I bought 2 yards of dyneema grid stop and 1 running foot of the 3d mesh from thru-hiker (great folks to deal with). I believe the dyneema grid stop was $22 per yard, and the 3d mesh was $8 per foot. The rest of the materials I already had. I scrounged buckles off old stuff I had modified before. So about $60 invested. I would guess around $80 if you had to buy everything. I have about a half a yard of dyneema grid stop left, but still need to make hip belt pockets.
There is definately a cost savings, which was part of my goal but the main goal was to be able to make gear the way I want it, and if I end up not liking something I know how to take it apart and make it the way I want. There is quite a bit of satisfaction in that.
I used UV treated nylon (z46 from seattle fabrics), I had excellent luck with this thread, it fed smoothly and is stronger than polyester. Just for kicks I stitched some scrap dyneema grid together and it took most of my strength to pull the seam apart. The thread broke and the fabric ripped. Completely unscientific, but to me shows a good mating of thread and fabric. In my "test" I applied way, way, way more force than I think I would ever put on any of my seams.
I also tripple stitched all my main seams.
I ended up using almost a full one ounce cone of thread, but I did spend some quality time with a seam ripper.
A couple of tips;
1. Just go for it but keep a seam ripper close and a beer closer.
2. Spend the time to get your tension set on your machine, with the needle and thread and material you will be using.
3. Needles are cheap, change it.
4. Narrow double stick tape from joanne fabrics, not the kind you can sew through, about 1/4" wide or less. Way better than pins, I put the tape on the edge of the fabric (in the seam allowance) then removed after sewing the two pieces together. Can I tell you how I love this tape. The tape is made by Dritz, and is called Sewing & Craft Tape. I really love this stuff.
Thanks again for the positive comments. If anyone wants specific info or specific pics just let me know.
Remember the seamripper and the beer, I recommend Deschutes Black Butte Porter.