Introduction: Creating a GI Joe Cobra Viper Forearm Bracer for Cosplay

Hoping to help some create this iconic piece of Viper gear

Step 1: Shopping List

You will need the following-
Red Pique fabric approx 2 yards (if you are making all the ribbing and shoulder pads for the costume)
Quilting batting 4 yards
Heavy interfacing 1 yard
Red thread
Fabric pen/pencil
1" red elastic 1 roll
Extreme glue stick
Sharp Scissors
2-3 sheets of heavy card stock

Step 2: Measure Your Forearm & Create Your Specific Pattern

You'll want to make the bracers to best fit your forearm you'll want to take the following measurements and write them down-
Distance from One end of hand to the other across the knuckles
Distance from middle finger knuckle to wrist
Distance from one end of your wrist to the other
Distance from wrist to the bend in your elbow
Distance from one side of the bend in your elbow to the other (widest part of your forearm)
Transfer the measurements to the cardstock (you may need 1-2 sheets) & it should create a pattern something like this-

Step 3: Create the Top and Bottom of the Pattern

Once you have you first pattern cut create a second pattern. This will be your top layer. Be sure to add one inch to the bottom layer's measurement (first pattern with forearm measurements) this will account for batting, interfacing, hem and connective overlap. You should now have 2 pieces that look something like this-

Step 4: Cut Your Fabric, Interfacing and Filling

Lay your patterns on top of your pique, trace and cut 2 pieces of each. The pique does have a right side and wrong side, the patterns should be symmetrical so you can fold your fabric and cut 2 pieces (note selvage). Using only the bottom or smaller part of your pattern do the the same with your interfacing & batting but with the batting be sure to cut 4 layers for each bracer (just fold with 4 layers if using sheet batting) When you cut your interfacing you can cut an additional 2 pieces- 1-the full back of hand piece and 2- about 2-3 inches back from the end of the forearm, this will add additional stiffness to those areas.

Step 5: Cut All Components

Once done you should have 2 of each piece in the photo. If you opted to stiffen the hand and forearm you would have 4 additional pieces of interfacing-

Step 6: Prepare Tops of Bracers.

You'll want to hem your tops 1cm all around. Fold over press with a hot iron using steam.

Step 7: Cut Your Elastic

Note- some action figures used black strapping while others used red strapping. The choice is yours however if you are creating this according the "The Finest- A G.I. Joe costume club" field manual you will need to use red. Do your best to use the "Dritz" brand red 1" elastic, it has anchor points woven into it for and extra strong attaching. I've used Michaels store brand here because the company I ordered the Dritz from has it on back order for another 2 weeks.

OK, you'll need to take 4 measurements the circumference of-
Your hand around your knuckles
Your wrist
2/3 of the way up your forearm
Widest part of your forearm just in from of the bend of your elbow

Divide these measurements in half and subtract 1/2 inch. Cut 2 pieces of each.
Disclaimer- you may like your bracers tighter or looser depending on preference. This is a general guideline!

When you are done you should have 8 pieces looking something like this-

Step 8: Attach Your Straps to the Bottom Part of Your Bracers

Glue your interfacing to the topside of the bottom portion of the bracer. Mark the the underside of your bracers where you will attach the strapping. Attach using a zig zag stitch pattern with medium width approx. 1cm from all edges? Don't worry about raw edges, the overlap from the top portion will cover them and reinforce the strapping. Attaching the strapping to the bracers first gives the top portion a clean look with no excess stitch lines.
Note: you can reinforce the back sides of the strapping with vinyl prior to stitching if you feel it's necessary

Step 9: Pre Assemble Bracers

Lay the topside of your top bracer portion down, add batting, add topside of lower bracer section on top of the batting. Pin into place.

Step 10: Sew Together

Complete your outer seams 1cm from the edge. Then mark you ribs spaced out 1" with your tailors pen.
You should end up with something like this-

Step 11: Complete Your Bracers

Using the underside of the bracer, sew your 1" ribs following the lines you drew working your way around the strapping. Be sure to only sew from he to hem.
The completed bracer should look something like this-


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