Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Padded Hood Construction PART II

In this post I'll attach the padded hood to the butterfly straitjacket, finish setting the rear zipper and lacing panel in place. We left off with the outer hood wrapped over the inner hood and foam inter-layer. 
Unfortunately, as good as this looks, I skipped a step. We really should sew the collar to the outer hood before stretching it over the form. 
So, off with the outer hood, and let's take care of that collar, shall we? 
Align the collar on the centerline, and clip in place for sewing. 
I find this much easier to do on the post-bed sewing machine, both for the initial stitching, and the topstitching. It allows the hood to keep it's shape while going through.
 It would have to be flattened out a bit to go through the flatbed. And at this stage, I don't want to pull that foam or inner hood out of alignment. (Making closed shapes like this is exactly why I spent the money to buy a dedicated post-bed machine.)
Once the collar is attached the inner and outer hoods are clipped together at the rear. I topstitch all around this opening, tying the two hoods together, and locking the foam parts in place. 
You can see in this photo a 1" gap at the rear, created to allow the lacing strip to fit nicely in the rear of the hood. 

Everything looking nice at this stage. 
Now I want to cut all the long strips to complete the project. There are four: one lacing strip, the edge-band for the waist, the zipper tongue, and lacing panel tongue. 
I managed to squeeze this entire project out of a 20 square foot remnant. But I did end up having to piece together some of these long strips from shorter pieces. I would recommend more like 30 to 35 square feet for a project like this, to have no seams, and have better choice when it comes to placing parts on the hide. 
Now it's time to clip the hood to the body of the straitjacket. 
Once sewn, those seams get glued and flattened. 
And we have a nice looking attached hood!
I love this jacket. It's so fun to see the project come together...
Now for the rear zipper/lacing panel. This technique is evolving for me, and lately I've been using double-sided tape to hold parts together during sewing. It can really help with parts like this, where you have multiple pieces held together with one row of stitching. Here we have (from top to bottom) the lacing strip, the zipper, and the part that will become the tongue on the lacing side. 
I first put down a line of double-sided tape on the lacing tongue. 
The zipper is attached to that, and a second line of tape is laid down on the zipper to hold the lacing strip in place. 
I sew a small tab of leather to the end of the zipper. It acts as a stop, and gives me something to sew through when setting the zipper into the hood. 
The lacing strip (which has been skived down to taper near the end) is held in place with the double-sided tape. This whole sandwich of lacing strip, zipper and lacing tongue are all run through at one time, sewing them all together. 
The strip we create will get sewn in to the rear of the jacket, but I'm following my usual technique for locking the strip into the rolled edge. To do this, I have to start the rolled edge, and insert the strip half-way through. 
I can post a more detailed description of that if anyone's interested...
Our lacing/zipper strip gets some double-sided tape to hold it in place during sewing. 
I tend to do a strip along the top as well, to keep it properly aligned during sewing. 
After sewing the strip in place, this is the final result: A zipped, laced rear opening. 
The lacing is great for adjusting the tightness and intensity. The zipper makes getting in and out a lot quicker and easier. 
And, you'll be happy to note that I did provide a breathing hole. 
That about wraps up this project folks. Thanks for following along! 

Time for some real-world testing…


  1. I have a question Chris. The front top panel. This question also applies to the front top and front lower panels for your sleepsacks also. Do these have to be split into two sides? WHy cant the front panels be one peice? Thanks abunch Chris! i'll let you know once mine is finished

    1. Sasori, I'm not sure I understand which part you're referring to. The piece that forms the front and top of the hood here is 3 pieces. You could probably get make that all one piece, but it wouldn't necessarily be an efficient use of the leather... Smaller pieces can give you a higher yield when you lay out your pattern.

      For almost every sleepsack I've made, I try to always get the front and rear panels to be one continuous piece. But I think on that you're referring to the center seam, which actually does have some curves to it on my pattern. You could do a pattern without a center seam I think, it would just be a different pattern altogether. Lots of different ways you could approach it. I'd love to see how yours turns out.

  2. Thanks for replying so quickly Chris. Ah ok Got it. I have a full hide to work with. I will try to get one panel entirely of one peice. I'm waiting for my lady friendy to come over and mumify me in masking tape then cut to make my pattern. Question chris. Why is the rear on your sleepsacks separated into top and bottom. Is it to be more efficient in leather use also. What do you think about having only two pieces for the rear, just left and right. My pieces would be

    Front ( front left and front right on yours) - 1 whole panel
    Rear Left ( Rear left top, and rear left bottom on yours) - 1 Panel
    Rear Right ( Rear right top, and rear right bottom on yours) - 1 Panel
    3 Foot panels Like yours, love the look - 3 Panels
    2 panels (of course) for internal sleeves - 2 panels
    1 panel for collar - 1 panel
    2 shoulder panels - 2 panels

    I would save myself from stitching 3 seams as well as get more of a seamless look. What do you think? I hope I could fit on a whole hide.

    1. I don't usually separate the rear panels into 2 pieces. I try to get them all in one for a seamless, clean look. You should be able to get it all out of a single 45-50 square foot hide.