Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club

Mandalorian Armor => Female Armor => Topic started by: Carmila on Feb 07, 2022, 09:57 PM

Title: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Carmila on Feb 07, 2022, 09:57 PM
Hi everyone! After nearly 7 years I am really on a roll to try and finish my  kit, but my vest is well....... lets just say fit before the pandemic weight decided to rear its ugly head.

Since my weight is fluxuating so much and the rest of my soft parts have some stretch has anyone done a vest that laced up or had a hidden panel of stretch in either the back or along the sides? This is the only way I can think about dealing with the weigh loss I am going through right now without having to keep redoing my vest.

(BTW I am on my 3rd vest now in 7 years due to weight gain/loss. It is getting old!!)
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Tramp Graphics on Feb 07, 2022, 10:27 PM
My vest has adjustable straps on either side. Itís a ďTrue GritĒ armored motorcycle vest by Speed & Strength. Itís a menís vest, but it adjusts to a range of chest and/or waist sizes.

Hereís a side view of it to show the side straps and how it adjusts.

(https://i.imgur.com/GFXoORE.jpg)
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Sabine on Feb 08, 2022, 08:29 AM
Having done lace up sides...they're rough and hard to do up without a helper. I think stretch panels in the side may be a good option to try, I've used that method for children to give them extra time in their vest as they grow. A third option would be adjustable straps on the side that close with parachute buckles. With that method, you'd just want to make sure you have loops to keep the ends laying flat. Most members that go this method do as many as 4 or 5 straps.

Personally I would avoid vests like that mentioned above. Generally even if you can find one that's made for women, they don't have enough points of adjustment to fit the chest and the abdomen correctly, and they often gape at the back of the shoulders.  Because of all the layers and binding on them, they're a right pain to adjust or tailor too. As they are also typically front zip, it would mean re-placing most of you armor every single time you kit up and are just a pain. I tend to lump them in with tac gear as well - might look cool, but doesn't really fit the aesthetic, and they have to modded to not look off the shelf.
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Tramp Graphics on Feb 08, 2022, 12:52 PM
Having done lace up sides...they're rough and hard to do up without a helper. I think stretch panels in the side may be a good option to try, I've used that method for children to give them extra time in their vest as they grow. A third option would be adjustable straps on the side that close with parachute buckles. With that method, you'd just want to make sure you have loops to keep the ends laying flat. Most members that go this method do as many as 4 or 5 straps.

Personally I would avoid vests like that mentioned above. Generally even if you can find one that's made for women, they don't have enough points of adjustment to fit the chest and the abdomen correctly, and they often gape at the back of the shoulders.  Because of all the layers and binding on them, they're a right pain to adjust or tailor too. As they are also typically front zip, it would mean re-placing most of you armor every single time you kit up and are just a pain. I tend to lump them in with tac gear as well - might look cool, but doesn't really fit the aesthetic, and they have to modded to not look off the shelf.

That depends upon if you want a front zip or not. I actually prefer front closures on upper garments for ease of getting into and out of them by myself.

To be clear, however, Iím not specifically recommending she get this vest in particular. It is specifically a menís vest (I am a guy). My suggestion is to show the side straps it uses that allows it to adjust to different sizes. The True Grit use Velcro to secure the straps. There are four straps in total, two per side. Each is permanently attached at the back of the side panel, runs through a rectangular ring attached to the front of the side panel, and securing with Velcro to itself. Straps with Parachute buckles work as well. Thatís what I use for my cuirass (my armor is not attached directly to my vest, itís a completely separate piece of kit). Going with side buckles also works as a closure method for getting into and out of your vest, so no need of a back closure.
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Sabine on Feb 08, 2022, 02:58 PM
That depends upon if you want a front zip or not. I actually prefer front closures on upper garments for ease of getting into and out of them by myself.

To be clear, however, Iím not specifically recommending she get this vest in particular. It is specifically a menís vest (I am a guy). My suggestion is to show the side straps it uses that allows it to adjust to different sizes. The True Grit use Velcro to secure the straps. There are four straps in total, two per side. Each is permanently attached at the back of the side panel, runs through a rectangular ring attached to the front of the side panel, and securing with Velcro to itself. Straps with Parachute buckles work as well. Thatís what I use for my cuirass (my armor is not attached directly to my vest, itís a completely separate piece of kit). Going with side buckles also works as a closure method for getting into and out of your vest, so no need of a back closure.

Again, these style vests lack the number of adjustment points necessary for it to be correctly fitted to a non flat torso (ie boobs). I know how these vests work, and they are not a great option for women. If you weren't recommending it, there is no need to post it.
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Frostfyre on Feb 08, 2022, 03:01 PM
Again, these style vests lack the number of adjustment points necessary for it to be correctly fitted to a non flat torso (ie boobs). I know how these vests work, and they are not a great option for women. If you weren't recommending it, there is no need to post it.

Seconded this. Women's tailoring is a different fruit compared to adjusting for a man's torso
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Venix Arden on Feb 08, 2022, 03:11 PM
Hey there Carmila!

What Sabine and Frostfyre say is spot on. As trained Ruusalore, they are the go-to officers for CRL questions and advice. Especially for female armor construction. I know both these ladies and I can assure you they won't steer you in a direction of uncertainty.

Looks like you're in Mandagalaar territory! I know the Ruusalor there and she would be *very* happy to talk to you about your build. I'll post her profile below.
http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;area=summary;u=33200 (http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;area=summary;u=33200)

The best way to ask a question is to ask it those the answer applies to.

Happy building!

Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Ru'Stor Rawr on Feb 08, 2022, 03:27 PM
Hey there Carmila!

What Sabine and Frostfyre say is spot on. As trained Ruusalore, they are the go-to officers for CRL questions and advice. Especially for female armor construction. I know both these ladies and I can assure you they won't steer you in a direction of uncertainty.

Looks like you're in Mandagalaar territory! I know the Ruusalor there and she would be *very* happy to talk to you about your build. I'll post her profile below.
http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;area=summary;u=33200 (http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;area=summary;u=33200)

The best way to ask a question is to ask it those the answer applies to.

Happy building!

 This ^
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: candygirl_mn13 on Feb 08, 2022, 03:38 PM
I have a wraparound vest that cinches at the back that I have been able to use for going on 8 years (this year). It's been able to adapt to weight gain and loss fairly well! Essentially what I did was create a fitted/tailored vest, and then I added two side panels to the back portion of the vest. When I am thin, those side panels wrap around to my front underneath the front portion of my vest, and then several cinch straps close at the back and can be tightened/loosened. When I gain weight the straps can be loosed, but you never see my flight suit underneath because of those side panels. There are tons of "right ways" to create vests that can fit a changing body, especially a body with breasts. I found my vest design REALLY works well for me and off the shelf vests designed for flat chests absolutely DO NOT.
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Keely on Feb 08, 2022, 03:56 PM
http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?topic=153929.0

I wrote this tutorial and I use lace up sides specifically to be able to be adjustable. I haven't had a problem lacing them myself when required (I keep one side laced most of the time), but I do usually have someone else lace it if there's someone there to do it.
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: GardenGeek on Feb 08, 2022, 03:58 PM
I understand about the weight fluctuation, itís happened to me a few times, especially over covid.

I did make an adjustable vest :) With my vest I made it to my current size and shape, and then added in buckles on the sides to make it adjustable. To get in and out I made it open at the shoulder so I wouldnít have to remove any of the chest or back armour. 

(https://i.imgur.com/F3JnLQQ.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/cFnE4Ob.jpg)

I attached the webbing not to the edge, but into the centre panel of my vest which allows me to really cinch it in as needed. 
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Carmila on Feb 08, 2022, 04:39 PM
Hey there Carmila!

What Sabine and Frostfyre say is spot on. As trained Ruusalore, they are the go-to officers for CRL questions and advice. Especially for female armor construction. I know both these ladies and I can assure you they won't steer you in a direction of uncertainty.

Looks like you're in Mandagalaar territory! I know the Ruusalor there and she would be *very* happy to talk to you about your build. I'll post her profile below.
http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;area=summary;u=33200 (http://mandalorianmercs.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;area=summary;u=33200)

The best way to ask a question is to ask it those the answer applies to.

Happy building!

Sadly, I moved from SoCal in 2020 for a new job in GA, so I am in Naast territory now. Manda'galaar was who I was with for years when I started this kit back in 2015 before the last Celebration Anaheim (Ryan and Ernest helped a TON in cutting, shaping my armor). After many years of Ren Faire and years as a member of the UK Colonial Marines, I am very comfortable with side lacing, hence why I asked. Part of why I didn't have my armor done for C7 is because of the vest issue - after rushing to make it, I made it a bit too small due to stress weight right before the con.

I do appreciate all the help. 90% of why this has taken so long is the fact that I haven't been able to fit a vest nicely to my true pin-up proportions!
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Carmila on Feb 08, 2022, 04:44 PM
I understand about the weight fluctuation, itís happened to me a few times, especially over covid.

I did make an adjustable vest :) With my vest I made it to my current size and shape, and then added in buckles on the sides to make it adjustable. To get in and out I made it open at the shoulder so I wouldnít have to remove any of the chest or back armour. 

(https://i.imgur.com/F3JnLQQ.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/cFnE4Ob.jpg)

I attached the webbing not to the edge, but into the centre panel of my vest which allows me to really cinch it in as needed.

WOW! This is AMAZING! What pattern did you base it off of? Something like that is always what I was imaging as I am using work a workout gear underthings instead of a flighsuit at some recommendation of other female Vod from SoCal.
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: GardenGeek on Feb 08, 2022, 05:16 PM
Thank you! I made the pattern myself, using a sloper that I drafted of my torso.  I have a 34i bust, so finding patterns that fit across the bust, and under the arms, and in the waist, and also deal with weight fluctuations felt impossible.

Whatís really neat about slopers is that once you have that, you can move the darts around on it and use it for so many different types of garments. I used it to make a bo Katan chest plate, and my current modern style plates as well.

(https://i.imgur.com/1jFbVWW.jpg)

 https://youtu.be/Ck2EhdeheLk (https://youtu.be/Ck2EhdeheLk) here is a tutorial for making a sloper if you want to take a look! It is really not as hard as it seems, and Iím available if you have questions 🙂

Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Tramp Graphics on Feb 08, 2022, 05:50 PM
Again, these style vests lack the number of adjustment points necessary for it to be correctly fitted to a non flat torso (ie boobs). I know how these vests work, and they are not a great option for women. If you weren't recommending it, there is no need to post it.

Iím using it strictly to show an example of side strapping for the purpose of adjusting the size of a vest, which is what she asked for. Thatís also why I only showed the side view, not the entire vest. That same style of strapping set up can be applied to a custom vest to fit a woman.
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Frostfyre on Feb 08, 2022, 05:58 PM
Thank you! I made the pattern myself, using a sloper that I drafted of my torso.  I have a 34i bust, so finding patterns that fit across the bust, and under the arms, and in the waist, and also deal with weight fluctuations felt impossible.

Whatís really neat about slopers is that once you have that, you can move the darts around on it and use it for so many different types of garments. I used it to make a bo Katan chest plate, and my current modern style plates as well.

(https://i.imgur.com/1jFbVWW.jpg)

 https://youtu.be/Ck2EhdeheLk (https://youtu.be/Ck2EhdeheLk) here is a tutorial for making a sloper if you want to take a look! It is really not as hard as it seems, and Iím available if you have questions 🙂

Seconded as well since my first vest is a sloper style as well, and I am planning another kit with the same method. You can also modify it with straps or any side attachment method that catches your fancy.
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Matchstick1021 on Feb 08, 2022, 06:10 PM
Iím using it strictly to show an example of side strapping for the purpose of adjusting the size of a vest, which is what she asked for. Thatís also why I only showed the side view, not the entire vest. That same style of strapping set up can be applied to a custom vest to fit a woman.

Tramp, buddy, I know your trying to be helpful. However your constant use of bold words gives the impression you are talking down to the members here. Please refrain from using them unless that is your intent.
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Carmila on Feb 08, 2022, 08:56 PM
Thank you! I made the pattern myself, using a sloper that I drafted of my torso.  I have a 34i bust, so finding patterns that fit across the bust, and under the arms, and in the waist, and also deal with weight fluctuations felt impossible.

Whatís really neat about slopers is that once you have that, you can move the darts around on it and use it for so many different types of garments. I used it to make a bo Katan chest plate, and my current modern style plates as well.

(https://i.imgur.com/1jFbVWW.jpg)

This is really neat. I have been sewing for over 20 years (yikes!) and this is something I never knew about. I have made vests and shirts from cutting up and draping on my dress form, but this is whole new territory for me. I just went rummaging in my basement and found my duck cloth as well as the pink for the rest of my soft parts. Thanks for this! I am going to look at doing it! (not just for Mando stuff, but for shirts as well)

 https://youtu.be/Ck2EhdeheLk (https://youtu.be/Ck2EhdeheLk) here is a tutorial for making a sloper if you want to take a look! It is really not as hard as it seems, and Iím available if you have questions 🙂
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: GardenGeek on Feb 09, 2022, 01:02 AM
Iím so glad you want to give it a try!  Itís scary when you realize how long  youíve been sewing hey?   I found out about slopers when I picked up a copy of Pattern Magic, an absolute breathtaking book on what you can do with patterns and slopers. It blew my mind that you can do so much, utilizing just a sloper and your imagination. 

Iím looking forward to seeing what you make for your vest, and Iím doubly looking forward to you getting your stripes 🙂
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Carmila on Feb 09, 2022, 09:14 AM
Iím so glad you want to give it a try!  Itís scary when you realize how long  youíve been sewing hey?   I found out about slopers when I picked up a copy of Pattern Magic, an absolute breathtaking book on what you can do with patterns and slopers. It blew my mind that you can do so much, utilizing just a sloper and your imagination. 

Iím looking forward to seeing what you make for your vest, and Iím doubly looking forward to you getting your stripes 🙂

I am pretty much self taught and my Mom just got tired of making my halloween costumes when I was about 11. Started with Costumes, now make my own clothes (mostly vintage repro). My first vest was black/grey 100% reversible and it was awesome. Except for I forgot to add in seam allowances thus it came out too small. Had I just laced it or strapped it instead of using industrial velcro I would have been fine.

Thanks for this info! I am going to look into it today.
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Tramp Graphics on Feb 09, 2022, 11:38 AM
I am pretty much self taught and my Mom just got tired of making my halloween costumes when I was about 11. Started with Costumes, now make my own clothes (mostly vintage repro). My first vest was black/grey 100% reversible and it was awesome. Except for I forgot to add in seam allowances thus it came out too small. Had I just laced it or strapped it instead of using industrial velcro I would have been fine.

Thanks for this info! I am going to look into it today.


Do you still have it?  Why not open up the side seams and add some straps then see how it fits?
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Carmila on Feb 10, 2022, 08:52 AM


Do you still have it?  Why not open up the side seams and add some straps then see how it fits?

Because I am about 30 lbs heavier now and I gave it away in 2015 to a girl in our clan. It was a little big on her, but she grew into it just fine.

I started my kit back in 2014 so I could have it for Celebration 7. I worked on it off and on over the years, but never had the heart to finish it till recently when I had event FOMO.
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: ishtob on Feb 10, 2022, 07:25 PM
I understand about the weight fluctuation, itís happened to me a few times, especially over covid.

I did make an adjustable vest :) With my vest I made it to my current size and shape, and then added in buckles on the sides to make it adjustable. To get in and out I made it open at the shoulder so I wouldnít have to remove any of the chest or back armour. 

(https://i.imgur.com/F3JnLQQ.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/cFnE4Ob.jpg)

I attached the webbing not to the edge, but into the centre panel of my vest which allows me to really cinch it in as needed.

woa this vest is amazing!! great job desiging and sewing it!
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: Carmila on Feb 27, 2022, 11:06 AM
I am still working on the sloper, but what about this corset style belt for the girth belt? This has a little more shape to it and will lace up the back to hide under my cape.

(https://i.imgur.com/3VqvOc3.jpg)
Title: Re: Vests and Weight Flux - Help!
Post by: GardenGeek on Mar 09, 2022, 02:17 AM
I like it!  Itís a clever solution for your girth belt.