Seems like there are always more questions than answers. So in response to this forum topic from our illustrious ibles staff alum asking what happens to your cell phone when it is put in a pouch made from signal blocking materials, this is one design to test it out.
Based on the classic "tinfoil hat" concept, this has been updated and fabricated with Disconium, Betabrand's metallic looking disco mirror fabric.
And it also repurposes those superhero jammies or bed linen you had as a kid into a more functional utilitarian and fashionable piece of headgear.
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Secret Stash...
For this project, you will need some fabric;
Like a smouldering rocket from the planet Krypton, I found my package of Betabrand Disconium on the front porch one day, thrown there by the powerful arm of the wotldwide delivery guy from his truck as he did a drive-by through my neighborhood.
You can use any kind of fabric but this stuff is so shiny and has some mysterious appeal to it.
You need some superhero themed flannel pajamas...or else just get a yard of fabric from the fabric store. Actually, any fabric will do.
A 7 inch or smaller zipper to close the pocket opening.
Some sewing skills. I have a sewing machine and a serger. I am not afraid to use my machines of mass construction.
CAUTION: Scissors, needles and thread, sewing machines, and electricity can be hazardous if you do not know how to use them. Be careful.
Step 2: Know When to Use the Bat Signal...
The style of hat I wanted to make was the famous Jackie Stewart hat (champion race car driver who wore a signature racing hat). After searching for a pattern I believe the correct name of the style is a Gatsby hat, newsboy hat, or flat cap. I have never made one of these hats before so I followed this tutorial:
I used the pattern found there to cut out my fabric pieces.
Note that when working with sewing patterns, if you have half a template, you need to flip it over to get the reverse symmetric side to get the full pattern piece. Also, if the fabric design has some pattern to it, you need to somehow orient how you cut your pieces so that the pattern will look nice when it is cut or if the seams will match up. I wasn't really too careful when I cut my pieces out.
Since the disco fabric was thin and might be hard to sew, I used iron on interfacing to stiffen up the fabric. I also ironed on some interfacing on the other brim piece to stiffen up the brim. Be careful to first tack on the iron on interfacing to your fabric, trim close all around and then iron completely to bond the interfacing. You want to avoid sticking any of the hot melt adhesive to your iron or the ironing board. You should use a cover sheet or paper towel to iron through as a precaution.
Step 3: It's Old Hat...
Use your sewing machine or serger to start assembling the parts of the hat.
I seamed together the tail ends of the top portion of the hat.
I seamed together the two parts of the front top portion of the hat.
I then seam the tail piece to the back of the front top portion of the hat.
I seamed together the sides of the hat.
I lined up the center of the sidepiece and the front top portion of the hat.
I seamed all the way around to round off the sides to the back of the hat.
I then matched the center of the brim piece to the center of the front of the hat.
I seamed the brim to the front of the hat.
You should now have the superhero fabric shell of the hat completed.
Step 4: Is That a Cellphone in Your Pocket or Are You Just...
Now with the disco fabric:
The seam between the tail portion of the top of the hat and the front of the hat makes a good place to put our zipper.
Sew the zipper in place and turn out to sew a seam along the zipper to lock in and flatten the edge.
Serge around the top portion of the hat with the sides. I had to switch to the sewing machine for the part near the zipper. You will have to be careful near the zipper so that the sewing machine needle does not hit a hard part of the zipper and damage your sewing machine.
Mark the center of the brim piece for reference. Match that up to the center front of the hat. Serge around to attach the brim piece of the hat.
Step 5: When Worlds Collide...
With the superhero fabric shell completed and the disco fabric shell completed, place one inside the other.
The unfinished sides of each should be facing out where you sew.
Sew or serge around all the matching edges.
You can then open the zipper and turn everything inside out.
Push all the seams out to get the final shape of the hat.
You can then flip the hat inside out to reveal the disco side or the superhero side making it a reversible hat.
Step 6: Who Turned Out the Lights?
To make this hat double duty, you can quickly turn the hat around and wear it backwards as a superhero mask to conceal your secret everyday supergeek identity.
Mark where you want the eyeholes.
I used an embroidery like satin zigzag stitch to go around the outline for the eye openings.
This reinforces the edge and helps shape the eyeholes.
Cut out the insides of the eyeholes trimming close to the stitching.
I guess when the disco fabric side is out and wearing it as a mask would make you some kind of superhero wrestler. I dunno.
Step 7: Does It Blend?
You can wear this as an ordinary hat or make it a technology enabled wearable.
You can embed a flashlight as a bat signal or add flashing disco lights.
You can try different experimental RFID blocking materials to test see what effect it has on enclosing a cellphone in the pouch. Does the cellphone battery run down quicker? Do calls still go through? Is the neighbor's dog still telling you what to do?
Try those plastic coated foil drink pouches. Try those Electrostatic Discharge anti-static bags from computer hard drive packaging. Try tin foil or as some people call it aluminumium foil.
So make your own Scoochmaroo Crazy Batsheet RFID Blocking Pocket Disco Hat today!