Though I did not intend to stay up until four in the morning working on it, I decided to tackle the hood tonight. The great thing about this piece, which I REALLY need to keep in mind is that it is barely visible. There are like tiny slivers of it that peek out in between the neck armor and the cowl, and that is about it.
But, just like everything else, I have to make it perfect.
An online buddy was kind enough to send me some photos of a pattern he made. I believe he pulled this pattern off a hood that he purchased from someone online, though I cannot say for sure. This is pure conjecture on my behalf. Anyhow, he sent over some photos of the pattern. I had to resize them in photoshop so they would print at the right size. Good thing he included measurements on the drawings.
Here's a picture of the original pattern after I had resized it, printed it, and cut it out.
The next step was to make one. I wanted to use blue material, as that's much easier to see. Black is just a little harder to work with, and I wanted to eliminate as many barriers as possible for this early development phase of the hood. This is my first attempt.
Without the hood being on a display skull, it's sort of hard to see what is going on here. Not really important at this point, but I will tell you that this is the most complex pattern I have ever worked with in my life. Not that I've been doing this for very long, but this is a REALLY complex piece. There's a lot going on in there, and a lot of compound curves. I'm sure all of that is necessary to make it fit around a shape as complex as my melon.
As with all of these things, I learned a lot from my first iteration. In building the hood, I saw little places I needed to change the pattern to make the thing go together better. And once I got it on my head, I found all kinds of places that need to be a little tightened up, or loosened up. Just like with the body suit, I marked directly on the hood, and then went back to my pattern to make some adjustments.
Here's my version 2 pattern in progress. I'm still not 100% confident in how to adjust the pattern to make the finished product fit differently. It's very complex, especially with a shape like this.
Here's a progress shot that shows how the back of the hood is coming together. In the final piece, that center seam will be a zipper.
Here is the most complex part of the build, the skull cap. This is the part that sits on top. LOTS of pins needed to get the different pieces of fabric to fit together right.
This pic shows the product a little better. This is the finished version 2 hood.
ALL of the changes I made to the pattern worked out really well. The neck was tighter in all the right places, and more loose in the front, just the way I had planned. The shoulders still need some work, and I'm going to make the forehead line come down a little lower.
Which means it's back to the drawing board once again. Here is the very start of the version 3 pattern. You can see how significantly I am reworking it from the version 2. Lots of little changes, and a few big ones.
Because I do not want to spend the entire week on the hood, I'm going to make the next hood be the final one. Even if there are a few flaws, it just won't matter as the entire thing will be covered. If I get really crazy about it, I can revisit it after halloween.