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Parcho - pattern includes seam allowance?
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Marla Beringer
(masanella) - M
Parcho - pattern includes seam allowance? on 03/23/2012 15:10:39 MDT Print View

Hi everybody,

I'm starting now to make my Parcho in Cuben Fiber.
First I tried the pattern in plastic (photo) and now I'm on the verge of cutting the pattern in Cuben Fiber.

Does anyone know if the pattern of Questoutfitters include the seam allowance of 0,5 inch or do I have to add the seam allowance?
At Questoutfitters they couldn't tell me. I hope someone else knows.

By the way, I know in this environment I shoud almost apologize for the huge backpack ;-) Ignore it!


Parcho try out 2

Edited by masanella on 03/23/2012 15:17:34 MDT.

Mark Dijkstra
(Markacd) - F
I don't know either on 03/23/2012 16:47:41 MDT Print View

Are you still working on that? I thought you'd be nearly done by now. I don't know the answer to your question, but maybe you could just measure your mock up and find out that way?

Also, no need to appologise. My pack is big enough to hold over 2 weeks worth of food and a very bulky 2 person tent (which will hopefully be replaced soon), so it's even bigger than yours.

Marla Beringer
(masanella) - M
Yes still... on 03/23/2012 17:32:19 MDT Print View

Hi Mark,

Yes still...
Got a full time job too, you know ;-)
But this week I started the 'real thing'.
Finished next week, I suppose.

Anyway, see you!


Carl Umland
(chumland) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Crest Trail, mostly
"Parcho - pattern includes seam allowance?" on 03/24/2012 17:13:04 MDT Print View

Have you thought about a Duo-use "Poncho/Groundsheet" like the one Joe at Zpacks makes?
I thought that the Parcho would be pretty good but I purchased the Zpacks instead and really like it a lot.

Edited by chumland on 03/24/2012 17:14:31 MDT.

Marla Beringer
(masanella) - M
Thanks but I made my choice on 03/25/2012 12:02:46 MDT Print View

Hi Mulestomper (?),

Thanks for your suggestion. I know this one from ZPacks just as I know pattern of he Mountain Poncho of Roger Caffin.
I considered all the options and the photo you posted is the exact reason why I chose the Parcho:
- I want to cover my backpack (this one isn't gonna help me with that)
- I don't want my arms unprotected.

I love the pattern of the Parcho because it leaves my arms dry and you can adjust the dimensions to your own height and the size of the backpack.

So I just needed an answer to my question. I already have the Parcho-pattern and the cuben fiber and all the other things needed.


lew stookey
(tpkanu) - F
Parcho Seam Allowance on 03/25/2012 15:09:38 MDT Print View

I made a Bilgy Parcho a couple of years ago from plans/pattern purchased from Quest Outfitters.

Quoting from the plans - "Seam Allowances are 3/8 inch. Topstitch 1/8 inch from first stitch unless otherwise noted."

I love using the Parcho, since it breathes like a poncho, but wears like a really baggy jacket. Combine with a silnylon kilt and you are set!

Happy Trails.

Marla Beringer
(masanella) - M
to be added or included? on 03/26/2012 03:35:49 MDT Print View

Thank you.
This I have read too. But unfortunately it doesn't answer my question.

My question is if this seam allowance is already included in the pattern pieces or if I have to add 3/8 inch to the pattern piece.

Perhaps I'm not clear in my question.
So, an example:
suppose the fictional pattern piece on paper measures 10 x 20 inch.
Do I have to cut 10 x 20 inch, or do I have to cut 10 3/8 x 20 3/8 inch?


Edited by masanella on 03/26/2012 03:38:33 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: to be added or included? on 03/26/2012 04:31:31 MDT Print View


Thinking outside of the box for a second, will an extra 3/4" of width and or length really make that much of a difference?

I realize that cuben isn't cheap. Unless someone sees this thread that has made this "Parcho" you are going to have to do a trial cut and fit.

How did you size the pattern pieces on your "plastic" trial run pictured earlier in the thread? Can you judge from that whether or not you have to add the seam allowance or not?

After you cut out all your pieces tape together the edges of the "seam allowances" to see if anything doesn't fit or look right.

Worst case you'll end up with some 3/8" wide cuben scraps. ;-?

Party On,


James Wall
(jimmyjam) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
RE; To be added or included-Parcho seam allowances on 03/26/2012 06:13:24 MDT Print View


I just finished making the Quest Parcho myself this weekend. The 3/8" seam allowances are included in the pattern/measurements from Quest. Everything worked out very well on mine and I'm pleased with results. I think mine ended up 8.4 oz with the stuff sack- all silnylon.

Steve Small
(lustreking) - F
Re: RE; To be added or included-Parcho seam allowances on 03/26/2012 08:52:17 MDT Print View


Did you buy the pattern from Quest, or just use the instructions on their site?

James Wall
(jimmyjam) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
RE: Parcho seam allowances on 03/26/2012 10:51:57 MDT Print View


I bought the kit from Quest. Make sure you have the correct instructions. They sent me the wrong (old) instructions, but Kim @ Quest caught the mistake and emailed me the correct ones. The correct instructions/pattern are dated June 2010. I'm pretty sure they are the same as the ones available on line.The instructions were pretty straight forward. I found reading a step or two ahead helped.

Edited by jimmyjam on 03/26/2012 10:53:52 MDT.

Steve Small
(lustreking) - F
Re: RE: Parcho seam allowances on 03/26/2012 14:15:00 MDT Print View

Do you think that it's worthwhile to buy the pattern from quest for the hood template? All the other pieces seem pretty straight forward. I have plenty of sil at home.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: RE: Parcho seam allowances on 03/26/2012 14:56:38 MDT Print View

Marla, I'll be very interested in how your Cuben Parcho turns out! I have finally assembled all the hardware for mine (which will be in silnylon) and hope to start on it soon. Of course now I'm wondering if I have the old pattern/instructions too, since mine say Oct 2006 on them...


James Wall
(jimmyjam) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
NEW Re: RE: Parcho seam allowances on 03/26/2012 19:01:19 MDT Print View


I think I would buy the pattern from Quest as the hood is fair complex. The zipper actually goes part way up the hood so that you can zip it up make like winter parka type opening.But if you are pretty skilled at sewing you could probably adopt another hood pattern to fit the opening.

Marla Beringer
(masanella) - M
Thanks! on 03/27/2012 15:06:59 MDT Print View

@ James, thanks for taking away my doubts! In the plastic try out it worked out fine with the seam allowance included. I was just having doubts before I would cut the Cuben Fiber. Tonight I did cut all the pieces, including the hood.

@ John,
Yes, I know the difference of 3/8 inch isn't much, except for the hood!

Of course I will post a photo when it's ready.
Mine will be different though. Only a short zipper on the front in the hood part.
And I will leave the sides open, but I'm looking for a solution (Velcro perhaps) to close it in windy weather.

By the way, I downloaded the instructions from the Questoutfitters site and this one's from June 2010. This is it:


Edited by masanella on 03/30/2012 14:43:54 MDT.

Patrick Weldon

Locale: Hickory, NC
Nice prototype on 03/27/2012 15:41:25 MDT Print View

I sewed a practice pattern out of cotton using roughly this pattern.

Turned out well, but getting the visor piece to match up with the hood can be a little tricky. Allow yourself plenty of seam allowance.

Now that I have it mocked up, I'm planning to make the finished pattern in cuben fiber.

Good luck, and look forward to seeing the final product.

Edited by setterp on 03/27/2012 15:42:10 MDT.

Marla Beringer
(masanella) - M
almost finished! on 03/30/2012 15:05:35 MDT Print View

I think I'm almost there. Hood done, with zipper, and sewn in the frontpart. Sleeves and back panel partly assembled. I'm very proud of myself!
My parcho will be different from the original Bilgy parcho: more poncholike with a small zipper in the hood. No long zipper in front and the sides open (probably with only a button or Velcron).
I decided to sew the hood. I think glueing/taping the seams of the hood will be a tough and sticky job because of the curves. I will seamseal the seams afterward.

From the pattern and the instructions I didn't understood the right way to put the part with Velcro hooks on the hood. Mainly because I cannot imagine how it will work.
Can you tell me if I should sew the Velcro with the hooks facing the hood?
A photo perhaps?

Same question for the Velcro-loops on the outside of the sleeves. Although there is a drawing on the pattern I don't understand. Do I have to glue/sew the whole 7 inch of loops?


Edited by masanella on 03/30/2012 15:07:53 MDT.

James Wall
(jimmyjam) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Parcho Hood and sleeve velcro on 03/30/2012 17:26:57 MDT Print View


On the hood you sew a 4" long piece of loop velcro with the loops facing away from the silnylon at the bottom back of the hood. Don't sew the middle 1" so you can pass a piece of chord thru it for adjusting the width of the hood. Above this piece of velcro you sew the 3-1/2 piece of hook velcro with the hooks facing the silnylon. This piece should overlap the loop piece by about an inch and only sew the upper 1" of this hook velcro. This will allow you to attach it to the loop piece, the more you attach it the more it will raise the front of hood up out of your face (adjust the height of the hood).

For the sleeves the piece of velcro that goes closet to your torso ( if your arms are straight down at your sides) is the 1" piece of hook velcro with the loops facing away from the silnylon. Right above that (about 1/4" above) sew the 6" long piece of loop velcro with the loop side away (exposed) from the silnylon. This will allow you to hook the hook velcro to the loop so that the sleeve is tight on your wrist so that you can have your hand exposed.

I hope this makes since. I would post some pictures, but my wife is away with the camera until Sunday. I'll be glad to post you some picture then. I'm really pleased with the way mine turned out. It does a great job of protecting me and my pack.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: almost finished! on 03/30/2012 18:07:49 MDT Print View

I'm especially interested in what the weight difference is with cuben. Also I'm wondering why you opted for this over a poncho, if you are leaving the sides open. Well come to think of it you already answered that at least partly, for the sleeve coverage.

Marla Beringer
(masanella) - M
Done! Just 3.6 ounces and perfect! on 03/31/2012 08:54:28 MDT Print View

Hi James,

Thanks for your help. I did exactly what you told me to do.
The hood I understand now, but I still wonder how de Velcro straps for the sleeves are supposed to work. See photo's: I could tie the sleeve around my wrist, but it didn't leave not one inch extra. And this is strange because have extremely small wrists. So the way to use the Velcro on the sleeves must be different, I suppose.

But apart of that I'm very happy with my Parcho! It is a very good design. And I also like my own adjustments: small zipper in front and sides open. And I will make a clip on the Parcho in the neck, to be clipped to the loop on top of my backpack, so I can carry the Parcho on my back, in case I expect rain, and want to have the Parcho directly close at hand.

@ d k
About the reason why: you mentioned it already. I wanted the airiness of a poncho, but with arms covered. Besides, this design of Bill Gurwell is much more sophisticated than an ordinary poncho, especially for the fit of the backpack, because in this design you create a kind of box (with rectangular forms) to put over the backpack. Thus you don't have a lot of unnecessary fabric hanging around you to have the same kind of coverage.
And you can make it custom made for the dimensions of each individual person and backpack.

The whole thing weighs 103 gram (3.6 ounces), with stuff sack 109 grams. I think the seam sealing or taping of the hood seams might add some weight.

Again, thanks for helping me.

Parcho right sideParcho high stepParcho zipper openParcho velcro hand strapsParcho velcro hand straps 1Parcho directly available just in case

Edited by masanella on 03/31/2012 09:18:54 MDT.