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 Scratch Build- Belt/straps/paraphernalia [Bumblebee Pic Heavy]

  • 2 Replies
I have a softgoods and an armor WIP but I wanted to separate out all the straps/belts/specifics.

(I haven't gotten around to finding a Mando name so "bumblebee" is consistent tag in my forum subjects. *sigh* yes, it is not always spelled correctly. We all have our weaknesses.)

So here is my belt about 1/2way done:

I did the saran wrap and duck tape method to get my template. Why? Hips. If you have any curves and you want a really thick belt and you expect it to sit ON your hips, you have to have it curve. If it doesn't have a curve to it then you can get a lot of gapping in the small of your back and it will keep trying to inch up to your bellybutton. A curved belt sits much prettier.

Now I did my belt in 2 layers which I both love and hate. It meant that when it came to put velcro on the inside to attach my kama (see soft goods thread) I could go CRAZY and not worry about having all these weird stitch lines on the back. It meant with all my ammo attachments that I only had to sew through 1 layer of pleather which was really nice.

But flash forward past all of those beautiful moments and now I am having to HAND STITCH the two layers together.

Next time:
1. Attache the velcro to the inner layer.
2. Immediately attach front and back
3. Do all the other stuff and just tough it out.

I always forget how to do clean mitered corners, so here is a great tutorial.

Anyway, both top and bottom layer have iron-on interfacing to help make the belt stable.

I found the round buckle thing on Amazon. I have a set of 6, with no idea what to do with the others.
I did end up getting a simple rivet set. Nothing fancy, just a variety of sizes, colors, and you need your own hammer. Works like a charm and easily punches through 4 layers of pleather with backing.


Mostly I just cut a strip, fold the edges in, and sew. Looking back, I really wish I had made fully wrapped straps. As in, make sure the two raw edges meet, or if the strap is thick enough, sew as a tube first. I'm realizing there are a few points that there are chances you see the front AND the back of a strap and I want it to look good. For the really thin strips, starting it inside out and flipping it really isn't feasible. But I could have done a much cleaner job if I was planning on wanting the strap so be somewhat reversible.


So first I add added some detail to chapstick containers.

1. I glued everything in place (like the lids)
2. I actually used gorilla tape to add some 3d lines. I already had it. Pin-stripping tape could work really nicely too. I just cut the tape into REALLY tiny strips using the weave pattern on the back of the tape, this helped it stay consistent and straight.
3. I sprayed them with FlexBond. It's a rubber spray paint. I had extra on hand from previous foam cosplays. It gives a nice texture that isn't smooth plastic. (I really didn't want the shells to still look like lip balm)
4. RubnBuff. I shined 'em right up! Wax paint isn't recommended for armor because it will still get malleable when warmed. But I figured for something small, off to the side, it would work.
5. Clearcoat (especially with RubNBuff)
6. Weather with brown/black/grey acrylic paint
7. Attach to belt.

I was able to do all of that in a single day because the weather was perfect.

Attaching the shells to the belt:

So I used a combination of: rivets, fabric glue, and sewing. I had my strap ready. It's hard to tell but I went with black on my brown belt. I think small contrasts like that help add depth and visual interest. It's easier to distinguish different pieces instead of having them all visually blue into one. I had measured the fabric and tested it to be exactly the length I wanted for the number of shells. Then I sewed/hemmed the strap all the way around.

I riveted the end of the strap to the belt where I wanted it. (The belt is still just 1 layer of thickness: so I was punching through 3 layers: strap top layer, strap turned over edge, and the belt.) I put a dab of glue on the underside of the belt just for extra security as I placed a shell. Then held everything tight as I hand stitched it down. I had thought of a lot of ways to do this. You can slice through the belt and actually weave the strap in and out. Nice, but with fake leather I would have to button hole stitch each slice so it wouldn't get fuzzy and that would just take a lot of time, even with a machine. I could have pinned everything and machine stitched. For that all the shells would have to be removed to get everything flat enough for my machine. Honestly, hand sewing went quick and it also meant the strap was as tight as possible around each shell.

Stay tuned!
Next time:

Attaching my pouch and holster straps. (holster creation detailed on soft goods thread[/url)

Re: Scratch Build- Belt/straps/paraphernalia [Bumblebee Pic Heavy]
« Reply #1 on: Sep 11, 2023, 12:48 PM »
How is it looking so far? Why I am glad you asked.

Still to do:
  • Weather 1 final panel section on the kama
  • MORE STRAPS! to be able to attach the holster

Re: Scratch Build- Belt/straps/paraphernalia [Bumblebee Pic Heavy]
« Reply #2 on: Sep 21, 2023, 09:04 AM »
My Knife Bandolier!!!

So Excited for this!
Here is the cross-body sketch:

Here it is!!! (the handles will point down, the knife tips be just about the top of my chest plate.)

I started with the chest strap and a piece of paper held up as I was dressed in my flak vest and armor - to get the placing where it would lie flat-ish and not stab me in the neck. Sketched that out on paper while trying not to drop everything as I am seeing how far down the knife needs to be placed, how much it will cover up the iron heart. Etc.

This is what I ended up with that I used as a pattern for my fake leather:

And then a whole bunch of sewing, and a lot of button holes to make it work. The tiny straps are decorative stitching on some really thin bias tape I had extra. The stitching style matches what I have on my holster and yellow is my accent color.

So the double side of the mini strap (the left side): I cut 6 slits (2 per each mini strap) and just sliced that through the top layer of the faux leather (this was before I had sewn the front and back together.) And I just zig-zag stitched those slits shut. Then I sewed the top side of the bandolier to the back, that is why you don't see all the mini strap pieces on the back - most of them are on the inside of the piece.

The long piece of the mini strap goes through the finished bandolier and pops out and the back and will have a little snap on it so I can release/adjust/remove the knives as necessary.

And my armor paint job will be protected by the underlying chest strap so no snap edges should be rubbing.

That fun little D ring is partly just for show, but it does add enough tension that the bandolier doesn't slide down the strap at all. This means I can leave it's exact placement for later, I don't have to commit now (or ever actually, I could just leave the tension of the D ring holding it in place)


Now I just have to figure out attaching my holster to my belt....I want it removable for places that won't allow guns, but secure for when I do wear it. hmmmmmm.


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