Back to previous post: TSA Successfully Identifies a Real Threat

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: For to cook a unicorn

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

March 28, 2012

How to pack the M-1928 Haversack
Posted by Teresa at 07:54 AM *

While researching something else (my usual excuse), I came across this remark about the standard WWII G.I. backpack, a.k.a. the M-1928 Haversack:

How the hell does this thing go together? The Haversack is a rather unique (bizarre) design, one that I personally suspect was conceived under the influence of serious narcotics. The link below is a reprint from the Army Field Manual: How to Pack the Haversack.
But the link was no longer there. Fortunately, the web is full of military gear collectors, and reenactment groups with lists of particular requirements. I went looking. Short version: I can’t vouch for its designer having been on drugs, but the WWII M-1928 Haversack is a genuinely weird piece of gear.

The regulation fully-packed haversack (minus entrenching tool) as it was designed to be worn.

The USMC pack diagram, with the full directions for correctly packing and fastening it broken out into the full glory of 32 separate steps. Alas, the details are hard to read.

The version of the diagram with the greatest number of readable labels.

An older but by far the most readable version of the Army Field Manual’s instructions. If I may quote a bit:

Place the assembled equipment on the ground, suspender side of the haversack down, pockets of cartridge belt up, haversack spread out, inside flap and pack carrier extended their full length to the rear. Place one container of hard bread on its side in the center of the haversack in front of and touching the line of attachment of the inside flap. Place two cans of meat component end to end, parallel to and in front of the can of hard bread. Place the remaining container of hard bread in front of the cans of the meat component. Place the toilet articles and socks in front of the hard bread. The inside flap of the haversack is folded over these articles , the end of the flap being turned in so that the flap, thus shortened, extends about 2 inches beyond the top of the upper row …
That’s not the really complicated part.

Photos of the pack components, giving some idea of their unintuitive nature. Another view of the pack components.

A video showing how the triangular bit worked.

A page about the M-1928 Haversack, with a photo of a fully-packed regulation specimen (including entrenching tool). The page says:

The M-1928 haversack straps had snap hooks for attaching to the pistol belt M-1936 or cartridge belt M-1923. Eyelets on the side of the pack are provided to attach the Springfield bayonet or Garand bayonet. A canvas tab with eyelets at the top of the pack is for attaching the cover for the M-1910 intrenching tool cover.

The Pouch, Meat Can, M-1910/1928 (canvas mess kit pouch) had four loops on the back that passed through buttonholes on the flap of the haversack, held in place with long straps underneath. It had three internal pockets for knife, fork, and spoon.

The Carrier, Pack, M-1928 was a triangular attachment to the haversack (called the “diaper”) designed for additional gear such as shelter half or blanket. …

Even though it was the most widely used pack, the Haversack (M-1910 or M-1928) was very impractical and unpopular. To assemble and put one on was a complex process and not easy to do in the field with many steps, straps and ways to go wrong. The haversack and pack carrier had to be assembled using a coupling strap threaded through button holes. Then the suspender hooks are attached to the pistol or cartridge belt. Then the shelter half, blanket, poles and pegs are rolled up in a specified way with clothing inside the folds. Rations and toilet articles are packed into the haversack which is folded over and strapped after which the shelter roll is buckled into the pack carrier with three binding straps then closed with more straps. Provisions were made for an overcoat and raincoat to be added to the pack when needed.

If all these steps, straps, folds, wraps, rolls, buckles, snaps, and fiddly bits strike you as sounding more like WWI-era military technology, you’re nearly right. The WWI model was very similar, but the system actually dates back to the 1910 pack, as carried by the Fort Huachuca cavalry. For entertainment on Sundays, they’d lay it all out in exact order for inspection.

Though it underwent various modifications, the 1910 pack’s underlying conceptual design would continue in use until 1956.

Comments on How to pack the M-1928 Haversack:
#1 ::: protected static ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 11:10 AM:

Heh. I remember looking at some of the training manuals my grandfathers had (my dad's dad was a SSGT in a field artillery battery in the ETO; my mom's dad was a coastal & anti-aircraft artillery Warrant Officer in the Massachusetts Guard during and after WW2). I remember thinking that the diagrams on detail-stripping the Garand rifle looked less complex than the haversack instructions.

#2 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 12:03 PM:

I had some very slight experience of the '37-Pattern British webbing system, which was the culmination of a series of developments by the Mills Equipment Company. They were the people who essentially came up with the idea of a system, first appearing as the Web Equipment, Pattern 1908.

The big change which came with the Web Equipment, Pattern 1937 was the replacement of cartridge carriers by the Pouch, basic. (Yes, that's Quartermaster-speak, and while they didn't have computers, it did suit organising in alphabetical order.)

The actual pack was still the Patt. '08, and it wasn't until 1st April 1946 when that was "retired". All they did was change the name.

So the original fitting instructions for W.E. Patt. '08 (PDF file) would still apply to the Pack. Since the pack itself is essentially a rectangular sack, it cannot be much simpler.

One of the features of the Mills Equipment Company webbing equipments was that they could vary the width of the webbing straps in the weaving process. So the wider sections on the Braces, which spread the weight on the shoulders, were all part of the one. The company which produced webbing in Canada were not able to weave this feature.

In many ways, the W.E. Patt. '08 set the standard for the two World Wars, and up to the 1960s. The basic design didn't change, even though details did. Unfasten the waist belt, and the equipment did not fall off. But it could be quickly removed and put on again as one item, almost like a waistcoat. The Mills Equipment Company supplied many countries, as well as the Empire, and it maight be taken as evidence that their designers got things right.

#3 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 12:12 PM:

You know, when reading casual mentions of "haversacks" in various books, I'd always assumed that they were, in some sense, sacklike. Like a modern backpack, or the British design Dave has told us about.

I never in a million years would have thought that it was essentially a flat wrapper with straps to hold it together.

The things you learn on Making Light!

#4 ::: grackle ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 12:44 PM:

Isn't this all part of a Joseph Beuys project? I couldn't find the fat strap, though. I note the totally reasonable price of $134.95, mess kit included!

#5 ::: Doug K ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 01:26 PM:

in the 80s we carried canvas very like the Web Equipment, Pattern 1937. It was reasonably functional though a lot heavier than it might have been, especially in rain. In comparison with the M-1928 it looks absolutely cutting-edge..

Wikipedia has to say for haversack,
"The name 'Haversack' originates from its usage to carry 'Havercake'. Havercake was a rough type of bread simply made from oats and water, with the addition sometimes of yeast to bulk it out. Oats were the staple food of the poor, especially in the textile districts of the north of England, during the privations caused by the Napoleonic Wars. Havercake was made in the form of a thick biscuit as a convenient way to take food to the factory for the mid-day meal, and the haversack was the bag it was carried in. This system, using havercake carried in a haversack, was also used widely by the military for the individual soldier to carry his rations. The Duke of Wellington's Regiment was nicknamed the 'Havercake Lads' because the recruiting sergeants used to display a piece of havercake held aloft on a bayonette, to signify that food would never be a problem if enlisted; a great encouragement to recruiting when the general population was starving."

#6 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 01:32 PM:

Cally @3,

The entry for "Haversack" in Wikipedia is rather too American. The earlier bag-and-strap is echoed in the Mills system by the way in which the "haversack" could be slung on the hip when the "pack" was worn, but they were essentially different sizes of the same sort of item, later being renamed the "small pack" and the "large pack". In "Fighting Order" just the haversack was carried. Other armies still had the traditional haversack, sometimes called a "breadbag". In some cases it could be attached to the waistbelt.

The W.E. Patt. '08 haversack was 9 inches tall, 11 inches wide, and 2 inches deep. The Pack was 15 inches tall, 13 inches wide, and 4.5 inches deep.

The W.E. Patt. '37 haversack with 10 inches tall and 4 inches deep, giving a little over twice the volume. Partly, this was to carry the water bottle inside the haversack, rather than strapped to the outside.

The haversacks could be either worn on the back, or below the waist belt, on the left hip, attached to the ends of the braces.

All three items, when carried on the back, were intended to have their weight chiefly supported by straps attacked to the cartridge carriers or basic pouches, meaning they were quite low on the back. This seems to have conflicted with the traditions of a smart and soldierly appearance followed by sergeants, which sets these items higher and, it was eventually realised, didn't really work. It was OK for marching and drill, but backfired in combat situations.

(It was post-WW1 that drill sergeants introduced all the foot-stamping and high knees into parade drill. They only got away with it because the infantry no longer had to march everywhere: motor transport was taking over.)

#7 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 01:57 PM:

Should let the Dutch have a go at designing one.

#8 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 02:10 PM:

Off-topic note to TNH:

Your Particles link to on the forging of antiquities is to a friends-locked LJ entry; most readers will be unable to follow it. (Me included.)

#9 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 03:09 PM:

Just looking at the fully-packed haversack gives me a backache.

#10 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 03:30 PM:

Charlie, I didn't realize. Very sorry.

Jacque: Small, check; tidy, check; compartmentalized, check. It could only be more Dutch if it were watertight and floated.

#11 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 03:42 PM:

Cally, as Doug and Dave have explained, earlier haversacks were more like modern messenger bags than the composite backpack described in my post. If you don't mind listening to someone who inserts a maddeningly long pause after each sentence, there's a guy who does 18th C. military recreation who's made three videos about his period blanket roll, haversack, and other carrying gear:

#12 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 05:37 PM:

Teresa @11

Thanks; that was fascinating!

Will I be seeing you at Minicon?

#13 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 06:16 PM:

Dave Bell @ #6

Do _not_ get this moose started on the subject of "Satchel, Signals", of which most people think there are only a couple, but the range went up to at least 12 (plus variants). and is currently giving me a headache.


#14 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 06:55 PM:

Cadbury Moose, thank you for that link! TNH and I were discussing Florence Green this past December, and talking about the ways that women who served were not always remembered in various news programs and features mentioning the last folks from the Great War.

#15 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 08:25 PM:

Jacque #7:

Ah, the Rolykit. I have used one, and I'm not all that impressed. The primary disadvantage is that in order to reach the innermost compartments, you have to unroll its full length, which takes up a lot of linear table space — if you have a table.

And, once the glue from the webbing to the plastic fails, it no longer has proper hinges and you have to carefully close the innermost segment so that it meshes properly (which isn't automatic by laying against the ground like the others).

#16 ::: Torrilin ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 09:21 PM:

Huh. Weird.

Most of the time, I use a LL Bean school bag for carrying large loads on my back. It doesn't fit terribly well because I have a quite long torso. But it does the job, even tho the "hip" belt actually fits more around my ribs than anything else. I'd need about 12" more of padding along the shoulder straps to get the hip belt to actually sit at my hips. Either way, it falls into the "great bloody sack" school of backpacks, and it works quite well.

My bike bags are similar. 2 Novara panniers, for a total of 40L with absolutely no pockets beyond the main ones. Why no pockets? On a bike, you have between 2 and 6 bags, by default. You can sort stuff. You SHOULD sort stuff. Into different bags... not into pockets. For me, the usual sort is large items go into the large bags, tent goes on my rack, and small/personal items go into my basket.

For everyday use, I use a messenger bag aka haversack aka musette bag. If it's your only bag, it should sit quite close to your body, with most of the load resting in the curve of your back. This leaves the load basically sitting on your pelvis, and for light loads, it works pretty well. Somewhere in the 15-20lb range, a single strap bag in this style will get pretty uncomfortable... if the bag is uncomfortable, it tells you you're carrying too much, and you should have picked a different bag if nothing is optional.

Most of the time, my messenger bag works better on the bike than a backpack, and it fits neatly into my bike bag system... so it gets used much more than the backpack. If it's coming with and I'm using the full suite of bike bags, the most delicate and fragile stuff goes in the messenger bag. I'm a much smarter shock absorber than anything else on the bike :D. Food goes in the basket. Clothes and camp gear get sorted into panniers, tent goes on the rack still.

The 1928 pack seems to be coming from a quite different way of thinking, despite me using large chunks of really not terribly modern stuff for carting my gear.

#17 ::: DanR ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2012, 11:39 PM:

I like that they place the rolled towel behind the head. The layout seems quite functional, actually, if you have the compartments memorized. The double-jointed aspect is appealing if you need to climb something, or you could sit and lean back comfortably against a tree if you wanted to. More pluses: easy access to the hidden blade, the poncho, and a belted row of small sundry containers.

#18 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 04:00 AM:

When I was still going to conventions, I usually carried my stuff in a frame-rucksack, with the weight mostly supported by the waistbelt. Once or twice, when I was in the overflow hotel, I used an East German army surplus pack, much like the British Army haversacks in size and use, carrying it with a shoulder-strap.

#19 ::: Branko Collin ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 04:54 AM:

There is only one proper way of carrying a 'haverzak', and that is with straps around the neck:

#20 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 06:36 AM:

He that hath ears...will never have his haverzack fall off.

#21 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 08:19 AM:

Cally: Not this year. Patrick is off to Amsterdam and Eastercon. I'll stay here and do a proper Easter. Have a good time, hey?

#22 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 08:24 AM:

On the subject of bags in general: I made my current one and did the best I could to make it last-- denim, heavy interfacing, basically. For a few months now, that's been wearing through at one spot, where it rubs against my jeans (also what broke my previous bag-- the fabric just gave out even after a repair). Does anyone know how I might fix this or prevent it? My only idea is to get either magically matching shiny material or iron-on vinyl and use that to make patches. I can't keep the bag from rubbing up against me; one of the worn places is where the strap runs between my breasts.

I am sad that my hundred-dollar just-right bag might not last as many years as I want it to.

#23 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 08:43 AM:

Diatryma #22: Perhaps heavy leather might outwear denim?

#24 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 08:50 AM:

Diatryma at #22--you wouldn't even need heavy leather; pigskin or suede, which can be sewn on a good many home machines if you get a leather needle, would make a good bag, or good pathches.

#25 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 10:05 AM:

Further on Web Equipment Pattern '37, Satchel Signals, and Haversacks:

Satchel Signals was introduced to replace the leather "Bags, Telephone Receiver" and "Cases, Message Book, Mark V". It was subsequently renamed "Satchel, Signals, No.1" when more bags and carriers were added during WW2, was rotproofed for jungle use (and acquired nickel-plated fittings), appeared in green rather than khaki to match the Pattern '44 (jungle) kit, and soldiered (Sorry!) on into the 1950s at which point it acquired a NATO stock number, changed its name to "Haversacks, No.1" and continued in service until some time in the 1980s when it was presumably retired in favour of Nylon or other synthetic material.

As haversacks go they're quite small, being sized to take a hand microphone and headset, some paperwork, or whatever the user wanted at the time. They're also rather hard to find (in good condition), since they made an ideal lunch bag whan they appeared on the surplus market.

#26 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 10:10 AM:

"the 1910 pack’s underlying conceptual design would continue in use until 1956." might be a bit misleading. C. 1951, for the Occupation of Japan and being On The Line in Korea, my (NG/Draftee) outfit was issued quite modern back-packs, so the haversack was apparently being phased-out for quite a while. (Mind you, I'm pretty sure Supply still had some WWI [that's _one_] equipment, as well as a lot from WWII.)

#27 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 10:12 AM:

Teresa @21

I hope you and Patrick both have an excellent time at your respective Easter celebrations! Perhaps I'll see you at Fourth Street, if I can manage to squeeze the budget hard enough....

#28 ::: Jeremy Hornik ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 10:36 AM:

I just finished Richard Matheson's novel "The Beardless Warriors". The main character is a raw replacement infantryman. At the start he is very nervous, very eager, and very confident in his pack and all the gear he carries along (and ever so fussy about it, too.) The soldiers in his... um... (looking it up...) squad advise him to ditch it all and just make sure he keeps his entrenching tool.

So, that all came across well to me, someone who is basically ignorant of military practice. But now, seeing the actual gear itself? Wow. That is one impractical piece of equipment, especially under fire.

If I had the book I'd post some passages, but it was a library book and it's already back. My apologies.

#29 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 10:42 AM:

Wow. Reading this has brought to mind that as a young Girl Scout I was taught how to make a blanket roll and pack my clothing inside it. The person who wrote the instructions was clearly a haversack pro.

And I did not know the origin of the term "haversack". Havercake, is it?

#30 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 01:08 PM:

Kevin Reid @15: to reach the innermost compartments, you have to unroll its full length

Yeah, same issue as trying to find an interior passage in your Torah scroll. What one needs is what would be to the Rolykit as a book is to a scroll.

Nevertheless, it's a fun piece of design—at least when one first pulls it from under the Christmas tree and unwraps it.

Diatryma @22: get either magically matching shiny material or iron-on vinyl and use that to make patches.

Go with an artistically-contrasting color. Make it look like a "design element." Retrofitting after the pack is constructed is a righteous pain in the butt; that said, I've had very good success using heavy nylon webbing to reinforce high-wear locations on my pack. Basically: it doesn't wear through. Use something equally robust, like heavy-weight high-strength kite twine to sew it on. (Which is a challenge, because the stuff is designed not to knot up, so tying off the ends requires creativity.) (Paradoxically, nylon web can be easier to sew by hand than on a machine.)

My current pack is +/- fifteen years old, and the denim is dissolving in place. But the nylon-reinforced corners and edges are still completely intact. (I put leather—recycled flight jacket—on the bottom for water resistance. That's held up reasonably well, too, but it's not a structural element.)

#31 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 02:31 PM:

re 26: By 1956 there were four different packs running around in the various supply systems. The Marines made up their own version during the war, and the musette bag was widely remounted as a pack. Also, there was a rucksack which was originally intended for mountain troops.

The classic BSA 573 haversack dates back into the 1920s and was made at least into the 1950s; I think there were versions around in the early-mid sixties before the framepack and daypack wiped it out. It is a rectangular bag with shoulder straps which clip on to rings on the bottom edge; there's also a series of rings up both seams of either side to allow a bedroll to be fastened in a U over the top and sides. I think it's a bit bigger than the military haversacks of the era but a little smaller than the 1956 pack.

#32 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 06:15 PM:

The British Army's rifle sling was essentially unchanged for some ninety years, just a couple of changes of colour. It was approved on the 31st January 1901, disappeared from stores lists in 1976, and mysteriously pops up again in 1991. It's possible that the same item is listed under a different description and catalogue number during the gap.

#33 ::: Torrilin ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2012, 10:12 PM:

On the subject of bags in general: I made my current one and did the best I could to make it last-- denim, heavy interfacing, basically. For a few months now, that's been wearing through at one spot, where it rubs against my jeans (also what broke my previous bag-- the fabric just gave out even after a repair). Does anyone know how I might fix this or prevent it? My only idea is to get either magically matching shiny material or iron-on vinyl and use that to make patches. I can't keep the bag from rubbing up against me; one of the worn places is where the strap runs between my breasts.

Denim does wear out eventually. Depending on when you bought the denim tho, you might be looking at an Interesting Side Effect Of Offshoring.

At this point, almost all "denim" you buy is not actually a 2/1 twill made with 100% cotton yarns and a very weft faced weave and a typical weight of 10-15oz per yard. Instead, it's a much lighter fabric. It's not as densely packed with weft. Sometimes it's not even a 2/1 twill, sometimes not even a twill period. It frequently admits having between 2 and 10% spandex, and in at least some cases contains a substantial chunk of rayon that the manufacturer is not admitting to.

Rayon and cotton are very difficult to distinguish with most test methods, but rayon is not as abrasion resistant as cotton. It's a tricky bit of adulteration to catch, and I have no idea how to get the FTC to crack down on it. (they have cracked down on some methods of misleading consumers with rayon, but this particular issue is tough to address on no funding, and VERY profitable for the manufacturer)

I'm not sure precisely when the change happened, but the first denim with spandex was introduced at some point in the 1980s, and as of now it has almost entirely taken over the denim market.

If you have actual factual cotton denim, I'd expect 5-10 years of daily wear out of it, possibly more than 15 if you had 15 oz/yd denim and your bag's structure was very good. If you have something that is missing on multiple fronts for qualifying as denim, you might have fabric failure in less than 2 years even in bag format. As long as you use large patches to make sure to cover all possible weak spots, traditional denim will get another 3-5 years of wear. My mom would usually use both patches and sewing machine darning to buy time on my jeans. Done well in advance of a hole, you could potentially get lots more than 5 years via those methods.

If you're dealing with denim that doesn't actually meet the formal definition, I wouldn't expect to buy much extra lifespan from patching. You can (and do) weaken fabric by patching it, and if the fabric is the modern super fragile stuff, it might well start to tear at the patch's edges.

#34 ::: John M. Burt ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2012, 12:48 PM:

So glad I hadn't read this while I was writing The Christmas Mutiny, considering how much marching takes place in it . . . .

#35 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2012, 01:10 PM:

I'm not sure which pack my father used as an infantryman in the US Army during the last year or so of combat in Germany during WW II, but I remember a couple stories he told.

One was about a march they did during basic training, where they were supposed to carry "full packs". Many of the trainees had learned the ways of the army by that point, and so stuffed their packs full of crumpled newspaper instead of the required gear. When a rainstorm hit during the march, he was one of the few who had a poncho with him.

He also talked about how everyone lightened their load as much as possible once they got into combat, by discarding non-essentials. Early on he was his squad's bazooka man, but quickly managed to find a newer, more eager soldier to take over carrying it. I had the impression that their shelter-halfs and sleeping bags were often carried by trucks while they walked, with the result that they were sometimes without some of their gear for a day or two. He told me he reduced his excess clothing load down to a single pair of spare socks, which he carried inside his shirt, where his body heat would dry them if they'd gotten wet.

#36 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2012, 03:44 AM:

I would like a map case to carry the iPad in. Actually, I have some really good leather I got cheap, so I'd like patterns for a map case to carry the iPad in since the leather ones from the old USSR have ridiculous shipping costs. Unfortunately, if you try a Google search for map case patterns you'll find lots of folks who have modified plastic tubes, or rigs made from plastic sheets to put a folded map into instead of actual map cases. I'm beginning to think I'm going to have to buy a smaller map case and then disassemble and photocopy it. I thought patterns for cushions for a Kennedy rocker was bad--this is worse.

#37 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2012, 01:10 PM:

At this point, almost all "denim" you buy is not actually a 2/1 twill made with 100% cotton yarns and a very weft faced weave and a typical weight of 10-15oz per yard. Instead, it's a much lighter fabric. It's not as densely packed with weft. Sometimes it's not even a 2/1 twill, sometimes not even a twill period. It frequently admits having between 2 and 10% spandex, and in at least some cases contains a substantial chunk of rayon that the manufacturer is not admitting to.

....Aaaah, so that's it.

#38 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2012, 02:01 PM:

Yeah, the denim thing explains it. It did say 100% cotton on the bolt, but it wasn't as heavy as jeans fabric. I'll start looking into leather patches, since rebuilding the bag really isn't an option. I don't have the money, time, or energy.

I do feel pretty good about the fact that the bag's pretty sturdy other than the wear thing. It's just not as bulletproof as I wanted it to be.

#39 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2012, 03:08 PM:

Diatryma wrote @ #38:

It's just not as bulletproof as I wanted it to be.

For that you need Kevlar (and an outer light-resistant layer).


#40 ::: Cadbury Moose has been Gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2012, 03:10 PM:

Don't shoot, I'll come quietly. (You can put the earplugs away, too.)

#41 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2012, 04:06 PM:

Cadbury Moose #39:

Don't laugh. The only pair[1] of non-winter, non-bed socks I own, the stop-at-the-ankle kind for running shoes, has Kevlar reinforcing at heel and toe.

Diatryma, perhaps you want to consider Kevlar cloth for the patch (unless there's no way to sew it on)?

[1] Everyone has texture issues, right? Mine involve wooly knitty things.

#42 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2012, 07:43 PM:

So if I were to mention ... say... three "big name" jeans manufacturers (yrr, yriv'f, ynaq'f raq), would any of them still be selling jeans as we knew them in our alleged youth?

#43 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2012, 12:25 PM:

Torrilin @33: I've been pondering this lately; where does one get 15 oz/yd denim (say, 2 yards-ish)? A quick Google is uninformative. Historically, I've recycled jeans, but that's enough extra work that I'd like to just get the straight stuff by the yard. It's bound to be available somewhere....

#44 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2012, 01:51 AM:

jacque @43: i usually check dharma trading first for basics like that. they have bleached and natural 10oz bull denim for less than $9 per yard, but 15oz would require searching farther afield.

#45 ::: CZEdwards ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2012, 10:44 PM:

@ Bruce E. Durocher II, #36:

Simplicity 4391 view D is effectively the Russian Mapcase pattern. D needs a longer flap, but that's an easy alteration. You want either a tongue lock or a twist lock. As simplicity patterns go, 4391 is well written and doesn't veer off into WTFery. It does not have the extra pockets under the flap that the map case has, but those, too, are relatively easy to add as patch pockets. 4391 is still in print (i.e. Probably obtainable for $1-2 during one of the big box fabric chain store sales) and is printable from the simplicity website (for those in need of instant gratification.)

It's a good pattern - I've made a couple of netbook/tablet bags from it. Just ignore the garish fabric choices simplicity made for the sample photos.

#46 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2012, 03:35 AM:

CZEdwards: Thank you! I've ordered a Simplicity 4391 pattern from someone on Etsy. And boy, howdy, you weren't kidding about the garish fabric! The examples posted by those who have used the pattern aren't much better, but then again black-and-white paisley has never been a favorite of mine.

Looking for pictures has been interesting as well, especially some of the delusional descriptions of knitted projects. The line "Learn tips and tricks for knitting this hip geodesic dome hat" is aching to be followed by a version of Hammett's "I was trying to count how many lies could be found in those nine words, and had reached four, with promise of more..."

Your suggestion of a tongue or twist lock sounds good to me--would a magnetic clasp be worth considering?

#47 ::: CZEdwards ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2012, 11:05 PM:

Bruce E. Durocher II:

I'm not a personal fan of magnetic clasps, but that's mostly preference - mags can't withstand as much overstuffing as twists and tongues can, but they're best for one-handing. Modern mags don't usually come loose on the run and they're good at mate seeking, which twists and tongues can't do. I also spent too many years carrying floppy disks in my bag. (Yes, I know that my phone and memory cards and electronics will be fine. It's irrational, but having lost a critical term paper in the days of 3.5" and sneaker-net print centers, I remain a bit burnt. ) All three have costs and benefits that are mostly user preference.

All three install exactly the same way - they're heavy-duty brads with a washer on the backside. Magnetics are the easiest to obtain locally - all of the craft stores carry them. I use for most of my hardware; they're reliable, good quality and ship quickly. Most sewists seem to like magnetics; I just grew curmudgeonly at an early age.

As for the garish fabrics... Um, yeah. Sewists be a strange and wonderful breed, in all senses of those words. (I'll try to get photos of those bags I've made.)

One last suggestion before the crafty derail ends - make a test copy first, from a recycled vinyl tablecloth or a small piece of pleather. That way you can learn your adjustments before you cut the lovely leather, and the (p)leather will differ from fabric construction. Simplicity uses a 5/8" seam allowance, which is extravagant for leather or pleather; leather doesn't heal, so ripping out seams is not pretty, et cetera. My email address works, and I'm happy to answer questions.

#48 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2012, 02:00 PM:

I'll have to look at that pattern. I have a Soviet Map Case, and I'd never thought of putting my iPad in it.

#49 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2012, 11:04 PM:

Terry: apparently the Soviet map case has to be the non-Marines version--the one for the Marines is just a little too short. As it is, the current pricing for the leather one that fits is about $25.00 surplus for the map case and $20.00 for the shipping.

#50 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2012, 12:13 AM:

Bruce: I don't know which one I got. It was a swap when I was in Ukraine, some years ago. I think I traded an old BDU blouse for it.

I shall have to dig it out and see.

But I'll still probably opt for making one, as this is sentimentally valuable.

Smaller type (our default)
Larger type
Even larger type, with serifs

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.