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 D"Larian's No-Sew Vest Tutorial

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D"Larian's No-Sew Vest Tutorial
« on: Jul 06, 2011, 06:16 PM »
Since I had to still make Walon's vest, and I found out I had to redo mine as well, I decided to take pictures of the progress and explain what I have done to help those whose sewing skills fail as much as my own.

Items Needed:
An iron and somewhere to safely iron your fabric.
Your fabric of choice.
Good sharp scissors.
Something to draw your pattern with.
A t-shirt that fits over your flight suit comfortably about the way you want your vest to fit.
Heat Bond - Located in the fabric section at Wal-Mart also available at any fabric store. The associate that works there should be able to help you if you can't find it.

Hidden Zipper (they zip on the inside so the teeth don't show)
Eyelets & Eyelet tool (This will be used for lacing on the sides of mine)
Lacing for the sides (I found leather shoe laces to use)

      I am using black duck cloth for our vests. I got it at my local Wal-Mart for a little over 5 bucks a yard, and it was folded in half, so I got a piece about 2 yards by 3 yards in size. I have roughly enough for 3 vests in this since I messed up my first one. For only one vest, 1 yard of fabric from the store should be enough since it is folded. Since mine is black, I am using white chalk to draw my pattern. It is easy to erase if you mess up, and it washes out when you are done, but it shows up very well on the black fabric, but you could use a marker or something else if you are working with a lighter colored fabric. I plan on doing a hidden zipper in the back of my vest for ease of getting in and out of my costume. I will also be adding eyelets to the sides with a flap of material behind them to give the vest a more snug fit by lacing it up on the sides. These are options you can do or not, and I will explain my process and the process without my customizations in the sections regarding it.

    First I try on the shirt over my flight suit to be sure of the fit. While its on, I mark with a marker where I want the bottom hem of the vest to sit. Most t-shirts are going to be longer than what is needed. If you are going with a Jango style that sits at the belly button, you will want to mark it just below that to allow for seam size. (I forgot to take a picture of this step if you have a question about it just ask) I am going for a Boba length that will go below my belt to help hide the fact that I am wearing a two piece suit.
      Next, I cut the shirt along the side seam up through the sleeve. Then, I cut the sleeve seam off as well leaving one long piece with a hole for your head in the middle. Now at this point, I decided to also cut along the top of the shoulder and through the collar, but this part is completely optional as it would make one more seam for you to put together on your vest. (Keep the sleeve pieces for later because we may be able to use them to help with the shoulder bell of the vest)
     Now I pinned the shirt down as tightly as possible to the duck cloth to trace my pattern onto it for the vest. I left about a thumbs-width space between my shirt and my traced line for seam allowance. I chose this size because of the width of my heat bond, but if you have something wider, you could make it wider. You can always trim off excess later if needed. If you are female, you may want to trace a little longer for the front than the back to allow for proper fit since the flat shirt doesn't show that need when pinned flat. I mark which area is front and which is back. This may not be as needed for a male vest, but I definitely need it for the female one. It also helps since the collar usually sits lower in the front of a garment.

     After my pattern is traced onto the duck cloth, I cut it out. At this point, I give it a once over with my iron to smooth it out before I begin working on the seams. While doing this, I fold the seam area over to give it a crease to help when I'm adding the Heat Bond. Curved areas are a little more tricky and require you to cut along the curve in places to get it laid down better. Mine ends up a little boxy, but I'm ok with that. It is possible to make it nice and curved though.

I will have more pictures soon, of the nice ironed piece. (my iron died, so I have to buy a new one  :rolleyes: ) I will post up more as I get it worked on. If anything seems confusing, or you have any questions at all, feel free to ask and I will answer as best I can. Next update, I hope to have the seams done on mine so that I can show the process of using the Heat Bond for the seams.

Until next time, good luck with your build and I hope this is helpful.


Re: D"Larian's No-Sew Vest Tutorial
« Reply #1 on: Jul 09, 2011, 12:03 AM »
This is the  Heat Bond I use, Its a few dollars at Wal-mart  price depending on store.

After ironing the fabric to remove any wrinkles, iron a crease for your seam to place your Heat Bond along. Measure the length of Heat Bond needed for the seam.

At this point you can either cut it down to smaller pieces or leave as full length of the seam, I used full length for the bottom seam because it is straight and used smaller cut pieces for the curves.

Place the strip of Heat Bond on fabric paper side up and iron along paper to adhere to fabric. After it cools for a few seconds remove paper "Careful it can be hot!" also  heat bond does not stick well hot.

Fold  over to sandwich Heat Bond between fabric and iron again holding a few seconds for the Heat Bond to set.

I have found that placing something on the seam while it cools helps it to stick as you can see i used my broken iron.

You may end up with a small pocket where seams over lap for this i take a small piece of Heat Bond to put into the pocket and follow the steps above to have that area hold down as well.

For a gentle curve like along your waist, you can get away with using the smaller strips to make the curve. Though for a more pronounced curve like that in the arm or collar area, you may also need to cut the fabric.

That should take care of the side seams of your vest to make it nice and neat in appearance. In the next post, which should be tomorrow hopefully, I will be adding in how to add a hidden zipper along the back for those who wish to have one for ease of changing, and also the process needed for eyelets if you wish to add lace up sides. Now, if you used a material with a little give, and didn't cut the shoulder area, you should be able to pull this on over your head so long as the neck hole is big enough. As with the last segment, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask me either here in the thread, or via private message.



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