The problem I'm addressing here is the fastex buckle getting caught in the main compartment zipper because of the excess material in the panel/proximity of the buckle to the zipper opening.
Step 1: Materials
- 1/8" shock cord, one 4" length per buckle
I used a strong nylon thread because I like to overbuild things and this is what I usually use on cordura, webbing and other outdoor gear. Pliers are for pulling the needle through when pushing with the thimble isn't doing it (going through a couple layers of cordura and the shock cord, for example). Flame is to finish the shock cord by melting the end and you'd normally do for such synthetic material.
One tip when cutting the cord to length- I've found it's good to wrap the cord (or rope, webbing, etc.) with some tape so it doesn't immediately fray. It makes for a smoother end instead of a bulbous melty thing.
Step 2: Begin Sewing
I started with maybe 9" of thread to give myself enough working room.
Step 3: Weave Cord Through Buckle
The buckle still fastens securely with the cord in it.
Step 4: Scrapped Beta Version
The panel-side end point is sewn the same, but the other is sewn into the webbing that attaches the one side of the buckle.
Reason why I like this one:
- it's a little tidier since there's not loose buckle ends
- needed less cord (though at $0.15, it's not much cost and the weight difference is negligable)
Reason why I scrapped it:
- two fixed ends meant more to sew and required more exact measure of cord (I sewed the webbing end first then cut after I sewed the panel end)
- not adjustable
- panel always slightly puckered so buckle sticks out except when compression straps are in use
- didn't pull buckle as reliably clear of the zipper (most important deciding factor)