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Wool boreal shirt from US army blanket

Discussion in 'Self-made Gear' started by Broke, May 19, 2017.

  1. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    So I figured I would start a thread on this project, both to seek guidance and to keep myself motivated.
    The idea right now is to use a very nice US army wool blanket to make a wool boreal/bush shirt inspired by the very fine offering from Lester river.
    I have been torn on buying a shirt from Jason or making my own. Getting this new blanket pretty well clinched it for me that I need to just make my own...
    So, the first step is to felt this blanket. To do this I will be washing it in the machine, Hot wash, cold rinse, then drying it in the dryer. It will be washed with some jeans and work pants to add friction. Then it will be dried with wool yarn balls and the jeans etc to shrink it.
    The end result should be fluffy wool that is shrunk to its final size.
    I will then either buy a thrift store hoodie and disassemble it or source a pattern commercially.

    Features I will be including:
    Drawstring hood
    Drawstring waist
    Maybe a 1/4 zippered front
    Wrist snaps
    Cordura sit pad
    Cordura elbow reinforcements
    Front cordura pocket with internal pouches
    Front zippered kangaroo pocket
    D ring inside zippered pocket
    Mitten clips inside belly pocket

    I will be updating as the project progresses.
    Any tips, pointers, encouragement, ridicule, hazing, finger pointing, words of wisdom etc are welcomed and strongly encouraged!
    Adam G
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
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  2. OldSoul

    OldSoul BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    Awesome! I made a basic one out of a green army blanket a couple years ago...no frills and i just used wool yarn for thread by hand. Yours sounds like it's going to be awesome! Some stuff I wish I had added that you've already thought out. All I can say is the hardest part was getting started. Once begun I really got eager to finish it. Watching thread!
     
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  3. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    So, here is where I am now, a blanket...

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. blind & lost

    blind & lost Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Sounds like a great project, will be interesting to follow your progress. Enjoy.
     
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  5. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17-MYOG #71- Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    On the list brother!

    Just bought a blanket @Red Ochre helped me find, I should have mine done in time for fall. :D

    image.jpg
     
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  6. wiwoodsman

    wiwoodsman Tracker

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  7. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    I am trying to figure out if the sit pad should be a pouch so a piece of reflectix can be inserted. I am envisioning something similar to the tail on a snowboarding jacket.
    Adam G
     
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  8. Red Ochre

    Red Ochre Guide

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    If the wool is thick enough you won't need to do that, your call though!
     
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  9. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    Your project sounds super ambitious. A friend of mine made me a basic extra large oversized wool Anorak for bush beating back when I was 300 pounds. It is a super warm overcoat for my winter adventures. I'm down 86 pounds, shooting for 100+ total loss, and I'd never consider getting rid of that Anorak because it works so well at cutting the cold and is a great outer layer. Once I'm done loosing my weight I will purchase as a reward a Boreal style from either Jason or Kevin for more refined civil adventures.
    My advise is to get both!! Make one yourself while saving for a Boreal.
    Here are a few shots of the Anorak I have.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    When not used it is stored in a 5 gallon bucket with a Gamma Lid.
     
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  10. Younghunter3030

    Younghunter3030 Scout

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    Nice Man!!
    I made a collared Boreal out of a wool blanket and brown fleece. Me and my Grandmother sewed it up with camo yarn but we ended up using army green thread.
    image.jpg
    image.jpg
    image.jpg
     
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  11. OldSoul

    OldSoul BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    One thing I did add to mine was a d ring inside my front pocket, to clip keys or whatever to. More peace of mind than anything, and probably not necessary if you're going with zippered pockets but thought I'd mention it. I also added "wings" on the shoulders which has helped a ton shedding rain.
    20141211_180028.jpg

    20141211_230632.jpg

    20141217_041719.jpg
     
  12. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    I forgot about the D ring in the pocket, thank you!
    Nice looking shirts guys!
    I am feeling inspired!
    Adam G
     
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  13. 1066vik

    1066vik Guide

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    don't use a knit shirt or hoodie for a pattern - they stretch too much.
    use a woven/button down shirt that's at least 1 size too big, maybe 2 -- so it's easy to pull on over your head when all but the top 2 buttons are done up and comfortable to wear over your clothes. so a 3x or 4x
    alternatively -- google "T-tunic pattern" for ideas. I suggest 26" pit to pit and either leave the pits open or put in a diamond gusset for better range of motion.
    if you need a hand drafting a pattern/cutting it out this weekend give me a holler.
     
  14. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    I have looked at the t tunic design, and I think I prefer the separate sleeves, will try to add gussets modeled after what my duluth shirts have.
    Good ideas!
    Adam G
     
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  15. dub

    dub Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Awesome. I have a couple of those laying around. Maybe I'll try it out too. Can't wait to see how it turns out.
     
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  16. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Incorporate the drop tail in the cut, I did this with my summer Goretex raincoat and my polartec parka, to be really effective the rear needs to be at least a foot longer tho and the front shortened by a couple of inches.
    When you sit down the back should come right down to cover your rear end past the crutch , the new army L-7 type 2 parka does this well I'd put the second layer as a weather resistant layer on the outside myself with a slot for inserting some padding if needed, in the same way we do it for knees on pants
     
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  17. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    This is exactly what I was thinking. I want to be able to add a reflectix pouch for deer season when I am.sitting in a tree stand on cold metal...
    Adam G
     
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  18. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    I look forward to watching your progress! Here's one I made a several years ago using British wool blankets. I originally made the collarless shirt. For bushclass a couple years ago I made a hood to go with it. This combo is very warm. It was around zero fahrenheit on this airgun hunt and it was too warm while hiking around.

    (A) Article Clothing & Hatsan 125 Rabbits 083.JPG

    Here's the shirt (before adding the front pocket), the hood and a pair of deer skin chopper mittens with wool blanket liners I made.

    (A) Article Clothing & Hatsan 125 Rabbits 018.JPG
     
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  19. 1066vik

    1066vik Guide

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    I am a fan of the separate hood -- especially if you add a wind/waterproof layer to it.
     
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  20. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    Felting was not as succesful as I had hoped, blanket is a little fuzzier, not much. I don't think I will keep washing it though, plenty thick enough as it stands.
    I am torn right now on buying a hoodie pattern or just copying an existing wool shirt I already have.
    Leaning more towards copying what I have.
    Anyone have a recomendation on thread to use? I assume a heavy polyester would be good for durability.
    Thanks,
    Adam G
     
  21. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    I'm not an expert but I usually use Coats and Clark nylon upholstery thread for sewing by hand. I started using it years ago when I saw a guy making amazing spun deer hair flies with it. Its the only thread he trusted for the amount of strain he placed on it while spinning hair on big flies. It holds up well in the water and to toothy fish on flies tied with it. Later I started using it for sewing projects and its held up very well.
     
  22. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    I think I have a similar product for my machine. Will have to check.
    Thank you!
    Adam G
     
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  23. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    Traced a pattern from a comfortable jacket, added 1" on each edge for seaming. I am going to fold the 2 halves in half to match the sleeve cuts to eachother.
    Here we go...

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    If you make a yoke for the shoulder and make the back wider than the front by a couple of inches and gather the extra material you will have much greater freedom of movement as well as no seams right on your shoulders
     
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  25. justinspicher

    justinspicher Tracker

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    IMG_1400.JPG

    I found this example awhile back, maybe it'll help.
     
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  26. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    Everything is cut, the body is pinned, the sleeves and hood are cut. I still need to:
    *Cut the front pocket
    -install inner pockets
    -install 3 D-rings, center for keys outside for gloves
    *Cut the kangaroo pouch
    -order a zipper for the kangaroo pouch
    *cut out and hem the U.S. logo
    -install on the back as a locker loop
    *order cordura for the front pocket cover and sit pad.
    *order 1 possibly 2 zippers for the hip cuts
    *order 1 zipper for the neck openinG

    On the stitching side...
    Hood needs the 3 panels connected
    Sleeves need to be fitted, armpit gussets installed stitched up and on
    Body needs to be stitched up

    So, basically I am on track to finish this up soon. I stopped working today so I could fix the new/used riding mower and then mow.
    I should have at least the body and hood stitched up after supper tonight.
    So far so good...
    Adam G
     
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  27. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    One thing I am considering is installing zippers on the cuffs, so the sleeves can be unzipped and then rolled up. I saw a video where a guy did, looked neat.
    Adam G
     
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  28. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    @MONGOlikes candy stopped by to discuss another project and ended up helping me with the cutting.
    My wife thought 2 grown men playing at making clothes was funny, so she took pictures...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  29. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    Obligatory bearded guy in a wool sack picture...

    [​IMG]
     
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  30. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    I got the hood done tonight. All that remains as far as big stuff are the sleeves. I will tackle those tomorrow.
    Should have done this long ago.
    Adam G
     
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  31. Grigg

    Grigg Scout Bushclass I

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    Looks great so far! Those things are harder to make than they look.
     
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  32. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    Thanks!
    Yeah, it does present some challenges for sure. Fortunately we have a nice machine and my wife can help me trouble shoot issues and lay things out.
    I should have the sleeves on tomorrow, then just waiting on fabric from big duck canvas to do the butt and pockets.
    Can't wait for cold weather!!!
    Adam G
     
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  33. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    Great project, @Broke! Am looking forward to seeing how it turns out. Only downside is that you'll have to wait a few months before you can put it to use.

    My mother-in-law made one of these as a Christmas present for me from an old USGI blanket. She lined the hood with fleece so that it wouldn't be so scratchy around my neck and face. I thought that was a really nice touch.
     
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  34. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Can't wait to see the finished garment @Broke !
     
  35. Sinjin

    Sinjin Firebrand

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    looking good!
     
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  36. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    I have 1 sleeve welded, er, sewed on, started having problems after I broke a needle, I put the new one in backwards. Loverly wife fixed it, so I am back in business. I hopened to have the sleeves done today. I will hem the hood and stitch it on when I get more black thread. I ran out last night and switched to white. I don't want to use the white where it will be seen though.
    Adam G
     
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  37. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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  38. Younghunter3030

    Younghunter3030 Scout

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    Can't wait to see the finished product!:D
    Forgot ifn you mentioned it but is this your first Boreal?
    Super Awesome Brother!!!
    I love mine and you'll love yours
    I bet mine on it.
     
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  39. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    First one I have made, yes. I own a varusteleka wool hoody shirt and an Asbell half zip hoody.
    All the body stitching is done. I double stitched EVERY seam and then put a zig zag along the edges of EVERY seam. I think by the time this is done it will have 2,000 linear feet of thread involved... lol!
    So I have added fleece lining the hood to the list, possibly also the neck and cuffs.
    I am all done for today, will update more when I get more black thread.
    So, left to do.

    Build hand warmer pocket
    Build kangaroo pouch
    Install hood
    Install fleece in hood, neck, and cuffs
    Install arm, neck, hip, and kangaroo pouch zippers
    Install drawstrings on hips and hood
    Install cordura sit pad and apron

    Closer... I could wear it now, so it is going great.
    Thanks for the likes and the pointers!!!
    Adam G
     
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  40. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    Here is a mockup of the hood installed for testing...

    [​IMG]
     
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  41. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    Oh yeah, cost tally.
    Blanket $50
    Thread $5
    Zippers $15
    Cordura $10
    Fleece $5

    About $85 with shipping so far.
     
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  42. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    Its looking good!
     
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  43. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Oh yeah!
     
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  44. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    Thanks folks !
     
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  45. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    Update, not a lot happening. I recieved my line locks, ends and zippers today, fabric should be here tomorrow.
    Getting closer.
    Adam G
     
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  46. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Usual Suspecto Supporter Lifetime Supporter

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    If you want to do a more light weight one...I got some extra poll table felt left over new , enough for another shirt ...I can also trace and send you the trades man's shirt teplate I made for myself....
     
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  47. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    The template would be cool! I am thinking now about a waxed canvas overcoat to wear over the wool in the rain or wind.
    Adam G
     
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  48. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    Brown Santa brought me a package of awesome!
    600d marine canvas in blaze orange
    600d marine canvas in khaki
    10oz cotton ripstop olive
    10Oz cotton canvas/duck cloth natural.

    Getting my craft on!
     
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  49. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    And we just got home from Joanns, wife had a 20% coupon and thread was 50% off, fleece was 40% off.
    So I bought a while.bunch of upholstery thread, some fleece, and more bobbins, a piece of foam for a kneeling pad, wheeeeee.
    So, now everything to finish this shirt is here. I just nred to stitch it up.
    Adam G
     
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  50. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter

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    Location:
    Blue Springs, mo
    So far tonight I have laid out and cut the pockets, cut the marine canvas for the front apron, cut the fleece for the hood liner, cut out the US logo for the back.
    Going to cut the sit pad for the back shortly and then stitch up the hood and see if I feel up to tackling the pockets.

    [​IMG]
     
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