Friday, January 25, 2013

Telling Tails (the Kraken Bustle) - L

I am telling this 'tail' in reverse!  Start at the bottom to watch the evolution of this monster...

The Ass-Kraken is BACK!  After Halloween and other holiday distractions, with a break to make a Haradrim warrior costume, I realized I needed to get back to work on my metal bustle.

Just a quick reminder...  I have no idea how to work in metal.  I'm sort of thinking of it is very stiff fabric.  That can't be sewn.

Here is how I got from 5 tapered metal strips to this:

First I taped them together so I could have some sort of semi-stable form to work with.  There are several types of tape in use.  None of them work well, but medical adhesive tape worked the best.  I know this looks sort of small, but it's about 14 inches long and will be about 12 inches across (I think?) when it's done.

Once it was taped together I could sort of squish it into the final shape and start figuring out how to make the brass bands that will join the segments, and how to finish each end.

Here is the 'head'.  It was fun and exciting except for the part where I don't have enough rivets, and I don't know to curve the brass bands.  Meh.  This is the easy part.  Once this is done I have to make the segment with the eyes that will attach to my body. And all those tentacles...  I'm REALLY at a loss there.  Moving on...
For the 'butt' end (the end away from the tentacles) I made a circle from fairly heavy brass.  Then I bent it in half which hurt my hands.  I used the rivets I had to attach each body segment to the brass end.  They aren't a perfect fit but there will be brass strips covering the joins.

This was so amazing quick to type and yet it took me a really long time to do.

I also cut the inch wide brass bands and creased them vertically.

I can't do much more until I get more rivets.  (ordered and on the way!)


I cut metal today.  For a kraken bustle.
I started by making a wire framework to represent the body on the kraken.  

Above the wire you can see the two 4 inch plasma balls I'm using for eyes.  I have NO IDEA how I will attach the eye part and the body.  And no idea how I will attach the tentacles.   (spell check kept trying to make tentacles into testicles - wow) But I will figure it out if it kills me.

After I had a wire shape, I measured it and made paper pieces to represent what I need to cut in metal.

Then I bought some cheap aluminum ducting, glued the paper to the ducting and cut it with tin snips.  

This from waaay back in the fall!

I also worked with my daughter on her striped polonaise.  Here's the bustle and sleeves.  She still has some black trim to add above the ruffles.

And I fit the lining of my tail bodice.  Today I can start sewing the top!

So much to get done and so little time...  OK, so little FREE time.


  1. I can't wait to see how this turns out! Great idea!

  2. Whoah! Super cool. I too am looking forward to seeing the final product. I just love that you're using metal!

    1. Thanks! I keep trying to make it act like fabric, and my hands are paying the price. I keep bruising my fingers.