Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water...
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Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water... on 02/02/2014 14:39:57 MST Print View

Ok all...

I have never made anything before, except for a pair of pants on my Sew Perfect when I was 8 back in 1977.

That did not go well.

I'd like to try to make some things...but I have no idea where to start!!

I ordered YAMA's cuben stuff sack kit and I can't wait to get my hands on it. Any other ideas of easy projects to get my feet wet and start to get comfortable with making things?

Edited by Jenmitol on 02/02/2014 14:59:52 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water... on 02/02/2014 15:02:49 MST Print View

Jennifer, my own experience went this way. First, I decided that it wouldn't be too hard to sew up a few things such as silnylon tarps, so I purchased an inexpensive sewing machine (maybe $75) that has about a dozen different stitch types. It took me a few hours just to figure out the basics like thread tension, so I used lots of scrap cloth to train on. Make some stuff sacks! The next step was to purchase a commercial pattern for something I needed. So, I got a hooded jacket pattern from Rain Shed. The first try with that was a mess. I used some fabric that was difficult, and I kept getting confused between right side and wrong side. So, using the pattern on some cheap fabric is a better training ground. Next, I used the same pattern on some other fabric that was more appropriate, and that worked nicely. At the same time, I purchased a cottage-made hooded jacket that was equivalent, and I studied the details on it in case I need to make another. Since then, I've made a couple of shaped tarps. I purchased the Thru-Hiker Liberty Ridge pants kit. With the standard fabric, it worked nicely. I also have some cheap fabric and used the same pattern to make some ultralightweight pajamas. Since then, I've sewn cuben fiber ground sheets, rain mitts, and all sorts of stuff.


Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water... on 02/02/2014 15:07:48 MST Print View

I have a 5-6 yards of silnylon that you can have to get you started. No charge, just want to help you get started. :-) I also have some Cordura 400 denier you can have, black in color. PM your address and I'll get it out in a day or two.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water... on 02/02/2014 15:23:03 MST Print View

Careful, Jen, it's a slippery slope! :-)

I had a lucky advantage in having a mom who taught me to sew, but lots of people here seem to have progressed well by just starting small and simple, and working up from there.

Starting with some cheap silnylon (or better still, free! - good on you, Dan), my suggestions are:

stuff sack, a small summit daypack/stuffsack and/or stuffable shopping bags, rain kilt or poncho, tarp, bathtub floor, 'mid style shelter...

There was an article a few years back that gave plans for a stuffsack, a pack, and a tarp. Jerry Adams had an article on a full pyramid shelter, and if you search there are all sorts of posts on other projects.

Good luck!

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water... on 02/02/2014 15:42:14 MST Print View

I know!!!

But I'm so envious of everyone here who can make things, and I'm really just unsure of where to start. So I thought I'd give a few easy projects a whirl and see what happens. I even bought an exacto knife today!!!!!!!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water... on 02/02/2014 15:47:11 MST Print View

yeah, danger Jennifer!!!

a number of articles here - mine, Roger's, Jay Hamm's "5 yards of spinnaker fabric",... (except don't bother with spinnaker fabric, just use sil). They include what you need for a pattern.

I've heard of many people using that pyramid article to make pyramid, that's a good one.

Using a pattern is cheating. And unnecesary. And depriving yourself of some of the fun. I've ripped apart stuff, made a pattern, used it, modified pattern a bit and iterated. But many people use patterns.

Cuben is so expensive, maybe make it first with cheap fabric to make sure it's what you want.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water... on 02/02/2014 15:51:32 MST Print View

buy a pair of scissors for fabric and don't use it for anything else, especially paper (or wire,...)

then you can just push it through fabric without having to open and close it

I have a hard time doing this - I tend to ruin any scissors for fabric

William Safley
(wsafley) - MLife

Locale: Eastern NC
Re: Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water... on 02/02/2014 16:34:16 MST Print View

Hi Jen,

I agree with the stuff sacks as a start. If you want to go this direction, a bivy sack may be a decent project. Some of the patterns for bivys are little more than a very big stuff sack for people. :-)

I started with the stuff sack instructions from Jay Hamm's article on this site, asking my wife questions every 5 minutes. After a while it starts to make sense. It is a slippery slope, but it is fun and rewarding sliding down.


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water... on 02/02/2014 16:42:32 MST Print View

Do not underestimate the value of 100 straight pins with a magnet as a pin keeper.


Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water on 02/02/2014 17:17:39 MST Print View

You are about to become addicted...

Many good suggestions above (stuff sacks, bivy sacks), but also a simple tarp, gators, and when you feel up to it, get a pattern and make a wind shirt with a hood, and maybe wind pants...inexpensive and you'll learn a lot (and don't be afraid to rip out seams, carefully). Even synthetic quilts are really easy (down quilts not so easy).

Then the sky is the limit: pyramid tent, hardshell jacket/pants, pack, etc. On occasion I buy kits, sometimes they are cheaper than collecting the raw materials (Ray-Way and others).

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water... on 02/02/2014 18:00:18 MST Print View

Hi Jennifer

Doomed, that's what you are - doomed.

PS: yes, buy an expensive pair of heavy fabric scissors and use them only on fabric.
PPS: you could try making windshirt and trousers:

Edited by rcaffin on 02/03/2014 02:34:00 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water... on 02/02/2014 18:56:06 MST Print View

my article about making trousers is much superior to Roger's : )

(actually, if I had seen Roger's, I wouldn't have done another one, but there are a number of different techniques you can pick and choose from, just don't use Roger's colour selection)

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
something for your best friend on 02/02/2014 18:57:52 MST Print View

Make something for your best friend pictured in your avatar :-)

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: something for your best friend on 02/02/2014 19:46:03 MST Print View

You guys are awesome...

So back to Joann Fabrics for a good pair of scissors.
And if anyone wants some crappy stuff sacks, let me know!

I wonder how hard it would be to tape a cuben dog bowl??

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water... on 02/02/2014 19:51:22 MST Print View

"Any other ideas of easy projects to get my feet wet and start to get comfortable with making things?"

A cuben thong?

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Want to dip my toe in the MYOG water... on 02/02/2014 19:52:18 MST Print View

Don't shop at Joann's without one of their coupons. At least 40% off.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
just a touch of MYOG on 02/02/2014 20:24:06 MST Print View

Try Gaiters, and do not be against using a pattern, unless you want to spend the rest of your life in your workshop, avoiding all human contact, maybe even your favorite pooch. Not kidding. When in the MYOG fugue state in the workshop, my Shelties get very little attention. It's an addiction that must be conquered at all costs.

A yard or less of a heavier fabric eVent shouldn't cost too much. It is hard to find shortie gaiters made of very WPB material that is tough enough to withstand abuse and in a nice light color (Why do so many companies go for black, that just collects heat where you least want it?) They will be something that is hard to find on the market, so well worth doing, and still a small project. Will probably involve sewing elastic, a big challenge to learn about. You might also add a zipper so they are easier to put on and off, even harder to find on the market. If OWF and others do not have patterns, try getting a cheap pair of uncoated nylon oxford shorties that fit you from one of those Walmart suppliers, with names like Outdoor something or other, and spend some time taking them apart with a seam ripper. A two-fer - you get a pattern and learn how they are constructed.

Good luck!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: just a touch of MYOG on 02/02/2014 20:42:03 MST Print View

I make gaiters from 1.1 oz breathable nylon

Since the fabric is vertical, water runs off it easily, doesn't have to be real waterproof. Even when I walk through wet brush, my socks stay fairly dry.

Breathability is good. WPB isn't real breathable

Weight on my feet is much worse than weight carried because I lift my feet a lot more than my body. WPB fabric is fairly heavy

Maybe next time I'll try M50 fabric which is 0.7 oz/yd2

They do wear out faster than heavier fabric, but I probably have extra small pieces around and it doesn't take long to make a new pair

Alister R Barnes

Locale: Piha
MYOG progression. on 02/02/2014 21:19:29 MST Print View

Stuff Sack to start with just to get familiar with the machine, and the tension right.

A Quilt is easy, I suggest making zigzag dividers, although these are a bit more difficult than straight. Sleeping bag only a bit harder. I suggest starting with either of these as it will give you most satisfaction and a highly usable item. You can cheaply make summer and winter versions for considerably less than purchasing, as there is quite a bit of time involved in manufacturing. Down from old bed-quilts can be a good choice if washed, sorted to get the best quality, and DWP added.

Clothing I find hard to get right, trousers OK but jackets and shirts hard. (My wife has no such problems). However there are a lot of patterns and "how-to" available.Suggest you put off a hooded style to start with. However the cost of making is considerably less than purchasing.

Tents can be risky as material costs can be high. Flat tarp is easy, Floorless (single pole) Pyramid with or without catenary cut is not difficult. Tarptent has a good page on a MYOG design. Adding a floor and bug protection a bit more complicated. Any other style tent is more difficult and I recommend leaving this till later.
If you get ambitious Roger Caffin has good info on Tunnel tents which I recommend.

Packs are hard, not because of sewing problems, but simply getting a good fit to match your body. Patterns are available for a frameless, but if you can, aim for a light framed pack. People that make their own never seem to stop at the first.

Have fun

And E

Locale: Pacific Northwest
myog addiction on 02/02/2014 22:43:50 MST Print View

You can see my descent into the dark side from my MYOG posts. The Brothers XL2600i on Amazon is a very good starter machine, it's what I taught myself on and use now.

There are lots of patterns for beanies, hats, etc you can practice with, and pant patterns can be readily made from what you've got.

But honestly, you gotta go for broke and just tackle a large project like I did. It's very satisfying and you'll be hooked.

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 02/02/2014 22:45:02 MST.