Leather Underbust Harness




Introduction: Leather Underbust Harness

When I discovered Tandy Leather a few years ago, my life was forever changed. Okay, maybe that sounds a little dramatic, but I really do love Tandy. The staff were extremely helpful and the environment was so cool! I honestly don't remember if I planned on buying anything that first visit, but I walked out with a big piece of leather and an idea. I had to go back again for more materials (not that I minded, that place is awesome), but all my materials came from Tandy.

I looked around on the Internet for awhile, trying to figure out how to begin, but I eventually ended up guessing a lot and making my own design. Here's how that went:

Step 1: The Design

As with almost every project I take on, I started in Adobe Illustrator. I measured myself a lot and tweaked the design until it was exactly what I wanted.

Step 2: Patterning and Tracing

I cut out my design on parchment paper. For the straps, I used a ruler since they're just long rectangles.

Step 3: Cut It Out

I used a carpet knife to carefully cut everything out along the lines. *Pro Tip! Don't stab yourself in the leg with carpet knives.

Step 4: I Punched Lots of Holes in Them

Using a ruler, I marked where every hole needed to be. Then I used a leather hole punching set to punch all the holes. It took awhile and I hit myself with the hammer seven times.

The holes for the rivets ended up being too small, so I broke out the drill and made them bigger.

Step 5: Cowdust

I tested out all my pieces with the hardware, and it turns out the leather I got was too thick when it came to the straps. So I got out the belt sander and sanded them down until they worked. In the future, I will try using a planer instead.

Note: I very recently learned that you should NOT wear gloves while using a belt sander. For more info, see the comments section of this Instructable.

Step 6: Leather Dyeing

I used the cheap kind of dye that includes a topcoat because it costs less and takes less time. The bigger pieces were more difficult because it dried so fast I couldn't make it even. But it turned out pretty well and the uneven-ness gives it a good look for steampunk.

Step 7: So Riveting

Riveting was not as easy as I had hoped. I messed a few up, and there's not really a good way to fix it. But it ended up mostly fine. And it all held together, which is the most important part.

Step 8: Wear It!

It fits! The holes on all the straps make it adjustable, but some of the holes are just for show. It can't actually be adjusted smaller than this. I'm not sure how well it would work adjusted too much larger either, but it was designed to fit to me, so it doesn't really matter. If you're making your own, make sure you get your measurements down right.

I've worn this several times, for different cosplay type things. I've used it for steampunk and for pirate outfits and for the renaissance festival.

I hope you enjoyed my Instructable and I hope you like my harness! Thanks for reading!

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    98 Discussions

    Very talented creation!

    It's just for looks. I use it in steampunk and pirate costumes.

    could this be used somehow as a support back brace. It occurs to me that it may be better than typical store bought stretchy Velcro types. either as is or modified for such purpose.

    Did the plant survive the cowdusting? (last photo of step 5)

    I would strongly suggest NOT using a planer. Abrading with sandpaper and cutting with knives on a planer are dramatically different. The rigidity of wood allows for cutting off a thin layer. The flexibility of leather would allow all of the leather to be drawn up into the blade assembly, thereby destroying the leather and almost certainly damaging the planer or jointer, if you tried that.

    Buy the right thickness, sand or use a skiving tool, which would require much practice and skill.

    Best wishes. You have great talent and determination!


    love it. Thanks for sharing. Hubby and I are Tandy addicts. Great new project.

    Thank you for thst idea! I was thinking on those lines too. Bless you for the pattern! Down loading tonight!! See if it works for my back. Giving me hell this week. Bless you Jennie Bowie.

    OMG beautiful. I need to tighten a leather corset that is too big on me. But I don't know if I can do the riveting.

    I am steampunking as wel!

    Nice job and very nice look! Did I catch a "Llamas With Hats" reference on Step 4? ("I punched (bit) lots of holes in them..."). If not, then amazing episode 2 coincidence! https://youtu.be/ZpjyH-LkEAg

    1 reply

    Haha! Yes! Someone caught it! I thought it was funny, but I didn't know if anyone would get the reference.

    What is the minimxm cup size to wear with it ?

    Looks as would dig into the breast on the side. Maybe adding cups and line them with some type of padding

    1 reply

    It actually doesn't dig in. It really just sits underneath. It's not uncomfortable.

    Haha I wondered how I even got to this project, but it was featured in the newsletter and looks really great. I voted for it! Is there anything you'd change, fit/comfort wise? Thanks for the template! Great work!.

    2 replies

    Thank you!
    The only thing I'd probably change is I'd cut a couple inches off the length in the front. I don't know if that wording makes any sense, but I can't think of another way to word it.
    It works fine the way it is, but it can only get as tight as how I'm wearing it because the overlapping parts are too long and can't go past the rivets of the straps. If I cut it, I could make it fit tighter, which would make it fit a bit better.
    It's a really easy fix, so I might just cut it and re-dye the edge.

    I see what you mean, and it's obvious once you point it out.

    I have a few ideas for making it more adjustable/versatile... thank you so much for the inspiration. :)

    Very cute! Well done.

    Excellent work!

    I loved the 'patchy' dye effect I thought it was deliberate as looks so much more interesting and Steamy/Diesel-ly than an even dye. I was wondering how you did it, I assumed several random layers of dyes, Don't you just love serendipity.