Friday, April 23, 2010

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


  1. Oh, ouch. I've done similar stupid things far too many times. Beautiful work, though.

  2. ralinad, thanks for sharing the pain. If you make things, you are bound to screw up at least some of the time. You just have to move on. I tell myself - at least I won't do THAT again!

  3. This is beautiful work, I've never attempted something like this and had no real idea about where to start. MY current project needs a hood with no mouth/nasal/eye openings, or at least not pre-made ones, so this should help me out a lot! Thanks for the step-by-step directions, esp the pictures!

    I am working on a steampunk mask and I don't want to start with a gas mask like everybody else. This will be most helpful.

    1. Cool Xuii, sounds like a neat project. Would love to see it when you're done!