Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Making an Ex-offcio fly-q lite jacket convertible (to vest)

The ex-officio fly-q lite comes as  a jacket or a vest.

I wanted both but didn't want to pack 2 things if I can get away with one so I decided to make the jacket convertible.  The hardest part was finding the separating zippers of the right color but I couldn't find the right length (needed 18") so I bought longer ones and cut them off.  I sew the zipper ends to the jacket fabric so it wouldn't slide further.  Also I decided that I want the zipper pulls on the sleeve part so that when worn as a vest, there is no pull sticking out.

I can vouch that the jacket is well made, I had to take apart 4 seams to detach the sleeves.

Here is a picture of the zipper after installation.  I left an inch gap the the armscye so the armhole won't be too inflexible.  Also it compensates for any mismatching of the seams.  I matched the back yoke seam on the sleeve and body just like the original jacket.

 Here as a vest.

And as a jacket.

It took me I think about 8 hours, not counting the hours going to the fabric stores and looking for zippers.    The actual sewing took about an hour.  I spend about an hour putting in a new zipper stop by bending an eye from an hook and eye and then sewing it down.  But as I was sewing I realized the stitches can make the zipper stop and not bother with the eye for the 2nd sleeve.  I also make sure the zipper pull are on the sleeves and not the body so they will not show when worn as a vest.  

I want to shorten the sleeves but decided too much work, will roll them up instead.

Will be traveling "lite" with my fly-q lite.