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Arctic foam techniques. ..

posted Feb 09, 2017 22:06:26 by Nancy'sAwake
Since several have requested information to make these suits at home, I will try to show some various applications. This suit has a 2 way zipper that will open from the top and the bottom to give comfort when sitting. This size 4T has an elastic waist sewn in on the OUTSIDE to again, -give a smooth, comfortable interior feel. No seam allowances or bulky elastics are felt on the inside. Thus, these are perfect for warm sleeping suits, or comfortable for work or play. They look kinda funny, but make a better fit and feel. Surprisingly, these do not cause over heating and sweating...just soft, pillowy comfort. THESE ARE WORN NEXT TO THE SKIN, so only polyester undergarments go under these. Don't scrimp on your foam. ONLY ARCTIC OPEN CELL FOAM should be used. About $44.00 a sheet-1/2", 76x80. Suits are COLD wash, AIR dry. (They dry quickly too.)

[Last edited Feb 10, 2017 17:38:07]
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13 replies
Nancy'sAwake said Feb 09, 2017 22:09:47
Notice the white foam showing in the serged edge...this is good! It shows that the foam is secured with the serged edge and will not get rumpled or pulled apart(making cold spots) over time. T-70 thread is so strong. A straight stitch with this gauge is all you need.
[Last edited Mar 03, 2017 17:20:10]
Marilyn_Rigby said Feb 26, 2017 06:47:53
do you have any more pictures you can share with us?
Nancy'sAwake said Feb 26, 2017 14:33:59
HI, no other pictures, but if you have questions, share them here so others can learn with you. :-) oh, I do have one more interior shot that may help...
[Last edited Mar 03, 2017 21:11:29]
Nancy'sAwake said Feb 26, 2017 15:49:59
Here's the inside of a jacket and the waistband. The collar is tacked down with hand sewn stitches from the zipper to the first seam at sleeve. (T-70 threaded needle) No need to continue tacking. The seam allowance will not irritate the nape of the neck
[Last edited Feb 26, 2017 15:54:35]
Nancy'sAwake said Feb 26, 2017 15:59:29
Consider adding 2 inches of length to the legs and sleeves, as kids most often grow taller, before growing wider. This will give 1-2 more years of wear with each AFC set before passing down to siblings. The ribbing at cuffs and ankles will wear out before the foam suit will. But no problem...just pick it out and replace with new ribbing for more years of usefulness.
[Last edited Mar 03, 2017 17:21:26]
GlenandVickiDial said Feb 27, 2017 17:55:26
Has anyone ever made BLANKETS so everyone could use them, or is that a bad idea?
Nancy'sAwake said Feb 27, 2017 19:15:35
Foam is both rigid and warm, but may appear fragile because it can tear easily if not bound to fabrics: sewn in tightly to seams with smaller pattern pieces, rather than a big sheet sandwiched between a top and bottom as in a quilt application.

My daughter's rambunctious puppy tore a huge hole in a piece I had cut for a pant leg. Even repairing this piece made it less warm or desirable to use.

People have made sleeping bag liners with it. But it must be firmly secured using several lateral seams with a sturdy fabric, top and bottom to keep it intact. Otherwise, you could easily put your toe through it while sleeping.
[Last edited Mar 03, 2017 17:02:53]
GlenandVickiDial said Mar 03, 2017 16:43:38
Nancy'sAwake thanks for your knowledte and response.. I have someone who know how to make quilts 1 Block at a time, who is willing to teach me. Maybe the foam could be inserted and secured That way? Thoughts?
Nancy'sAwake said Mar 03, 2017 17:14:40
Yes, that is feasable. I imagine where the seams are, you will have less warmth,(cold spots) if the foam is not secured into the seams with serged stitches. A quilt with blocks will have many seams. I think this is a lot of extra work for something that will use lots and lots of foam, yet not hug the body right next to the skin, which is what makes the foam hold our body heat and make us warm. The quilt will have to be tucked, folded, adjusted continually to hug the body so warmth happens. Better to have a fitted garment made with foam, secured with legs, arms, zippered around the chest and so forth...effortlessly. leaving the hands free to work with, rather than holding a blanket. Sleeping bag liners work well because the spaces are small and confined. But the fabrics will have to be tough in those application's because of knees and toes pushing through or against one area continually. I would recommend a AFC suit over a blanket for best warmth and economy.
[Last edited Mar 03, 2017 17:18:53]
Nancy'sAwake said Mar 03, 2017 17:16:50
Do you sew @GlenandVickiDial...? Do you own a good sewing machine, serger? In cases where one has little experience, it's probably better to just save the frustration and money up front and purchase them already made. I know how frustrating this learning curve is and I've sewn for over 50 years. I've tried to offer some key tidbits of information here, to help even some seasoned seamstresses. As a beginner, this is a LOT to take on, and mistakes can be expensive.
[Last edited Mar 03, 2017 17:28:48]
GlenandVickiDial said Mar 03, 2017 21:42:21
Nancy'sAwake Thank you for your response and expertise. I will consider all options.
JeriGoddard said Mar 04, 2017 05:02:55
Hi Nancy Could you tell me who to contact for the Arctic foam? (phone number) I have not been able to get a response from Fortress clothing. Thanks
Nancy'sAwake said Mar 04, 2017 07:09:46
I don't know who the source is in SLC. I buy it from Statewide Upholstery and Foam here in Idaho Falls. But they buy it from a SLC source. I could call and ask them on Monday for you. Email me. I'm here to make them for you too. :-) what sizes are you going to make?:
[Last edited Mar 04, 2017 07:13:50]
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