In an effort to do a little more DIY this year, I completed a project last weekend that I thought I’d share. I have an old Carhartt Detroit jacket and a Ralph Lauren hunting vest that both needed some modifications. The Carhartt has a corporate logo on the back between the shoulders, and the vest has a weird seam in the middle of the front pockets, rendering it almost useless for me as a hunting vest.
With a free morning, I decided to write two wrongs and get these pieces back in the rotation. First, the jacket:
I have worn this jacket to do odd yard jobs, but have been hesitant to wear it as I’m not a corporate logo guy. At all. I found an old Winchester patch in an old camo color scheme that goes nicely. I believe I paid $5 for it on Ebay.
The next step was to find the right thread. Rather than heading to Michael’s, I ordered this set from Amazon:
The set was pretty inexpensive, and I have enough sewing kits with needles to get the job done. I found the right color (or close enough) and did a simple stitch to attach the patch. Easy breezy:
I’m happy with the outcome. It’s somewhat subtle but bold enough to make a statement. Now that I’ve completed the corporate cover-up, I’ll be happy to wear this jacket not only for yard projects but also out and about: deer camp, fishing, errands, etc. Just as a Carhartt jacket should be worn.
Next up: this heavy canvas Ralph Lauren hunting vest. They used to make a few of these options years ago to go along with the Polo Country line. There are a few different options out there: some with leather trim. different colors, and this one. I scored this on Ebay for $30, and was really pleased with it, except for one thing…
It has a seam in the middle of each of the front pockets. Now, anyone that hunts knows that big front pockets are a must. Whether for shells, sunflower seeds, gloves, or whatever, it’s nice to have big, usable storage readily available. These seams were pretty prohibitive.
I took a seam ripper and carefully cut it out down to the peak of the lower seam:
Then, I matched the thread and ran a pretty substantial stitch across, giving it some heavy-duty reinforcement. I was careful not to sew through the lining (which is the same canvas), as not to interfere with the structure of the vest.
While it isn’t perfect, it does the job:
I did the same to the other pocket, and now I have a fully usable upland hunting vest that is field ready. While it’s easy to see where the old seam was, I figure I can soak it and let the canvas expand, which should mostly close the now unused holes. Or I can leave it as it is, and let it naturally correct itself as I use it.
Here are the finished products:
Overall I’m happy with the results. Given that these are two pieces that will be used outdoors and in harsh conditions, I don’t mind that the patch is 1/4″ off-center, or that the seams on the vest are a little long. I’m happy that I was able to make both of these usable, rather than taking up space in my closet. I’ve got a few more items like this to tackle…my DIY initiative is off to a good start.