist, I'd suggest the heaviest Cordura type nylon you can sew for the outer shell. This is for abrasion resistance against sliding on pavement. (This assumes that you can't sew real heavy bike jacket type leather, as that would be best.) Double layer the elbow area is a good plan. If it's for cold weather, a removable liner is handy, but a sewn in lining is okay too. Some reflective materials used in the construction would be a good safety feature as well.
I have no suggestions for style, as I think that's entirely up to you.
A sewing machine is just a welder for textiles.
North Carolina USA
Member since 5/9/05
Date: 2/6/10 6:51 PM
I second Al's fabric suggestion. A home machine just isn't capable of the power needed for thick seams on thick leather.
I'm big on comfort on my bike. If you aren't comfortable you aren't careful. Make sure you wear layers is rule #1. It may be chilly when you start out on an AM ride, then get hot, then have a popup shower, then get cold again. Wind is the most tiring element so be sure to include a windproof layer. I like vests rather than zipout liners. Easy on and off. Also make sure the jacket has extra length in the arms (for reach) and back (think wind up your back).
A few things that make the jacket more usable are inside pockets, zippered pockets, velcro at the wrist for snugging the fit and a 2-way separating zipper in the front. Unzipping from the waist a couple of inches after you are seated can add a little 'movement' for comfort. I also like jackets that have mandarin or stand collars. They offer protection for the neck and no flapping around. A soft fleece inner collar is also helpful.
Not sewing related but most important, a helmet that is your own, fits well and is comfortable. TRY!!!! lots of them. Don't just use hubby's....not safe.
You are going to have so much fun! I know you'll love it!
She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight. Proverbs 31:13 NAS