And a jacket to go with the pants

If you checked out my previous post you may have gathered I wasn’t too impressed with the quality of today’s so called outdoor pants. Since I wondered what else I can learn to sew I figured a jacked to go with the pants would come in handy for rough use. As it happens I was at a fabric and home sewing supplier’s store called Stoff & Stil on the so called Black Friday. Bought a few zippers to try and sew on.

Well, during the jacket’s yet short life, ie. the past week, it’s withstood a mountain bike crash and several runs through thorns, bushes and the like. I’m pretty comfortable saying this is as tough and light a jacket you can make without kevlar or leather. Plastic zippers but all vegan 😉

After consulting my friend Lasse’s wise mirror, I changed the outside flap to be dark brown as well and sewed on a breast pocket. I might add side pockets too but so far the jacket has taken four evenings or about 12h in total to make. Not too fast but I’m learning all the time. The next one will take half the time.

I didn’t have any drawing for this, but used a denim jacket and a motorbike style jacket which I took some measures from and used as a quasi template. The unwaxed tightly woven cotton I use is about 280g/m2 and looks quite boring from start, but is easy enough to sew with apparently most of the qualities I need. All waxed it comes together with a feel and color more akin to leather than anything. This time I tried to match the colors to the cargo pants I recently made.

The water pillar is roughly about 1000mm and can be regulated through the amount of wax goop you iron in. The wax recipe you can experiment with ad infinitum and is really not critical, but I mostly melt microcrystallene wax in a jar inside a saucepan with water 95C (wax 50%, white spirit, lacknafta, lĂ„garomatisk 30-40%) and some Linseed oil (10-20%) for a more leathery feel. You can also just drip the wax on pure with a hot iron like you wax your skis and then iron it out into the fabric. The wax itself can take regular machine wash with detergent and hot tumbling without a problem, but the linseed oil suffers a bit. It’s cheap so you can just rewax your garment.

I would suggest you don’t mix in bee’s wax for function, but go for it if you like the flowery smell! There’s plenty of experts out on the ‘net telling you stuff about waxing clothes and how good their compound is. Maybe I’m full of crap too. Experiment yourself, take a chemistry class, stay outside in nasty weather in your clothes. Then wash them a hundred times and make yourself an opinion. Then teach others.

Oh, you can use microcrystallene wax for better grip on your paddle loom or gloves too. Just rub in a little.

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