You want me to make what???

For the past year or so DH has been asking me to make a pair of bivvy boots for snow camping.  Wha? Probably best described as a sleeping bag for your feet – aka. hut boots.  The ones he wanted were goose down filled and cost about $150.  He tells me the insulation is 1-2″ thick.  Can’t find a comercial pattern that would help much, especially as the insulation is so thick.  I was hoping he’d just buy them, but alas no.   Somehow these have turned into his Christmas present 😦

I managed to find a couple of pictures to look at on the outdoor gear sites.  Some designs are better than others, but I can cherry pick the best features.   I can see a few seamlines to work out the outer but I’ve got no idea what is happening on the inside.  Hmmm…  lots of Googling shoe designs and other tangents 😉

OK, so lets start with the outer shell.  Goretex upper and tough-tech sole/kicker.  Seam sealing to make them waterproof.  Sewing – easy peasy.  Pattern – not so easy – but style lines from an ugg boot.  Enter dress/shoe form – one scruffy steel-capped boot. Trace the sole, add a band for the kicker, and a rectangle for the back.  A little masking tape as a “style line” for the front ankle seem.  Labelling lots of points for notches.  So far so good.


Another rectangle for the shin piece, bottom shaped to meet the style line.  Lots of masking tape over the toe section and a few ‘strategic’ strips of paper to work out the remaining piece.  Hey look— a moon boot!


Here are pattern pieces.


Now for the inner.  For the sole, I based it on the inner sole of the steel-capped boots.  For the upper, I measured cross-sectional lengths over his foot and plotted out a pattern.  Taped together a paper mock up for a test fit.  Do some mods, try again.

“So there is a quite a bit to making a pattern”, he said, sounding very surprised.
“Yeah!  It’s even harder when I’m making it up as I go along!”  Trying hard to not let my frustration show, but glad that he realised that the requested was a bit more involved than he thought.

Here is the first mockup. Inside I used some foam on the sole for cushioning and polyester filling for loft.  I tried it on, and it is pretty warm, although the filling is already starting to shirt around.  It will need some baffles in to hold it in place.


He’ll get to try it on tonight.  I’ve got a couple of mods planned for version 2 but fingers crossed that the fit of the inner & outer is OK.  Wish me luck.

3 thoughts on “You want me to make what???

  1. Wow you are amazing, this is a huge amount of work and the cost would be much more than the $150 if you worked it out.

    Version 1 looks pretty impressive, hope the fit is good so you can move onto Version 2.


    1. True, it would have been much easier to buy them. The material cost won’t be much as I can make them from offcuts, but if we factor in the time, then most of my sewing won’t stack up. On the plus side, I only needed to make minor changes to V1. Now that I have the pattern, I can tweak it to make a pair for myself too 🙂


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