Introduction: Flower Gasket Rain Jacket
This instructable teaches you how to make a clever and durable hooded rain jacket out of simple and inexpensive materials.
This project was conceived during my studies at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation in 2006 (and is the reason why I had access to a Laser Cutter - no longer).
Step 1: Materials
Materials for the Flower Gasket Rain Jacket are listed as follows:
1. E.V.A. Ethylene Vinyl Acetate Foam Sheet, 2mm Thickness, with a variety of colors to choose from (this may come in stock sizes, try to get Approximately 4+ yards material)
2. PVC Clear Vinyl, 12 Gauge or thinner. This should be very flexible, with little rigidity. Approximately 4+ Yards material.
3. Sewing Pins
4. Heavy Duty Nylon Thread
5. Fabric Measuring Tape
6. Tape (optional) - for taping together printed pattern
7. Fabric Shears
8. Printer (or large plotter is easy if accessible) to print pattern
9. Heavy Duty Sewing Machine for Leather/Canvas (if you do not have a heavy duty machine, consult a tailor/upholsterer for assistance)
Computer and Drawing Software (I used AutoCAD, and then Adobe Illustrator to create pattern)
Laser Cutter (to cut patterns)
I purchased the E.V.A foam and PVC Vinyl from Canal Rubber in New York, NY. There are many other rubber/vinyl distrubutors of this kind.
Step 2: Pattern Making
The Flower Gasket Rain Jacket was a pun on the idea of a gasket that serves as a waterproof seal between two parts and a rain jacket that serves as a waterproof seal between a person and their environment. I decided to use various gasket types as a module for creating my own pattern based off of the flowery rendition of brocade. The pattern you create will suit your own wishes - that is the fun of DIY!
Using the computer and programs like AutoCAD and Adobe Illustrator, I was able to trace, rotate, scale and combine the gaskets into a pattern that I found appealing. In this pattern you can see that the different lines have different weights or thickness; this determines what intensity the laser cutter will cut. The lighter the line, the less intensity of the laser. In this case the light lines were only scored, while the heavy lines were fully cut through.
Step 3: Measurements
At this point you will need to take your measurements to get an idea of the sizing of your jacket pattern. If you have a form, this can be useful, though it is not necessary - I did not use a form to create my jacket pattern. However, I did base the jacket design off of another jacket that I have - this is very helpful for those of us who are not actually fashion designers!
You will need to measure your bust/chest, waist and hips as well as the following as shown in the diagram below:
1. Neck to Shoulder
2. Shoulder Width
3. Back Width
4. Waist Length
5. Jacket Length
6. Over Arm
7. Shoulder to Elbow
8. Sleeve Outseam
9. Sleeve Inseam
Step 4: Jacket Sizing Pattern
After you have taken your measurements you will need to determine how you would like your jacket to fit.
The first image is of the pattern that I created based on my measurements. Keep in mind that you will be cutting these peices on a laser cutting bed, so the actual peices of fabric must be sized according to the bed size. This should be coordinated with your fabric pattern, and where it falls on the body for best results.
*As a note, after completing the jacket, I realized that I should have put more consideration into the meeting of the arms/sleeves to the body of the jacket. So I have included some jacket cutting patterns for women as an example - there are plenty available for men as well.
Step 5: Jacket Pattern
With the measurements created in the sizing pattern, you can now begin to arrange and scale your fabric pattern accordingly. You may be working back and forth between step 4 and 5 to obtain the best placement for cutting lines and pattern placement.
This image is of the fabric pattern that I created from my brocade gasket design. This is all done on the computer with the software previously mentioned.
Step 6: Cutting Template
At this point you can now print out your cutting template at full scale. If you are printing on a small printer, you will need to tape the pages together.
Cut out the paper pattern and attach the E.V.A. Foam with the sewing pins. Cut out the foam pattern. Reuse the paper pattern and attach to the PVC Clear Vinyl. Cut out the vinyl pattern, ***but when you cut allow an extra 1/4 to 1/2 inch surrounding areas that will be seamed together***
Step 7: Laser Cutting E.V.A Foam
Place each of the E.V.A. foam cut out patterns into the laser cutter and send the fabric pattern drawing to the machine to cut each peice (follow instructions on how to cut with a laser cutter, as per specific machine).
The PVC Clear Vinyl will serve as the underlay on which the E.V.A Foam will be attached. This material covers the open cuts on the gasket pattern so that the jacket is solid and waterproof.
Step 8: Sew Together / Finish
Once all of the E.V.A patterns are cut, lay on top of their corresponding PVC Vinyl parts and sew together. Where you have allowed more space on the outside edges of the PVC Vinyl in Step 6, sew together the adjacent seams.
I was assisted with the sewing by a tailor/upholsterer who had the proper equipment (heavy duty machine) to sew the pieces together - you must be careful because the rigidity and thickness of the "fabrics" makes it very difficult to sew, and the machine can often backfire if you do not know what you are doing. Choosing to sew the jacket is at your own discretion :)
The image shown displays the front view of the jacket. It keeps out the rain completely (like a good seal, or gasket should!) and is definitely an interesting conversation piece.