We'd bought the plastic lamellar plates a couple of years ago and I had started to lace together the plates back then. I had the general shape of the armour done and had attached buckles on it, but didn't get any further. The problem we ran into was that the armour needs a padded gambeson and it was going to be hard for me to fit the lamellar without it.
As a result, the laced-together plates have been sitting in the basement for a while now, lonely and forlorn.
I picked it up again a few weekends ago and attached some temporary shoulder straps so that I could put it on Avelyn and check the fit. We decided it needed some fine-tuning because the plates were interfering with her arm movements. However, I had to scale the plates back so much that it was going to leave large opening with no protection. That's where leather comes in.
This weekend I took the measurements and cut out leather pieces to form the upper torso and shoulders of the armour. I then riveted it on to the top of the lamellar and looked at attaching the pieces at the shoulder.
I made a few mistakes, like:
- Laying out he pattern wrong for one of the pieces so that half the leather is good side out and the other piece is bad side out. (Groan).
- Measuring the shoulder strap length wrong so that I ended up with the armour hanging too low (it basically added an extra 4 inches to what it should have been).
- Fixing the shoulder strap length to find out that the neck hole is now a neck slit and doesn't fit around Avelyn's head.
Once I shave leather off the neck hole so Avelyn can put the armour on, I'll see if I corrected the shoulder strap problem. I can then permanently attach the pieces together. I'll probably re-enforce the shoulder straps with an extra layer of leather, since that's where shoulder and arm armour will be hanging.
I can then look at the arm holes and areas where the leather is overlapping and trim it down a bit more so that it isn't interfering with her movement.
I'm hoping to have it ready for her to take to practice in the next couple of weeks to get input from the marshals and experienced fighters, with the goal of having it ready to test out for real at practice early in the new year.
Of course, we still don't have the padded gambeson ready so hopefully that won't throw the whole thing out of what.