How to Make one

Here is how I make the JellyFish.  If you find an easier or better way, go for it (and please let me in on your secret method).  FYI I tend to use millimeters as the unit of measure when dealing with things of this size as I find it easier to think about.  If you prefer inches, feel free to convert.  The below shows how to make the fabric portion of the JellyFish.  Be sure to cut a piece of 3/4 inch schedule 40 PVC pipe about 10 inches long to use with the JellyFish.


Example Pic. The center lines in the pattern are only to help align the two halves of the pattern if printed across 2 pages then taped together.

I have 3 files to help with the pattern.

1.  Drawing with a few dimensions on it to help those who wish to create their own pattern or modify mine.  Not useful for much else.

2.  Printable PDF single page of the pattern.  Works well but is larger than a single piece of letter sized paper so you will need software to tile it onto multiple pages.  If this is something you are already familiar and comfortable with, go for it.

3.  Printable PDF tiled two page of the pattern.  The tiled two page file is a printable PDF where the pattern has been split onto 2 pages with an overlap zone.  Print out the 2 pages and carefully align the pages as needed then use clear tape to join them as one.  The words and the diagonal X lines in the middle help with getting things aligned well.

Items used

Example Pic. Two webbing strips cut to length, two fabric pieces cut using pattern, scissors, screw hole punch, fabric pencil, clear tape, rubber block, pattern and a two page version of the pattern that can be tapped together.

Sewing machine.  A home sewing machine is not going to cut it.  For this project an industrial sewing machine is recommended.

Folder attachment.  For adding grosgrain tape (that pretty black edging added to most sewn gear) you can fold and hold it in place by hand as you sew but that is a HUGE pain.  I use what is called a folding attachment for my sewing machine that folds and positions the grosgrain onto the fabric as I sew.  This makes life super nice!  I tried a few cheap ones found online that did the job but were super finicky.  Todd recommended Tennessee Attachment Company set me up with folder for my specific sewing machine.  Expensive but works very well.  If you decide to contact Tennessee Attachment Company be aware, they have an old school feel and you will have a few back and forth conversations with them before figuring out exactly what you need.

Example Pic. Folder attachment adding grosgrain tape to the JellyFish.

Small items also used.  Screw hole punch (optional but does make hole punching simple).  Rubber block as a backing when using the punch (also optional).  Clear tape.  Fabric marking pencil (Fons and Porter pencils work well and can be scrubbed off later if desired). Scissors. 

Thread and stitch count.  A very common thread for sewn gear is #69 (TEX70) multithread bonded nylon thread.  Different manufacturers use different stitches per inch when sewing gear.  There is not set standard making one better than the other.  The general range is 6 to 9 stitches per inch.  I typically use around 7.

Fabric.  The JellyFish uses 1000D Cordura which is a pretty standard fabric for sewn gear that needs to take abuse.

Grosgrain / binding tape.  I get 1 inch grosgrain tape from John Howard Company. 
Their description for it is #30110 1" Nylon Tape #5 Medium Finish Black.

Webbing.  I use 1 inch flat nylon webbing from John Howard Company as it was recommended to me as a good item to use. 
Their description for it is #50-0755 1" High Tenacity Nylon Webbing Black #030.  I am not qualified to advise on the best place to get webbing and will let each person research that.  John Howard Company has a $100 minimum order so you better need a few things if you use them.

A few notes on webbing.  For sewn goods flat webbing is generally used.  One advantage to using flat webbing for sewn goods is the stitching tends to suck down into the weave a bit helping protect the threads from abrasion.  It is very difficult to know how strong webbing is by looking at it.  Even if you do know the material used (nylon, polyester, etc.), it is still extremely difficult to know the quality or breaking strength of webbing simply by looking at it.  Be careful where you get your webbing for making a JellyFish.  You will be hanging your life on it.

In a forum post on the Canyon Collective Todd Rentchler of Climb Sutra / Canyon Werks had this to say... "The multitude of manufacturers of 'unknown origin' for tubular webbing is scary enough- but flat-weaves are way worse- there are lots of variations that yield a wide variety of breaking strengths from quality to junk that are hard to tell apart."  Todd has been in the business for many years making professional harnesses and various sewn goods for the movie industry and really knows his stuff.  I have been lucky enough to learn a few tid-bits from him.  In that same forum post he added a picture of 7 pieces of flat webbing, then had this to say about the image: "These are some samples of webbing we use for manufacturing. The bottom three are easy to reject as 'not strong enough for a canyon' due to the material being noticeably thinner. But the top four, ranging in (theoretical) strength from 6,000 lbs to 3,000 lbs, are VERY difficult to tell apart."

Example Pic. The top four pieces of webbing range in (theoretical) strength from 6,000 lbs to 3,000 lbs, are VERY difficult to tell apart.
That is a 3000 lbs difference in strength in the top 4 items, can you tell which is which?  Know what you have before placing your life on it.

Cut Materials

JellyFish Body.  Cut two pieces of 1000D Cordura to make the Body of the JellyFish.  The two pieces are identical so you will need to use the pattern twice to cut out 2 pieces.  Taping the paper pattern down to the fabric works well to hold it in place while cutting it out with scissors.

After cutting out the fabric heat seal the edges.  I typically use a lighter and run it along the edge to melt the edges of the fabric.  This is important if you want your sewn good to hold up over time.  If the edges are not heat sealed they can slowly unravel (getting more and more fuzzy at the edge) until the sewn in threads simply pull through to the edge.  A quick simple melting of the edge prevents this from happening.  Its a small thing that does matter.

In the pattern are spots to punch holes in the paper pattern so you can mark the fabric with dots to help align the webbing for stitching.  I use a screw hole punch and a block of rubber to make it quick and easy to punch out the holes.  After cutting the fabric, keep the paper aligned and use the holes to place marks on the fabric with fabric pencil.  Be sure these marks are made as they will guide you later.

JellyFish Tentacles. Cut two pieces of 1 inch Nylon webbing (flat kind not tubular) at 1140mm long.  It is not important for the webbing to be exactly 1140mm long.  What is important is for both pieces of webbing to the same length.

Heat sealing the ends of the webbing is important just like it is with the Cordura.  If the edged fray and continue to get more and more fuzzy, the unraveled ends can work their way down to the stitching and allow the thread to slip out of the end.  A lighter works for this too but more than a quick pass is needed as the webbing is thicker.  I tend to use a propane torch for this as it makes the job faster.

Example Pic. If the edges of material are not heat sealed, the edge can fray to the point where stitches pull right out.  Webbing on the left is frayed while webbing on the right has been heat sealed.  Which would you trust more there were stitches a short distance in from the end?Example Pic. The edges of synthetic fabrics should also be heat sealed.  If the edges fray down to the stitches the seam will fail.  Heat seal all edges.

Create JellyFish Body

Example Pic. Add grosgrain tape to the slot edges on both pieces of Cordura. 
After trimming the grosgrain tape be sure to heat seal the ends as they can unravel just like the Cordura or webbing.

Example Pic. Stitch the two halves of the Body together with the Right Sides of the fabric together.  Remember to have the right sides (the pretty face of the fabric) of the fabric facing each other.  Place the stitching 9mm (9mm seam allowance) in from the edge.  Stitch down this line two times on each edge.  It is good practice to stitch twice down any seam that needs to be strong.  Again its a little thing that actually makes a difference in the long run.  It is difficult to see in the image since my threads stitched lines are right on top of each other, but there are actually two stitched lines down each side.

Example Pic. Add grosgrain down both seamed edges.  Cut off and heat seal each end.

Example Pic. Fold seamed edges down and stitch in place.  Only one stitch is needed here.  You will need to hold the JellyFish open so you can fold the seamed area down and stitch it flat.  When folding spread and fold the seam all the way to the stitched line.  You will need to stretch and hold short segments at a time to work your way down the seam as the material fights back.

Example Pic. This is what the outside looks like with one seam folded flat and stitched down while the other is not yet folded and stitched.  After folding and stitching one stiched line will be seen on the outside of the JellyFish.

Example Pic. Add grosgrain all the way around outer edge.

Example Pic. When adding the grosgrain to the outer edge, overlap the ends for clean finish.  Remember to heat seal the ends of the grosgrain after cutting it off.

Example Pic. The Body of the JellyFish is now finished.

Example Pic. If all you wanted was a cone hat to wear for a little shade in the afternoon, you can stop here.

Create JellyFish Tentacles

Do the following for both of the pieces of webbing to form two individual loops.  It is important for the loops to be the same size when finished.

I do not have a dedicated bartack machine, so I do my bartacks with my straight stitch machine by going back and forth a few times.  Ideally a true barracking machine would be used for good strength.  For this reason I add more bartacks than are likely needed to help make the joined area strong.  The join zone in the loops of webbing have also been moved to the top of the JellyFish to help with strength.  By being at the top the loops are stitched together below the join zone effectively reinforcing one another.  Being at the top also places the join zones where the least amount of tensile load is placed on them and the is less abrasion happening.  If I true bartack machine were used the join zone would likely be stronger allowing a different placement of the join zone in the finished product making it a little easier to sew.  Some of the difficulties in my particular process arise from working with the relatively stiff join zone of the webbing loops being placed at the top of the JellyFish.

Example Pic. Make a loop out of each piece of webbing with a 70mm overlap zone. 
Be sure the webbing is not twisted so the loop doesn't have any twists in it.

Example Pic. In the 70mm overlap zone......
Bartack the webbing 2 times near each end of the overlap zone.
Bartack the webbing 2 times in the center of the overlap zone.
Bartack 1 time between each end and the center bartack.
Sew an X pattern across the overlap zone by stitching from corner(s) to corner(s)

Attach the JellyFish Tentacles to the Body

This part can be difficult to do as some of the sewing is in tight areas.  You may need to practice a bit to get this done well.
Very important while performing the next steps is to stretch and hold webbing and body fabric wrinkle free.
Very important to also keep the body of the JellyFish folded right side out.  Resist the urge to fold it wrong side out for easier access for sewing.  If you fold the body wrong side out while stitching, unfixable wrinkles will develop in future steps.  The wrinkles will be a result of the fabric being on the outside of the curve (longer distance to travel) when stitched in place then being on the inside of the curve (shorter distance to travel) when the body is flipped back to right side out.

Example Pic. Place join zone of first webbing loop alongside slot and bartack in place in the center. 
This is a tight space, be careful not to accidentally stitch slot together.   What you don't see in this image is the unseen portion of the slot pulled away from the sewing area.

Example Pic. Place join zone of other webbing loop along opposite side of slot and bartack in place in the center.
This is a tight space, be careful not to accidentally stitch slot together.  What you end up with should look like this.  Each webbing loop is bartacked in place at the center of the slot area with the webbing join zone also centered on the slot area.

Example Pic. Bartack webbing at fabric edge on opposite piece of fabric while positioning the webbing between the alignment marks made with the pattern.
Notice the white dots next to webbing, these are the alignment dots.

Webbing will angle across the body joining seam and approach fabric edge at an angle.
Repeat for each of the 4 tentacles so that each one is attached near the fabric edge.

Before placing the JellyFish in the sewing machine, the fabric and webbing were stretched tight from center bartack to fabric edge then squeezed tight to hold the webbing in the correct spot.  If you do not do this you may have a lot of excess wrinkle to deal with.
Note how each tentacle wraps around the slot and attach to the fabric on the opposite side.

Note - Important:
Be sure not to have loose end of the tentacles form a cross over pattern.  The end result should be free hanging loops that do not cross or interfere with one another.  To do this, be sure webbing A crosses over the top of webbing B on both ends of the slot.

Example Pic. Bartack webbing to fabric half way between slot and fabric edge.
Repeat for each of the 4 tentacles.

Example Pic. Bartack both pieces of webbing to the fabric at both ends of the slot.
You will be stitching through both pieces of webbing and the fabric.
You will need to push the JellyFish flat but try not to turn it fully wrong side out.
Do this at both ends of the slot.

Example Pic. After all 4 tentacles are bartacked. 
Stitch along both sides of webbing from fabric edge to the slot.
Go all the way up through where the webbing loops cross over.
Near the end of the stitch you will also be stitching through 2 layers of webbing and the fabric.
Do this for all 4 tentacles

Example Pic. When finished your JellyFish should look like this.  Note that the tentacles are not crossed and do not interfere with one another in any way.  If your are crossed you overlapped the loops the wrong way up by the slot.

Example Pic.

Your JellyFish is complete.  Or you could just use it as a hat with wind straps.