Friday, January 4, 2013

F-Suit for Vanilla Gallery - A Zipped Hood

This was my first attempt at a hood for the Vanilla Gallery/Karen Hsiao Black Cherries project. It came out well enough from the front...

...but I didn't care for the amount of puckering I was getting at the rear along the zipper. It was caused because when I extend the rear panels to meet in the back, they pretty much became too long for the distance they had to cover from the top of the head to the base of the neck. The only way I could think to fix the problem was to split the rear panel into 2 parts. I knew if I made the seam where those 2 parts come together curved, it will help shorten the length and make the curved shape needed to conform to the back of the head. 

 So here is the pattern for version 2. As you can see, the rear panel is split into two parts. 
 Here are all the pieces for the hood cut out. 
 Every piece for the hood gets skived, in this case for comfort as well as looks. It helps the seams lay perfectly smooth on the inside of the hood. 
 First sewing steps: the front of the hood, and the top and bottom left and right rear panels are clipped together for sewing. 
 Sewing complete:
 At this point I glued the rear panel seams. Folding them down, they start to take a nice curved shape right away - always a good sign. These also get sewn together where they meet at the top. 
 Now I glue the rear panel opening and top rear seam. 
 The front of the hood, seam glued and flattened. 

I'm ready to set the zipper in place. I'm using my new method of separating the zipper and sewing one side in at a time without any clips or tape to hold the zipper in place. 

The key to getting this to work is leaving enough extra zipper for two things. First, to make sure you can trim them so the ends are close to even when you are done sewing, so they line up when you put on the slider. 

And second, you want enough room to place the slider on the zipper and get it going a little way...

 ...with enough room to tuck it under and pull it through to the right side. If you cut it too short, this can be tricky.

When you get it right, it comes through nicely on the other side. 

Now it's time for the tongue. A 1.75 x 12-inch strip. 

This gets topstitched in place. 

Now it's time to join the front half to the rear. Align on the center seam...

...and don't forget the 7th D-ring at the top of the hood!

Sewing complete. 

Ready to glue and flatten the side seams. 

And we're done! 

Nice, strong D-ring on top. Seams look nice and centered... 

...and the problem of the severe puckers has gone away along the rear zip. Looks much, much better! 

I actually made two more versions of this hood, in addition to the two above. This one (version 3) ended up being too tight. The heavier leather usually means you need to size more generously as it will stretch much less than a lighter weight. In my attempt to up the size, my third version was too large, and had a bit of a bump at the forehead. It's sometimes hard to predict what changing just part of a curve will do to the final piece. The fourth and final version that gets attached to the f-suit was just right - in between the version 2 and 3 sizes. I ended up with an open mouth as well, in order to make the suit a bit easier for my poor model to endure! 

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