So this weekend was Queen's Birthday weekend in Unzud. Yes, you're right, it wasn't the Queen's actual birthday. I have no idea why we have Queen's Birthday in June, but since it's the last public holiday we'll get till the end of October, I'l take it. For me, it was all about leather work.
First up, make a belt. This involved cutting the cow butt into a long, slightly curved strip with 24 crenellations along one edge, using a stanley knife (which I think you lot in the US call a box cutter?). Then attaching the Gigantor Quick Release Buckle Of Doom*. To do this I needed to sew the leather around the buckle and back onto itself using waxed linen thread. Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced my leather stitching awl, so I ended up poking holes with a compass and using a needle and pliers. This was suboptimal so on Sunday I headed out to fucking damn Spotlight and got a proper awl.
It seems there's a leatherworking class happening in town right now, and all the leather gear has been cleaned out of all the craft shops - except for awls. While I was out there I grabbed some tulle, elastic and lining for the construction of a tutu or two as well. More about that later.
By this point my hands were feeling pretty bruised from all the poking of holes and pulling of strings and cutting of 3.2mm leather. Attaching the wiring loom to the newly-made belt mostly involved punching holes and threading through cable ties in strategic places - 6 holes per strip, for a total of 144 holes. Turns out that bruises your hands and is good for the abs too. And finally, I sewed on some little strips of double sided velcro, partly to hold the strips in position and partly to help support them so their weight doesn't pull them off when moving around - so more hole poking and plier-wielding. Here is a picture of the finished belt:
And here is a close up picture of the finished belt. The cable ties are supposed to make it easier to remove and replace the loom for modifications/repairs etc. I also don't have an edge-bevelling tool (thanks, leatherworking class!) so I had to do that by hand with scissors and it's a bit rough-looking.
The next step is to make pouches to carry the gubbins you can see sticking out on the top photo. I need to carry a battery, voltage regulator, microcontroller and fuse. I got as far as cutting out the leather for these pouches, but by then my hands were about to go on strike and it was Monday evening, so I stopped.
Leatherwork is hard. However, I did get it to the stage where I could try it on over one of my existing fairy-style tutus. The verdict? Not sure. The stiffness and weight of the strips holds them well in place, but it also means that they don't flare out as much as I expected them to. This could be a good thing, as part of the purpose of the tutu is diffusion - but it's hard to tell without having it switched on, so it seems that completing the belt pouches and making the thing portable is next on the agenda before deciding which style of tutu to make. I have enough makings to create 2-3 different styles if necessary, so we'll see which looks best once we have lights.
I can say that it looks vaguely like I'm wearing a bandolier and that the juxtaposition of that with the tutu pleases me. ;-)
Also, my charger and voltage regulator arrived this morning, so I've no excuse for not getting on with this bit. Except, my poor hands need a rest. I think I might do clay modelling this week...
* In case of exploding or spontaneously combusting batteries, being able to escape fast sounded like a plan.
For those who have read this far, have a picture of Dr Wheel's latest sport: Cat Fishing. It involves the catnip toy on a piece of string, tossed out and reeled in. It would probably be sportier if Frodo weren't already so shitfaced he couldn't move, and just lying there watching it go past. That is not ennui, it's drugs. Yup.