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Leather and beads

In the last couple of weeks I've been working on my batgirl costume, but I've also completed a few costume-ADD projects including a beaded leather headband for the Historical Sew Fortnightly and a new belt based on one worn by Talia al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises. It's going to be a long post so I'm going to put it after the jump.


The first of these is my beaded headband for the Dreamstress's Historical Sew Fortnightly Flora and Fauna challenge. I wanted a 20s-esque beaded headband, but my materials were fairly limited. I decided to bead a strip of leather with metal and glass beads I already had. I drew a feather design on the leather and cut it out. I then began to bead it, deciding what beads would go where as I went. After all the beads were on the feather, I couched hemp cord onto the leather to outline the feather and finesse the edges of the band. Then I added the final seed-bead pattern along the arms of the band.

Just the facts, Ma'am:
Fabric: Black leather
Pattern: None
Year: c. 1920s
How historically accurate is it? Not as accurate as I'd like, or normally do. And I'm not wearing it 20s-style in the photos. But we'll say 'plausible' because I'm sure many women would have made their own DIY accessories to fit with the times, and they weren't all diamond-encrusted. Glass and metal beads were certainly used, but I'm not sure about the leather base as opposed to ribbon of some sort.
Hours to complete: Maybe 4? I've really got to start paying attention to that...
First worn: Last weekend to a wine and cheese party (hence the non-historical photos)
Total cost:
50 cents for the leather scrap. The beads probably cost way more, but they've sort of collected in my room over the years...

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Next, we have my new belt. It's based on this one, worn by Talia al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises:

marion-cotillard-talia-al-ghul-the-dark-knight-rises-2011-set-01

I needed a belt to wear with my tunics and dresses, because they're all too big in the waist, and I fell in love with Talia's belt. And it looked like something I could make pretty easily. So I grabbed my steadily-shrinking hide of black oil-tanned leather, cannibalized an old belt for the two belt buckles, and headed to Queen St. W to get the findings I needed. I found silver findings in the required rectangular shape, but couldn't find brass ones. So I bought a brass chain with links of the right size, and then used a pliers to take apart the chain and re-shape the links. Then I put it all together and added some brass studs to keep the findings from clumping up too much. The belt was cut in two pieces; one is about 2/3 the total length, and then the remaining 1/3 is buckled on. That means that I could potentially wear it wrapped twice instead of three times. Here's the final piece, worn with my Black Milk "Cathedral" leggings:

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And here's a close-up of the belt:

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So there you go! Other than that, I'm still working steadily on my batsuit. =) I'll update on that soon!

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