Connor costume – the vambraces

The last of the costume!

It was really helpful to see this You Tube tutorial on the vambraces, in order to make my version.  I obviously didn’t do everything the same, but it gave me some up close visuals to work with on them.

The size of the vambraces for the Boy were 7″ tall by 9″ at the top and 7″ at the bottom.

One of the vambraces has the fabric from the jacket over the top of it, and buttons on it.  It has leather as a base.


I made holes in the leather and attached the buttons with wax thread.  It makes them pretty solid.


The fabric was stitched over the top after the buttons were put on it.


I laced up the edge, so it can be adjusted to fit wider if needed.


All done with the easy one!


The next vambrace was a bit more of a challenge, and of course, I didn’t take any pictures while making it.  Look at the tutorial I linked to above for some ideas on how to make it.


Here is what I did:

Cut out the leather pieces, and dyed them a brown color.  There are three layers of leather plus the straps.


Attached the bottom layer with a rivet.

Attached the top layers with rivets at the top edge.

Sewed the straps on each side, after attaching a ribbon clamp to the edge.

Figured out how much chain was needed for the straps to attach to the symbol (made out of polymer clay).  Attached with jump rings to the chain.

Used a hole punch for the holes, and sewed lacing on the front bottom of the top pieces to keep them together.  Did the same for the back bottom.

Attached the buckles to the straps with rivets.

Attached some decorative rivets at the top.

All done!


The other leather pieces I made were:

- The faux moccasins/leg wraps.  I cut 3 pieces for each, and it was approximately 23″ long, after the top was folded over.  The fringe I bought separately and dyed it with the rest of the leather.  I attached the 3 leather pieces and the fringe together with the sewing machine, and then I punched holes in the back and added the lacing.


- Belt on the outside waist of the jacket and the pouch.  You can see that drying with the rest of the dyed leather on the picture above.  The pouch is smallish and closes with a button knob.  Pretty much just leather strapping riveted and sewed together for the rest.

- Belt around his waist with the symbol.  You will be able to see this on the completed costume.  It is just the symbol on a leather strap.

- Belts across his chest.  These are supposed to hold his arrows, but I didn’t get that far.  If he wears this next year, then he will get a bow and arrows.  Only so much time!  The leather pieces are done at least.

I used most of a hide on this project, so yeah…not a cheap costume at all.  I figure I spent over $100 on it.  I actually haven’t figured it all together, with the fabrics, leather, buttons, lacing, rivets, wood…it was a lot to buy.  This is my hobby, though, and the looks on my kids’ faces when I can recreate these costumes are priceless.  They get to be these fantasy characters, and how fun is that for a kid!

This is the reason I have a full time job…so I can afford my hobby. ;)

Now to finish up Malificent!

Connor costume – The symbol

So this video game has a symbol for the Assassins, which shows up in the costume a few times and on the shape of the tomahawk.


On the costume it shows up on the belt and on one of the vambraces.


I decided to make them out of modeling clay and then paint as needed.

I got a clay tool set and some Sculpty clay at Michael’s.


I printed out the logo and placed some parchment paper over the top of it.  Then, I proceeded to mold the clay to the right shape.  I decided to use wire (hanger wire…since, it was all I really had that was strong enough) as a base in the clay.  It gave it some stability.  I’m not sure how much wear and tear these are going to get.

On the one that goes into the vambrace, I punched holes in it so that I could attach it to the leather.  Actually, I did on both, just in case.

20150411-DSC_0040Then I shot it with some metallic silver spray paint.  It didn’t change the color that much, but it smoothed it out a bit.

20150411-DSC_0045The largest one was attached to the belt.  The smaller one was attached to the vambrace.


The tomahawk is a whole ‘nother thing.  I drew out the blade pieces, and had hubster cut it out for me from some plywood.  I figured if I did it then I would lose some fingers.  After he cut it out I used my Dremel and sanded the blade and rounded the edges.


The blade pieces are attached to the dowel part through a hole in the dowel.  There are small square pieces on the edges of the blade pieces, and I used my Dremel to cut a hole the same dimensions into the stained handle.  I put some wood glue into the hole and onto the pieces and attached them.  Once I had them attached, I taped off the handle and spray painted the blade silver.

When that was dried I attached the leather pieces to the handle.  The grip part is attached with some small nails.  The tan leather is attached with hot glue.

20150426-DSC_5096Lastly, I used my wood burner to make the symbols on the handle.

20150426-DSC_5099I took a few pictures while making the vambraces, so I will get another post up on those.  I took no pictures while making the leggings/faux moccassins, but you can see them here.


I spilled leather dye on my white table twice.  It now has some big brown spots.  The Girl’s costume is still in process.  I have the horns carved and painted, so I just need to attach them to a headpiece that is not made yet.  Then I have to hem the dress and add a bustle in case she doesn’t want to get stomped on all day.

Almost done!

A RTW copy

This was a copy of a shirt I wear all the time.  It was about time that I copied it.


This is the first version, in a fabric that is a stretch shirting with a really nice drape.


It didn’t fit.  Too tight across the upper chest and too small armholes.  *sigh*  Not sure what I will do with it.  Maybe I’ll just throw it in the bin with all the other clothes that I can’t fit into right now.  It has a lot of company.

The next one I made wider across the front upper chest and increased the armholes.  I still needed a little more, so I redid the pattern when I finished it up.  Luckily, I had enough of the fabric left to make another one, since I really like how this fabric drapes.  It is a weird one.  It is like a stretch shirting, but very much not cotton.  A thin synthetic shirting of some kind.  I know it will get a lot of wear this summer.

I will be making more for sure.

20150423_1588In other accomplishments, I hemmed these linen pants I bought at a CAbi show.  Their inseam lengths come in something like 30″ or 35″, so I took about 1.25″ off the length.  Luckily the lining was short enough that I didn’t have to rehem that, too.

I also made a tester top and continue to work on costumes.

Two weeks left….eeeeeeeek!

Soft and cuddly

I love making these little blankets for babies.  It takes me about an hour to make one, and they seem to be well-loved.


I have friends and relatives that tell me they are amongst their kids’ favorite blankets.  Plus they last a long time.

One of the reasons: I do a lot of stitching.  There are three lines of stitching on this one for the satin bias binding.

The fabric for this is a Riley Blake flannel and a lovely soft minky.  I thought this flannel was perfect for a little boy that will eventually have a bunch of Hot Wheels.  He can play with them on the roads on his blanket!

I did a tutorial a few years ago for making these blankets, which is here.

I stuffed this inside the diaper bag, and it is on its way to Tennessee.  Finally.  A little late, but that’s how I roll lately.  Too much on the to-do list to get everything done on time!

And baseball/softball season is almost starting.  Oy.  I don’t think I have time right now to get things done…it is about to get worse!

Making patterns with Glad Press n’ Seal

I received a few questions on Facebook for how to make a pattern with Glad Press n’ Seal, so here is a short and quick explanation.

I really hate buying patterns, and then finding after construction that it just doesn’t fit me or flatter me.  It is a waste of time and money and just very, very annoying and maddening.  The best way to work around this angst is to make a pattern from something you know already fits and flatters your body.

This is a quick and dirty way of making a pattern from a top/skirt/leggings that you already own.  If something has darts it will require a bit of pattern tweaking and pattern working, and that is not quick and dirty.


Glad Press N’ Seal
A Sharpie/marker/pen
Garment that fits
Parchment paper, craft paper, pattern ease to transfer your pattern onto

This is Glad Press n’ Seal, which if you are in U.S.A is pretty much in any grocery store.

glad press n seal

It is a sticky, clingy film and works great for this type of project.

Here is the basic process:

– Turn your garment inside out, so you can see all the seam lines.  Lay as flat as possible.

– Tear off a piece of clingwrap and lay onto the garment.  Make sure everything is as flat as possible, and work out any wrinkles in the garment or the clingwrap.  You will do each pattern piece one at a time.   Cover the area plus some extra.  You need to go from seam line to seam line.  If the piece is too small, just pull off more and smooth it over the top.  It will stick together.

– Trace along the seam line with a pen or marker.  A pen tends to smear a bit, since the plastic doesn’t take to writing utensils too well.  Sharpies work best.  Don’t expect super clean and straight lines here.  You can clean it up later.

– Now tear off a piece of paper to tranfer your pattern onto.  Clingwrap doesn’t stick well to shiny parchment paper, so just put some fabric weights on it to keep it in place if you need.  I generally use the rolls of paper at office stores that teachers use for posters.

– Lay your clingwrap on the transfer paper and cut out the pattern with a seam allowance.   Clean up any wavy lines and if the original garment is too short/too long/a little tight/a little loose…make those adjustments now.

– Do this for each fabric piece on the garment.

– Use new pattern pieces to construct your garment.  I try to do a muslin first (i.e. use cheaper fabric), in case there are some tracing issues that need to be cleaned up.


A few caveats:

– The pieces will very likely not fit exactly together.  It is best to do a muslin first if it is expensive fabric, and/or if the pattern doesn’t have much wiggle room.  You can adjust the pieces from these first ones to get a perfect fit.

– Knowledge of garment construction is needed, as you obviously only have a pattern and not instructions on how to make it once you have all the pieces.  If you already have a pattern similar to your garment with instructions, that will help, though.  Also..tons of tutorials online.  Google is your friend!

I have made jeans before, so I didn’t really need pattern instructions for the ones above.  I did, however, find a different tutorial than one I have used in the past for the fly instructions.  I figured I would try it different this time.  Worked pretty well!

– Sleeves are a bit of a pain, but if you have a sleeve pattern already you can use that as a type of base for the one off of your garment.

– Use fabric similar to the fabric of the garment, as that is what it was made to use.  If you don’t, you may need to make some adjustments.

– Look at how the garment is constructed, and use interfacing, buttons, zippers where they were on the original garment.  They are generally there for a reason.  Look at the type of stitching, as well.

Hope that helps in making your own patterns from RTW clothes!