Template making question

Discussion in 'Historical Re-enactment' started by new_craftsman, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. new_craftsman

    new_craftsman New Member

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    Hey guys :)

    I have yet another question. When making templates for leather armor pieces, for example out of posterboard, how do you account for that the piece will be stretched, when deciding if it will fit or not?

    Thank you very much.
     
  2. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    new_craftsman,
    Interesting question. I make my templates out of manilla folders. If you are making a template for an item of clothing it's usually best to make a paper template then use this template to make a cloth (cloth like denim - doesn't stretch as much) example of the item. See if it fits, make final adjustments. Then use the denim as the template for the leather project. Denim is much cheaper than leather so mistakes are not as costly. This is what I do when I'm making a new type of shoe for the first time.

    Now if you are trying to make a template for something that isn't going to be worn, i.e. how I make my "leather" tankards I have samples of posted in the Art Gallery. First I cover the inside mug with newspaper. Then trim the paper at the top and bottom of the mug. Next slit the paper up one side. When opened I have a slightly curved paper template. I trace this onto the leather and cut it out. If you test fit the leather to the mug you will see two things. 1 - Your cut piece is slightly longer than the mug is tall. 2 - The leather edges will not meet, there will be a gap of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. This happens because of the thickness of the pen you traced your pattern with, whether you cut inside or outside your trace marks, and the thickness of the leather. Now if you are covering something, like the mugs, that's OK. Because when you sew the leather around the mug it will stretch making a good tight fit that will not get sloppy with time and you trim off the excess from top and bottom making a "perfect" fit. I have used this technique to cover cigar boxes, mug, glasses, paint brush boxes for my wife, etc.

    Hope this helps,
     
  3. new_craftsman

    new_craftsman New Member

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  4. new_craftsman

    new_craftsman New Member

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    Ok I've a question for you. When making templates, how do you size them properly? Like, in miniature I've drawn out on paper what the pieces of that breastplate should look like. Now,. When I draw them on posterboard, there is a slim chance that they will be the correct size the first time I draw them, and the only way to tell is to draw it, cut it out on posterboard and then assemble and then hit the drawing board again. Is there a better way?
     
  5. sefranox

    sefranox New Member

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    i dont think that theres a better way, thats exactly how i do it .
     
  6. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    new_craftsman,
    Sefranox and I are in agreement, doing a cut and paste of the pattern is the best. Considering the type of armor you are going to be making, based on the photo you posted, what you might do is enlist the aid of a helper. You, or whoever the armor is for, wear an old T-shirt. Then have the helper cut pieces of poster board in the approximate shape of the piece of armor. Then tape that piece on the shirt you are wearing. Keep going, until you have built up the armor. Then just take the pieces apart and you have your patterns. You might consider using newspaper though. It's cheaper, easier to modify and bends a little easier than poster board. For armor your fitting pieces will have to bend to provide a better fitted final project. Don't forget to overlap your pattern pieces as you are fitting them on as in the original you are working from.

    And by all means, when you are finished post pictures for the rest of us to admire!!
     
  7. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    new_craftsman,
    One more thing I just noticed by looking more closely at the photos you posted. The breast plate has buckles at the side. This is where the armor can have a pre- and post- feast fitting ability (room to take up or expand). That would indicate that the front plate is separate from the back plate. Typically pieces like this are joined with an over the shoulder piece that also connects the front plate with the back plate.