Kaden (author of Eccentric Cubicle) wrote in with a charming tale of something he made for his wife…
Heya, Phil… Lemme tell you about my wife.
I met Kaia ‘The Sourceress’ Howe about 10 years ago. The woman has more cool stuff than any 5 humans have a right to own, and a tool fetish that makes mine look like a casual interest. She has a habit of disappearing into one of her closets for a 5 minute rummage, emerging twith anything from a battered cardboard box to a bright and shiny Zero Haliburton fitted with a milspec biometric lock. She’ll offhandedly open the container in question and pull out something rare and trippy with a WTF factor solidly in the mid 9s…
One of the first times she did this to me, the box in question contained a dozen plate mail butchers aprons, formerly in the service of the California penal system. They’re the same stuff Tina wore in Beyond Thunderdome… 3/16″ nickel over brass squares linked together with stainless steel rings, forming an amazingly soft and flowing pseudofabric. Kai had been carting these things around for years, with every person who saw them confidently proclaiming ” I can make something cool out of that stuff”.
Turns out they couldn’t.
Anyway, I oohed and aaahed over these things for half an hour, then the convo turned elsewhere, leaving the material and the challenge solidly lodged in my subconscious. At 3 oclock the next morning I sat bolt upright in bed, reached for the end cutters conveniently sitting on the bedside table and said “Gimme one of those things…I can make something cool with it”
2 hours later Kai was provocatively modeling a shiny metal thong that fit like a glove every possible way.
She was thrilled, I was overconfident. Bouyed by my success, I proclaimed “Now I’m gonna do a bra…you can wear it tonight when I take you out for dinner”.
Not so fast, Mr. Victoria’s Secret…
Dude, bras are seriously complex geometry; I can easily understand the strain placed on Hughes Aerospaces’ engineering team when Howard assigned ‘em the task of properly presenting Jane Russels’ heroically parabolic assets. Couple this with a ‘fabric’ which allowed tolerances no smaller than 3/16″ and had to be relinked and soldered to form a seam and even Tim Gunn would be hard pressed to ‘Make It Work’.
Plus I’d never actually made clothing before. Or patterns. And I kept gettin’ distracted while taking measurements.
So it took a little longer.
Like, 84 straight hours kinda longer. (Yes, I can overfocus)
Damned if I didn’t finally get it to fit.
So I did a skirt, a yoke kinda top, gauntlets, knife sheaf, waist pouch purse thingie, garters, head dress, veil…all kindsa stuff. Sorta egyptian themed, for some reason.
When I finished, she asked me to marry her. She wore what I made at the ceremony.
While brides traditionally spend the night before the ceremony doing the final stitching on their wedding dress, Kai spent hers sitting on her bed with rubbing compound and a high speed buffer putting a polish on her armour.
Anyway, she pulled it out last night and laced some of it onto a mannequin.
Eccentric Genius: Antiques from a Parallel Universe - Link.