Hey! Y’all liked that last post with the leather hoodie quite a bit, so how about some original content this time?
If you’ve been following me around for any period of time, you would know that I’ve been wanting to get a latex hoodie for awhile. I’ve showed a number of different designs in the past from designers like Latex101, Eustratia, Regulation, Polymorphe and Rubaddiction. These hoodies are all great in different ways, but there was always something that I didn’t quite like about them. For example, Polymorphe hoods are way too big and I feel like I’m swimming in them. Rubaddiction hoods, on the other hand, seem too small. In general, the vest sections of the latex hoodies are a little too standard.
For that reason, one of the main reasons why I decided to try latex crafting was so that I could attempt to make a latex hoodie that would be everything that I wanted. Having only build armbands and a couple of 1/2 masks until now, this was my first attempt at a big project, and it didn’t turn out perfectly. In fact it was a bit of a clusterfuck.
I started building this shirt by marking out a pattern on cardboard. I have this triathlon top that I quite like the pattern on, and decided to model it on that top. Dutifully, I started tracing out the patterns, then I cut them out and traced them onto sheet latex. Everything seemed to be going great.
Industriously, I started to cut the pieces out of the latex, and then I was gluing, gluing, gluing. Previously it had taken me a couple hours just to cut out one latex armband, so I was pretty proud of myself when I managed to cut and assemble all the pieces of my shirt in the same period of time. Unfortunately, my sense of accomplishment quickly left when I tried to put on the unfinished vest. I hadn’t added the zipper yet, and I barely managed to squeeze into vest….it was too small by about a chest width!
Lesson of the day? Spandex stretches…a lot. So if you’re building a pattern with a spandex item as a guide, make sure you add extra width/length to your patterns if you’re working with a less stretchy material. In the end, I had to add the centre blue stripe down the front of the shirt in order to make it fit properly (the rest of the vest pattern is as the original triathlon top). Okay, whew…crisis averted. I had a shirt that kind of fit me properly. Now I just needed to finish it off with the zipper, hood and trim.
The zipper, was actually surprisingly easy. I had bought a bag of various zippers from Dressew. The colour that I wanted was too long of a zipper, so what I ended up doing was cutting off the excess portion and then using thread, I sewed up the top of the zipper to prevent the fly from coming off.
The trim was also really easy. Since my first attempt at trimming armbands, I’ve discovered a method that works really well and all you need is a ruler.
Now the hood…the hood. The hood was a nightmare. I don’t have the best spatial thinking ability, and it was really difficult for me to visualize how the flat pieces of the hood would fit together into a 3D structure that sat on top of my head. I ended up looking at all the hoods in my house until I settled for my rain jacket hood pattern. The patterning and the construction of the hoodie were really not that bad. However, figuring out how to attach the hoodie was incredibly difficult. My pattern had been based on a rainjacket hood that snapped on with snaps, and it turns out that it didn’t translate well into a small necked vest made of latex. I ended up having to fold the sides of the latex in on itself to make it somehow fit on the collar. Upclose, it’s a bit messy, but I think it ended up working well by giving the hood some folds and structure.
Anyway, I’m sorry that this post probably isn’t the most coherent piece of literature out there. It is reflective of the chaotic process of making the hoodie vest, perhaps. In the end, I still have an item that I am quite happy with, and no longer lusting after all the hoodies out there. I now just need to clean up the little bits of glue at the seams, and get some proper photos taken.
I think the thing that I enjoyed most about this project was seeing how my previous experiences all fit together. The curved seams for the hood were made much easier by my experiences with the face masks. The drawing and cutting of the extra centre zip was quick and easy because of my arm band making. The trim all over the shirt was so much faster. It seem like all my practice had been building up for this, and I feel like it’s only going to get better in future!