The Witcher costume – the shirt

Should I buy a sewing machine? Should I not buy a sewing machine? Should I buy a pizza?” So went the worries repeating in my mind as I stared deep into the computer’s screen, as deadlocked as the handsomest mutex.

Days passed without decision.

Guys I bought a sewing machine. It was around 90 Canadian dollars, and (thanks, in some part I’m sure, to retroactive rationalization) I’m happy with the decision.

Geralt’s sleeves are made of quilted leather, but I thought they looked more like a a suede or nubuck. Or you know, just a fabric. So I went with that.

Not sure where I got that idea, since they look like leather here.


I ordered some fabric from fabric.com, which turned out pretty well despite their questionable stock count. (Twice they emailed me after I ordered to let me know they didn’t have stock. Twice on the same order, with different fabrics, days apart.)

The most visible parts of the shirt are the sleeves, so I started with those.

I cut a big rectangle with one dimension about the length of my arm, and started on the faux-quilting. By which I mean I folded the fabric and sewed along the fold line.

Like this, but better.

quilting the sleeves

Fast forward like fifteen fold-and-sews later and I felt I had enough quilted fabric to comfortably wrap around two of my arms (individually). Hashtag sleeves.

I cut the fabric, and sewed both sections into tubes. Because what are sleeves but glorified tubes. Right? Right guys?

But now that I had sleeves, how could I hold them up? I decided to build a sort of sleeve harness, or shirt, if you will. I cut out some pieces of fabric that I hoped would roughly correspond to the front and back of a shirt and sewed them to arm-tubes. They didn’t quite fit the sleeves, but oh well the armour would hide that! (Actually, that turned out to be a bonus for pendant reasons.)

Here's me in the shirt, and the work-in-progress armour

Witcher shirt & armour, in progress

There. Shirt done, unless we care about a bare midriff. Which, sigh, I guess Geralt doesn’t go around sporting. What a prude he is.

The bottom part of his shirt/armour is made of strips of leather on the sides and chainmail at the front and back. For the sides, I used the same quilting process on some fake leather (I actually meant to order a different, more textured one but I clicked add-to-cart on the wrong product. Because I’m terrible at internet shopping.)

I used larger, unquilted pieces of leather to back the chainmail (which I’ll go into later), and sewed it to the sides. And then sewed the whole thing to the bottom of the shirt.

After which, I absently watched TV as I punched holes (using a hole punch) and threaded the leather strips through.

Here's a picture of the threading in progress


The leather strip were from a bag of remnants from Michaels and were approximately $10. There were way more strips than I needed. I still have a bag full of them.

What am I going to do with these?

leather remnants