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 Cotton Flak Vest?

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Cotton Flak Vest?
« on: Sep 25, 2021, 01:55 PM »
I've started work on a fairly basic kit as I move up toward building an MMCC-standard one, looking to try out different ideas and methods to make something as reasonable and affordable as possible, so that when I start the polished kit, I can just go.

Currently I'm thinking about a fairly basic flak vest. My current idea is to take two 90/10% cotton light grey t-shirts and line one with the other to effectively pad out the vest. I'll also consider hemming up the sides as needed to fit me better. The kit will be Post-Imperial so I'm planning to cut down the sleeves to about 25% the original size and double layer the leftover edge so that I can attach the shoulder bells in a similar way to the Boba vest, and either cut the vest off at the bottom of my ribcage or fold the excess inside the shirt and stitch it up for four layers of padding. I'm planning to try using industrial velcro for the armor connections at first so that I can adjust the pieces as needed and take it off or put it on without needing to worry about a zipper or other connection. I'll also try to widen the collar and add additional stitching running lengthwise around the entire vest for texture and reinforcement.

Basically, my primary concern is if the idea I have in mind is going to be heavy duty enough to work, to maintain a solid shape and fit my form. In theory, the cotton will be thick enough and stiff enough with four layers of material plus the additional threadwork to provide a contrast against the flight suit material I'll be using (darker grey), but I did want to throw this idea out there before I grabbed the materials. I'm open to hearing differing opinions as well as ideas of how I can line the vest other than re-layering the same material inside the vest, and if there is another option for shirt that someone can recommend then I'm happy to hear it.

Here's the shirts I'm planning to use, super basic Fruit of the Loom 90% cotton 10% polyester t-shirt: https://www.walmart.com/ip/seort/420147218


Vor entye for any help you can give me!

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Re: Cotton Flak Vest?
« Reply #1 on: Sep 25, 2021, 04:13 PM »
Unfortunately, the CRLs forbids the use of T-shirts as flack vests, or in their construction. The same with sweatshirts.

Quote
Armor/flak vest:
Armor/flak vest must be worn under armor plates including Legacy plates
MOLLE/TAC and paintball style vests may be used without any modification. However, the armor must be of a canon or custom style that completely covers the vest. If the vest is visible, it must be modified sufficiently to no longer appear as a store bought MOLLE/TAC vest.
Vests may be traditional Boba/Jango-style or custom style. If you have a question about your vest, please see the App Team Q+A: App Team Q&A
Ensure vest is properly fitted/tailored to you. Baggy and oversized vests are not acceptable. Zipper pull tabs and velcro must be completely hidden from sight.
The vest must be comprised of solid color block(s). No printed fabric may be used as part of a vest.
Laces, zippers, parachute buckles, velcro and cloth or leather strapping are all acceptable methods of closure.
Zippers must be color matched with flight suit/flak vest.
The vest must not extend past waist items. If the vest is covered by one or more items, the flak vest must be pulled taut and not bunch up at the waist
Vest fabric must be thick enough to support armor plates without sagging, creasing, or wrinkling and be constructed from quality fabric. Suggested materials include cotton or cotton twill, nylon, duck cloth, leather/imitation leather, or quilted fabric. Stretch materials may only be used if they are form fitting and reinforced enough to support the armor plates without sagging.
Vests can be made of multiple panels of different solid colors.
T-shirts are not acceptable as armor vest material.
Any additional torso coverings that cover the flight suit but go under the vest must have sleeves that end above mid-bicep, and must not extend past the bottom of the lowest waist item.

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Re: Cotton Flak Vest?
« Reply #2 on: Sep 25, 2021, 04:54 PM »
Ah, I see. It's been a while since I brushed up on the CRLs so that's where my fault lies. Thank you!

Re: Cotton Flak Vest?
« Reply #3 on: Sep 25, 2021, 05:28 PM »
For the amount of work you describe you may as well build from scratch.
That being said, using t-shirts as less-costly patterning aids makes some sense. Most of the tough work of getting the neck and arm openings shaped right and shoulder seam right is already done.  You can draw panel layouts and stitching line mockups directly on it and see how it will look like (roughly) pretty much immediately.

Don't forget seam allowance, a bit of ease in your measurements (measure over your flightsuit too) and a closure method because fabric sturdy enough for a flak vest probably won't have enough stretch for a pull-over style.
Use natural fibers for every layer, no matter how many layers (especially if there's more than one layer) if you want your cloth (and body) to breathe. If you use any batt or quilting layer, do not use poly fiber. You will hate life unless you're in Antarctica.

I've documented the methods I've used to build my vest pretty thoroughly in my Soft Parts WIP.

I hope my advice helps, but take it with a grain of salt as I am not OM yet either.

Re: Cotton Flak Vest?
« Reply #4 on: Sep 25, 2021, 06:02 PM »
For the amount of work you describe you may as well build from scratch.
That being said, using t-shirts as less-costly patterning aids makes some sense. Most of the tough work of getting the neck and arm openings shaped right and shoulder seam right is already done.  You can draw panel layouts and stitching line mockups directly on it and see how it will look like (roughly) pretty much immediately.

Don't forget seam allowance, a bit of ease in your measurements (measure over your flightsuit too) and a closure method because fabric sturdy enough for a flak vest probably won't have enough stretch for a pull-over style.
Use natural fibers for every layer, no matter how many layers (especially if there's more than one layer) if you want your cloth (and body) to breathe. If you use any batt or quilting layer, do not use poly fiber. You will hate life unless you're in Antarctica.

I've documented the methods I've used to build my vest pretty thoroughly in my Soft Parts WIP.

I hope my advice helps, but take it with a grain of salt as I am not OM yet either.

I've certainly seen a tutorial or two that use a t-shirt as a suitable pattern aid for other people, generally constructing something similar to a Boba vest but I'd have to imagine that the application is similar all around. I remember Matt Schwartz doing something similar with a sleeveless shirt to make the vest for his metal Djarin kit. And yeah, from everything I've read as well as my own experience, I definitely want to avoid synthetic material.

As time goes on, I'll certainly look to this method of making my own vest from scratch since I do want to make an MMCC-standard kit eventually, and I'll bookmark and check out your WIP page, as well. Even if you aren't OM yet I'm loving the look of your vest and flight suit. Thank you for the information!

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Re: Cotton Flak Vest?
« Reply #5 on: Sep 25, 2021, 06:30 PM »
Another option to look into, if you don’t want to go the “Fett” style vest route is a tactical vest or plate carrier, or something similar. For instance, I wear an “armored” motorcycle vest with my kit.

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Re: Cotton Flak Vest?
« Reply #6 on: Sep 25, 2021, 06:53 PM »
Another option to look into, if you don’t want to go the “Fett” style vest route is a tactical vest or plate carrier, or something similar. For instance, I wear an “armored” motorcycle vest with my kit.

I've seen this done, as well. I know guys like Notre Thiomersal apply a similar technique for their kits. I think the main rub for that would be finding something affordable in my size range, since my build is fairly standard-average most of the cheaper gear I see is sold out. I'll definitely continue to keep an eye out, though.

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Re: Cotton Flak Vest?
« Reply #7 on: Sep 25, 2021, 08:39 PM »
Well, I’m case you’re interested, this is my vest: 

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Re: Cotton Flak Vest?
« Reply #8 on: Sep 25, 2021, 09:49 PM »
Well, I’m case you’re interested, this is my vest: 

I rather like the look of that one, was it on Amazon or by a different seller?

EDIT: On this subject, I threw 'motorcycle vest' into the google machine and found this one by HotLeathers for thirty bucks. Unfortunately, it was sold out in anything resembling my sizes.

« Last Edit: Sep 25, 2021, 09:54 PM by Arceane64 » Logged

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Re: Cotton Flak Vest?
« Reply #9 on: Sep 25, 2021, 11:12 PM »
I rather like the look of that one, was it on Amazon or by a different seller?

EDIT: On this subject, I threw 'motorcycle vest' into the google machine and found this one by HotLeathers for thirty bucks. Unfortunately, it was sold out in anything resembling my sizes.


I bought it from Eagle Leather. It’s the True Grit armored motorcycle vest by Speed and Strenght (yes, that is the name of the brand).

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Re: Cotton Flak Vest?
« Reply #10 on: Sep 25, 2021, 11:51 PM »
I bought it from Eagle Leather. It’s the True Grit armored motorcycle vest by Speed and Strenght (yes, that is the name of the brand).

Sounds good. I'll have to keep a look out for it!

 


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