Start with something easy. That was the advice given to me by pretty much both my common sense and everyone here on BPL.
I, however, have been known to be reckless sometimes, and thus I have arrived at this current place and time. A time of reckless fun having. The Place: My room, complete with brand new Brother LS-590 Sewing machine and various needed sewing tools. The Time: 16 hrs spread out over Saturday night till Tuesday afternoon. The Reason: See opening paragraph.
The Cost: $37 total cost: for fabric (Equinox Silnylon Ground Sheet around 46" x58"), Hardwear (plastics from Liberty Mountain for straps, buckles, ladder locks, sternum strap, and cordlock, drawcord is 1.5mm cord from Sterling Rope), cushioning is Walmart Blue CCF pad remnants leftover from another extra pad. Thread is 100% nylon general purpose heavy duty.
This project wouldn't have even gotten started if Konrad Chen (and many thanks to all the other BPL'ers who helped out with suggestions!) hadn't figured out how to get my thread not to tangle.
I decided that my goal was a pack loosely based off the Mariposa, but without all the quality and fancy features. I wanted the pack to weigh less than 8 oz. and be able to handle a 3 season UL to SUL load (around an 8 lb base weight) with a max weight of about 15 lbs. I decided to just start from scratch and get out a tape measure and get some rough ideas of what was needed.
Keep in mind that my only actual "practice" of sewing was turning a scrap piece of nylon into a stuff sack. With one whole cheap stuff sack of practice under my belt, I was off to the races without really knowing anything about racing. But it was reckless and fun, so major win.
By no means did everything turn out exactly like it was supposed to, but then again, I didnt really know how it was supposed to turn out from the start. My sewing was, as expected of a newbie somewhat "raw" and very flawed. But overall it slowly started to take shape. I cut out the designs for the hipbelt and shoulder strap, sewed those up and added some "custom" blue foam that got sewn in at the end. Next up was the shoulder strap supports for the base of the pack, and then just sewing them all onto the back panel after pinning the rough stitch lines.
What a learning experience. I should have sewn in the lower shoulder strap supports differently, and sewn the waist belt from the back of the pack instead of from the inside. My lower seams would have been much more professional looking and less complicated. It seems like it should do what I want for at least a couple trips.
If it falls apart so be it. It feels comfy and amazingly enough actually fits fairly well. A fun and reckless way to spend some free time. Now to build an actually decent looking quilt....Thanks for all the support and MYOG articles on sewing techniques, pinning and double checking your work, examples of other peoples (may cooler looking) packs, and general helpfulness. Hope you like looking at the pretty pictures! Thats all folks! Seth