February 14, 2013

Lightning bolt belt

 Whazzup? ;)

Earlier today I thought about starting to make Masamune's pants but then I decided against it; I didn't feel like working with patterns. Instead I did the belt, figured it would be more fun.

Reference picture
I went to the attic to check for any elastic black fabrics.. found none so I went back inside and decided to use the pvc fabric because at least it's elastic.. but I wasn't so keen on having to use it because it was a bitch the last time I worked with it. Oh well, free fabric is better than having to go buy fabric so I decided to give it a try... and here's the rundown!

First I took a measurement tape and measured about how long and how wide I wanted the belt to be. I made it double the width because I would be folding it in half later.

I marked cutting lines on the wrong side of the fabric with a white pencil...
... and cut it out.
I cut off that non-pvc part at one of the egdes and put right sides together and sewed the ends together, with a simple straight stitch. This fabric doesn't fray so no need to zigzag it.

The ends are sewed together here..
Folding the belt in half I started sewing it closed, starting from the seam I folded in the sides of the fabric a bit while I sewed it closed.

While sewing it closed
After I had sewed over half of the belt closed with no problems it suddenly started to pull diagonally every time the needle/presser moved forward. It was like the fabric was being bunched up or something, something was pulling it the wrong way. I was worried if I kept sewing the fabric would wrinkle itself while under the presser so I took it off and looked at it. It was hard to get the error to show clearly on photos but I marked the problem area with a red circle:

To the left I'm holding the sides of the fabric folded in. (the remainind part which has not been sewn closed yet)
To the right the fabric is lying down naturally/relaxed.. the pulling is still there.
I decided to undo a few centimeters to check if the problem would go away.. after all it appeared pretty suddenly; everything had been working like a charm before. Because the seam ripper has disappeared I took a mini scissor to undo the stitching. After I had undone the part where it started the whole pulling problem I carefully continued to sew.. I passed the problem area and luckily nothing happened this time and I managed to sew the whole belt closed.

The belt closed
Now I just had to add that little lightning bolt decoration to the front! I stared at different references of Masamune and on some pictures it seemed silver but on most of the time it was gold.. so I went with gold. Up again into the attic I went with scissors and a measurement tape. I found a small roll of golden fabric and decided to use it so I cut out a small square at one of the corners. While cutting it I noticed the fabric didn't fray, awesome! I took the square with me and went back inside.

The fabric (it had that white part all along the top and bottom edges)
I went to get a pencil and started to draw a lightning bolt on the backside of the fabric. The backside was shiny and had an almost plastic-y touch to it.

The backside of the golden fabric..
After I had drawn the lightning bolt I noticed it would of course be mirrored because I drew it on the wrong side! So I drew it again, but this time reversed to how I wanted it and when I cut it out it was the right way.

Lightning bolt decoration cut out

The fabric was pretty floppy by itself so I decided to use some interfacing fabric to make it a bit sturdier. I cut out a small bit of interfacing fabric and ironed it on, obviously the sticky/glue side against the lightning bolt's wrong side.

Prior to ironing..
After ironing and after i had cut off the excess.
Now I just had to attach it to the belt itself. My first thought was to try using the newly bought fabric glue:

Fabric glue...
I tried gluing it on and noticed pretty fast that it didn't stick to the pvc fabric at all. The bolt decoration just slid around. I was back to square one... with sticky glue everywhere. The glue stuck especially to the interfacing fabric and it was just eww. I tried to get it off with a moist paper tissue but nope, the only thing that happened was that the lightning bolt lost some of the support the interfacing fabric gave... so needless to say it turned floppy again. Argh.

Interfacing fabric side feat. sticky glue remains...
After some thinking I figured that adding another layer of interfacing fabric on top of the old one wouldn't hurt and probably could restore it. Said and done!

A new layer of interfacing fabric ironed on. (before cutting off excess)
With that the lightning bolt decoration looked as if new.. and even slightly sturdier than it was at first. I decided no more gluing and went to get some golden sewing thread.. I found some embroidery thread but hey, it's thread too so why not? I did some test stitching on a scrap piece of the golden fabric (aka what was left of the square) and every time the needle went down the fabric gave a slight "crispy plastic" sound and I was like:

But I decided to try sewing the lightning bolt on anyway. Even if it would end up looking ugly at least sewn in place it would hold better than with glue...

Sewing it on.. I sewed in slow-motion and veeeery close to the edges...
To my surprise it ended up looking pretty fabulous, if I do say so myself!

Here's two photos of the finished super hero belt:

That's it for today, see ya!


Monderleuchtet Verwandler said...

It does look a little super-hero... XD But it's fine, one more step taken in the realization of this epic cosplay ~

Arawn Elidd said...

Super hero belt indeed! lol XDD I LOVE how it turned out! skj;fslja It looks so professional and the lighting bolt is sewed on so very neatly! I'm curious to know what that gold fabric is. :3 Also, good choice using the pvc fabric too; it really catches the eye ~ :D

Valkoinen Samurai said...

It is super hero style. XD Thank you! I used pvc fabric because we had it at home.. his belt isn't really that shiny but I thought it looked cool like this anyway. :)

Arawn Elidd said...

...Which makes it that much more awesome. XD You're welcome! Yeah, that's handy~ Heck, in my opinion, it's good to use pvc for parts of costumes b/c it makes them look more expensive and professional. :)