Loc: Central Texas
One option is to get some perlon (non-woven) or other cheap fabric and make your own pattern. A pattern is nothing but a model. The idea is first to make a full scale model of the inside shell. Modify it until it fits right, making allowance for the thickness of the insulation. Then make a model of the outside shell, again making some allowance for the insulation making the outside shell larger than the inside shell. Stitch is with a basting zig-zag by loosening the tension of the top thread enough that it still stitches properly without tangling. You can use cheap Walmart continuous-filament batting to test. Then make a model of the collar. This is a two-hour job- a lot quicker than waiting for a pattern to arrive.
I agree with what spock said. I used this strategy when I made my quilt and it really helped me decide what dimensions I wanted. I had a general idea drawn out on paper but when I tested it the size was almost perfect so it worked out nicely.
Jeremy, why don't you take a look at the Minima vest kit offered by Thru Hiker at http://thru-hiker.com/kits/ You can get a kit sized for you with Momentum 0.9 oz/yd fabric and all of the cutting, figuring and fitting done for you for about $52. And, you get to keep the patterns to modify for future projects. At least take a look. If you try to MYOG you can easily spend more than this on your mistakes.
Loc: Central Texas
This isn't rocket science.
Do you have an old T-shirt that fits loosely? Or an old shirt of any description? That's a good start. Put it on and mark it with tailor's chalk for length, collar fit and shoulder width. Cut it along the seams and chalk marks. You will notice the back is a little longer than the front and you will want to add 4 or 5 inches to the bottom of the back (relative to the front length you choose) for kidney protection. There you have a pattern for the inside shell.
Green Pepper patterns at owfinc.com has more than one vest pattern.
A good general resource is:http://www.backpacking.net/makegear.html
I already have all the material, I was just hoping someone knew of a free pattern somewhere out there in the vast expanses of the internet.
I figured there's be some tech savvy do-it-yourself seamstress out there that had scanned a bunch of patterns and threw them online or something like that. Or even just instructions of which seams to sew first. That sort of thing.
I am used to being able to find detailed instructions online to most things I research. Backpacking is turning out to be the exception.
I do have old shirts, but none with a collar. I used the measurements from a shirt to get the inside part, but the collar is just not working out right. It's hard to tell with it just all pinned together, though.
My next project is going to be hiking pants or shorts. Haha. Guess I'm on my own there, too.
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
From having sewn other garments, I would expect to sew the shoulders together first, then collar to the neck epening, and last, the side seams.
Beyond that, the finishing depends on garment. For a down-filled vest, you may be able to get away with quilting-through the vest. I have never worked with down, so can't give advice on that. If you are using a poly-fill, you may get away with sewing 3 vests: inner, batting, outer, wth seams to the inside. I haven't done this either except for mittens and cozies.
If I were to make a vest now I would just take that abisko pattern and not make sleeves for it.
they have a few free patterns there
http://www.andersj.se/ is a good place for all kinds of projects. the pdf files with matterns are great, even if they are in Swedish I was able to undertsand many of them... maybe not vest stuff here, I cannot remember, you wil have to dig round the gor det sjelv section... but good general gear sewing info.
For me the problem with sewing clothing has always been the order of things.. which bits go together,when????
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Hi, Jeremy, The pictures give a general idea of how many pieces, so how much actual stitching and cutting are involved. Every edge can mean cutting, stitching, and the bulk and weight of the fabric in the seam. Those arrows on corners, coming at the two ends of a line, mean that the edge of the pattern is butted to a fold. Eliminating seams can make the garment quicker and less complicated to sew, but less fitted. The instructions are usually inside the pattern envelope. It looks as if Jolie is supplying a picture of that envelope. You need the pieces to know the exact cutting lines. Good Luck! CamperMom
Hi there! I just joined, and saw your post, and I'm pretty sure this is what you're looking for. It has a flame pattern on it, but you can just ignore it if you want a more subtle look. Also, if you don't have Acrobat, you need to download a DWF viewer. Not a biggie.