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HELP! Making my first pack ?
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Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
HELP! Making my first pack ? on 07/01/2012 15:38:41 MDT Print View

OK, I'm making my first pack (day-pack) It is 4 panel construction, with (4) pcs, forming the front, back, and sides, (1) pc for the bottom, and a (1)pc extension collar.

My question is: Can I or do I sew the bottom and top extension collar on last, after I've sewn the main pack, turning it inside/out and sew the bottom, and then the top extension collar?

Chris Muthig
(cmuthig) - M

Locale: Georgia
Bottom on 07/01/2012 16:34:47 MDT Print View

I, and at least a few other people around here, tend to make the back and bottom out of one piece. This is partly because these two portions of the pack are often made out of a tougher fabric. I also think it is a bit cleaner and leaves one less seam at the bottom.

As for the collar, your plan is just fine. I normally make the entire pack and then add the collar on at the end. This is also helpful because sometimes the opening at the top is a bit smaller or larger than you expected just because of things like seam allowance. So I generally measure and cut out the collar after I can measure the final perimeter of the pack.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: HELP! Making my first pack ? on 07/01/2012 16:39:40 MDT Print View

This might help?

http://bedrockandparadox.com/2012/06/07/design-and-construction-of-the-black-and-white-pack/

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: pack making on 07/01/2012 16:55:43 MDT Print View

What Chris said, about adapting the extension collar to the dimension of the pack after everything else is sewn together. You could put the bottom on next to last, but it seems simpler to integrate it into the back panel.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: HELP! Making my first pack ? on 07/01/2012 20:20:08 MDT Print View

My method is to sew the front panel, bottom and rear panel together as a unit.

I then sew the side panels into place to from the "bag".

I sew on the extension collar to the top of the bag.

The article in this link will help a lot.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/make_your_own_gear_five_yards_to_sul_part_4.html

Don't forget to plan out and include compression loops and pockets if you plan on using them on your pack.

Good luck!

Party On,

Newton

Michael Duke
(mpd1690) - F
Re: HELP! Making my first pack ? on 07/02/2012 10:21:54 MDT Print View

I usually go about it in a slightly different way. I make the bottom of the strongest material, then the back of a slightly lighter material. The bottom also makes up 2 inches of the front and side panels. I sew the front and sides to the back first. Then put the back together and sew it onto the bottom. I do this because the back has the most bulk (hip belt and shoulder straps), which would make it a pain to sew around to put the other panels on. I then put on the collar.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
HELP! Making my first pack ? on 07/02/2012 10:29:30 MDT Print View

Michael,
"My question is: Can I or do I sew the bottom and top extension collar on last, after I've sewn the main pack, turning it inside/out and sew the bottom, and then the top extension collar?"

Answer: Yes you can if you have free arm on your sewing machine for doing pant legs. It a pain especial with a pack bottom because the fabric is not as pliable the top is easier. You will sew a few inches stop the machine with the needle in the fabric then pull a couple of inches of fabric out from under the free arm and sew a couple of inches and repeat the process.

I have been finding out the less panels and seams you use on a pack design the lighter the pack is and stronger in construction keeping the fabric integrity. Here's some example of different pack builder way of making packs. You can make patterns for your pack on poster board.

If you have not cut the fabric out yet I have a plans for my nomad ruck that is stronger build with less seams.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=64282

Dave Chenault Black and White pack is also a good example of well designed pack with plans also he has photo sharing account link that show more photos.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=64995

Chris Zimmer also has some good photos of his wife pack. Chris Zimmer uses a one piece bath tub floor on his pack for less seams and stronger pack that can be adapted to your design.
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/52778/index.html?skip_to_post=445098#445098

If you have cut the fabric the more traditional way of sewing a four panel pack is to sew the bottom on to the sides/front of the pack and then sew the back on to to the pack.
Have fun,
Terry

Edited by socal-nomad on 07/02/2012 10:39:37 MDT.

Michael Duke
(mpd1690) - F
Re: HELP! Making my first pack ? on 07/02/2012 11:16:55 MDT Print View

You do not need a free arm to do actually. I do not, and it is actually faster, I believe, not to use one. You just sew the bottom of the circle at the top, and rotate it. The best way to describe it would be to sew at the bottom of a wheel. You have fabric above that is pulled out of the way.

Edited by mpd1690 on 07/02/2012 11:17:28 MDT.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Thank You ! on 07/03/2012 09:38:40 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone, I do like the one piece back panel, and bottom construction. I guess you could have the front and back be made from one piece as well, then just sew in the sides?

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Thank you on 07/03/2012 20:15:32 MDT Print View

You could indeed. Depending on hipbelt design that could make things more complicated. Fewer seams is better, all other things equal.

Chris Muthig
(cmuthig) - M

Locale: Georgia
Re: Thank You ! on 07/03/2012 20:29:20 MDT Print View

Also depending on the design, the whole pack could be one piece. The Zpack Zero may be built this way from looking at pictures. Basically you could use the same instructions on thru-hiker for a stuff sack and add straps to it.

I haven't personally tested this method as a way to make a pack, but will be in the next week or so for a day pack for my dad. This has four seams, but two are very short. However, one seam is on the bottom of the pack. If the pack is pretty simple, like the Zero, it should be a nice, simple design. Depending on things like hipbelt and pocket designs, it may not work as well though.