Friday, 2 May 2008

Gortex jacket - hood

I have been working on a jacket for my daughter's trip for the past two days. Last night I drafted a size 16 child's pattern from a Green Pepper Oregon jacket, child size 4-12. I have made this jacket 3 times before, in a size 2, 8 and 10. My son currently wears the size 8 (he's 5) and the size 10 fits my younger daughter in width, but not height or arm length. I made the new draft a longer style jacket, and I hope to incorporate many of the design features that my husband and I have found practical on our Gortex coats, both of which were definitely investment purchases 15 years ago.
I bought the Gortex fabric from Seattle Fabrics. For the children's previous Gortex jackets I had bought the less expensive 2 layer Gortex, that requires lining. I chose not to do this again, as I felt the lining made the jackets less "breathable", although I used mesh, and the reason for using hideously expensive Gortex in children's coats is the need for "breathing" in our warm, generally humid, climate. Fortunately, I am finding the three layer Gortex, which is fuse lined with a tricot, much easier to sew and handle generally. The Gortex layer also seems thicker and more robust. I am using a sharps needle and this seems to be working very well, with no catching or skipping, and no tearing of the fabric. It is a while since I made the other jackets, but I seem to remember some trouble sewing the 2 layer Gortex without tearing the fabric.
I have progressed reasonably well with the jacket today. I did have a little fiddling with the pattern layout, as my length increases, and the extra fabric I want for pockets made it a little tricky to get a size 16 from the 2yards I allowed per the size 12 fabric requirements (Unfortunately this fabric has been maturing in my stash since I thought I would make a size 12 or 14). I have made a few changes to the pattern at the hood. The first requirement was to finish the hood differently, as the pattern assumes the jacket and hood are lined. My husband's jacket uses the tricot fused side in an extra layer to finish the hood, so I took this as my guide. First I pieced a partial lining so that the seam lines do not match the outer hood, this means I will not need to seal the seams against water in this region. I then sewed wrong side to right side, so that the tricot lining is outermost when the seam is turned.
  In both adult purchased jackets, the peak of the hood has an internal wire so that the hood can be angled to shield the face from precipitation or wind. To mimic this, I put a pipe cleaner at the peak of the hood opening to allow the hood to be shaped. I folded the ends of the pipe cleaner over to prevent the wire poking through the fabric, and made the topstitching seam below the peak too small for the wire to shift. I am very pleased with how this shapes the hood. It looks very similar to the purchased jackets.
  My next change was to the casing around the hood. I made a nylon tube, which I applied to the inside of the hood, as in our purchased jackets, rather than on the outside as shown in the pattern. The photograph is of the inside of the hood. The elastic shock cord I have used at the moment is too thick, but it is what I had to hand. I will replace it with finer cord when I have an opportunity to do so. I have finished the cord with an elastic shoelace stopper (thanks to the Sports Medicine Australia Conference - they were a give away in my conference satchel!) and a bead is attached to the end so that the cord will not pull through the stopper.
I had hoped to complete the jacket for our weekend kayaking trip, but this does not look likely at this stage. I hope it does not rain!
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