Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Square Armbinder Prototype - Pattern development

I have been working a lot lately on the pattern for what I call the "square armbinder". This restraint holds the arms folded behind the back in a sort of pocket. This has been a challenging project because it it composed of only 6 pieces, and any change to one part of the pattern ripples through the others with sometimes unpredictable results. So far I have made 3 prototypes in vinyl, and 1 in leather - and at this point I'm still not happy with the result. I'll take you through the making of the 2nd leather prototype below. The fit of a piece like this is so important, not only for aesthetic reasons, but for function and comfort as well. Ideally this form-fitting restraint would be wrinkle-free and fit like a glove, encompassing the shoulders, neck and both arms in gleaming black leather. For this prototype, I'm using a piece of old leather I have lying around. It is not something I would use for a real project, as it is rather thin, dull and cheap looking. Perfect for a prototype! There are certain characteristics of leather that you just can't get with the vinyl. The leather stretches some, but not as much as the vinyl. This means something that fits in vinyl might only be fitting because of the stretch. When you make it in leather, you find it is too small.

We begin with all the pattern pieces cut out: 2 pieces for the front, 2 for the back, one panel for the bottom of the arm pocket, and a piece for the collar.
The first step is to sew all the darts. They look like this on the pieces: I use the clips to hold the darts while sewing. Here are the darts after sewing. It's one thing that makes this project tricky: There are 6 darts, and they all need to align perfectly. I have also sewn the left and right rear panels, and the lower part of the front panels together. Now it's time to glue down those seam allowances and darts. Here's a little trick: When cutting and folding the darts, I keep a flap at the seam allowance on one side. This keeps a gap from appearing when joined to the other piece. If you cut the seam allowance right at the dart line, there will almost always be a gap - kind of hard to explain, but if you make stuff in leather you will know what I'm talking about. Gaps are a bad thing... Once the seams are glued down, it's time to attach the bottom of the arm pocket. I align on the centerline of both pieces, and use the clips to hold everything in place. This is one part of the pattern that continues to evolve, with the more boxy shape I started with becoming more smooth and rounded. In general, leather likes rounded shapes. Once that's done, I'll sew the front panels to the back, once again aligning on the centerline. Here she is all clipped up and ready for sewing: The last major piece to attach is the collar, which also starts at the center, and is clipped the rest of the way from there. Now the major sewing is done. The next step is to flatten and glue down the seam allowances. This part is time consuming... Here's a detail of the interior of the arm hole. You can see I cut some slits to ease the leather around the curve. Here's the rear panel all glued down. It actually looks pretty cool inside-out, don't you think? And right-side out: Here's the back: A closeup of the dart. At this stage, the only thing left to do is attach the zipper. I use tape to hold the zipper in position while sewing. I used some heavy copper colored thread to topstitch to really make it pop. I forgot to put in the tongue, which I usually would sew in along with the zipper. Fortunately this is just a prototype, and I just ran another line of stitches. Sewing leather is less forgiving than fabric, because you are perforating the leather as you go. You can't just rip out the stitches and sew again, like you can with cloth. The finished zip trimmed to size with tongue in place. And now for the moment of truth: how does it fit? Right away I was a little disappointed in the fit along the front opening. There seems to be too much leather between the armpit and the zipper, which created a loose, slack line - not the effect I wanted! I'm happy with the overall shape of the arm opening, and the collar looks good. Also, the contour of the shoulder is fitting pretty well. It's important the weight of the arms is borne by the shoulders and not the neck. That part of the design is working. The arm pocket itself is a bit long, although it is hard to see in the photo. I plan to tighten that up on the next go so it fits a little closer to the elbow. Tighter is always better, but not too tight! From the back, it looks like I can tweak the rear darts, and flatten them out a bit - that should eliminate the puckering and smooth things out. It will also look smoother in the heavier leather I will use in an actual production piece. Well, we're not there yet, but I am getting close. I think the pattern is coming along nicely, and the problems can be ironed out in the final version. Thanks for following along, and see you next time.

Sleepsack play ideas from A to Z

Once your sub is securely locked and placed into his or her sleepsack, there are so many ways to tease, torment and play with your helpless little captive. Here are a few of my favorites:

A - Audio control Use earbuds under the hood or head phones over to pipe music into your slave. Block outside sounds and control their aural environement completely.

B - Breath control Don’t go overboard, but a little breathplay can be fun and really let your slave know who’s in control. Use a plastic bag, swim cap or earplugs. Evil, I know.

C - Forced Cum - Make you slave come whether they want to or not. Then keep them in there until they come again. No one said being a slave would be easy!

D - Sensory Deprivation - Use earplugs to block outside sounds. The all-over compression and lack of outside stimulus make whatever does reach your slave all that more powerful.

E - Endurance - Try to set a record for how long you keep your slave in the sack. Then try to break the record.

F - Feel your slave all over. From head to toe, touch transmits really well through skin tight leather. Especially the face.

G - A gasmask can come in handy to take your sleeepsacked slave even deeper into subspace. The rubber aroma and breath-control aspects of a gasmask can be quite intense.

H - Hold them on the edge. Get ‘em close to coming, and see how many times you can take them to the brink without going over.

I - Isolation Training - Use a baby monitor and leave your sacked victim in a dark quiet room, preferably in the middle of the night. See how long they last before whimpering for release. If you are really cruel, wait for them to whine, then just go in and pull all the laces tighter. Then leave again!*

J - Have your slave Jerk off first. Not all the way, but get your slave good and horny. Then zip them in. Nice and cruel, just the way you like it.

K - Kneepad: Place a pad between the knees and ankles to reduce pressure from bones grinding together. Ideally, within the sleepsack there should be no skin-on-skin contact.

L1 - lock ‘em in. Use a lock to secure the zipper shut. There’s no way out anyway, but using a lock just completes the thought. You'd be helpless to escape without it, but a lock just takes it to a whole other level psychologically! Just be sure not to lose the key.

L2 (Yes, I have two L's) - Layering: Have your slave wear a latex or lycra catsuit before placing them in the sleepsack. It creates a whole different sensation.

M - Bondage Mittens - put mittens on your slave’s hands (or wrap them with cling film) before they slide into the sleepsack’s internal sleeves. It makes the sack fit tighter and increases the feeling of complete helplessness.

N - Focus on the Nose. When you are in a sleepsack and hooded with nose-holes only, one of your few unencumbered senses is your sense of smell. For leather or latex fetishists, a piece of that material over the face can just plunge you into an olfactory otherworld. For the boot fetishist, being forced to breathe the air inside your mistresses freshly worn boot is an intoxicating leather-scented dream.

O - Sensory Overload: Use all tools at hand on your slave’s tool/naughty bits. Vibrators, feather, slapper, fur, crop, suck, slap, stroke it for all it’s worth. Works well when you alternate Sensory Overload with Sensory Deprivation.

P - Pressure: Press on your slave with your body. Lie on them with all your weight. Sit on their chest with their head between your thighs. Facesit, and rub your sex on their nose.
Good times!

Q - Quiet time. Threaten additional punishment if your slave makes any noise. Reward them for being extra silent. Make it hard for them to keep quiet, by teasing, slapping or surprising them.

R - Restriction - Go all out for a completely restrictive experience. Use all the belts and straps you have on top of your sacked slave. If possible, strap them to a board or bench so that all possibility of movement is eliminated.

S - Silent treatment - Make no noise, and be absolutely quiet throughout the entire sleepsack session.

T - Timed sessions - Set a time amount, and see how quickly you can reach the amount. Think you could do 8 hours in a week? How about 24? Come up with a challenge with your slave, then go for it.

U - Undergarments - put your used panties over your slave’s breathing holes, and let him inhale your perfume.

V - Vibrator torments - Use appropriate vibrator on your sacked slave. For the female slave, nothing beats the Hitachi Magic Wand - and you can zip it inside with her. If you have nipple access, those vibrating tit clamps are hard to beat.

W - Wake your slave in the middle of the night, and force them into their sleepsack. Roll over and go back to sleep while they lie awake, aroused and frustrated. You wouldn’t dare? You would! *

X - The X factor. The great thing about sleepsack sessions is the unknown. Mix it up, so your slave never knows what’s coming. There are thousands of different scenarios, so you never have to do the same thing twice.

Y - Yours, exclusively. Telling a slave that you have to keep them under wraps, where you can keep an eye on them is an important part of sleepsack training. They are your property, and you must keep them under complete control at all times. What better way to do that, than by putting them in the sack?

Z - Zzzzzzz - Ever have your slave fall asleep in the sack? Offer them a prize if they do.

* Never actually leave a bound person unattended, even if you are pretending to. Always stay within earshot and constantly monitor the well-being of your slave. Remember: safety first!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Female Bondage Hood Pattern

For all of you crafty types out there, I wanted to post a simple 4-panel hood pattern sized for a female head. This is the same pattern I used to make the hood for LT, at mylovelytoy.com. It was made out of a light weight lamb leather that should be sewable on a home machine.

There are dotted lines on the pattern showing the forehead, chin to crown, and neck measurements. Make adjustments to the shape and size of the pattern to ensure your hood fits just right!

I'm not even sure if this will work, as the blog won't let me upload a PDF file, unfortunately. I had to convert the pattern to a JPG, which is not ideal. Anybody know how I can post PDFs? I hope to share more patterns in the future...

Special thanks to LT for letting me post her images of the hood in use!

Update: I managed to post the file on Deviant Art, so if you want the PDF version of the pattern, it's located here. Thanks all for the suggestions!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Projects in progress

I have been so completely busy with projects lately, which is a good thing, I know. I just wish I had more time to dedicate to leather craft, as the projects are really piling up right now... To those who have contacted me for custom work, I appreciate your patience, and will get to each of you eventually!

Sometimes the everyday workshop routine doesn't make for very interesting blogging, I'm afraid, which is why it's been a while since my last post. I try and spare you all the boring, tedious bits. I have three projects in progress at the moment: an f-suit, a custom armbinder, and a male version of the butterfly jacket with a matching hood for my friends over at Serious Bondage.
For the f-suit, I am (as usual) adjusting the pattern to fit the client's specific measurements. The only real custom modification on this piece is to the foot pocket, which is to be more pointed than the usual shape to accommodate a pointed toe position. Since I have already covered the step-by-step making of a f-suit on this blog, I decided not to repeat showing the whole process again. I'll try and only show new and different techniques as they come along.

The couple ordering the suit seem really cool and sweet, and it is always fun for me to work with people in a relationship who want to make something kinky special together. I think it's terribly romantic!

The next project that has been getting a lot of time is what I refer to as the Square Armbinder. It is modeled after a piece I saw on InSex a number of years ago, and have had several people contact me to see if I could do something similar. Making a pattern for a piece like this usually begins with a wrap of cellophane and duct tape. Once I cut that off, I use the pieces to develop a pattern which I use to make a prototype in vinyl. Here's the first fit test below:

The vinyl is good for proofing the basic pattern, but because it is thinner and stretches a lot more than leather, it can only take you so far. Something that stretches to fit in vinyl but won't in leather can turn into a big problem.

In this case, I have made a second prototype in leather to really help me figure out how certain parts will fit. It is a simple pattern, but with some complicated curves and contours that need to fit just right. Add in the darts and seams that need to align perfectly, and it gets to be a little tricky. Here's the leather prototype:
In the final version of this armbinder, there will be a rear lacing panel. But for the prototype stage, I just need to perfect the overall shape of the design. Once I have the envelope perfected, I can add the lacing panels to the pattern.
There will be a separating zipper closure in the front, and all the adjust ability will come from the lacing panel in the back. The leather I used for the prototype is not the greatest - it is rather stiff, and I don't like the surface too much. I am really looking forward to doing this in some really soft, beautiful leather. It's going to be great looking! A real sexy piece...