Wednesday, January 20

New zip in sleeping bag

 At the end of last summer, I bought a bivi bag, an Alpkit Elan, wistfully thinking about future bike trips...... So far I have only slept in it in the garden, in a summer weight sleeping bag I had bought from Aldi. The problem with the sleeping bag was that the zip was not on the same side as the one on the bivi bag. I hadn't given this a thought when I'd bought the latter. I turned the bag over when I slept in it, so that the zip would be on the right side, although this meant I had to fold down the head shaped bit, which wasn't very satisfactory.

I knew we'd got another one - an ancient very basic one I'd had as a teenager, so was mystified when I went looking in the cupboard where we keep such things and found a rather better, 2-3 season Karrimor one (but not the ancient one - where did that go?). I thought it must have belonged to Elder Son, but it didn't. I have no memory of ever buying it! Unfortunately this one also has the zip on the wrong side, but it's a fairly decent bag and so I decided that it was worth attempting to put a zip in on the correct side.

I bought the zip months ago and have now finally got round to inserting it, and am quite pleased with the results. The first thing I did was to make two lines of stitching down the appropriate side, with a gap of about an inch in between, so that when I cut the bag the filling (polyester) would stay in place. It proved quite tricky as the fabric was slippery and wouldn't move along under the presser foot very well.  

This is the result -

On the right of the photo is the original zip, and on the left the new one.

I finished off the bottom of the zip with a piece of ripstop fabric that came from a sample I'd bought.  

I had to be a bit creative with what I used to make a cover for the new zip at the top. The other sample pieces of ripstop I had weren't big enough, so I stitched together several pieces of trouser kick tape. It does the job! Velcro holds it in place. I have still got to put cord stops in place where the safety pins are.

Here I have joined together the casing which holds that cord, having joined the cord itself first.

I would have liked to have top stitched the zip, as per the original, which would have held the tape of the zip more out of the way underneath, but the fabric, plus zip, would have been very thick and I didn't think my machine would cope with it. It's not strictly necessary as the zip works perfectly well without this extra stitching, so I didn't attempt it.

It wasn't an easy job and none of it is very neat, but I've done what I set out to do and am pleased with the result.