Tag Archives: chainmaille

Steampunk Geekery

Steampunk Geekery

A while ago I posted a picture of a top I was working on.  Tbe plan was to customise an M & S undergarment with chainmaille and scales to make it look steampunky.  I quite fancy doing more of these because with a minimum of chainmaille you can get maximum effect, if you see what I mean.  A proper full chainmaille top can literally take weeks of work and the materials alone cost a fortune.  Customising items is quicker, plus I can get more precise sizes if the base garments are pre-chosen by the customer.

Well, that was a waffly paragraph, I’m just thinking aloud and justifying my reasons for pulling a perfectly good piece of lingerie in pieces and sewing bits of metal onto it.  Here’s how it looked the first time I blogged about this.  It looks rather different now as you can see in later photographs.

Planning Stage

Planning Stage – I decided I didn’t this in the end, so it looked very different by the time I finished.  Check out later pics!

You can see above that all the chains are pinned rather than sewn in place and that the straps are still intact.  After a lot of pondering, I changed my mind about this design. The scales looked too much and the chains on the seams would restrict the flexibility of the material.  Plus the metal rose on the bust looked like a big bobble …sooooooo  I took the straps off and attached a japanese weave choker with chains supporting the bust – added a dangling pendant with a sparkle of red beads and scales to emphasise the neckline – echoed the pendant design along the bust and finally, I sewed solid metal rings that look like studs below the bust and around the back so the design continues right along the bra line.

I was rather embarrassed to show my parents my project and had to explain over and over again, that it's not 'kinky' and that the idea is that it's worn as a body top with a long victorian fitted waist and flared skirt with a bustle in a steampunk stylee.

I was rather embarrassed to show my parents this particular project, I had to explain over and over again, that it’s not ‘kinky’ and that the idea is that it’s worn as a body top with a long victorian fitted waist and flared skirt with a bustle in a steampunk stylee.

My dad doesn’t know what steampunk is and I swear he thought it was some weird fashion to do with odd people, alternative music and steamtrains.  My mum thought it was ‘interesting’ and fekkit, I like it anyway!

Each 'stud' is sewn individually so that if one comes loose, the rest don't all fall off one by one.  It is, as you might say 'quality'.  And these little rings took ages to sew in place I might add.

Each ‘stud’ is sewn individually with double thickness thread which is looped several times so that they won’t come loose.  It is, as you might say ‘quality’. And these little rings took ages to sew in place I might add. Ages.  Ages and ages.  Did I mention that they took me ages?  Donkeys years.  

All the chains, and the outer jump rings on the japanese weave, are sewn onto the actual material with four stitches on each jump ring, in four different places on each and every ring, so that if one thread slips through the gaps in the jump rings in one place, they are still held in place by the other three stitches.  That may sound like gobbledegook.  It is in fact just common sense.  This is the sewing version of superglue.  Those goddam rings 'aint coming off in a hurry in summary.

All the chains, and the outer jump rings on the japanese weave, are sewn onto the actual material with four stitches on each jump ring, in four different places on each and every ring, so that if one thread slips through the gaps in the jump rings in one place, they are still held in place by the other three stitches. That may sound like gobbledegook. It is in fact just common sense. This is the sewing version of superglue. Those goddam rings ‘aint coming off in a hurry in summary.  They are well ‘ard.

Another pic.  I'm not very good at this newfangled photography thing.

Another pic. I’m not very good at this newfangled photography thing, but I think you have a clearer view of the bust here. 

This is for sale if anyone is interested, although you do have to be a 34B.  It is £50 plus postage and it’s completely unique. the materials are bright aluminium and they are glass beads, I think the ‘studs’ are steel, although I can’t be sure as they’re upcycled from an old bracelet.    If you think I can do any customisation for you, please do let me know.  Happy to help, any suggestions as to further projects, contacts with people or businesses who would be interested in selling things like this, anything……would be appreciated.  I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it wouldn’t do if we were all the same would it.

P.S  I’m not modelling this so don’t ask me. 😉

 

 

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New Project!

New Project!

I feel like I’ve broken the ice now, so I hope to be posting a lot more now.   Up until now I’ve thought ‘I can’t post about that, no-one will be interested’.   It’s either that or shurrup and hide on Facebook.   Worth a punt I suppose!

Here’s what I was working on last night.  I’ve been trying to master how to make chainmaille bra’s for a while, but they’re turning out to be rather a challenge.   So, I’m going to cheat for a while and dodge learning how to do them from scratch….I’m going to use existing tops as a template instead.  That way, fabric is next to skin, which will feel more comfortable, plus if anyone decides to buy anything from me I can just take their measurements and source the appropriate clothing to embellish.  That avoids the endless issues with shaping the cups to the individual.

Gawd, I sound like I know what I’m on about.  I’m just experimenting really.  I’ve tried looking for work for a bit of extra income but jobs are thin on the ground around here and never seem to fit around life with two kids and a massive dog.   So, I’m trying to make more things and maybe I’ll open an online shop dooeywatsit when I feel more confident.

Here’s the very beginnings of my new design.  This is just pinned in place very roughly, I shall probably be attaching chains along the seams and adding a few sparkling scales.  The idea is that it will end up being something that can either be worn as a clubbing sort of top, or underwear.  Either way, I’d like it to look classy and preserve a bit of dignity.  Chainmaille is well, rather see through if you don’t add a lining, so can be difficult to wear.

Waffling aside, here it is!

Japanese weave outline, with a 'rose' added for a bit of detail.  It'll look tidier when it's sew in place properly.  Probably adding chain to outline the bust too.

Japanese weave outline, with a ‘rose’ added for a bit of detail. It’ll look tidier when it’s sewn in place properly. Probably adding chain to outline the bust too.

Not appropriate for the school run, I know the mums there would look at me funny if I turned up at the school gates in wellies and this outfit….but it will hopefully look amazing on the right person at the right event.  I’ll update as I progress with this.  It may yet end up as a disaster, but I’m going to work on it anyway and hope for the best.

Wish me luck 🙂

Chains and Fings.

Chains and Fings.

After much soul searching and umming and aaahing, I’ve decided I will blog, but not directly about my kids.  They need their privacy now.   I still intend to write like a loon though, if you’ll bear with me. I’ve been very involved with my crafting recently and have done a few Christmas fairs locally, plus I’ve been focussing on my FB page where I sell some of my creations.

So, here goes.  A few pics of how I’ve been occupying my time:

A little chainmaille bag made in a japanese weave.  Cute and little.

A little chainmaille bag made in a japanese weave. Cute and little.

A 'Clockroach' made out of an alarm clock I pulled in pieces, two silver beads and a bit of wire.

A ‘Clockroach’ made out of an alarm clock I pulled in pieces, two silver beads and a bit of wire.

A slave bracelet commissioned by a customer.

A slave bracelet commissioned by a customer.

 

Xmas jumper

Made this for my daughter for Xmas jumper day, she refused to wear it. Can’t see why. I think it’s beautifully understated and tasteful. (I was quite proud of it to be honest and was rather gutted)

This is my Bumbling Bee, I shaped a wirework bee and then 'sewed' the gears and odds and ends on with the wire you get wrapped around the necks of posh bottles of wine.  Also made from bits of a disembowelled clock.

This is my Bumbling Bee, I shaped a wirework bee and then ‘sewed’ the gears and odds and ends on with the wire you get wrapped around the necks of posh bottles of wine. Also made from bits of a disembowelled clock.

So, this is how I’ve been passing the time of day.  I have to say, as you will already know, I hate housework.  Crafting is a great way to avoid it.  So my house is a pig sty, but I have pretty shiny jewellery ornament things to make up for it.  My husband would prefer a clean bathroom probably, but hey, life’s too short to peel toothpaste off the taps.

I think it’s about time I entertained the other love of my life, writing too.  I’ve missed being on here and apologise for the last blog post.

More to come, I’m not abandoning my virtual online baby Brink of Bedlam just yet.  x

Chainmaille Madness! My Most Ambitious Project EVER.

Chainmaille Madness!  My Most Ambitious Project EVER.

For once I’m actually reviewing my own product here, I’ve been spending a lot of time crafting and here’s the result.  It’s a completely hand-made chainmaille  top, made with pliers, patience and a fair amount of swearing.  Each bright aluminium link has been lovingly opened and closed and generally messed around with by me.  I’ve never made anything like this before, so this is my first attempt.  Whaddya think?  I finished it last night, took photos and bunged it on Folksy for sale so I’m, as they say, buzzing.  It would be quite useless in the face of battle, but it would be fantastic at a cocktail party or in a club, as long as there’s no-one shooting arrows at you at you.

Made from Bright Aluminium which is a surprisingly light metal, so this is comfortable to wear and won't weigh you down at all.

Made from Bright Aluminium which is a surprisingly light metal, so this is comfortable to wear and won’t weigh you down at all.

Made to my own design, so this is completely unique and a stand out piece.  The scales are made from bright aluminium too, so allt he materials match perfectly.

Made to my own design, so this is completely unique and a stand out piece. The scales are made from bright aluminium too, so the materials match perfectly.

Can be worn over a bra top, or over a camisole if you're feeling a little less extrovert.  Catches the light beautifully and drapes like a dream.

Can be worn over a bra top, or over a camisole if you’re feeling a little less extrovert. Catches the light beautifully and drapes like a dream.

Each diamond is reinforced with a 'Mobious' link, which is three rings intertwined for extra strength, and they look pretty too!

Each diamond is reinforced with a ‘Mobious’ link, which is three rings intertwined for extra strength, and they look pretty too!

Here's a close up of the weave, you can see the Mobious links more clearly here.   This will not rust by the way!  Can easily be cleaned with light detergent, warm water and a bit of a polish with a soft cloth.  No messing around with dry cleaning at all!

Here’s a close up of the weave, you can see the Mobious links more clearly here at the junction of the diamonds. This will not rust by the way! Can easily be cleaned with light detergent, warm water and a bit of a polish with a soft cloth. No messing around with dry cleaning at all!

I’m not used to this blowing my own trumpet sort of thing, but if I want to sell this, then I have to.  *blushes* Feel free to drop by my Folksy account if you’re interested or I have a ‘Bumbling Bee’ Facebook page if you prefer.  You’d be very welcome on either page and I do list other items too, which you may like.

I put a lot of time, effort and skill into my work and I’d love your feedback.  Please do drop by!  This top took me approximately a month of spending almost every available minute with a pair of pliers by the way.  You could call it knitting with metal I suppose.

Bumbling Bee Facebook page can be found HERE and my Folksy page is HERE.

I am open to negotiation by the way, especially if you mention that you discovered my work via this blog.  ;O)

Anyway, I hope you like my very new hobby, which is mostly just another really elaborate way to avoid doing the housework.  The Brink of Bedlam household looks like a bomb has dropped on it, but I do have a lovely top to show for it.

My mother does not approve and thinks I should clean the cooker rather than make chainmaille tops, but what the hell!