Tutorial: Metallic Spandex and Worbla Bracers

After making a few pairs over the years I believe I have settled on my preferred way to make bracers. These bracers fit snuggly and are not bulky, which are some issues I’ve found with other sorts of bracers. For this I use Worbla, just the thickness of one sheet, and metallic spandex.

DSC_0231First you’ll want to come up with the patterns for your bracers based on the size and shape of your forearms as well as how long you want the bracers to be. Here’s what mine look like. The one on the left is for the Worbla. The one on the right is for my fabric. This second pattern piece is larger to account for seam allowances being added in.

DSC_0233Here’s my pattern drawn out on my Worbla. Remember to use craft scissors and not your nice fabric scissors for cutting out materials like this. You don’t want to dull your nice scissors and have a hard time cutting out your fabric later.

DSC_0240You might want to round off the corners of your Worbla pieces when cutting them out so they won’t be so pokey.

DSC_0237I cut out metallic spandex for the top of my bracers and some tricot for the underside. These are not going to breath at all so it’s a nice idea to make the underside out of another knit fabric not so slick as the metallic spandex so you won’t be quite as gross and sweaty later.

DSC_0242Sew your fabric pieces together like little pillow cases, leaving a narrow side open on each to slip your Worbla into.

DSC_0244To work with Worbla you need a heat gun, an area to work on, and something to protect your work surface from the adhesive properties of it. I use wax paper.

DSC_0246Carefully heat your Worbla while it is laying flat on your protected surface so that it is pliable enough to work with, but not too floppy or hot enough to be painful to handle. Once the Worbla is pliable you can pick it up and form it directly over your arms. Form the pieces one at a time over your arms, and hold each piece in place as it cools to hold the shape.

DSC_0248Slip your formed Worbla pieces into your fabric slipcovers.

DSC_0249Sew your slipcovers closed. No need to turn the seam allowances in. You want this extra fabric off one side of each bracer to attach your closures.

DSC_0254Sew whatever kind of closers you like onto the exposed seam allowance hanging off one side of your bracer and to the underside of the other side of your bracer. Hooray, you have basic bracers done! This step is where I stopped for my most recent Donna Troy bracers, except I used velcro instead of snaps then. For Mera I went on to make some extra armor pieces I later glued on to these bracers.

Note: I totally warped the cutting mat pictured here at some point in time with heat (might have been for a different project)! So be careful at choosing your work space!

 

 

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