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You will need the following: A sewing machine, Beaver Nylon, Cotton Jersey (T-Shirt fabric), 3 15mm D-rings, some thread, and a camping mattress. Except for the camping mattress all of this should be available in most sewing stores. You might even be lucky to find some leftovers in a box, if not you will need approx 60cm of the beaver and 30cm of the Jersey. Don't buy the cheapest camping mattress you can find. Buy one that is 15mm or more thick (IMAGE) and designed for really cold use. I had one laying around the house anyway, however it did pain me a little to cut it up. It was really a nice piece of gear, but it served a good purpose and I can all ways buy another. The problem with the cheap camping mattresses is that they are not very thick 7-10mm I think, and if they are compressed hard, they don't regain their shape
|How is it made?|
The patterns are scanned at 150dpi, select this when you print them and they should scale correctly. You can check if the size is right, by measuring the pattern for the shell, the length should be 35.5cm at the bottom.
|Start with the supplied print'n'clip patterns which fit a head circumference of 58cm with a seam of approx 7mm. If you want to make it larger, add some length in the front, and if you want to make it smaller, take away some length in the back. As long as the change is within the range +-3 cm this should work just fine.. remember that half a cm on or off the pattern makes 1 cm in real life, and 1 cm off the right size is enough to make the helmet uncomfortable to wear.|
|Start by making two strips of fabric, one 6cm wide and approx 75cm long, and one 15cm wide and approx 60cm long.|
|Then cut out fabric for the shell and lining, the patterns doesn't need seam width so just pin the pattern to the fabric and cut. The lining should be cut so that it is able to stretch in the length, and it must not have been washed before.|
|Now it's time to cut out the foam. Since the foam is normally stored rolled, a good idea here is to cut it so that the natural curve shape fits around the head. Also cut 4 pieces of foam on 6x6cm for the padding in the top.|
Now it's time to start sewing.
Start by folding the two long strips inside out, and pin them together... use plenty of pins to avoid slipping of the fabric.
Then join the edges preferably with an over lock stitch, if your
machine can't do over lock or a zigzag will do just fine. The thread
color is irrelevant here, since this will not be visible.
When you're done over locking sew the wide strip with a normal straight seam 1 cm from the edge... But only the wide.
|Take the narrow strip and turn it outside in, then fold it to a width of 1.5cm and sew a straight seam along the 2 edges. See next picture.|
|Now you have a nice chin strap and some "tubing" to contain the padding in the top.|
|Cut two pieces of the wide strip to approx 30cm, lay it as a cross and pin it together. A piece of paper will help make the cross 90 degrees.|
|Now sew the cross together, keep a distance at about 4mm from the edge.|
|Now stuff it with some padding this can be a bit tricky, depending on how narrow you made the tubing. But with a bit of persistence you'll succeed.|
|When the foam is where is should be, cut the ends approx 4 cm from the foam, you can go closer but the less material you leave, the more tricky it will be to attach the cross to the helmet, and in the end it will not be visible anyway.|
|Then fold in the ends and sew them, you will now have 2 cm from the foam to the end if you cut it to 4 cm as above.|
|This was the easy part... now comes the more tricky one.. :) Cut 2 pieces on 20cm from the chin strap you made earlier.|
Now that wasn't hard...
Then attach the two straps to the shell as shown here, the outside of the shell faces up on this picture and the distance BETWEEN the attachment points is approx 10cm, which means approx 12-13cm center to center. Put 2 D-rings on what is going to be your right side and one on the left, or opposite thats up to you.
Don't sew it on too well, until you get the angle right, and it will get a couple of seams anyway when you attach the lining. Actually these are turned over the wrong way around, unfortunately I didn't discovered this until the helmet was finished, not that it makes the helmet unusable but the wearing comfort is higher when it is turned the right way around... You'll discover why when you have finished the helmet.
|Now pin on the lining along the bottom and sew it on, cut off the biggest differences, and give it a overlook or zigzag stitch to secure the end. Yep it is a bit tricky because cotton jersey is a stretch fabric, while beaver nylon is not.|
|When you're done with the bottom, pin the ends together, and make sure that the seams in the end line up.|
|If they don't, you will end up with something like this:|
|When sewing the ends do like this:|
That way the shell will warp better around the foam.
Now it's time to put the foam into the helmet.. Starting to look good.. huh.. :) The foam has to fit tight.
Now is the time to find out if the helmet is too big, since it is still easy to make the seams a bit farther from the edge in order to make the circumference smaller
|Pin up the lining.. It has to be snug but not necessarily tight and it doesn't matter that the lining sticks out, we'll cut that off afterwards.|
|Looks a bit sloppy, but after a wash the cotton will scrinck|
|Now cut the lining to the same length as the shell and give it a overlock stitch all the way around, then fold it twice so that the end is hidden, and zig-zag it all the way around to keep it in place. This can be tricky, especially around the seams in front and back of the helmet|
|Now we are all most there.. :)|
This is when needles break, to do this I have to take off the
pressure foot from my sewing machine and put it back on when the
helmet is in place, notice the screwdriver in the lower left
Before you actually attach the cross the rest of the helmet, pin it on with a few pins and test the fit, if the cross isn't sewn on tight enough, the helmet will partly cover your eyes.
|Then as the last thing attach a suitable length of the chin strap we made as the first thing, to the single D-ring|
|And you're set... Congratulation with your new helmet... It might save you a brain injury next time you are out of the padded room.. Wash it before you use it as this will make the lining shrink thus making it more snug. I normally wash my helmet in the hand, to avoid having to rearrange the padding after each wash, but it should go into every front loading washing machine without any problems.|
If you want to contact me for advice use the following address inserting @ in place of the #
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