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Modifying an REI Polarguard Jacket Question for the Experts
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Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Modifying an REI Polarguard Jacket Question for the Experts on 10/18/2011 20:18:32 MDT Print View

Okay here's an idea for all you clothing making experts out there. I have an REI Polarguard Jacket. I think its the Spruce or somethign like that. Its the one with zip off sleaves. It weights about 17 oz and its XL but I'm fine with a medium. I would like to make it a bit smaller which I assume will make it warmer and also make it lighter. Here is what I propose to do.

1. Remove the sleave zippers which I never use. I'm thinking about folding around the zipper and sewing the sleave and torso together about an inch in from the zipper. That way I don't have to figure out how to pin the sleave on for sewing (which I hear is tricky). Than I can just cut the zipper off.
2. I will take out some of the extra room by creating a fold either down the back or along the sides and sewing it, than cutting out the extra.
3. I might also cut off the front zipper and turn it into a pullover.

1. how hard would all this be? I've done packs and I'm comfortable with that but clothes seem to be a whole new level of complexity. I turned an old sleeping bag into a vest and that was tricky (partly because I didn't have a good pattern to work with).
2. How much weight would each of these mods save? Jackets made with similar materials are in the 10 oz range so theoretically I could save a lot of weight. I'd hate to spend a whole weekend on this and barely save any weight.
3. Do you think insulation being equal a trimmer fitting jacket would be a bit warmer? Seems like it but I'm not sure.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
HELP on 10/19/2011 05:52:10 MDT Print View

I shouldn't start threads at midnight. Anybody got on idea.

Edited by Cameron on 10/19/2011 06:00:10 MDT.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Photos on 10/19/2011 10:09:25 MDT Print View

Hi Luke, can you post some photos of the jacket? Specifically the sleeve zippers. I'm curious how the zipper on the body side is seamed. I think it would be easier to open the side seams and arm seams, reduce each by a similar amount, resew and then re-attach. This would keep the circumferences on the body-side arm hole and the sleeve similar. Removing the zipper from the shoulder side I think will reduce the shoulder width a bit, but how difficult will it be to get the zipper out of the shoulder? Not sure on that one.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Pictures on 10/19/2011 11:04:20 MDT Print View

Inside of shoulderHere are some pictures.


Outside of shoulder

The way I was thinking of getting the zipper off was to fold along the zipper line and sew a second seam. So I would bascially be creating greater "seam allowance" except that now the sleave would be sewn on permanantly. Than the zipper would just be on the inside of the seam allowance so I could trim it off. The benefit would be this would hold the sleave in place while I sew. I need to see how much zippers weigh to see how workwhile this project would be in the first place.

Seam idea

In this picture I'm hold the two peices together where I would sew it. The seam would go between my fingers.

Edited by Cameron on 10/19/2011 11:08:03 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
puffy mods on 10/19/2011 15:07:22 MDT Print View

Luke, I think with your pack making chops you'll be fine. I made my DAS a bit trimmer last year by taking in the sides. Just sew a line up the middle of the side with the jacket inside out, and under the arms as well if you like. You can try it on, stitch it a bit tighter, and so on. Cut the excess off and if you like sew a bit of binding over the unfinished edge.

I do think trim but not tight layers are a bit warmer.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: puffy mods on 10/19/2011 16:38:32 MDT Print View

Along the line of what David was saying, do a French seam. I've done that with synthetic before.

First sew it along the outside, but leave it just a bit bigger than the final.

Then cut off everything but 1/4 inch or so.

Then turn it inside out and sew another seam, capturing the raw edge inside.

That would work good with the zipper removal, saves the tricky bit of aligning a sleeve onto the main body.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Well... on 10/19/2011 16:46:00 MDT Print View

Well you guys are convincing me. I think I'll take a shot at it tomorrow. Right now I have things to do and I need to check on the tarp tent I left out in the rain to see how waterproof it really is. I'll try and let you know how it goes and how much weight it saves. Could be a useful experiment because XL size seem to be the last thing left at end of season clearance sales.