A “Down ‘n’ Dirty” Anorak

You probably would be hard-pressed to find a faster, cheaper DIY project than this one…

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Yesterday I picked up this chemical “splash guard” suit down at the Fell-Off-A-Truck-Stop [shown here undergoing the rigorous Moosenut Falls Development Labs Quality Control Process by one of our certified technicians]

It only ran me $3. And, yes, it does look like it’s sized for Shaquille O’Neal. For my purposes that’s quite fine. I think it was actually a 3X. Because I was planning on making an anorak and rain chaps out of it, the extra size to allow for warming layers underneath was just what I wanted.

I laid it down on my deck and made a shallow crescent out of six or seven pushpins curving down from one side to the other. This was to hold it firmly and to guide my cut through both layers at once. I used the catenary curve rather than simply cutting it off square. That way it will be easier to pull down over my knees if I want to sit.

Quite literally, 30 seconds later I was finished. It took longer to set up and take the photos than the project itself took.

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The whole package rolls down without any excessive force to just larger than a soda can. I don’t have a scale, but it seems to be about the 1/3 the weight of a full soda can. The suit I used had a zipper that came down fairly deeply, perhaps almost to my crotch, so I believe that I will be able to just step into the anorak and pull it up. Unlike a lot of the white Tyvek jumpsuits I have seen other people on the Internet use for this project, it even had a full-length placket over the zipper. The sleeve cuffs were also elasticized to prevent flapping. I’m going to cut the legs off of the remnant using a pair of jeans as a template. They will be single leg chaps that tie off to my belt.

The one thing that remains to be determined is that, while this is designed to protect from chemical “splashes”, I have no idea how waterproof or water resistant it actually is. So, I have taken one of the legs, folded a couple of pieces of paper towel in under just one layer of fabric, and set it out in the rain with a rock on it to see what it’s “soak through” time might be.

Regardless, and in the worst case, I’ve got a pretty nice, very light-weight wind-suit that allows for layering underneath. Even if it proves not to be terribly waterproof, I have a spray can of Scotchgard that I got a couple of years ago to re-treat an older, but expensive, parka. I’ll give that a shot before I give up.