Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club

Mandalorian Armor => Female Armor => Female Vests/Flightsuits/Soft Parts => Topic started by: Irys on May 11, 2019, 04:04 PM

Title: WIP - Irys's Soft Parts
Post by: Irys on May 11, 2019, 04:04 PM
Vest progress: ( 12/28/2019
Vest "complete": ( 12/29/2019
Now that I have both my scrubs and the fabric for my flak vest, I can get started on those over the next couple of weeks.

I'm going to start the flight suit first, since I have to get the torso done before I can fit the flak vest to it, which has to be done before I can fit plate templates.

I have some sewing experience-- I made my Jedi librarian costume from scratch, but I'm mostly self-taught via online tutorials (I had a professional teach me to do straight seams and that was about it), so some of this will be new to me, including making new arm holes, princess seams, and zippers.

First thing's first, I needed the duct tape dummy of myself to fit everything to, because past experience has taught me that trying to fit things while wearing them is really hard.

Duct tape dummy:
Tutorial used:,
Materials: 1 roll of duct tape, old shirt, plastic wrap, and my husband's help

Results: An unflattering dummy crammed over my existing dress form. My husband was a little firm at the top and squashed my boobs. -_-



Total: $39.15

These are a 55/45 cotton/poly blend.
Southern California deserts are hot. Cotton = breathable, Polyester = durable.

Why mens? Most womens styles were 65% polyester and I wanted at least 50% cotton. I also had a frustrating time matching styles and fiber contents, which is important because, even with the same brand, customer reviews showed distinct color differences when mixing and matching styles. After hours of research, this men's style was the easiest to pair together with a reasonable expectation of matching top and bottom.

I was right-- they match perfect-- and the fabric is pretty comfortable. I got them in Pewter rather than black, and I really like the color (if that changes, I have some experience dying fabric).

( (Color comparison of pewter vs black fabric, indoors, camera flash)

Trousers: Need to be taken in from about the knee down, but otherwise are fine. I'll wait on that until I am on the boots/spats phase so I have a better idea of what to do there.

Shirt: This needs more tailoring. It's built for a man's shoulders, so I have to bring the shoulder seam up (otherwise raising my arms does horrible things to the rest of the shirt and feels stupid). There is also way too much fabric on the sides under my arms.

( (Indoors, no flash)

I'm ... a haphazard seamstress that was taught to do straight seams and have pretty much winged it with online tutorials ever since. So the only thing I know how to do about the shoulders is to put in that Jedi Shoulder tuck. :P

( (Shoulders tucked, indoors, no flash)

The shirt does look better straight on with the tuck, but it does nothing for the trunk of the shirt and actually makes it harder to try and dart it (something else I have never done). This just reveals just how much I have no idea what I'm doing... yet.

I've found some tutorials about actually tailoring a man's shirt to my size and I'll cut new armholes and add the sleeves back in. On the bright side, I can probably put both sets of sleeves on at the same time in the same seam.

To Do:
1. Remove pockets and labels (Started. I already put a small hole in the back trying to get the pocket off of the pants. Oops. Accidental weathering I guess.)
2. Wash scrubs (to deal with any shrinkage before I start cutting, and also to help close up the thread holes from the pockets/labels, and any stray threads)
3. Iron scrubs (cutting wrinkled fabric is bad)
4. Tailor shirt
5. Add inner sleeves
6. Tailor pants
Title: Re: WIP - Irys's Soft Parts
Post by: Veris Bralor on May 15, 2019, 03:19 PM
I like a good plan. And I agree on the color choice, an off black can do wonders for adding dimension to your kit.
Remember that you will have a vest, and likely a sash that can help cover up some of your tailoring/pockets/logos which should make some of this easier. But I agree on tailoring the shoulders etc, cause you want it to look and move right.
And best of luck!
Title: Re: WIP - Irys's Soft Parts
Post by: Irys on Sep 15, 2019, 04:24 PM
Update! I have been working on and off (slowly and once delayed by cranky obstinance).

Things I have learned:
Scrubs and other shirts do not have the same kind of arm scye, which made all those helpful tutorials very unhelpful. And I am not a knowledgable enough seamstress to work it out.
Darts are mystifying.
The Dickies EDS Signature V-Neck Top with the 55/45 Cotton/Poly fiber content has a women's cut and matching colors. (Helpful if you have mangled the men's shirt you bought).

So, I have the shirt and pants. I have not set the inner sleeves in yet. I've decided to hold off on that for a while until I figure out what to do about the shoulders. The shoulders on the women's shirt are still broader than my own shoulders. So, raising my arm above my head moves the whole shirt in an irritating way. I might want to tack the shoulder up (and I'd do this as part of inserting the inner sleeve).

I'm putting the flight suit on hold for a little while because adding the long sleeves won't affect the way the vest sits and I want to get the vest done ASAP so I can start testing plate patterns.

Flak vest:
Pattern: Simplicity 8480's side buckling vest as the base. (Bought at JoAnn fabrics during a 1.99 sale)

100% cotton duck canvas (burgundy) (9.99/yd reg, 6.99 sale, 20% off total order) (3 yards)
1" belting (gray)
1" D-rings (3 packs of 2 sets = 6 sets)
Invisible zipper

I made two muslin mockups.
I could not raise the v-neck without it looking stupid or fitting wonky (because I don't know what I am doing as a seamstress!) So, I am going to figure out making a permanent "modesty panel".

The pattern calls for ten 1/2" buckles. I was doing three 1" buckles to start with but after testing, I think I need to try at least one more belt per side because I dislike how it fits around the boobs. The buckles are sandwiched between the lining, so I need to buy more belting and buckles before actually sewing the vest together (I could put the vest together then put the belts on directly to the inside of the vest, which would make adding more belts easier, but I am concerned about the stitching that would show through the front. It probably wouldn't matter but I think I need to try and stick to the pattern since I really have no idea what I am doing and deviations at this stage rarely work well for me, lol).

The exposed zipper will be a lapped zipper (this is like an invisible zipper, the end result ought to just look like another seam. I've never sewn a zipper before so... if worse comes to worse I'll hide my mess with a placket... which I have also not made before... good times!

I still need to add shoulder tabs before sewing anything.

Here is a picture of the vest fabric, the flight suit (that's a pocket), and the belt webbing. It looks awfully red, but it's really burgundy.


I found suitable boots on accident at Walmart yesterday for 20 bucks. Ideally, I want gray boots that match my flightsuit, but on a budget these will suit for now.


They have laces and an inside zipper. I was already planning to make spats to mount the planned shin plates on, so that plan is still in place.

I printed the 5'6 jango plates. I need to get craft foam to start patterning that out and test darts and chest plate styles, but I need to figure out what I am doing with the vest first, dang it!  ;)

Title: Re: WIP - Irys's Soft Parts
Post by: J'Khara Vontess on Sep 18, 2019, 12:26 AM
Doing great! Winging it is how most things get done around here to be honest. You're in good company   :D Following with interest.
Title: Re: WIP - Irys's Soft Parts
Post by: Kryamla Redalur on Sep 19, 2019, 12:06 PM
Great start! If you want grey boots, you can always try painting them maybe? :)
Title: Re: WIP - Irys's Soft Parts
Post by: osukaru on Sep 27, 2019, 08:43 PM
this is looking really nice so far
Title: Re: WIP - Irys's Soft Parts
Post by: Raeza on Nov 23, 2019, 11:35 PM
I'm going to try the scrubs out, I ordered a men's flight suit in the smallest size I could and it was still massive. But it fit my fiance fine, so I guess I bought HIS flight suit lol
Title: Re: WIP - Irys's Soft Parts
Post by: Irys on Dec 28, 2019, 11:09 AM
I finally had some time to buckle down and work on my kit this week.

- Remove pockets on scrubs shirt
I had half the pocket detached when I discovered that it wrapped around the hem and was incorporated into the side seam. Instead of restitching that part of the pocket and leaving them on, I decided to plow ahead, which meant deconstructing the hem and about 9 inches of the seam.

...Well, the side seam is serged and I realized even a zig zag stitch would mean the seam would fray when washed and that fluffiness would annoy me. So I had to bite the bullet and stop being scared of my serger.


Anyway, it hindsight, I would have left the pockets on until the end because I'm going to tuck the shirt in anyway and the waist items would have hidden all of that... I could have saved myself a lot of time (but I wouldn't have used my serger, so...)

- Flak Vest
I moved onto the vest (Simplicity 8480). The serger was a beautiful thing, but in my enthusiasm, I totally forgot to quilt the pieces I was going to. I also almost forgot the sleeves!

I hunted up an old ren faire pattern that had sort of cap sleeves (McCalls Costume 4107) and used that... wrong. It was a football shape that was supposed to be folded in half. I didn't fold it because that would be too small, I just sweet talked it into fitting.

The outer and lining have their individual parts serged together (SERGER IS BESTEST), but the they are not themselves sewn together. I'm not sure if I want to keep going-- I don't know that I'm happy with the shape of the shoulder sleeves, and I was going to quilt the sleeves... but got so excited about the serger that I forgot.

So I've pinned it together and I'm going to fiddle with armor patterns while I make a decision to attempt quilting at this stage (I think I missed the boat...) and how the sleeve needs to be tweaked... and how I'm going to get the placket for the V neck on.

(I only have 2 belts pinned on each side just so I can start figuring out armor placement. And my kids thought it would be totes cool to play in my sewing kit and so the rest of my belts are AWOL somewhere in the house and no one knows where. There will be more belts eventually).

Title: Re: WIP - Irys's Soft Parts
Post by: Irys on Dec 29, 2019, 07:23 PM
(28 hours later...)

I have finished my vest, except for securing the side straps (since half the straps are still AWOL after the kids played with them). I managed to make a placket for the V-neck, after trial and error. I also cut the vest down so that it ends just above my belly button... which makes it look silly to me, but oh well.



...I am not sure I could possibly hate this thing any more than I do. It's probably just because I'm still a noob, so all in all it

Getting it on and off is a much bigger pain than I thought. Maybe it's because I haven't secured the straps and poke myself with pins, but I can't imagine getting into it with armor on it.

And the top stitching on the back zipper is janky. The zipper is sticky (even after applying soap). I kind of feel like adding the zipper ruined my lovely serged seams (and I also helped when I ripped them trying to be clever and thinking to sandwich the zipper in between... then realized I wasn't clever at all and tried to undo what I did...). One side is a smidge too long and I could theoretically fix it since I haven't closed up the lining, but it's probably not that important...

I can already tell that I'm going to end up making a different vest though. -_-

Regardless, I have a vest. I can start messing with armor patterning (!