Friday, December 27, 2013

Making Bracers/Vambraces/Gauntlets Part 2: Sewing the underbracers, How to Quilt Bracers, and a Lacing Ring Solution

The 5 part tutorial is here.

Making Under-Bracers. (Part 1 on drafting the pattern here)
Behold! Quilted underbracers!!!

I will post a full tutorial on making quilted bracers at some point, but for now here are some tips.

To make comfy underbracers, I used a bottom layer of flannel, an inbetween layer of polarfleece, and a top layer of faux sued fabric. (can buy at Hobby Lobby with coupon for $6/yrd , or buy faux suede shirt from a thriftstore...) You can make at least 5 sets of underbracers out of a yard of fabric.

Trace pattern onto broadcloth/flannel layer (the bottom layer) on the right side (so you can see it.) Sew the pieced together by stacking them bottom layer-top layer-in between layer (because you are essentially making a sleeping bag inside out, you are going to flip this thing inside out) Sew down all sides but one, then flip it inside out so the top and bottom layer are showing and the in between layer is in between. If this confuses you, check out part 3 of the tutorial where I show this in gory detail.

Quilting Tips (retracing steps like drawings in 1st grade, backtacking to keep unsightly unravels, have needle deeply in when pivoting, manually controlling to get where you want)

USE BIG NEEDLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (16 or 17 in those little walmart packs. NOT a wimpy little 11 or a 9 here...this isn't thin cotton dresses)

Lacing solution. I didn't want there to be edges, or leather cord stuck onto your arm. Its not comfortable. Spiral lacing works (as well as x-lacing) but I didn't want any leather cord sticking onto the forearm.
 I wanted the edges to overlap, and the lacing to hold it down smoothly, and there to be room for it to be adjustable.
Hence I made by own lacing rings and sewed them on, at least an inch from the edge, giving a nice bit of overlap.
See, no uncomfortable leather cord sticking to your arm on the underside.

How to make your own lacing rings.
Supplies: 18 gauge steel wire, pencil, wire cutter, 2 sets of needle nose pliers, hammer
1.Wrap the pencil with the wire. Slide/wiggle/pull it off.
2. It will look like a demented slinky. Merrily cut through it with the wire cutters.
3. Now use the needle nose pliers to readjust the ends of each 'jump ring' so that they meet better
4. Hammer them to make them sturdier.

You'll want to sew them on with a thick thread, ideally thicker than the slit in the jump ring, as jump rings have a habit of working themselves free if the thread is thinner than the slit. Using all 6 strands of embroidery floss or yarn (with a yarn needle) should work.
Sew the rings on,  nicely in a row, with overlap from the edges..

This is the underside (the comfy flannel part that touches your arm). Here you can see the underside of the quilting.

TA-DA. Underbracers that look like suede but are much much cheaper. And are very comfortable.


 They are super comfortable. I wore them all day on bare arms and barely noticed.

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