Monday, August 14, 2006

Js Pertex overtrews

Overtrousers for cycling/ hiking.
These are a modified from an (already modified to fit husband) pattern (by Haan Crafts) for "baggies", which are loose fitting trousers, usually made from bright cotton prints, with elastic waist. Any "baggies" pattern could be used. I'm sure Kwik Sew has an equivalent.

The fabric is Ripstop Pertex from Textile Outfitters. It is a good weight for cycling, but not really waterproof enough for the very heavy rain we get here. For hiking, this Pertex maybe slightly lightweight (get ripped on rocks?), but has a good level of waterproofness for walking conditions. If these get ripped up walking then making them in Goretex should work well. So far they have been worn on several very rainy cycling days and one hiking trip.

I actually made these a while ago, but photographing James in overtrousers is not easy - no one wants to hang around when they are dripping wet - and James wont put them on when it isn't raining (because it is too hot).

James already had a pair of pertex overtrousers but they are very worn out and also had a design flaw. More of that later.

Here are the main technical details working from waist to ankle:

1. Raise the back and lower the front by between half and one inch, to enable good bum coverage while cycling and walking, but avoiding excess fabric at the front while cycling.

2. Checking the baggies pattern to make sure (by comparison with the old pair of overtrousers) that the fit was sufficiently loose to work as overtrousers over hiking trousers. It was OK.

3.Knees. For cycling overtrousers the knees need to be articulated, but avoiding extra seams is desirable to stop water getting in. I made the very simple adjustment of adding an inch at the knee on the front pattern pieces and then made a tuck on each seam.

4. Calf zipper. To enable getting the overtrousers on and off without taking off shoes, a zipper was inserted into the side seams below the knee. The leg width was calculated to fit over James biggest walking boots with the zipper undone.

5. Bottom hem. I cut the trousers long so that they can be brought over the tops of the shoes. Overtrousers that are too short and have elastic round the hem ship water very effectively into shoes! This is the technical fault in the RTW overtrousers husband owns.

For the bottom hem I made a little casing and inserted a loop of thin elastic which can be looped under the sole of cycling shoes. For hiking boots, this elastic remains unused, but then the hem does fit quite snuggly over the tops of the boots, so water cannot ship into the shoes. The legs below the knees are actually a little wide for cycling (zippers not required in the cycling situation), but we discovered this week that the extra width is necessary for the hiking boot situation!

I finished the edges with a multi-step zig-zag stitch since this is the only stitch on my machine, apart from the straight stitch, that does not pucker pertex. I used a liquid seam sealer from textile outfitters to seal the seams. Not sure how well that worked really - probably some sort of tape would provide a more waterproofness.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Helpful information on Hiking