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Has anyone made their own mummy bag?
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Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Has anyone made their own mummy bag? on 12/11/2011 10:52:58 MST Print View

I did a bit of searching and it seems like there's a ton of stuff on making quilts, but has anyone made their own mummy bag? Seems like it'd be much trickier, and perhaps not worth it given the price of down and the cost of lower-end down bags. Then again, if you could sew something nicer than low-end it'd be pretty cool.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Has anyone made their own mummy bag? on 12/11/2011 10:56:53 MST Print View

It's not fun.
All I did was form a nice cover for my head with no draw cord. I spent a lot more time on the bag than any quilt. Almost twice as much.

Matt Mahaney
(Matt_Mahaney) - MLife

Locale: In the District
Has anyone made their own mummy bag? on 12/11/2011 10:57:55 MST Print View

Yes, Roger Caffin walks you through. Awesome article! Enjoy.

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Edited by Matt_Mahaney on 12/11/2011 11:01:49 MST.

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Has anyone made their own mummy bag? on 12/11/2011 11:48:38 MST Print View

Old school.

Seems Karo quilting could negate some of the time it takes to fill so many compartments.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Has anyone made their own mummy bag on 12/12/2011 00:14:31 MST Print View


Yes, and yes it is a lot of work. Not nearly so dicey as making tents, though. The latest project is motivated by the weight savings to be gained by using 0.67 oz. nylon from a group buy on this site, using panty hose material for the baffles so the outer shell can float freely around the inner, and the chance to experiment with some synthetic fills inserted into baffled compartments instead of down, only with larger compartments and less baffles than the finest down bags have. The goal is a one pound bag that is good to freezing before wearing the puffy stuff to bed. It is rewarding to make your own gear, but that alone would not make it worth it for me if I could not hope for some serious weight savings for the same amount of warmth.

P.S. To install baffles, I first sew pleats on the baffle lines on the width of both the inner and outer shell. The pleats are about a quarter inch wide, and so they reduce the size of the shells. So I do not mark the outer seam borders on the shells until the pleats are done. The inner bag shell is not as wide, so there will be what they call, differential cut. With the pleats, there is no stitching exposed on the outside of the shell to wear out, and the added weight is negligible.

Then the shells are folded at the first pleat line so only the pleat being worked on is closest to the edge of the work table, and the rest of each shell is folded back and away from the pleat on the work table. Then the baffle is pinned to the pleats and sewn. Then the shells are refolded so the next pair of pleats are presented for pinning and sewing the next baffle. A pro sewer would not have to pin. Sigh. The baffle seams are long, about 3 1/2 feet near the bag bottom, and over 5 feet at the top. The shells are not perfectly flat, as there are two short seams in them near the bag top to give the finished product a mummy shape. Sorry, should have taken a photo of a 1:10 scale shell pattern piece, but too late for that now. Maybe will post one later.

Anyway, the point of the P.S. is that it is not terribly difficult to sew baffles. I'm sure Roger's article will help if you decide it's a go. Haven't tried, and frankly do not fully comprehend the Karo system, so can't say if it is easier, but only note that the photos on the hammock forum look like true box baffled quilts, while some of the other photos do not, and appear more to be sewn thru, with more fabric allowance on one shell - they once did this on Kelty jackets, and it works better than a plain sewn-thru, but is hardly a weight-saver. Good luck!

Edited by scfhome on 12/12/2011 01:15:14 MST.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Has anyone made their own mummy bag on 12/12/2011 18:12:57 MST Print View

Here's a photo of a scale pattern piece for a center zip mummy bag, and a photo of what the pattern piece looks like when taped up the way it will be sewn/zipped.
The idea was to have a center zip without side seams, just one big shell. The only additions would be an elipse-shaped panel at the foot, and a crescent shaped panel over the extension at the head, in order to form a pocket for the head:
SL pattern
SL pattern taped