Step 6. Making the Shoulder Straps and Filling In
The next step to making your chainmail shirt is to make it wearable. You are going to be putting straps on your shirt so that you can finally put it on. In addition, this step will show you how to fill in the chest and back of your shirt, including shaping the neck line.
1. Begin by making 2 identical strips of 4 in 1 that are long enough to go over your shoulder and reach down to an inch below your armpits on the front and back. Notice how this strip of 4 in 1 is oriented differently than the strips you made for the body of the shirt. It needs to be oriented this way, or else it wont connect.
2. You are now going to connect these strips to the body of your shirt. In order to make it symmetrical, you need to make sure the amount of rings between the straps on both sides is identical.
First, attach a strip to the body with about six inches between the two ends. The connection should look like the picture below. The blue rings are your shoulder strap, the red rings are the connecting rings, and the gold rings are the body of the shirt.
3. Connect the second strap on the opposite side of the tube, making sure that the rings are equal between the two straps.
5. It might be tempting to put on you shirt at this point. I would recommend waiting a little, but nobody's stopping you. Whether or not you put on the shirt, the next step is to start making the shoulder straps wider. Just start adding rows (red) onto the the two shoulder straps, going towards the middle. Make sure to add the same amount of rings on both straps.
Stop adding rows when the distance between the two straps is approximately equal to the width of the base of your neck. It might look something like this:
6. The next step is to start filling in the chest and back area. For the chest, just start adding rings in between the two straps. Stop once you like the look of it. Don't go too high though, or you might risk not being able to put your head through! Chainmail doesn't stretch like cotton.
7. Do the same thing on the back of the shirt. Generally the back will be higher than the front, but just fill in until you like the look of it. Again, make sure that you can fit your head through easily!
8. To make the neck hole look better, round the corners with some rings, like so. Do it on the front and back:
If you just wanted to make a vest, then you are done! Unless you want to make it fancier, in which case you can look at Step 8. If you want to make sleeves, you have a bit of work to do still.
And that's it for this step! Move on to Step 7!