25 February 2009

Make your own gear: windshell

I have finished making my windshell out of the pertex fabric.

It looks a little crushed because I'd just taken it out of its stuff sac just before the photo. It squishes down to be wonderfully tiny, as you can see from it in its stuff sac.

The completed windshell jacket weighs just 93grams including its little sac. I was really pleased with the result.

The pattern I have used is a free pattern from Shelby Extreme Materials and Gear, called Vuokatti. I stumbled across the Shelby website, while looking for something else. I then noticed that they had some patterns for sale, and THEN noticed that they had some for free. I looked through them and decided that I would be able to adapt the Vuokatti pattern to make what I wanted.

Vuokatti is actually a pattern for a knit top, with no zip. Because I wanted to use woven fabric, instead of a knit, I first did a test from some similar fabric to see that the fit was ok. I needed to make a few adjustments to make the less "male" and more female in shape. I also needed to adapt it to put the full zip down the front.

Am really happy with the result, particularly that it compacts so well, and is so light. This afternoon we are supposed to be having some light showers, so I look forward to seeing how water-resistant it is. Pertex fabric is not waterproof, but is water-resistant. It will be interesting to see how it goes, but any water-resistance is basically a bonus, because that's not the point of this item of clothing.

The idea of a windshell is not that it is water-proof - that would be a different piece of clothing. A windshell is to cut the amount of wind that goes through one's clothing, the idea being that if you cut the windchill, you make yourself much warmer. My plan therefore is that I will be able to wear this over the top of my other clothing so that I cut the windchill.

Taking into account the amount of fabric I have used, the zip, the binding and the thread, my jacket has cost me the princely sum of $AU20 - a huge saving on what you might pay retail.


  1. Your jacket looks great, well done! I hope it lasts you well :)

  2. Thanks KMC. I've been wearing it a bit lately with some colder, wetter weather here, and I really like the way it gives me my own warm bubble of air inside it. It can be windy outside, but its lovely and warm inside!

  3. Hi Yvette, Looks super-cool! I had the same idea of adapting the Shelpy design in rip-stop. Do you have more details of how you did the elastics at the seam as well as the zipper? I'm quite a beginner and this would be very inspirational.

    Good work! Best, Hannes

  4. Hi Hannes,

    Probably the best thing to do to learn how to put a zip in is to find an online tutorial about inserting zips.

    For the elastics around the cuffs and at the bottom hem, I used elastic binding. Its like a smooth elastic, but it has a thinner section at the centre, which is where it folds.

    Cut a piece that is a bit shorter than the cuff measurement. Sew the ends together. Fold it in half along its length on the folding part. Slip it over the edges of the raw cuff edge. Pin it at regular points around the cuff. In between it will stretch between the pins. To sew it, stretch the cuff, so that the binding stretches out to meet the material of the cuff. Sew with the binding stretched out. When you let go, the elastic in the binding will relax, pulling the cuff in slightly.

    Repeat with a similar process for the hem.

    I hope that helps. Good luck!

  5. Hi Yvette, Cool, thanks for that tips, Will try to do exactly so...

    Come back with results : )

    Best, Hannes