So I spent a couple of hours this morning working on my cuisses. I figured it was finally time to get started on my armor again, and even Chai came out to “help” (by observing with her cute little “what are you doing?” eyes)
To begin with, I started by cutting off the eyelets. For those of you who read my post about the faire, this was a complete ineffective way to keep the cuisses on my legs since A) they had to be tightened and tied by another person, B) the eyelets were so small and destroyed by the time I hammered them on that they would barely allow the suede lacing to pass through, and C) the lacing broke because of B.
After measuring out a 1″ strip that would encompass all of the grommets, I just cut straight down and discarded the whole thing. This will also make my cuisses a little bit looser in the back and I will not be as tempted to try and make the two sides connect when I put them back together.
After rounding out and sanding down what I had cut, I began to tackle the next problem. When I had worn them, the cuisses kept pulling down the front of my belt (probably because they kept slipping due to the lacing), and the harness pieces which kept the cuisses attached to my belt kept turning inwards, meaning that the whole cuisse began to turn, which was annoying. To remedy this, I decided to add one more strap to the outside of the cuisse. Not only will this strap be functional (as I believe it will keep the things from turning and will provide some additional support), but I also decided to use it as a decorative element. Rather than riveting the strap to the inside of the cuisse, I actually riveted it to the outside and allowed the belt to run the length of the cuisse in a vertical line. The belt I used for this step was also one of the decorative ones which I had originally purchased for this project, so it was nice to be able to do something pretty for once. Another benefit of making the belt run vertical is that I plan on using it to hide the ends of the belts in the next step I plan to take.
Once I figure out how to heck to measure this (and I really need to be crafty here, since with rivets you only get one chance!), this is what I plan to do:
If you can imagine my cuisses, they wrap around my thighs and “meet” in the back vertically (they won’t be able to come together anymore, but that’s ok). Originally, I was using ten eyelets on each cuisse to lace the back together, which I explained the problems of earlier in this post. Now, what I plan on doing is addling two belts in the back of each cuisse to provide the closure. Doing this will have many benefits, including A) the belts will be adjustable, B) they will be more stable and will not break like lacing, C) I will be able to put on my cuisses myself without help, and D) they will just look awesome and add the visual interest that my armor seems to be lacking right now ^.^
What I plan on doing is riveting the buckle end of the belt to the inside of the inside of the cuisse (ie, the part closest to the inside of my leg, and it will be “under” the cuisse). This will ensure that there will be nothing that will catch while I walk. Then, I plan on taking the other end of the belt (I’m not sure what to call this except for the end with the holes?) and riveting it to the OUTSIDE of the outside of the cuisse; making them look like they spring from the vertical strapping I’ve already created. Not only will this look neat, but I think that it will provide some extra support and bend to help the cuisse keep its shape. Again, though, I’m not entirely sure how to accurately measure where the belts should be riveted. I have an idea of what needs to be done, but I think that they need to be attached on an angle, and I don’t know what angle that is just yet.
So, for the moment, at least I’ve begun working on my armor again! I might try and calculate the angle before class tonight, or maybe do it a little bit later. Either way, I think that I’m well on my way to finishing what I started. And, as per the title of this post, I’m back in the saddle! ^.^
(ps- it’s so cute. Chai doesn’t mind when I’m hammering on steel and making loud noises, so long as she’s safe in her cage. Maybe she’ll be my little armor mascot!)
Finally beginning to put stuff up for sale on Etsy. Be sure to check it out!