Thursday, June 11, 2015

Warrior Woman Tabistry Lamellar Armour - A New Underbust Corset/Bra Design in the Works

Tabistry lends itself well to appearing like chainmaille, or more specifically scalemaille.  Actually, I learned that weaving tabs is very similar to traditional lamellar armor making.  Lamellar armor is made up of small pieces of metal or leather held, or woven, together with cord of some kind.  So, I attempted an armor-like outfit for Sherwood Faire back in April loosely inspired by TV show Xena, the Warrior Princess.  (Had a wonderful time at Sherwood, btw!  Sorry, there were no action shots.)  I didn't get the arm bracers pictured here finished in time for faire, but I did mange to have the corset, bra and armbands wearable by then.

I've been making changes since then to improve the fit and comfort.  Still have some changes I'd like to make, but I think I'm content enough that I may just finish it up and start a new, more colorful, one.  ;)

Tried some new things on this one.  I used a narrow shaped front to give some extra room in the underbust, or rib cage.  I also shaped a sort of fender or "wheel well" up over the hip.  This gives the appearance of wider hips and a more dramatic silhouette.

I fear I may have made it a slight bit short in front and especially in back.  I don't find this one near as supportive on my back than previous longer line styles.  (I still need to tie off loose ends and secure them.  I can see where some of the stitches are loose around the hip  and bust at the moment.)

Excuse the lacing job, too.  :)  I also need to adjust height of where I tie the laces.  I think it's one set too low.  But, I also tried a different way of attaching the lace tabs.  They are more hidden on this one being set back from the edge.  Over time I imagine it will become more "seasoned" and close up completely in back.

The bust cups are attached to an existing black bra.  I cut the straps off and replaced them with a grosgrain ribbon one that goes around the neck.  I find this two piece style more easy to move around in without mishaps.  This is meant to be worn without an undershirt, and one piece overbust corset designs tend not to stay in place when bending and turning, which a warrior would need to be able to do, right?  :)

These blurry progress shots show it under the cloak I wore with it at faire.  I posted about it a long while back here.  Now, I just need to find some weapons.  Haven't decided what I should wield, yet.  At faire I wore several pointy metal hair sticks in my the bun on my head.  Next time maybe a shield/sword, but I think I prefer just a staff.

So, this is what I have so far.  I'm still tweaking little things.  No matter how many I make, I still seem to find new issues to solve each project I start.  I need to replace the laces for the arm bracers and make some boot covers in a similar style.  I was also thinking about make a short over-skirt type thing of strips hanging down similar to what roman soldier wore.

Hope you enjoyed this post.  And, remember to keep on being can-TAB-ulous!


  1. My wife and I are very into cosplay and I've been looking for a lightweight armor project for some time and now I think I've found something I can really get into... Do you have any beginner tutorial video's by any chance as just looking at the pictures doesn't give an idea how to start or even stop if you see what I mean :D

    I can be contacted at thank you

    1. Sorry, Mark. I don't have any videos just yet. I will work on trying to make some. The last time I tried the camera was too blurry and would skip. I've got a new one since then, so I will try again. I have a tutorial for instructions on the basics and a corset tutorial that is constructed very similarly to this one. I'm working one getting an underbust tutorial together after a few other things on my list. But, it might be a slightly different style. I'm not sure just yet. If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them the best I can.

    2. Yes I've seen the corset on etsy and I'm going to have a go at that at some point. But yes this does look like a past time I could most definitely sink my teeth into :D

  2. I will def' purchase the a tutorial of the whole set (under bust corset, arm bands, gauntlets and bra) if you make a pdf. If you do a tasset and leg armor type stuff to match I would be very happy.

  3. I would purchase a tutorial as well! When will it be available on Etsy?

    1. Not sure exactly when. I've got my to do list full at the moment with Halloween and events, but starting in Dec. things should slow down enough for me to get some tutorials finished. I've got a top hat tutorials to finish up and then I should get to this one. Wish me luck. :)