Looking closely at the stock photo of the Elrond armor, I figured that there had to be some kind of vest underneath the chest plates that serve as anchor for the plates. That vest has a standing collar and extends to the bodice ending in a v-shaped waist. So this is what I imagined it would be.
The vest has a swirl design on the bodice, so I drew some lines and traced them on a stabilizer material that I could follow on the sewing machine. I didn’t want to have to deal with sewing on the large vest material, so I decided to make the swirls on a bodice shape and then attach that shape onto the vest afterwards.
The swirls would be embroidery lace, also known as soutache, which I thought I could find in brown. Sadly, all I could find was gold, so I painted the lace brown.
Then I sew-traced the soutache onto the bodice shape.
Then I removed the stabilizer and attached the shape to the vest, and there it is.
The next step was to attach the collar. I made the swirls first, then the silver piping (soft silver colored vinyl that I’ve had in my stash for a long time).
Yes, thank you for heavy duty sewing machines. And metal clips. I wouldn’t have been able to attach the collar and piping any other way.
And here’s the finished vest. Note that there’s a lot of scrap stabilizer material on the floor. The vinyl material is not sewing-machine-friendly – it sticks to the machine’s base plate and pressure foot. Solution: put stabilizer material under and over the vinyl surface; then gently tear the stabilizer off the sewn pieces. It’s tedious but it’s the only way to sew through the vinyl without specialized equipment.