Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club

Mandalorian Armor => Soft Parts => Topic started by: Gage Aldan on Aug 14, 2010, 06:36 PM

Title: Flak Vest
Post by: Gage Aldan on Aug 14, 2010, 06:36 PM
Hey everybody. I'm in the process of piecing together the soft parts of my armor. i was thinking about possibly making my own flak vest, simply because i can't seem to find one that i've liked. so, wat kind of material do you guys suggest that i use? I would like it to be a black vest, and it has to be durable.
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: Hondo Karr on Aug 14, 2010, 06:44 PM
Use the Boba or Jango vest template patterns and use either duckcloth or pleather. It would look WORLD's better if you used 2 layers of teh material with a thin layer of batting inside to give it the appearance of having some depth.
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: TheMandoMan on Aug 14, 2010, 06:56 PM
It would look WORLD's better if you used 2 layers of teh material with a thin layer of batting inside to give it the appearance of having some depth.

Unless of course you've got you're own "natural" padding like me (i.e. pudge  :P ), in which case just using duckcloth/canvas will be sufficient.   :D
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: Gage Aldan on Aug 14, 2010, 07:00 PM
i got some natural "padding" too. lol. can you buy material like pleather at any art supply store, or does it have to be a specialty store?
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: TheMandoMan on Aug 14, 2010, 07:22 PM
You can find it at places like JoAnn's Fabric or Hancock Fabric, or even Wal-Mart carries pleather and duckcloth in the fabrics section.
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: Gage Aldan on Aug 14, 2010, 07:24 PM
Thnks Raltho! and thanks to you too A'den!
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: randall ace on Aug 14, 2010, 10:54 PM
take a tshirt .... that fits you slightly loose.....cut it apart and use it as a pattern ... how i made  mine ...
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: Gage Aldan on Aug 14, 2010, 11:06 PM
thanks. I'm gunna do that. once again thanks guys for all the help. if anyone else has any pointers, please don't hesitate to say em.
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: Chucko on Aug 15, 2010, 04:26 AM
Do your research
Take your time
Plan it out
Get all the supplies you think your going to need and then a few extra (it sux running out once you've have momentum)
Shoulder bells were a nightmare for me. So do a mock up before you sew.
If your sewing skills are rusty practice on a few things first.
Choose your materials according to the sewing machine you have  i.e.  Leather does not work well in standard machines.
You will need two layers in the front. I used Vinyl and a quilt material. It helps by giving the armor more to hold onto.

There is so much more but I hope this helps.
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: Gage Aldan on Aug 15, 2010, 12:49 PM
every little bit helps. thanks. everything you guys are telling me is going down in a notebook that i'm calling, The Armor Guide: what you need to do tobecome a mando too.
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: BedlamX on Aug 15, 2010, 01:20 PM
take a tshirt .... that fits you slightly loose.....cut it apart and use it as a pattern ... how i made  mine ...

Just what I did. I used an old flannel shirt (so it had no stretch) that was about a size too small, pinned it up so that the bottom was at my belly button, then carefully ripped all the seams for pattern pieces. I did add about an inch to each side to account for the fact that I lined mine to hide the white backing of the pleather (and for my usual sewing mess-ups that make things too small :rolleyes:).

I put 1/2 inch poly foam padding in my first vest (same as I use in Resident Evil flak vests), but wasn't really happy with the results. The second vest (the one I had to scrap) had the same and worked out great. Final version got the padding left out as it was such a heavy vinyl, you'd never even know it was padded. On a side note...adding some 1/2 inch or thicker padding to the vest (if you use the short Boba style) helps offset the gut a bit by beefing up the chest  ;D ;). Main reason I used it on my first kit. Pair that with a fairly tight girth belt and you can look about 15-20 pounds lighter  ;) :)
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: OriKad on Aug 15, 2010, 02:06 PM
For my vest, I used a costume pattern for a civil war officer's jacket.  I'm one of the few Mandos out there that have a front-closing vest.
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: Gage Aldan on Aug 15, 2010, 02:55 PM
i was thinking about making mine, a side zip-up. that way it would be a bit more form-fitting, but stilll comfy. i don't it to move around too much. so i just went out and bought a few yards of black pleather. and i'm gunna take the zipper off an old hoodie. but i htink i'll try a few different types of ways to close it.
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: BedlamX on Aug 15, 2010, 05:29 PM
Yep. Made mine a side zip for ease of putting it on. Slides over my head and zips under each arm. Think the wife's will be laced up the sides, though. I think it will look better with the rest of the kit.
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: Ohl'd Vart on Aug 16, 2010, 03:28 PM
Here's what I've done several times:

1) Go to a thrift store and look for a leather or vinyl coat or long jacket just a bit larger than you need, in the color you want....make sure it’s smooth, or at least has 1 seam down the middle only….

2) Fold the collar inside, and try the coat/jacket on BACKWARDS, and snap/zip/button it up...

3) If it fits relatively well, and it's cheap, then you can buy it and take it home....

4) Remove the collar (use seam ripper or cut it off—if you cut it off, get close to the existing seam)...

5) Remove the sleeves (ripper or cut them off)...OR...you can cut a semi-circle pattern and leave the tops of the sleeves for caps (Jango-style)...OR...you can use the spare leather of the pockets for the caps later....leave a little for hem allowance.

6) I you use a long jacket, measure yourself from the top of your shoulder, down to where you want the bottom of the vest to stop, mark it, and cut and remove the extra material at the bottom....leave some hem allowance.

7) Cut the neck opening into a semi-circle (the back of the collar) so it feels right, and doesn’t choke you….leave some hem allowance.

8 ) On the reverse side (now the back of the vest – really the front placket), use Velcro, snaps, zipper, etc. for closure fasteners….you may have to move the buttons or add snaps to make it close better…

9) If it’s a bit baggy under the arms (and it will be, as you are now wearing it backwards, and it wasn’t cut for that), you can use safety pins or sew a folded dart under the armpits and down the sides to take up the extra cloth, and make it a custom fit…. if you place the closures/buttons right, you can take some of the "slop" out then.

10) Seam allowances: If it’s a leather vest, and you don’t have a heavy-duty sewing machine (and don’t try to sew leather with a standard machine, or you’ll strip the nylon dog gears), you can either sew it by hand, or use hot glue…just fold them hem allowances over and use a spot of glue.

11) Add the pockets or use some left-over fabric for sleeve caps (after making a semi-circular pattern for cutting), using hot glue or hand-sewing (if leather) or machine (if vinyl) to attach at the top shoulder seams….

12) That’s it! Now you can attach your armor plates via Velcro or the stud/grommet system…

Rob
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: Zedrin Ho'dag on Aug 27, 2010, 03:35 PM
Awesome information vod!  I read that the costume rules have changed and that T-Shirt flak vests were no longer acceptable.  Can someone please describe to me what a T-Shirt flak vest is so I can avoid such things?
Title: Re: Flak Vest
Post by: Dar'manda on Aug 27, 2010, 04:37 PM
Taking a t-shirt or sweater, cutting the arms off, attaching armor.

Reason for it is that the material that t-shirt and sweaters are made of are made to stretch a bit.  When you try to attach armor to it, the material stretches and the armor tends to sag and sit unevenly.  While you can surely use a t-shirt to help develop a pattern for your vest, I would recommend using a heavy cotton or vinyl for the vest itself.