Apr 19, 2009 at 7:39 am #1235694
I've just purchased the kit to make the g4, has anyone tried this and is their any advice I could get about it? I am a novice sewer but I'm intrested in learning how to tweek my gear to my prefrences and I figured that the best way to learn is to just dive in head first on a project with variable difficulty such as this. Also, where can I find the framesheets that ULA uses in their packs? I would like a torso length one to incorporate into this g4, any other ideas for stays would be helpful but I like the sheet method at this current moment. Thanks for any help!Apr 19, 2009 at 8:24 am #1495340
You might want to also ask at the G4-Pack Yahoo GroupApr 19, 2009 at 5:09 pm #1495454
I recently finished my second modified G4 pack and am planning a 1500 cu in version. The online instructions are pretty straightforward. I assume the instructions that came with the kit are the same. A couple of comments on the instructions:
Making the side pockets (Step 6.5) refers to Figure 6.5 but the figure is labeled 6.1. I missed the part about 'splitting the corners'. The raw side pocket should look like this:
The shoulder strap bottom pieces (Steps 1.2 and 2.10) turned out shorter than I prefer. I prefer longer straps so I can temporarily lower my pack and retreive my water bottle on the fly. I also shortened and lowered the pockets so I could reach them. Regardless of the pocket mods, I suggest adding 6" to the straps initially and trimming later.
There are no instructions for finishing the exposed edge of the pad holders (Step 4.3). The Lycra edge doesn't fray, but I added 1/2" for a hem. It looks better and is a bit more resistance to stretching.
The finished lower section is 14" wide and the finished waist belt pieces (Steps 3 and 4.5) are 9.5". Together they are 33" tip to tip not including the buckle. If you have a small waist, you may want to make adjustments.
If you plan on ripstop pockets, separate pocket edge pieces are not necessary, just add some height and sew a sleeve into the top of the pocket like at the top of the collar.
Use lots of (sharp) straight pins on the Lycra, mesh, and radius corners. On the 1" radius corner I used a pin every 1/4" to prevent puckering.
Adding a 'Y' closure like the current Gossamer Gear packs is probably easier than the velcro closure in the instructions.
The modification possibilities are endless. The G4 Yahoo group shows a few. Good Luck!Apr 21, 2009 at 5:52 am #1495840
@ramblerLocale: On the AT in VA
Michael, when you read a whole set of directions for a sewing project like the G4, it is easy to be overwhelmed, confused, and discouraged. However, when you start to sew or cut out the fabric pieces and you follow the directions one small step at a time, the following step will suddenly become quite clear and obvious.
The most important tool to have handy is the seam ripper. Even the experts make mistakes. The seam ripper helps you remove the semas you have sewn by mistake. Also, when you are sewing along, and all looks good on the top, stop and look underneath the seam. Make sure the stitching looks as it should. I mention this because sometimes the underneath is all balled up or too loose. This happens if the thread has been threaded wrong into the machine or if there is a bobbin problem or a tension issue. Nine times out of ten all will be fine, but check just to make sure.
With the G4 or any pack, the tricky part is the shoulder straps. They need to be placed carefully paying attention to how far apart they need to be. They also need to be strong where they are sewn.
Anyway, my main advice is to just start in, sew one step at a time. The real fun comes when you are done!
PS I am glad Lance mentioned pinning. It is often tempting not to pin, because it saves time and is easier not to. Using many pins is key to sewing a curve, but even on a straight edge, if you do not pin, it is easy to have the edges uneven. When you get down to the end of the row, you suddenly find the bottom is an inch or two longer than the top. Whoops! Sometimes it might not matter, say on a tarp, but you do not want to end up with a lopsided pack.Apr 22, 2009 at 6:24 am #1496109
I appreciate the advice. I have been blessed with patience and being a perfectionist so going slow and being maticulous is something I enjoy! I had an idea and I hope everyone comes back through to comment. What if I only cut out one of the shoulder straps and then used a larger piece behind it and then sew generously but only keeping with the top pattern. Would this not allow me to not use pins and have flexibility with the bottom fabric? This would only require me to lay a pattern cut piece over a large square piece and regardless of where the bottom ends up it will be perfectly sewn to the top pattern and then cut and sealed as such. Would require more fabric but sounds to me like a winning way of getting the stitches right. Could be wrong though. I hope I explained what I was thinking correctly. Thanks again for the comments above!Apr 22, 2009 at 6:25 am #1496110
And where can I see this Y enclosure at?Apr 22, 2009 at 6:48 am #1496116
Check out a Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus on their web site.Apr 22, 2009 at 11:34 am #1496201
I suggest cutting out both upper shoulder strap pieces before sewing them together. If you cut out just one and then lay it on an oversized second piece, you have less control over stretch and skew and you can't see the hemming reference lines on your sewing machine base.
Regarding a 'Y' closure, here is another example:
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