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#201937 - 10/16/18 04:01 AM Insulated Jacket from Fleece Pattern?
Bill Kennedy Offline

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 185
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Has anyone tried making an insulated jacket from a fleece pattern? I'm thinking a fairly thin synthetic insulation (I have some Thinsulate Platinum J80, kind of similar to Primaloft) with a light nylon shell.

It seems as though you could assemble the pieces separately, then sew together like you would the fleece. It wouldn't be elegant, but would be a lighter alternative to fleece. It should be easier to sew, and I have a fleece pattern that I know fits.

I normally take a light down jacket and a fleece, as I like the idea of having one synthetic insulating garment in case the worst happens and everything gets wet. My homemade fleece weighs 13.5oz., and I think a synthetic jacket like I'm describing would be quite a bit lighter.
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

#201980 - 10/21/18 12:33 PM Re: Insulated Jacket from Fleece Pattern? [Re: Bill Kennedy]
the-gr8t-waldo Offline

Registered: 01/16/11
Posts: 146
Loc: Tacoma, Washington
I don't see why it wouldn't work. It's money savings I would question.(even if you already have the insulation on hand). I was in Costco yesterday and there, they were bringing out the winter stock. in the clothing stuff, they had a cheap Chinese insulated jacket that was around 20$, out the door! hard to beat it for cost and convenience. ….just a thought- good luck on your project.

#202012 - 10/24/18 11:57 AM Re: Insulated Jacket from Fleece Pattern? [Re: Bill Kennedy]
wandering_daisy Offline

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2842
Loc: California
Not sure what you mean by thinsulate with nylon shell, or what is a "fleece pattern".

You need an outer layer, insulation, and inner layer. The outer layer has to just a bit bigger so that the insulation is not squished. If the insulation has an already attached nylon side, that becomes one of the layers. The outer and inner layer material used can make a big difference in the total weight of the jacket. If the "jacket" is to be your outer layer, then you need material on the outside that is tough enough to withstand a bit of bashing, such as rip-stop. The inner can be UL and a bit more fragile (taffeta is often used). If the "jacket" is going to be used like a sweater under another layer of clothing, then both inner and outer jacket linings can be very light.

Patch pockets are a lot easier to sew than pockets that insert (cannot remember the term used for these). A patch pocket is just a square sewn on top of the layer. Think about where you want the pocket. I find that patch pockets attached to the inside of a jacket will securely hold stuff without adding a zipper, whereas on the outside I would put a zipper.

You might just go look at a commercial thinsulate jacket and examine the sewing on it to see how it is put together. A lot use large quilting triangles to keep the insulation in place. I am not sure what expanse of thinsulate you can have before it tends to shift on you, especially when washed.

Every stitched thinsulate to layer makes a cold spot so you do not want to use these in excess.

I do not know how much sewing you have done, but getting the sleeves attached properly can be difficult. I think if you just put all layers flat together, you are going to get lumpy sleeve seams.

But if you already have the material, at a minimum it will be a good learning experience.

#202038 - 10/27/18 05:37 AM Re: Insulated Jacket from Fleece Pattern? [Re: wandering_daisy]
Bill Kennedy Offline

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 185
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I just meant a pattern meant for making a fleece jacket. In this case, it's a Green Pepper pattern I've used before. I've made the Whitney down jacket and Kinsman synthetic from, so I'm reasonably familiar with how it's usually done. A fleece jacket is much simpler, so it appealed to me to use that pattern. I agree the seams might get bulky, but I'm thinking that with fairly thin insulation and 1.1oz ripstop for both shell and lining, I might get away with it. I'd probably trim and overcast the seam allowances.

Not sure what method of quilting to use. Could just quilt to inner layer (maximizing windproofness), quilt to inner and outer alternately, or just do it the "regular" way. This wouldn't be my only warm garment, but rather a lighter replacement for the fleece I always carry.
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

#202159 - 11/25/18 02:51 AM Re: Insulated Jacket from Fleece Pattern? [Re: Bill Kennedy]
Bob Chiang Offline

Registered: 11/05/10
Posts: 22
Loc: New York, USA
Hi Bill,

I made a jacket pretty much the way you're thinking of and I really like it.
light synthetic jacket

I made mine with light Primaloft insulation and .66 ounce per square yard liner and outer fabric

It weighs just over six ounces and is warmer, more wind resistant, and compacts better than a fleece layer. It is not as comfy as fleece next to the skin, and can be hard to put on when my hands are wet (the wet skin sticks to the nylon fabric).

I made it from a pattern I copied from a friends jacket. I just sewed each panel as a stack of: insulation, inner, and outer fabric and then turned each panel inside out. I cut the inner and outer pieces the same size: no differential and don't think it's necessary for this thickness of insulation. I sewed the panels together with a serger and then finished the bottom edge with a strip of the outer fabric as a seam binding tape. I quilted a few lines through the lining and insulation layers to stabilize it leaving the outer layer for continuous windproofness as you mentioned.

Have Fun,

#202165 - 11/26/18 04:03 AM Re: Insulated Jacket from Fleece Pattern? [Re: Bob Chiang]
Bill Kennedy Offline

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 185
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Thanks, Bob, that's really helpful, not to mention encouraging. And your jacket looks great. Did you make the blue one the same way? I figured to put Lycra binding around the bottom, but I like your velcro tabs idea.

The material I have is 1.1oz, I think, so it might be slightly heavier, but not much.

I don't have a serger, but I think I can overcast the edges and make it work reasonably well.

It hadn't occurred to me to stack the fabric and insulation the way you describe. It sounds as though it might make the seams a little bulky, but it seems to have worked for you. Did you do anything special to minimize the bulk of the seams?

Do you happen to remember what weight of Primaloft you used (60gr, 80gr, etc.)?
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead


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