Oct 3, 2008 at 8:22 pm #1231399
Note: I just made the thing, and am overcome with enthusiasm. Field testing to follow immediately.
I completed the Minima Vest kit from Thru-hiker. 1.1 oz nylon, 3 oz Primaloft. I modified it to be a pullover by cutting the provided zipper down to 12". My size small, with the sides cut a bit trimmer than the "athletic" cut and plenty of reinforced stitching, comes in under 5 oz.
The directions were very easy to follow, and the whole thing went about as smoothly as I could ask. figuring out how to sew the zipper and reverse sew the arm holes took a bit of head scratching due to the complications of the pullover.
It's fun to have gear that actually fits how I want it. Should serve well when the snow starts flying.Oct 4, 2008 at 8:31 am #1453209
@pivvayLocale: Rocky Mountains
That's hot. What's next?
You hopped right to the sewing on that one!Oct 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm #1453253
@lightworkerLocale: Sierra foothills
Dave, what kind of experience on a sewing machine did you have before started this project? It looks great. Have been thinking of picking up a couple Minima kits to make for me and my girlfriend.Oct 4, 2008 at 6:43 pm #1453259
I've been messing around moding gear since I was a kid, really. Typically simple stuff, like adding compression straps to an old rucksack back in middle school. More recently I added a extension skirt to a pack, and made a throw bag for packrafting. Stuff like that.
This was the first garment I've made from scratch, and the first time I've made anything from a kit. The directions online were quite clear, though I made the collar my own way, and obviously changed a few things to allow the pullover style.
I should say that my wife sews professionally, so we have a very nice sewing machine (does something like 50+ stitches) and her as a sounding board for a few things. For instance, the combo of slick low denier nylon and fizzy Primaloft makes creep while sewing a big issue. When sewing the liner to the insulation I pinned every 1.5 inches, and this was not overkill.
I would no try this project without a machine that will do an overcasting stitch, joining the pieces in the end stages would be murder without finished edges.
Another wise thing I did was cut and sew a dummy test vest with some cheap fabric we had laying around. It allowed me to tweak the fit (slimming the torso, mostly) when I cut the pieces for the actual vest.
I also cut all the pieces separately. Laying the liner and outer layers and trying to cut two at once would be a recipe for pieces that don't match.
The whole deal, from cutting the test pattern to being totally done, was about 7 hours of work.
I'm psyched to have a better fitting version of something like a Patagonia Puff vest, for less than half the money, and in the color I want.
Wore it to the bakery to get cake for lunch in the rain, and it was nice and warm!Oct 4, 2008 at 6:51 pm #1453260
I should say that I'm 5'11", shortish torso, 160 lbs. I'm glad I got the small kit.
Chris, it gives you all sorts of ideas, like what to make with all the scraps I've got. If you cut economically you have lots left. I could probably make a pair of Primaloft mittens easily.
I'll certainly be making a superlight top bag/quilt for racing and big trips this summer. I'm waiting to see how the insulation works out, and what warmth I experience from it, before picking the insulation for the bag.
A synthetic parka is not out of the question, or perhaps down. Not sure if I'd use a bigger, warmer coat in warm enough temps to merit synthetic. A baffled coat would be the next step for sure.
Riding this afternoon I thought about a nylon wind vest.
Making a bigger version of the pack I had in Yellowstone with a beavertail type pocket would be handy. (I do need an industrial machine for that, tho.)
It's a slippery slope, as the days arm warmer silliness has shown.
A use for old socks!
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