I just finished my first TQ project. Thanks to rjcress, I scored a Kelty Women's Light Year 20F/-7C bag on The Clymb for the not-terrible price of 103$ shipped. It's stuffed with 23oz of 650 fill power down, and you'll see them here and there around the net for about 135$. I removed the zipper and added a Sierra Designs "PowerFill" down jacket that I found at the Arc Valu Village yesterday. I removed the sleeves, excised all of the zippers and futzed around with it. First I just added the jacket body to the end of the bag--but that was too narrow and long (pictured)--so I just removed the neck and shoulders half of the jacket--and added it to the left side like an "outrigger." Then ribbon/grograin here and there--and voila!
I see lots of remarks on another thread, the wonderful-looking orange mummy bag-cum-TQ, "Looks professional!" etc. You will not say that about this one, friends. It looks weird. But I love it! The mummy hood will just fit over one shoulder, and there are lots of little divots and pockets created by the shoulders of the jacket--it's really a fun and ostensibly FUNCTIONAL TQ.
I broke/bent four or five needles on this project. Manipulating that big, lofty bag around put a lot of lateral pull on the needle. Sometimes I was sewing through ten layers of various stuff--especially on corners and stuff. Lots of hand-turning and slow-walking the material under the presser foot got me through. Early in the project I blew my 750yd spindle of Guterman thread, and had to use some on a wooden spool--which may have been a bit decrepit. Thread doesn't age well, I hear. I could tweak around with it endlessly, but at one point my wife urged me to call the project finished and re-join the family. (Imagine that!)
It weighs 1424grams/3lbs2oz in the Kelty compression stuffsack. I used ribbed grosgrain where I should have used floppier and silkier ribbon. Next blizzard I'll remove the ribbed stuff and soften the edge. I spent a lot of time worrying about whether it'd look good, etc--but finally I just plowed in and got'er done, and I'm very pleased. Can't wait to get it out into the field.
I do need some advice: any ideas on what to do with the sleeves?