Sunday, October 4, 2015

Harness Weekend

The harness is complete! Okay, I still need to add the studs on two of the straps but that's only because I have silver studs and I need black. But I had a weekend that went from learning how to use a sewing awl to putting on a COMPLETE harness!

Finished product first:

I didn't take nearly enough photos to do a tutorial, but I did take enough to share the journey with you.

I now own a sewing awl, which (and I only thought of this because of all the Walking Dead I've been watching) would make a decent anti-zombie weapon in a pinch.

Have to test it first, of course!

I didn't actually use it for any of the actual sewing, as it turned out, because I was sewing edge-to-edge, and the instructions for the sewing awl showed me how to sew flat side to flat side. So I used the awl to make the holes and I sewed with a blunt needle.

I knew I needed something under the work to keep my sewing table from being utterly destroyed, but I started off with just a few layers of cardboard. So this happened:

(Look very carefully. That isn't dust on your screen, it's little marks all over my sewing table.)

The first thing I sewed on was the snap to the under-bust band.

It may look like there's a lot of waxed thread getting in the way on the right picture, but actually, the snaps were kind of wobbly to begin with, so that solved a problem for me. They snap really snugly and don't pop open too easily. The top picture is the hole I had to bore out for the middle of the "innie" snap (I'm sure they have a technical name but I haven't learned it yet). I made the hole with a combination of the sewing awl, needle-nose pliers, matte knife, and scissors.

Next up was sewing the over-arm pieces to the under-bust piece.

I don't mean to brag, but damn that's some fine spacing and snug stitching, not to mention a tight knot that won't budge a millimeter. (Yeah, I'm proud of my work, what can I say?)

One thing that was kind of a problem until I got into the swing of things was my needles.

This happened twice (but I only took a picture of the first one). I was worried that it was going to be an average of one needle per strap. The problem was that, most of the time, I couldn't pull the needle out of the hole with just my fingers (waxed thread makes your fingers kind of... waxy) so I used the pliers, but apparently I sometimes had too much of an angle on it so they snapped. But I got better at that whole process, and no more needles were sacrificed.

Then I added a snap and the O-ring to the neck band (and modeled it for myself, because photo breaks are an integral part of my creative process). Then I added the bands that I called the clavicle bands (and modeled again).

Then, Birk and I (okay, Birk, because I can't see my own back... it's a personal flaw that I embrace) measured/marked the back of the over-arm bands for where the X on my back needed to go.

Marking where they need to go
(and the circle drawn on my back is supposed to be the O-ring).
Then I attached the X bands to the O-ring
and we taped them into place to make sure
everything lines up the way it's supposed to be.
Seriously, Birk did SO MUCH measuring and lining up and adjusting and taping and Sharpie-ing this weekend, and he deserves a big round of applause.

The arm bands just needed some elastic and they'll hold in place on my arms just fine, so I used some Krazy Glue (which worked spectacularly) and held it in place with binder clips while it dried.

And then I was done! And you've already seen the final product up there at the top.

I'm really proud of this one. I wanted to get this whole thing done this weekend, and I did. I learned a new skill and it turned out really well on the first try. I managed not to injure myself (though my shoulder is pretty sore from all the awling, but so far no bruise) despite all the scary pointy objects involved.

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