You really had to be there

November 24, 2009

It’s unlikely that you understand the sheer ecstatic joy that accompanies:

completing! 16! inflatable! legs! 16! inflatable! arms! and! 8! inflatable! portholes!

Resting on my laurels.

Legs & Eggs

November 22, 2009

Currently constructing body-parts.  All heads complete.  8 legs (unfortunately not 8 pairs of legs) finished.  A few photos below:

A found template (the top of a stool) for the circular windows. Windows are made from the same thin clear vinyl people use to cover and protect their upholstery. At $1.99 / yard, it would be a bargain at twice the price! This stuff is available at most fabric stores, but I purchased mine at "SewFisticated" on the Cambridge/Somerville, MA line.

Perfect circles. Perfect, thanks to the steel stool top and the Olfa Rotary cutter.

Pinning circular windows to (already seamed) 6" wide strips of ripstop nylon. I would like to know if I am making this seam correctly...

A quick polyethylene template for the leg. I measure off of my own body. Pattern-making 101.

An even quicker cardboard template to trace onto the fabric. I separated the foot from the leg so as to waste less fabric when cutting out the pattern. The cardboard template is bigger than the polyethylene prototype in order to account for 1" seams.

Tracing the pattern onto a top sheet of ripstop. I have four sheets below for high-speed cutting.

Cutting...

all the pieces for legs.

Hours of pinning and sewing... but a long story short: a pile of legs. Voila! That little rounded strip above the ankle is velcro, which will attach to the vinyl boot.

Signs of Life

November 20, 2009

Sewing Masses of Voluminous Ripstop Nylon

A window, emerging from the pile of fabric.

An inflatable spot for a foot.

An inflatable place for a foot.

Lots of sewing ahead...

... lots of sewing ahead.

Jessica Warner Visits the Inflato-lab

November 19, 2009

Jessica and me inside of Prototype #1, a polyethylene, heatsealed, double-membraned inflatable. Photo by Eric Spang.

Photo by Eric Spang.

Itinerant Home’s Home

November 19, 2009

Itinerant Home's Site, the rooftop pool area of the 1201 Canal Street Condominiums.

Street view of the 1201 Canal Street Condominiums, a department store renovated by Matthes Brierre

First Steps Toward Finalizing Things

November 16, 2009

This may seem like an odd title for a blog’s first post.  There will be flash-backs to prototypes and process that predate the blog’s birth date : 11/16/09.

Today was a big day.  I finished a digital model, laid out my patterns in AutoCAD, cut down all of my ripstop nylon, and sewed my first seam.  Photos below recount a bit of today’s progress…

vinyl montage copy

This is 9 yards of black 14 mil vinyl ready to be cut down and ultimately sewn to create the floor of Itinerant Home. Typically 18 mil vinyl is what professionals use for floors. I find it hard to tell the difference between 14 and 18 mil though. And 14 mil vinyl is a couple dollars cheaper per yard.

ripstop montage copy

I am using 1.9 oz breathable ripstop for Itinerant Home's "superstructure". I've been assured by those in the know that this fabric will stay inflated so long as I maintain a constant source of air. If I'd like it to hold air better, I can spray it with polyurethane. This is a cheaper solution than buying polyurethane impregnated ripstop.