Ready for a long post? I'm here to tell you the the next chapter of this ridiculousproject. Evidently this is what I do with my spare time. I make things that take weeks to complete (or months) and will be used once. Maybe twice. Still not sure why I thought this was going to be a good idea. Anyway, it's story time!
After more or less finishing the dress I jumped into "armor" making. Using my original drawing as a guide, I sketched pattern pieces on newspaper with a sharpie and pinned them to the dress form to get the right fit.
The dress form was really the most
helpful tool I had. It would have been much more difficult if I had to tape bits of newspaper to myself. As for making the actual pattern, I don't really know how to explain this step beyond "redraw pieces until it works." It really helped to have a dress pattern to reference.
I cut out all the pieces out of Wonderflex and started sticking them together like a
puzzle. I used a hairdryer for heat (various sites recommend a paint stripper,
but I don't have one. Edit: I broke my hairdryer. Not recommended :( ) and a tennis ball to smooth out round parts
against a wooden table. Disclaimer: The stuff can get a little sticky when heated and may harm some surfaces. Use your judgement.
The plastic is pretty stiff and doesn't need much help
keeping its shape when worn. Clasps at the top will attach the armor to a cloak
and wide elastic bands will keep it snug around my waist. I think that's
all I'll need to keep it in place.
For the elastic, Q brilliantly recommended I pick up a cheap belt from a local clothing
store and cut off the decorative parts. It's the perfect solution since
the belt has snap closures already built in and saves me a lot of
trouble. I cut off the decorative part of the belt and glued the leftover elastic to the Wonderflex with strong glue (called E6000 perhaps?) and clamps.
Back to the Wonderflex- One thing to keep an eye on is the placement of your
seams. As you can see in most of my photos, they're pretty visible. I've
heard of people using another plastic called Friendly Plastic to smooth
out seams and edges, but I don't have any so I haven't tried it. Fortunately, I
like the placement of my seams and used them as the base for my armor
decorated the armor with thin strips of Wonderflex that I folded in half. I planned to
use hot glue but changed my mind once I felt how flexible the plastic was when heated. Designs were first drawn out roughly on
paper and taped to the armor to see how they looked together and then
sketched right on the armor with a pencil.
The designs are very loosely based on parts of Thor's Hammer and Sweden's national symbol, the Three Crowns. I tried to bring the two styles together by framing the crowns in a symmetrical curl like the hammer's top.
Painting almost finished- just need to tone down those crowns.
After all that melting and molding I painted and completely forgot to take steps of this part. I offer you this less-than-stellar-step-by-step guide to what I did. I used acrylic paint.
Overall, Wonderflex was really pleasant to work with and the end result is fairly sturdy and light. I
have zero experience and was able to make a decent breastplate over a weekend. That said, making a helmet was considerably harder. More on that later :)