Monday, November 4, 2013

Modifying my snowsmocks some more....

The frequent readers here might recall that I did some modifications on a couple of Swedish army snowsmocks. If not, or if you're new, you can find the posts Here and some dyeing experiments here and here.

Just some reminders;

I did not do much with the summeranorak, other then some sewingexperiments and I was not too happy with the results. In the end it turned out to be a yellowish light brownish kind of colour. After that I just put it aside, not knowing what to do with it exactly.
The winteranorak had shown some limitations, such as cuffs being to tight,the bottom being far to loose causing the wind catching under the anorak, limited carryingcapacity (very large pockets, where things just disappear and get cold) and a general feeling of not being done yet.

the colour in this picture matches the actual colour 
Since the weather's lousy these days, as in cold, grey, dark, wet and windy (hey, it's november) I focussed some of my attention to these anoraks.
First the summeranorak;
As said it had a really awefull colour, so the first thing I wanted to do was re-dye it; chemically this time. I wanted a brown this time, just to divert from the usual greens. But I couldn't help myself experimenting again. I know people used to tie knots in fabric in order to get a mottled effect and I remember doing something similar in the '80's, when bleaching jeans.... Don't ask...
So I soaked the anorak, which still leaked a good deal of that natural dye, tied knots in the arms, found out that that didn't work with the rest, so I used tiewraps instead. Chucked the anorak in the washingmachine, followed the orders in the instructions and waited....... When done I was very surprised to see not just the fabric, but also the tiewraps were dyed in a dark brown!! After removing the tiewraps the mottlingeffects proved to be minimal, just the arms showed some of the original colour. After drying the colour was another surprise.... It did have more lighter spots, but the colour itself ranged from an earthcolour to a vague olivegreen! And I really do like it now!
So after it had thoroughly dried I started making modifications. And that involved some sewing both by hand and with the machine.... Our antique one! It took a few minutes, but I soon got the hang of it.
I added a tunnel around the waist to add a drawcord and opened up the bottomseam to do the same. As drawcord I used paracord, a leftover from my early bushcraftingdays, when every selfrespecting outdoorsman was supposed to have at least 50ft. of that in store.... The bottom one is elasticated string, a leftover from my armydays... in 1990!! I added some of those plastic locks, salvaged from other coats to keep the string in place, when draw tighter. I added 2 woodbeads to the hooddrawstring, which is of paracord now too. I took the selfmade moosepatch from my winteranorak and stitched it onto this one. Both look better that way. And on the other sleeve a Dutch and Swedish military uniformflague, sewn on a dark greenbase. On the strip of cloth over the left breast I added a darkgreen bloodtypepatch I once bought. It might prove usefull, after swinging knives and axes around.
I remove "the tail", the strap of cloth that usually goes under the crotch to prevent the anorak from creeping up. Might be handy in wintercombatconditions, but I had no need for that anymore. This left me with a sparebutton. Sparebuttons can come in handy, if they are not lost.... So I decided to try something else. I noticed that the carryingloop of Moraknives actually have 3 slits; 2 for beltuse and one... exactly... to use on a button! So i used the sparebutton. I attached it behind the bloodgrouploop, so that a) I always have a sparebutton at hand and b) I can hang my mora within easy reach. If this will work... I'll let you know later.
Since this anorak will be used mainly during the months where temperatures will be above freezing, there will be rain too. I waxed the hood and shoulders to make those areas more waterrepelling. a first time for me, this waxing. Did that with a block of wax I made back in Holland, using a mixture of beeswax and parafine. A 80-20 mixture I believe.
I added 2 attachmentpoints in the pockets, to keep things I do not want to loose, in there.

After this one I started working on the winteranorak.
One of the main problems were the cuffs. They were too tight/narrow. I could get them into wide mittens, but having the sleeve over a mitten or glove with a tighter opening was not possible or very dificult. So I took them off.... I made a new seam and added a piece of elasticated string, but thinner then the one previously used. I kept it tight enough for the sleeve to be closed, but loose enough to allow free wristmovement.
I also added a drawstring to the bottom of the anorak, so that I can close it up, should I want to.
another drawback was the lack of carryingcapacity. I wanted a smaller pocket in order to keep things like a cellphone, small camera or similar items containing batteries. I want to keep them close to the body, so they stay warm and loaded, so the pocket needed some insulation. Bodilymoisture however would make them freeze up, so the pocket needed ventilation too.

I knew I had a pocket left from the lammycoat I used for my mocassins and when testfitting it, it matched perfectly. Despite it being a very dark brown I do think it isn't bad looking, but what's really important is that it's insulated, since some of the wool is still on the inside and it breathes, allowing moisture to escape. The closure is kept winterproof; no zippers, snapbuttons or velcro (hate that stuff). Simply a matter of a leather strap through a loop through the closingflap. Which is made out of matching pieces of leather from the large box I bought a while ago. Looks good and is silent, too. Some attachment thingies in the pockets too and as a finishing tough I added 2 pieces of deerbone to the ends of the hoodcord and of course patches....
a new moose on the left, an old ('70's) Dalarna- and a brandnew wintertrekkerpatch on the right. Plus a bloodtypepatch to break up the monotonous tan of the flap.

As you might have quessed by now..... I like patches!
Why? Don't know.... Maybe it's because this way I can show who I am or what I like, maybe it's because of my service in the military or the interest in military history. Maybe it gives identity to me and my things or maybe it is just to give the really stupid and lazy people a chance to read me like a comicbook....

Most of the pictures were taking by my loving wife, who suffered greatly during this photoshoot. She was freezing...


  1. Good stuff Ron. Really like how the summeranorak came out.

  2. So do I, Odd.
    Thanks for the compliments.

  3. I'm liking what you did! I've got a couple of those that were an off white and I've not done anything with them yet, this is inspiring, thanks for posting it. I really like the results, well done!

  4. Thanks for the comments, Jim!

  5. Nice mods, Ron!