Monday, May 9, 2011

Giovanni: It's All About the Awl

I was going to finish the roll hem on the doublet tonight but I do owe you guys serious postage. (It's also a method of clearing my mind which is rapidly becoming overwhelmed)

The main leather components were last week's biggest triumph. Those include the belt and the shoulder guard Giovanni wears on the left side over top of his cloak.

The process here was pretty simple. Taking the poster-board pattern I made up previously, I cut the guard and the belt out of 6 oz and 9 oz leather respectively. These formed the base of the pieces over which I could add the brown garment weight leather.

The shoulder guard was first. Here you can (sort of) see the base and the brown leather pattern pieces cut out and ready to go:

These were sewn together with the Herculean labours of my sewing machine since I was in a hurry (never be, btw) and didn't want to do it by hand. Then they were glued to the base with contact cement. Contact cement and leather, by the way, is like hockey and beer - they were meant to be together. Next up, the roll hem!

First you lay a strip of leather down, right-side to ride-side, and sew along the end about 1.5 cm in, as thus:

Do this all the way around, making sure the corners are stitched extra-tight. Mind the gap here too - watch where your cut ends meet. If possible, put them someplace un-obvious rather than right at the front like the clever person here did. Once this is done, roll these strips tightly to the underside of the piece. Make sure they're tight here otherwise you'll get an uneven, crappy-looking roll. Now grab your contact cement again and glue them down underneath. You should have something that looks like this:

Stylin'! One step left. Get your initial pattern and trace out one more piece on the brown leather but cut it in about 1.5 cm all around. Glue this to the underside here so the bottom of the blank is covered up. I'm sure there's a much more professional way of finishing this but I'm not that smart yet. I'll let you know when I find out.

The belt went together exactly the same as this but there wasn't time to take pictures amidst the curses and the bleeding fingers. This picture, however, WAS taken with a specific purpose:

See those needles there? This is why we invest in quality tools, kids. By all means, if you can afford it, buy yourself the proper gear - a good pair of fabric-cutting scissors, a decent awl, non-shitty needles, etc. It will save you a thousand head-aches in the future.

But boots and sword-belt aside, most of the leather-work for Gio is now done. I feel I can see the light at this stage but just for laughs, let's make The List of Things to Finish:

Scuplt and cast all embellishments
Sew together and attach the white tails to the doublet
Make a hood pattern that doesn't totally suck and make the hood
Finish and weather the doublet
Make the sword belt
Make the boots
Make the scabbards for the boot-knife and the throwing knives
Make the under-bracer and the vambrace for the hidden blade
Finish the details on the shirt
Make the cloak
Finish the cloak cording

And soooo.... let's go see how Marius is doing...

PS Not sure why this turned into a "Make Your Own Belt and Shoulder Guard Post."

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