I picked up a fleece jacket in the REI bargain basement a while back for some absurdly low price – $7 I think? The zipper was broken. I happened to have a spare zipper in my sewing box so I repaired it and have been wearing it ever since. A couple of months ago the jacket went missing. This was just after Ava and I moved into our new apartment so I assumed it was around somewhere and that it would turn up eventually; but several thorough greps later I still couldn’t find it. Much grousing about the situation later, I began to annoy even myself.
Saturday morning I resolved to count the jacket as missing and go replace it. I have a lot of backpacking planned for next month and I am definitely going to need a nice warm fleece. Instead of buying a new jacket I decided to head up to Seattle Fabrics, buy some polartec, and make myself something stylish. I picked out some charcoal grey and some brick red, some reflective piping, and zippers; about $50 worth altogether.
When I got back to the shop it was time for Shop Cleaning Day. (Rather late for Shop Cleaning Day, actually; traffic was terrible.) I put down the bag of materials and started cleaning. Ten minutes later, I picked up some random box of clothes I didn’t recognize and started pawing through them trying to figure out whose they were. Buried in the middle of the pile? My REI jacket, of course.
I still have no idea whose clothes those were but at least I have my jacket back. Having already gotten myself excited about the new sewing project, I decided I would press on anyway. Maybe I can pass the old jacket along to someone else who will appreciate it. A couple of things came up and I didn’t end up finishing the new jacket, but I got pretty far along. The body of the jacket is all finished, with zipper pockets and all. I reused the basic design of this vest, minus the fur trim; the body is mostly charcoal, with the side panels and collar lining of the red. The retroreflective piping fits into the horizontal chest seams and along the back side panels. I picked a big bold zipper which stands out as a design element, and made shoulder panels of matching grey ballistic nylon.
The sleeves will match the body styling, with a charcoal-grey outer panel and brick red underneath; I’ll fit some more reflective piping into the back seam. I’m also planning to design in some ballistic nylon elbow pads but haven’t figured out how that will work yet.