I bought a front bike basket for my bike a few months ago. The main idea was to have a basket in which my little dog, a Chihuahua/Pug mix, could ride. The first one I bought had wires with significant room between them--but was nearly half the price of the Topeak basket that I've linked.
When I went to put it on, the directions were confusing... and I found it had to be permanently mounted. If I wanted to remove it, it would require screwdrivers and wrenches. No, thanks.
The Topeak basket was a b*tch to install, and required some creativity for how to attach a bike light in front, but it's been great. It's not too heavy, not awkward to bike with (I was afraid that it would prevent me from seeing road hazards), and removes easily. The one thing we learned quite quickly was that its mesh is nearly exactly the size of my Chug's nails--that was a painful, bloody lesson. :(
I went Googling, and found a series of bike-basket liners that folks had made. This was my favorite, but unlike others, it has no pattern. I mused and pondered, and today I made a paper pattern.
My son and I have been watching Project Runway, but we rarely saw people make patterns--the show is more likely to show people fitting, sewing, cutting. They mention pattern-making, but don't show much of the process.
I'm here to tell ya: It's hard! I was lucky to have some newsprint from a recent Campmor shipment, but holding it in place inside the basket and making a pattern was definitely a trial-and-error (and mostly error) process.
Then I went looking in my fabrics. I don't have a lot (thank God--I do, however, own 31 miles of yarn), and rediscovered some lovely flower-print fabric that I'm newly enthused about making into curtains. But I did have a good-sized piece of some lovely gold-patterned fabric. I don't know what I'd intended it for (and it now occurs to me that I'll have enough left for pillow covers--new look for the couch!), but I'm using it for this, now.
I have patterns for the base of the basket liner (to be stuffed with fiberfill or with batting, for comfort) and for the outside. I'll put the seam at the back of the basket, and add some sort of stiffener inside. I'm torn between stiff interfacing and plastic mesh. (Opinions welcome!) I do want to include a pocket or two for his leash and maybe my phone.
I can't wait to have a liner--my deadline is June 5, the next Family Ride (scroll down a bit and click on Family Ride). We did the May 1 one and had a blast, but my makeshift basket liner slipped and poor Chester did get his nail caught for a bit--I managed to free it before he injured himself, but it was tense for a moment there.
I'm not sure if it'll be fine as is, or if I should add ties or some sort of magnet-tie-that-sticks-to-itself thing.
Really am looking forward to my basket liner, though!