The Fosshape Layer
The cage is ready for the draping of Fosshape over it. I folded the Fosshape around the outer edges of the cage. The Fosshape will stick to itself, but not to the woven boning, so I made sure there was enough extra to extend beyond the boning on the inside so that the outer edges of boning are encased in Fosshape and it is securely fused to itself.
I didn’t, but you’ll want to cover the corset/dress-form with plastic wrap to keep the moisture/steam from damaging them. I was lucky and no damage occurred but it was a risk.
I steamed the whole of the Fosshape armor, wearing my gloves to allow me to handle the Fosshape as I steamed it. Handling the Fosshape around the edges was especially important as I was able to squeeze the two layers together so they would fuse. The Fosshape does shrink as it is steamed and I was able to guide the shrinkage as well as secure the seams by handling the Fosshape. I could not have done it without the gloves! The images below have no pins and while it looks like the armor may be stuck to the corset, it’s not. The armor does fit the shape of the corset but the Fosshape only sticks to itself.
Here you can see the inside of the shoulder structure with the woven boning
I marked the outline of the front bottom and back onto the Fosshape while it was still on the dress-form and then removed it and using scissors, cut along the line. If I do this again I think I’d add a second layer of Fosshape to these edges before steaming (much like I’d add a facing to a sewn garment) to give added strength to the edges.
I didn’t think about this “facing” idea soon enough so I tried to add it after and had limited success. I cut a facing in a similar shape and pinned it to the armor. I pinned it to the outside to make a design feature of it. When I steamed it the second layer did not shrink in quite the same way as the first layer had, so I had to recut the front edge. Had I fused the two layers during the original steaming my front shape would have been cut through two layers. Next time I will also pin from the wrong side so that the marks left by the pin heads, as the Fosshape shrank around them, will not be visible on the outside, as they are on this armor.
Decoration - The Leaves
The armor looked a little dull so I decided to make some leaves and add them to the armor…it’s the great thing about doing things yourself…you can make it up as you go!
I cut a few leaves from some scrap Fosshape 600 that I had (Fosshape 600 is thicker than Fosshape 300). I stitched a few veins in each and then pinned them onto the armor. I also decided to add a collar, I just cut a strip of the Fosshape 600 and trimmed it after I pinned it in place.
As I steamed the leaves and used my gloved fingers to press them carefully against the armor, they shrank and they fused to the armor. I was able to shape them as I steamed them, so they did not end up laying flat. I was also able to roll the collar back toward the shoulder.
I’m relatively happy with how my armor has turned out, especially as this is my first attempt at building a cage/aperture like this and covering it.
I still have several things to do before this is finished; I have to paint it and I have to determine how it will be worn – will I attach it to a corset? Will I create a belt of some sort to connect the center front with the center back? I’m not sure yet.
The painting is in my future...I'm still holding out to find the right colours. I have silver and matte black to make a tarnish metal look but am hoping to find a better selection of colours when I get to a bigger city.
I had created this article in a Word File where I had total control of format and image tweaking but I found no way to bring the whole file into this blog and had to start all over. Neither the images or formatting are what they were and while it's very disappointing - at least the information is here.