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Saturday, December 14, 2013

pull tab corset/vest

So since my daughter wanted to learn a little about making chainmaille from pop tabs.  I made this to show her the way she was going about it was a weak way of construction and it messed with the integrity of the piece.  I am making something (a tunic) using that technique that she was using but yeah not my favorite item.  She has since undone what she had made and is now using a weaving technique from the pattern I said I liked last time.  She can still use the tabs she cut but they will be stronger even though they have been cut.

My brother-in-law years ago as a teen made two sample pieces of maille.  He used wire hangers to make his.  He placed a metal rod in a vice and bent the hangers around it and then sawed the coil open to make his rings.  Then he hand sanded them and assembled them.  Because I remember him doing all this and discussing how to make maille with him I wanted the pieces when he no longer did.   He had two different colors of metal ring in the same size. So I and my children were excited when he gave them to my girls  the girls wanted to be able to use it but could not because of the size of the pieces.
old maille
Because they were not usable in the size and shape he left them in we dismantled them and added the pull tabs so that my girls could wear this piece of costuming that is half made by him and half made by me with a little help from my girls.

They (my girls) got hurt hands from trying to open the 10 rings.  My hands are bruised too as it is hard work but I persevered much more till done.  I can still do more but in time my hands would get use to it again.  They just are not there currently.

one my brother in law made

 supplies minus the tools
We plan on making 5 at least items one for each family member to wear but this vest can be worn by 3 out of 4 females in the house.  My youngest does not quiet fill out the top yet give her 1 to 2 years and all the females in the family will be able to wear it.  The skull shoes laces in the pictures are a temp thing it is what I had on hand.  I plan on leather laces or cording.
making out of pull tabs and old maille that i am dismantaling
corsetright front detailI do not drink beer or energy drinks which are where the colored tabs come from.  But you can buy them on line if you look around which is what I did.  If you look closely at the photos you will notice the blue row is where I changed from one color of metal rings to the other.  The bottom half is shinny metal rings where as the top is the dull metal rings.  I used the blue to make it look more purposeful.  But truly it is just wear the colors changed on their own and I added the blue to make it a purposeful design element.

I did do some shaping on the breast areas and center back and around the side to make it fit nicer than just a straight tunic style would have.  Yes this is heavy because of the rings.  As pop tabs are light in general but the added metal rings adds lots of weight to the piece.  When trying this on my girls all commented on the coldness of the metal it is winter here with snow on the grown.  Now think about wearing this in summer at a RenFair in the middle of the heat yes I expect the metal to heat up and be screaming hot.  But the girls said they did not mind.  There is oxidation that comes off of both the aluminum pull tabs and the rings so spraying with clear acrylic is a good thing to seal the metal or you will end up with a gray dusk permeated probably permanently into your shirt that you wear with this.


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