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Making Your Pattern

Pattern-making is a skill which requires practice. Lots of it. If you have experience tailoring or have sewn clothing from paper patterns, you'll probably have an easier time trying to figure out how to draft patterns for armor. (Just think of it as really stiff clothing.) If you haven't done anything like it before, well... then you're in for an interesting time. There are many websites which can teach you the basics of sewing and/or creating patterns. You could also check out the website of professional armorers or The Armour Archive and see if they offer any tips for fitting and creating armor.

One of the best places to look for sewing tutorials and advice about patternmaking are the forums at Do a thread search for the character outfit you're looking for or post a thread of your own. You're bound to find something useful...

Okay. Here's a quick and dirty run-down on patternmaking. Let's start with some simple shoulder armor. Say, the shoulder armor worn by Zelda from the many and varied incarnations of The Legend of Zelda game series.

First thing you do, is to get yourself some reference pictures....

Unfortunately in this case, no two reference pictures of this character seem to be alike. That happens sometimes, and when that happens, you're going to have to use your imagination, as I was forced to during my attempts to make this armor. Here's the design I eventually came up with:

The first step in building the armor was to determine it's shape, width, and how many parts it was going to be made of. This I did by draping thin cardboard over my shoulders and drawing the pattern out with a marker. The model for the armor should, of course, stand as still as possible while the pattern-marking is going on (if the model happens to be you and your name isn't Plasticman, then you'll probably need to have a friend help you.)

As this was a relatively simple project, I was quickly able to determine the sizes and shapes of the various pieces I would need to build the armor (as crudely illustrated by the drawing below in which I appear to be naked, faceless, and have much nicer boobs than I do in real life. Sigh.)

With the pattern made, I then set about the task of constructing the armor.

Page 4 : Constructing Your Armor

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All anime characters featured are copyright their respective owners.
All costumes created by and all pictures property of Amethyst Angel c. 2005