I felt like cutting metal squares earlier today. It didn't go as easily as I thought it would. The snips I have, which can handle up to 18-gauge mild steel, evidently cut 24-gauge aluminum like butter. 24-gauge stainless steel is another story. (I later found out that this particular piece of hardware handles up to 22-gauge stainless. I had no clue that stainless was so much tougher than aluminum. No wonder it's much less workable...) You have to line up the snips with your marked line and basically squeeze like a mofo. I used both hands and I still only managed to cut about 25 (and not all at once, either) and my right hand and forearm are tired. I decided to work on marking the cutting lines instead because it needs to be done anyway and this way, I can have them all marked so I can just cut a few squares every other day or so. I'm thinking of looking for some more powerful snips to order. I may need them to round off the edges of the squares that have to be trimmed so they don't stick out over the border of the armor piece. These snips do cut curves (some actually aren't designed to), but I don't know how I'm going to manage that with my method of cutting. Maybe I can just squeeze little bits of the cut and sand the living crap out of the result with an emery cloth to get it smooth.
I ordered a fricking assload of stuff: 10 yards of cotton twill, assorted dyes and fabric paints, dyeing-related fixers and treatments, and a black cotton Lycra unitard (for Zhang He - though the unitard looks brown in the game sometimes, it's actually black, and though his has an unusually deep armhole on one side, I'm not going to replicate it because I like the symmetrical look better and I don't want to risk a boob popping out). Yay stuff.
The pants are slowly getting finished. I wound up just cutting the hem tape mess off the top with pinking shears and then pressing and pinning the waistband so I can go from there (mark, sew, and cut the buttonholes for the drawstring, install drawstring and elastic, sew waistband, w00t). This worked because a) the waist was going to wind up lower than what the pattern called for, b) I marked a new even top line first and carefully cut above it (better to cut too little off than too much), and c) when I folded the waistband over, I used the intersection of the fold with the fabric pattern as a reference to ensure that I was folding it evenly. This is one case in which using strongly patterned fabric worked out very well.