these are a commissioned set i custom made for a client. i documented the making because i haven't found anything else out there with any real instruction or patterns for these. They don't have the rocket plates on the sides because he is having those made by another prop company, so i only punched mounting holes for them.
Step 1: Pattern and Cutout - Front
so, i kind of had to eyeball the original movie props and go from there. i got my client's measurements from knee to ankle, and around the calf at just below the knee and around his ankle. for a template i used some 14x20" sketch paper. the leather was of a heavier weight, 7-8 oz, so i oiled and distressed them some to soften them up. then i used a 3/4" oblong punch for the strap holes up top.
Step 2: Pattern and Cutout - Rear
here i took one of the fronts and wrapped it around another piece of sketch paper, measured it to my client's calf measurement. then i lightly traced around the edges of the front onto the paper. using that, i added a couple inches for overlap on each side.
Step 3: A Little Tooling and Coloring
i used some tooling to mimic the appearance of the movie props. just a swivel knife and background stamp. i freehanded most of it. i used 1/2, 3/4, and 1 inch oblong punches, tapped only partly into the leather, for the pattern at the knee. i used the background stamp tool in those patterns, then used a brush and dyed them black. i used light brown (yeah, that's fiebing's light brown dye) for the fronts and USMC black for the backs, except for the top triangle.
Step 4: Hardware and Straps
to attach the square rings, i used a bit of brown garment leather as it's more flexible. i folded it over one side of the ring and fed it through the punch out and set it using a rivet.
on the backs i used screw-back button studs similar to the ones on the movie prop.
then the tedious part: cutting out twenty eight 3/4" wide straps and dyeing them. ugh.
Step 5: Punching Millions of Holes.
next i attached all the straps and punched holes for the button studs. then i made a friend of mine hike up his pants leg and sport it around for a minute.
Step 6: The Parts That Go Over the Shoes ?
i set one assembled cover on top of my shoe which is slightly larger than my client's, and measured about 2/3 of the way down it, enough to cover the laces. i then made the template for the part that covers the laces, and attempted to have them resemble the movie prop as closely as possible. i again used my 1/2, 3/4, and 1 inch punches to lightly incise the leather, then used my background stamp to texture the area inside. then again with the black dye in the holes and the light brown over the rest.
before moving on, i went ahead and used a chisel punch to make the stitching holes.
Step 7: More Assemblage. That Doesn't Even Look Like a Word But I Think It Is. Rocket Holes.
then i punched holes on the front for the stitching. i made sure there were the same number of holes on the fronts and the lace covers. before sewing them together, i went ahead and used the rocket template to punch those holes, because after sewing the lace covers to the uppers, it's difficult to get them perfectly flat.
oh, i also set the rivets in the tabs on the lace covers. i used an XL rivet cap set on a small rivet base, cause the leather here is 3-4 oz.
Step 8: Final Assembly
then i sewed the uppers to the lace covers, and punched a double row of stitch holes on both sides of each lace cover (see closeup pic) and sewed on an elastic strap to hold the lace covers to the shoe while they are being worn.
the last two photos are of the actual movie props for comparison.
that's it. hopefully i will be famous now. thanks for reading!
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