@Noserenda : The costume, yes. I only suggested the alternative because of how tight the budget was, and it couldn’t cover a long weapon or even a buckler. I play in the Marches and know that if you turn up on the day and want to be in the bill block, there’s always loaner weapons and armour available, which frees your budget up entirely for kit. TBH, nothing would stop you then moving to Highguard with 95% of the same kit, after trying out if you like larp. And I’m sure you could borrow enough weapons off Highguard players if you asked, but I don’t know if the same sort of established loan-out scheme exists.
I put this together out of quarters made from larger offcuts. I tacked the leather together with double-sided tape while I checked the fit, then used a small punch or awl and some rivets. The trick with upholstery leather is to use an awl, or a punch that’s quite a bit smaller than you thought. The leather has some stretch, and can pop off a rivet if the hole is just snug to the rivet stem.
BTW, this was 8 years ago and that was the first bit of large leatherwork I’d made. You’ll be fine. Just pattern it on some paper first and check before you cut.
If you make it hang down over your thighs and put a small split up the front, you get the half-leg coverage and can then just do half your arms with bracers. You can make that with no sewing and just one layer of leather.
I put buckles on the side, but you could just get one of these eyelet pliers, and bootlace it up the sides. That one’s great value as it rarely breaks the eyelets (unlike the ultra cheap ones) and has a decent punch in it too. Eyelets are great, because then you can put 2 on the shoulders and tie on shoulder pieces. You can make reasonable shoulder pieces out of a sort of underpants-shaped bit of leather.
You can stiffen upholstery leather a little by putting it in hot water and letting it dry. But it’s a faff, tends to deform it unevently if you’re not careful, and it doesn’t give any real benefit for thin leather armour. I’ve only used it to form the stuff a bit when I’ve made knife scabbards or other small pieces.
Once you have leather, you can use the smaller pieces to make some belt pouches. Literally a circle with holes punched round the rim. Tie a loop in the draw cord, hang it on your belt.