Doh! Exoskinned!

After much laboring, I managed to finish my exoskin* jacket!

exoskin jacket.JPG

And here’s a closeup of the pocket:
exoskin pocket.JPG
Yeah, some of us dig orange pockets.
In general, though this wouldn’t even sell at a seconds sale but for all the blatant flaws, I’m pretty happy with it! I essentially made up the pattern, using various jackets and vests as guides. Now, my spatial skills are lacking (ask Peter. He will confirm this), but I do what I can. The pockets nearly did me in, but they turned out. And you can’t really tell from the photos, but that silverish piping is that reflective tape. Very outdoorsy, huh?
But working on that exoskin was very difficult. It is rubbery on one side, so the sewing machine does NOT like it. It just sticks to it. I couldn’t find any teflon tape around here, but I was/am too impatient to wait for my order to arrive, so I employed the tissue paper method, wherein I sandwich the exoskin between sheets of tissue paper. If anyone ever wants to torture me, just sit me down and tell me to get all the little bits of tissue paper out of stitches. Argh! You also can’t see what you’re sewing through the tissue paper (at one point I only had dark blue tissue paper). The walking foot helped somewhat, but it gave up when I tried to hem the jacket by folding up the bottom to stitch it down. I eventually had to rip that out and sew a Goretex band to the bottom then turn it up to hem.
I’m a little afraid the jacket is going to just fall apart, since the stitches kind of look like the bobbin thread didn’t really catch all the way. I don’t know what that was about. Also, it FINALLY stopped raining here, and it’s now in the 70s, so it’s a bit too warm for the jacket, but I reckon it’ll cool down before it gets into the 100s! I’d like a chance to wear it before it disintegrates.
*The exoskin was purchased from Rose City Textiles. Exoskin is used for water sports–it’s water resistant and rubbery on one side and fleecy on the other.

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29 Responses to Doh! Exoskinned!

  1. froggy says:

    looks very cool. love the pockets and the fact that its water resistant and fleecy on the inside. what a jacket!

  2. alice says:

    one of my friends has worked with exoskin in her costuming pursuits, and she suggested baby powder if that’s something you’d be willing to try. yeah, so you have to clean your whole sewing machine and area afterwards. but it works really well on things that tend to stick through the machine and didnt cause any detrimental effects on her sewing machine. keep in mind though, i’m NOT a professional… so dont hurt me if anything DOES happen to your machine should you ever choose to try this… 😀
    oh, and… its beautiful!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Mariko – the jacket is fantastic! What did you use for a pattern? I have some “dissolvable” “fabric” I haven’t tried sewing on it with my machine – but it’s supposed to be perfect for such things – sew it up and then throw it all in the wash – the stuff dissolves right out from under your stitches (or that’s the idea anyway). Send me a note if you’d like me to send you some – I inteded to use it for quilting patterns – but alas, I haven’t had a chance to try it yet.
    -(halfbaked) Stephanie

  4. Please do not look up “water sports” in google.
    Thank you.

  5. stinkerbell says:

    I think it looks cool so there I say to any flaws you try to point out.
    me I could barely get a straight line onf a sewing mahine so this I think this is an accomplishment 🙂

  6. Jennifer in Tokyo says:

    Mariko, the jacket is fantastic! What a creative use of exoskin. And with each new thing you make, not only are you getting great use out of your snazzy new sewing machine, but you’re getting better at garment construction. I would not have noticed a single flaw in your jacket. 🙂

  7. christina says:

    Pure genius! It’s beautiful. Question: if you make a sewing mistake with exoskin and have to rip out some stitching, are there visible holes in the fabric?

  8. Jan says:

    Oh my. You are fearless. (Looks great in photos!)

  9. Annette says:

    Wow. What a great jacket! I wouldn’t even dare sew something like that!

  10. Mia says:

    I just wanted to say THANKS for sharing that cookie recipe yesterday! I made them last night and they are AWESOME! Absolutely the best choc. chip cookies I’ve ever had! I still can’t figure out what the secret is.. the ingredients are “regular”.. but whatever it is makes a HUGE difference.. it’s my new “signature cookie” recipe! Thanks again

  11. carolyn says:

    way too cool not to wear. just don’t ever wash it so it won’t fall apart. 🙂

  12. claudia says:

    Hee hee. Great minds think alike, and all….

  13. Meredith says:

    Oooh, LOVE those orange pockets!!!

  14. Carol says:

    Wow! Very cool jacket. I love orange pockets!!

  15. mia says:

    Okay, I have never worked with exoskin but pulling out the little bitty pieces of tissue paper are easy. There are two methods that I have used – tweezers and washing. When I paper piece a quilt block, I try to use tweezers to get the bulk of the itty bitty pieces out. Than a quick wash in some cool water seems to dissolve the rest of the paper. I hope that works for you. But I love the orange pockets.

  16. melissa says:

    It looks so professional and fancy! I’m very impressed that you could just make up the pattern. I’d have no idea where to start!

  17. Kay says:

    So what if it’s fragile–it’s cute. xoxo Kay

  18. Heidi says:

    Oh to be a fly on the wall during that process!
    It looks great. I’m very impressed.

  19. deeleea says:

    Wow! Love the Jacket and I can’t believe the package got there so quickly… I only posted it on Thursday!!!
    I hope you enjoy it, there are some reasonably interesting crafty things in the magazine which is why I included it… seemed appropriate somehow!!
    The Tim Tams and the Mint Slices are quintessential Australian biscuits (cookies) the Milo bar is made from Milo (duh) which is a malt drink, a favorite with Aussie and Kiwi kids… I would have included Vegemite, that other Aussie staple but figured it might not go down as well as the cookies…
    Oh yeah and the Salt and Vinegar chips are a hang over from our colonial ancestry… The Brits love em… so do we!

  20. Stella says:

    It looks cool enough in the picture! And I can relate to dealing with sewing machines and the types of fabric they reject. VERY frustrating. That’ s why I became a quilter, cotton is so lovely to deal with.
    The word exoskin makes me think of lizards… hmmmm…

  21. greta says:

    wow. LOVE the orange pockets and the reflective tape piping…you never cease to AMAZE….what’s the care label
    say for the exoskin fabric, by the way?

  22. Nancy says:

    Beautiful jacket! Love the pockets! Have you tried a roller foot on exoskin? A roller foot is suppose to work like a teflon foot and works really well on velvet since it won’t crush the nap.

  23. Mira says:

    OMG I LOVE the hat in the sidebar. Did you make it? If so is it felted or just regular material. What a great hat.

  24. Silvia says:

    Wow, you get a sewing gold star for tackling that project! Very nice jacket.

  25. Leah says:

    All I can say is holie cow! That is some jacket! You did an absolutly amazing job!

  26. erica says:

    Hi! I thought that you’re jacket looked great–no obvious flaws visible and like everyone else said, Great job on the pockets!
    Have you ever tried a walking foot? It’s the BEST thing EVER. Really!!! I used to kinda pull things through the sewing machine (bulky seams, etc), but then I had to buy a new machine (breakdown of old machine NOT related to my abuse) and it came with a walking foot and now I use it when I have to sew bulky stuff because it feeds it right through and the sewing doesn’t get all weird. Quilters use it to machine quilt.
    The foot basically creates another set of feed dogs that pull on the top of your project so that there are two synchronous sets of pullers–one on bottom and one on top. Perhaps this will help you in future projects…?

  27. brit says:

    Woman, you are the bomb! That looks great, and I love orange pockets, one of these days I have to sit down and swe me some running clothes…you are inspiring.

  28. Terri says:

    You MADE that?! Wow! Thumbs up on the orange pocket and the reflective piping. 🙂

  29. trannies says:

    im a lurker coming out to say hello

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