Low Cost “flight jacket”

Messages from EasyJet and Ryanair (“Millions of seats for only 6€!!! Sale Ends at Midnight Tonight!”) are flooding my inbox this week, and it is hard to resist a good sale! If there isn’t an interesting Early Music workshop going on somewhere, you can be sure Paris beckons. Though 6€ is a decent price for a seat (even an unassigned, non-reclining one), you get what you pay for, and that does not include a friendly welcome when you try to board the plane with your lute AND your purse. The one-carry-on vigilantes lie in wait at the boarding gate, and either you put your purse INSIDE the lute case (what a silly idea), or you pay a whopping extra fee. I suspect, looking at my fellow passengers, that many people get around the restrictions by wearing three sweaters and a backpack under their overcoat. But what a lot of awkward undressing and redressing that makes for at Security Control…

With one of these Low Cost escapades coming up, I started looking on line for garments with lots of pockets. Suppliers to hunters, fishermen, photographers offer a wide choice, if you can decide between macho camouflage and its opposite, Dayglow orange; net pouches in the shape of a mackerel, or special slots for ammunition. (Careful! Security officials are not chosen for their sense of humor!) I notice there is also such a thing as a “travel vest”, with all the pockets on the inside to elude the pick-pockets on the crowded metro; but I hate to order something so fitted and potentially lumpy without trying it on first. I was starting to get discouraged.

And then my inner recycler stepped forward! What about trying to transform one of those baggy linen shirts I used to love into a “secret carry-on”? I’m not quite ready to send it to Caritas–I always liked that fabric–and it would be an interesting project for (yet another) rainy day….

Trusty Google produced an assortment of free tutorials on how to put in a zipper. This one is pretty clear:

http://u-handbag.typepad.com/uhandblog/2007/02/zippered_inner_.html

I went straight to Acquasparta and bought a handful of zippers, and after a timid first try, started to get the hang of it. The afternoon passed in a flash making custom pockets for for sandwich, apple,  knitting,  paperback , Chapstick, map, boarding pass, iPhone. When I ran out of zippers, I cut off the sleeves and added some more external pockets (glasses, keys…) It was so much fun!  If you want to try, here are a couple of pointers: placing the zipper vertically or diagonally seems to make the pocket lie better than horizontally. Give a little thought to which end the zipper pull should be on! DO use interfacing under the zipper. Remember you can put several pockets on top of each other, and you can have one or more oversized pockets on the inside too.

I’ll bet you can’t tell from this photo, but there are nine pockets on the front of this flight vest, and I haven’t even begun with the back. I can’t wait to try it out next Wednesday!

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One Response to “Low Cost “flight jacket””

  1. You never cease to amaze me. Bon voyage

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