Pop(Soda) Tab Chain Mail

By Bryan D.

Step One – Collect Materials and Tools

Material

  •  Tabs lots of them!

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  •  Thin Gauge Wire or Ribbon

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 Tools

  • A Pair of Pliers
  • Side Cutters
  • Staple Remover
  • Sandpaper or File or Grinder
  • Eye Protection
  • Gloves

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Other

  • Music or movie to keep you entertained
  • Pattern

Step Two – The Pattern… or what do you want to make?

So what do you want to make? Shirt, Pant, Coif?? I provided some basic patterns to get you started but you can always modify them to suit your personal preference.

Note: you don’t have to make “Clothing” think outside the box. How about a bag or Purse?

Sample patterns coming soon!!!!

Step Three – Sanding and Sorting… or Prep Stage One

So you have collect all your tabs and you have your pattern you must be ready to go right?
Nope all those tabs need to be sanded down , so that the little burs don’t catch on you clothing which will wreak the other parts of our awesome costume.

So here is where a powered grinding wheel and your choice of entertainment would come in very handy.

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If you are going to use the grinding wheel for this step you should employ some eye protection and possibly a pair of gloves. 

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Before and after sanding them down

Before and after sanding them down If you have employed your friends and family to help collect tabs then you’re probably going to have a lot random tabs from Beer, Energy Drinks and Soda(pop) you’re going to want to sort them out. I suggest using that standard pop tabs for most of the project since they are all going to be mostly the same size.

 

If you have employed your friends and family to help collect tabs then you’re probably going to have a lot random tabs from beer, energy drinks and soda(pop) you’re going to want to sort them out. I suggest using that standard pop tabs for most of the project since they are all going to be mostly the same size.

Step Four – Cutting and Bending… or Prep Stage Two

Bending

For this we are going to employ the staple remover and your thumb. Place the tab with the longer side facing in into remover and then push down on the exposed part bending the tab into a slight angle.

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Cutting

In roughly the center of the short end of the tab use the side cutters to make a clean cut.

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Now just continue to repeat this step to make the many links. I suggest to make 10 or so to start with and then go back and make some more after you have started filling in your pattern. It Helps to save your hands a bit to go back and forth between bending / cutting and linking everything together.

Step Five – Assembly

Now lay out the pattern you are going to follow

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I suggest placing a row of tabs over the pattern to give you an idea of how many will be in each row.

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Now start with one cut and bent tab, Slide the top uncut loop of one tab through the cut bottom loop of another tap

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You should end up with something that looks like above.

Once you get a row of tabs put together its handy to keep them in place over your pattern with a piece of tape like so.

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Now just keep slotting the tab together and fill out the pattern.

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More tape keeps things in place!

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I try to work from right to left if I can help it but sometimes you will find that you need to fill in the pattern from both directions at once.

Step Six – Sewing

In the pictures I am working on a scarf/ half-shirt sort of design which means I am going to end up with two mirrored pieces that will need to be connected together. This is where the Wire or Ribbon is going to come into play.

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First we want to run the wire or ribbon around the perimeter of both the front and back pieces, weaving it in and out of the links this will help keep everything together.

Then stitch the front and back together on the seams with the same technique.

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Step 7 – Show it off!

 

Notes and Suggestions

Color – Spice of life

There are many different colored and shaped pop tabs out there. These can be used to weave patterns in your creation or to finish off the edges. Here are some examples

Don’t Skip the Sanding!

I know it one of the tidiest parts of the entire project but it’s worth it so the chain maille doesn’t get caught on clothing and other items

Shape or Pattern

I would Suggest drawing a rough outline of the pattern or shape you want to weave into the item that way you can layout your colored tabs ahead of time and the can be added to the item in the proper order

Paint it on

Don’t fret if you didn’t collect enough colored tabs for the design you want you can always paint it on either with acrylic paints or by applying a stencil and spraying over top. Don’t forget to protect the design with a clear sealant or clear coat like this

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How to Make Pants out of Crinkle Skirts

Take your skirt, lay it out on the floor. Measure from your waist to your crotch, and add 5 inches for extra room. Then what you do is you measure from the waistband on the skirt to however long you measured for your crotch of the pants, but lay this measurement down the centre front of the skirt.
Cut from the bottom of the skirt up to that mark. Before you cut, make sure all seams match. Its hard cause its crinkle skirts.

Then, sew up the seam as you would the inside seam of a pair of pants.

Then, make elastic casings on the bottom of the pant/skirt. Leave yourself about 5/8′ of room to fit in an elastic.

Run the elastic through, sew in the elastic, and you’re done.

Skirt

Supplies

  1. 2 meters of fabric
  2. Matching thread
  3. Either 1 pkg of 1/2″ elastic or 2m of 2″ ribbon

Equipment

  1. Sewing Machine
  2. Sewing Scissors
  3. Tape Measure
  4. Pins
  5. Iron and Ironing Board

Cutting

Cut two 1 meter by 1 meter squares of fabric.

Sewing


Lay the two squares together with the right sides facing each other. Pin and then sew along two of the parallel sides. Iron the seams open.

Pin and then sew a 3 cm hem around the bottom of the skirt. Iron flat. Fold over a 6 cm fold at the top of the fabric. Sew around, leaving a 4 cm gap by one of the side seams.

Thread either the ribbon or the elastic through the top of the skirt. (HINT: put a large safety pin through the end of the ribbon or elastic. It will help thread it through the fold.) If you are using elastic, tighten it to a comfortable waist and then tie it in a tight knot.

Finishing Touches

If you used ribbon, you can sew a small ring about halfway down the side where the ribbon will hang down. Then you can feed the extra ribbon through the ring and pull that side of the skirt up a little for easier walking.

T-Tunic

Supplies

  1. 4-5 meters of fabric (depending on how long you want it)
  2. Matching thread
  3. Wide double fold seam binding in either the same colour as your fabric or in a contrasting colour.

Equipment

  1. Sewing Machine
  2. Sewing Scissors
  3. Tape Measure
  4. Pins
  5. Iron and Ironing Board
  6. A Dinner Plate
  7. A Pencil Crayon in a Contrastic Colour to your Fabric

Cutting

You will need to cut three pieces. The first is just like the tabard. Measure the distance from the edge of one shoulder to the other. Add 6 cm and cut a strip of fabric of that width by the length of your fabric (about 2 m in length). Find the center of the piece, and using a dinner plate as a template trace around the place with the pencil crayon. Cut out the circle to create a hole for your head.

Then cut two rectangles that are the length of your arm (from the edge of your sholder to your wrist) long and 40 cm wide.

Sewing


With good sides together, pin and sew one edge of the seam binding around the outside of the circle. Leave enough to fold a little back to form a clean edge. Fold the seam binding inside and sew in place to finish the neck.

With right sides together, pin and sew the arms onto the main body halfway up on either side of the neck. Press the seams open.

Fold the garment in half and sew from the edge of the sleeve all the way down to the bottom of the tunic on both sides.

Try on your tunic and trim the sleeves or bottom if they are much too long. Then hem both the sleeves and the bottom of the tunic.

Basic Talbard

Supplies

  1. 2-3 meters of fabric (depending on how long you want it)
  2. Matching thread
  3. Wide double fold seam binding in either the same colour as your fabric or in a contrasting colour.

Equipment

  1. Sewing machine
  2. Sewing scissors
  3. Tape measure
  4. Pins
  5. Iron and ironing board
  6. A dinner plate
  7. A pencil crayon in a contrasting colour to your fabric

Cutting

Measure the distance from the edge of one shoulder to the other. Add 6 cm and cut a strip of fabric of that width by the length of your fabric. Find the center of the piece and using a dinner plate as a template, trace around the place with the pencil crayon. Cut out the circle to create a hole for your head.

Sewing


Fold over the edge along the two long sides and sew a hem. With good sides together, pin and sew one edge of the seam binding around the outside of the circle. Leave enough to fold a little back to form a clean edge. Fold the seam binding inside and sew in place to finish the neck. Try on the tabard and decide on how long you want it. Cut any extra off and hem the bottoms.

Finishing Touches

  • Add some decorative trim
  • Use fabric paint to paint a design on the front
  • Sew on a crest or a badge