Friday, October 10, 2014

Padded Hood Process

The padded hood started out with an inner hood made of lamb leather. 
Initially I was going to put the smooth grain side on the inside, but decided it would be more comfortable with the "suede" side of the leather facing in - it can get sweaty with the smooth side facing in, and with the 2 layers plus the foam, I was worried it might get too hot inside. Maybe next time...
I had to come up with the shapes for the foam pattern pieces, which I wanted to be very form-fitting but have the fewest number of seams. Right away a center strip started to suggest itself as a solution. 
I could cut a hole for the nose, and cover the sides with 2 additional panels. I wanted only the head to be foam padded, with the neck fitting as tight and close to the skin as possible. The visual contrast between the puffy head and slim neck is what the project is all about. 
The next step was to wrap the foam with pallet-wrap, just to hold the foam panels in place. 
Next, a duct-tape wrap, which I'll use to create the pattern. 

I'm leaving the back open so I can remove the wrap. 
I use a marker to indicate possible lines for the seams. 
A peek at the foam panels inside the wrap:
Here are the pattern shapes I came up with: two sides that wrap around under the chin, and a single-piece front panel that meets the rear lacing panels at the top of the hood. 
The first seams sewn are the under-chin and top-of-the-head seam.
Before sewing the rest together, I check the fit on the hood form, and decide to create darts on the two side panels to make a tight-fitting contour. 
Now I'm ready to assemble the hood. I start by using spray adhesive on both parts to hold the foam to the lamb inner hood. 
I draw the outer leather hood over the inner being careful not to pull the foam out of position. 
It's kind of tricky, as the fit is tight and there is a lot of drag between the outer hood and the foam. 
Eventually I get it worked into place, and clip the 2 hoods together along the rear opening. 
From there I remove the hood from the form and sew the two hoods together along the rear opening. Fortunately, everything is lined up, and I'm able to punch the breathing hole through the outer hood. Things seem to be where they are supposed to be. 
I add the grommets and lace the hood back onto the form to help set the shape. 
The next day, the hood gets clipped and sewn to the butterfly straitjacket body. 
I add the breathing tube, which is just held in place with a friction-fit. 
Came out great! Ready for testing...


  1. I think it 'came out great' is rather an understatement….wonderful job :)

    1. Thanks thisgirl... I really love your latex butterfly SJ!