Wednesday night to the wee hours of Thursday morning was spent sewing prototypes quickly and testing them out right after by running frantically around the double car garage perimeters where my sewing machine was situated. I zipped my phone into the prototype, ear phones plugged in and ran. I tested for comfort and mobility.
Surprisingly, most of the prototypes were comfortable, save for the very first sling version, which I had made to sit too close to the base of my neck and my underarm. And most did not disrupt my mobility, apart from the fact that my phone bounces up and down, and does not stay put. I imagine this could become annoying over time.
I did not make all of the different versions I came up with on paper, in 3D as I found this activity to be redundant after mask-taping the running must-takes (SIV with earphones, keys, change, an eftpos card and ID) arranged in a pack, on different parts of my sister’s body and had her run around the house after each different placement. She recounted that most configurations were comfortable but ruled out more than a couple in terms of reachability, phone/music device placements. I also consulted Moon Lee again and asked where on his body he would most likely to carry a jacket that is packed tiny along with other necessities. He said his waist. I also recall from our very first interview that he reckons the best place to carry a music device is around the space between his clavicles and the top of his chest, from one shoulder to the other and down across to the opposite underarms respectively.
As the result of this process I had decided to make a jacket that is convertible to an interchangeable belt-to-sling necessity carrier.
The next thing I considered was what is really needed to regulate body temperature. I consulted Moon Lee regarding this topic also and had made a clear point that dry clothes is a must and after his runs he changes into long sleeve shirts and full jogging pants. I looked into more than a couple of articles about cold-weather running in the internet, and all had said to dress a few degrees hotter than it actually is. The body or the “core” can generate heat really quickly and often a few layers is enough to trap the heat in. It also mentions that a hat or an ear band, and gloves must be worn if it is that cold. An emphasis was put on the hat, as the head is part of the ”core” of the body (along with the upper torso and back).
I had decided to surround my concept around the readings regarding the core temperature and therefore will make a vest instead of a jacket complete with long sleeves and thumb holes. Perhaps in the next stages of the refinement, should time let itself crawl, I may be able to test out how it affects the feasibility of the concept. The belt/sling has to be flat and thin, as much as possible, this would be a harder feat to achieve should there be sleeves as this will make the width of the soft product significantly thicker, though the fabric used is rather lightweight.
Thursday consisted of back and forth trips to Spotlight, which luckily is only a five minute drive away from home.
Prototyping was focused on the basic form and mechanism of the soft product . I tried many different configurations and by mid noon had narrowed it down to two.
I came to a decision of which of the two was the superior choice by weighing out the pros and cons of each variation. In order to keep my biases at bay, I consulted my sister and my peers for their opinion and have agreed with my choice in the matter.
When I had attempted to make a pattern of my own, I looked at a Kathmandu jacket (not the puffer ones) as reference for several reasons – I loved its length, the mock neck, the thumb holes and the fitting of the garment to the body.
I began today by finalising the base mechanism by prototyping in a smaller scale (as it saves time) after folding pieces of paper to figure out the main component configurations and mechanism.
A little past noon, I went to Industrial Textiles and Charles Parsons, only to find out that they cannot cater for the things I needed.
I visited Spotlight again, to try my luck there. Unfortunately, they also had none. At this point I decided that I was going to use the pink and grey stuff that Lyle had suggested me to try earlier on in the project. Thankfully, past Mel decided to take more than a couple of metres of the said fabric.
I also had another look at the range of their zips as my garment features plenty. The mechanism of the soft product relies heavily on its pattern, configuration and zips. I also purchased an existing vest pattern in order to get an idea of how to sew pockets neatly and how a slight form fitting vest looks (in pattern form).
The rest of the day was spent fine tuning details for the final prototype. Pocket configurations and zip placements are now sorted and its aesthetic is finalised.
I will start tomorrow, by sewing a mock version of the final so that I am able to realize glitches as early as now and make the final adjustments before proceeding to the final model.
I plan to finish the model by Tuesday morning, as I would like to take the opportunity to photograph the soft product in the photography studio as we have a workshop session then.
From here on out, days will be spent on sewing and nights will be spent on completing the portfolio. I find myself constantly on the tips of my toes as I cannot stop fretting about how sparse the time we have left in ratio to the work that still remains to be tackled.