Thursday, May 6, 2021

Back to the Drawing Board

I love Skeeter's chanfron so much that I decided I didn't like the breast collar I'd originally done. I wanted the breast collar to echo the chanfron, so I scrapped all of the work I'd done previously and started over.

I needed my inspirational pencil to get started.

It took some measuring and math to decide what I needed to cut, but I finally got it figured.

It was incredibly tedious work, but I finally cut out enough pieces to form both sides of the breast collar and laid them out. I had a super helper by the name of Pongo, who decided he had to inspect my work.

Sometimes I'm a little slow to pick things up. I'd been fighting with light-weight foam pieces flying about when I was heat sealing and painting them. Finally, on my last bit of Skeets' costume, I realized I could just hold them down with painter's tape. Better late than never, I guess.

I put the painter's tape sticky-side up on the counter and pressed the foam onto it before hitting the pieces with the heat gun. Because the lightweight foam likes to curl up when it's hot, I weighed them down with some heavy books until they cooled, then they went to the painting box. Again, just a bit of painter's tape on the back side to hold them in place. I'm not a dumb person, but I am rather slow sometimes. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to just tape stuff down from the beginning. Sigh.

I also had discussed how I was going to attach the armor to the actual breast collar with the Bionic Cowgirl. My fear was that if I used the stockinette as originally planned, that it would twist as her shoulders rubbed it while moving. We decided to put the layers on a base that had been cut to fit the collar, then use velcro dots to attach them. Leather can be pretty forgiving, so once I'm done with this costume, I'll pull the dots off and condition the heck out of the leather beneath the dots.

When I originally laid out the collar, you'll see that I had the middle piece that joined the two sides together underneath. I had Jay come look at it, and he suggested putting the middle piece on top, so that any irregularities would be hidden. I married a smart man. I also asked him to do a crest or something for the middle piece to dress it up. Basically, I handed over the design portion to him, and I just put it together.

With each piece of the puzzle done, all I had to do was glue the painted and riveted pieces to the base.

I couldn't wait for the finished product, and had to take a picture.

When all was said and done, I used the velcro dots to attach the side pieces to the leather, and then a few more to attach the center piece to the side pieces.

I am so loving how well this is all coming together, and I hope I can do my own armor justice.

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