Friday, April 23, 2010

Making a Hood FINAL

Making a Hood Step-by-Step Part 4

The final step starts with a rolled seam that adds a nice finishing touch to the bottom edge of the hood. Start off by cutting a strip of leather around 2 inches thick and 16 inches or so wide. It needs to be the length of your seam plus about an inch on each end.
Next I trim the bottom seam to its final length.
The rolled edge starts out bulldog clipped to the bottom edge of the hood, smooth side against smooth, suede side out.
The rolled edge is sewn about 3/8inch from the trim edge. (Sorry, I didn't get a picture of that.) The rolled edge is now folded down and looks like this:
Now some cuts are made at the edge of the rolled seam, first cut the top of the rolled seam...
Then the bottom...
Then trim away the top and bottom pieces, leaving this little tab that will wrap around and tuck in. Apply cement along the entire rolled edge, along the bottom seam and to the tab. Allow to set up and become clear.

Now tuck the seam into the rolled seam...
press down... fold that little tab over (sorry, I'm holding the camera with my other hand)...
...and now flip up the rolled edge to trap the tab in place.
Pull it tight, and work the seam with your hands to get it straight and press the seam together. Hammer it with the mallet to flatten it out.
Now topstitch along the edge to hold the seam in place.

That is the last sewing operation on the hood, and now we're onto the grommets. I use the pattern to place the marks for the grommet punch.

I use a hole punch to make the grommet holes. You want to use the smallest possible size to ensure a tight fit.

Holes complete...
Now we're ready to set the grommets. I use an Osbourne setter and anvil. They're really well made, and worth every penny.
These are 2-part grommets, with a washer for the back side.
Place the setter in place and tap, tap, tap with the mallet...
Perfectly set grommets, every time!
One down, 23 to go...
Ahhh... looking good. Now on to the trickiest part. Setting the nose holes and the mouth hole. You want to make sure you get this right, as you only get one shot. With leather if you make a mistake, especially at this point, you are kind of screwed!
Well folks, you'll never believe what I did next. Just look:
Doh! Well, on the last operation I royally screwed up. I was making the mouth hole (actually just trying to slightly enlarge the mouth hole to accomodate a larger grommet), and ended up accidentally punching through the layers underneath. Have you ever seen a grown man cry?

Oh well, at least this side looks great:
At least I hope others can learn from my mistake: Always make sure you are not making holes through other parts of your project when using the punch, especially when you are almost done! It's a painful mistake. =0P

Making a Hood Step-by-Step Part 3

The next step on our hood project is to start joining the 2 halves together. We don't want to sew the front just yet, as it would make it difficult to sew the tongue into the back of the hood. But we need to sew the top of the hood at least partially before we can sew the tongue into place. Also, we need to put the d-ring in this seam as well. I didn't take a picture of the d-ring before sewing, but that's the little strap you see sticking out of the top between the bulldog clips.
The ends of the D-ring strap:
After sewing the tops together, it's time to glue the rear where the lacing grommets will be. Here you can see the glue applied:
And the seam folded up:
Here's a closeup of the seam showing the little cuts I make to allow the leather to follow the curve of the shape. You'll see more of these later, when we glue down the front center seam.
After folding over the seam by hand, a few whacks with the mallet to make the seam lie flat.
Finally I topstitch along this seam for a finishing touch and added strength.

Now we're on to the tongue. This keeps the hair out of the lacing and finishes up the rear of the hood. You have to make the tongue wide enough so the entire hood can fit over the wearer's head, but you don't want to add too much bulk. I try to keep it as small as possible.
This is one case where I use tape to hold a piece in place while it is being sewn.
Bulldog clips just wouldn't work here...
Here is the tongue taped in place. I will topstitch using the previous topstitch as a guide, and leaving room for the grommets.
Turn the hood right-side out carefully so you don't unstick your tongue. (That sounds funny.)
Topstitching the tongue:
Stitching finished, you now turn the hood inside out to remove the tape:
There we are: tongue complete! It is starting to look like a hood, no?

Now, with the tongue in place, it's time to tackle the front seam. Inside out, again. Bulldog clips. Sew along the seam.

Once sewn, time to apply the glue to the seam allowance:
Remember the little cuts for the seam at the rear of the hood? Here you need to make them as well, so that front seam allowance will conform to the coutour of the face. Straight snips for the outside curves, and little angled, pie-shaped cuts for the inner curves. The flexibility of the leather comes into play here. The stretchier the leather, the less you need to cut to make it conform.
Flatten the seam by hand, then use the mallet to pound the seam as well. It's harder to use the mallet now, as essentially you are working on a closed tube. But the mallet does help the contact cement adhere.
That's it for step 3 - we should be wrapping up next time... We're almost done!