How to Sew Foam Bracers

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Skill Level: Intermediate

Do you want to dress as your favorite superhero or maybe your own original character that has bracers? Today I will show you how I went about making these bracers with some stretch lycra fabric and craft foam. There are many ways to go about making these but this is a way to do it so the fabric of the bracers will match the fabric of your suit.


Here is the basic pattern I have made for bracers, the length of the straps will vary depending on the thickness of your wrist so be sure to measure them and adjust as needed, for mine the straps are 12 1/2 inches wide and the bracer is 7 inches in length. Again, adjust these as needed for your own size, though be sure to leave atleast an inch of room for overlap on where the straps will connect.



I transferred the pattern over to 2mm craft foam by freehand using a sharpie. The reason I use foam for this is because it is flexible, cheap, lightweight and easy to work with.




After cutting out the foam using a pair of scissors I decided I wanted the bracer to have some more form to it and not be as flat, so I altered the pattern slightly, you can choose to have it as it was before but I wanted to show this as an option as well, its up to your own preference.





As you can see I have added a triangle at the bottom of the bracer, what you will need to do is cut out that triangle and proceed to cut that triangle in half. Afterwards you will need to glue one of the half triangles back into place, the reason for this is we are creating a curved along the edge of the foam to create a more interesting form for the bracer. For this I used super glue but any glue of your preference is fine as this will all be covered in fabric later.






As I showed earlier, you can now see the the foam has a curved profile when put on its side, this will help the bracer to not look flat while you are wearing it.




With your foam bracer finished place it along the backside of your lycra fabric and outline the basic shape of the bracer, remember to leave atleast an inch and half of seam allowance so the fabric can fully overlap the foam. To mark this I use a sharpie and leave small dots along where I will be cutting, I do this instead of drawing a line so that the ink does not bleed through the fabric.



With your fabric now cut out you are going to want to cut small darts at each curved edge, this way the fabric will fold over the edge of the foam properly, at the end of this you should have four dart cuts in total.



Now that your fabric is cut its time for the fun part, sewing! For this I use a simple straight stitch with my Janome M7 continental, I start by doing a short straight stitch along the end of the strap on the under side of the foam and fabric. I recommend using a leather needle for this as you are sewing through a thick layer of foam, go slowly during this process.



With that first stitch done we can now top stitch the entirety of the foam to the gauntlet, go slowly around the edges and gather the fabric under the foam as you go, be sure to keep the lycra fabric as tight as you can underneath the foam, this way you get the cleanest appearance with little puckering on the gauntlet.




Once you have finished sewing along the edges you can then chose to sew some detail lines atop the foam like I did by the straps, because we have a foam base for the braces it makes every line you sew appear more in depth in appearance.



Lastly I used a small bit of industrial velcro to secure the straps together, you can choose to sew this on or glue it down, for mine I glued them into place.





And there you have it, arm bracers for whatever your needs may be! I have used this method many times for superhero suits that have raised pieces ( The bottom photo is from a previous superhero costume I made! )  and they really do compliment the overall look of your cosplay in my opinion! I hope this tutorial helps and shows how creative you can be with a bit of foam and fabric.


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