Flak Vest Tutorial. Draft your own pattern.

Darth Mule

Active Hunter
Took me awhile to get to this as I've been swamped at work, but I thought I'd go ahead and put it together while I was drafting one of my own. I'll post pics once I get a finished vest. Hopefully by the end of the weekend.

Drawing a Flak Vest Pattern_______________________________________________

Tools Needed

24-inch Ruler or yardstick

Right Angle

18 inch plastic C-Thru grid ruler

French curve (preferably #17)


Craft or pattern paper

Measurements required

Note: When taking your measurements, expand all fractional measurements to the nearest half inch. For example, 36 ¼” becomes 36 ½”.

1. Chest plus 2 inches = total chest measurement

2. Waist plus 2 inches = total waist measurement

3. Length – Find by putting your belt on around your natural waist (around your navel level) and measuring from your back nape of neck to the bottom of the belt.

4. Neck to Shoulder

5. Front Width – Across chest, around nipple level from arm to arm (not underarm).

6. Back Width – Across back, same level, arm to arm.

Before beginning, note the following computations:

a. ½ total chest measurement

b. ¼ length measurement

c. ½ front width

d. ¼ total waist measurement

e. ½ back width

Continued in next post

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Step 1: Draw a Rectangle

A-B and C-D equal the length measurement.

A-C and B-D equal one-half the total chest measurement, plus 1/2 inch.

Step 2: Construction Lines

Divide A-C & B,D in half by drawing a vertical line, E-F.

From points A and C, measure down one quarter of the length measurement, creating points G and H. Connect points G and H, forming horizontal line, G-H. This is the front and back Width Line.

From points G and H, measure down one quarter of the length measurement plus one inch, creating points I and J, forming a horizontal line. I-J is the chest line.

Front Section

Step 3: Front Neck and Shoulder

3 ½ inches to the left, and ½ inch up from C, mark K.

3 inches down from K, mark L.

2 ½ inches down from C, mark M.

Connect K to L and L to M with straight lines, forming a right angle.

Use French Curve to draw in the neck curve from K to M.

Note: I usually find it helpful to bring the curve to within ½ inch of M on line L-M, so that the neckline is squared off at the fold.

1 3/8 inches below the A-C line, draw a horizontal line.

To determine the front shoulder line, place the starting end of the ruler on K and angle it to hit the horizontal line you have just drawn at exactly the neck to shoulder measurement on the ruler. Mark N at this point and connect to point K with a straight line.

Step 4: Front Armhole

Mark O on the I-J line at the point where it crosses the E-F line. This is the base of the armhole.

To the left of H, measure half the front width measurement and mark P.

Use French Curve to connect N to P with a slight curve. Connect P to O with a larger curve.

Step 5: Side Seam

To the left of D, measure one quarter of the total waist measurement, plus ¼ inch, and mark Q.

Connect O and Q with a straight line, completing the side seam.

Back Section

Step 6: Back Neck and Shoulder

Draw a horizontal line ½ above A-E.

To the right of G, measure one half of the total back width and mark BB.

3 inches up from BB, mark CC, and connect them with a vertical line.

Position the starting end of the ruler on CC and angle it up to hit the horizontal line you drew above A-E at exactly the neck to shoulder measurement. Mark AA at this point and connect with a straight line. This is the back shoulder.

Connect A to AA with a slight curve. This is the back neck.

Step 7: Complete Back Armhole

Use French Curve to connect BB to O.

Step 8: Side Seam

To the right of B, measure one quarter of the total waist measurement, minus ¼ inch. Mark EE.

Connect EE to O with a straight line, completing the side seam.

Step 9: Add Seam Allowance

Add the desired seam allowance (commercial patterns use 5/8”) to all sides of your pattern except for those that will go on a fold, such as the center front.

Also, to give a little more movement room, add an additional 3/8" to each of the side seams, front and back.

*Directions for Flak Vest Pattern are directly based on the directions for a male body block found in The Costume Technician’s Handbook by Rosemary Ingham and Liz Covey.

Shoulder should look something like this:

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Thank you for listing the reference book The Costume Technician’s Handbook. I was able to find a used copy at Amazon for $20 shipped.

No prob. It's a good piece of knowledge. I have altered the above directions from the book to fit the task of creating a flak vest, but the book has a buttload of useful info.

Note: Edited the directions above on 11/08/04 simply because I improved on them.
The tut' is fantastic! I've now got my own vest all drawn out, and cut out of the fabric I'm using.

One thing though.

Is there any tutorial or advice you can post here for the order of sewing? As in which bits to sew together in which order? I have an idea on where to start but ny advice is always appreciated and helpful.
as i am one of these people with not enough time to sit down and do it myself, where is the best one to buy? or who from? i am in the progress of doing a ROTJ and want to make it as accurate as possible...
Is there any tutorial or advice you can post here for the order of sewing? As in which bits to sew together in which order? I have an idea on where to start but ny advice is always appreciated and helpful.

Aye, can somebody post some pics, or some examples? I tried this myself, and it turned out horrible. I could use some guidance on how to sew it and where to sew it. I'm learning how to use a sewing machine, so any advice would be appreciated.

Also, how do you put it on? Do you have an opening somewhere? Like a zipper, or snaps?

I have a question as well...

Do you use something inbetween the outer and inner layer of fabric to make it thicker? I'm thinking something along the lines some very thin batting or something just to get it to look a little better. I haven't seen one of these up close so I try to get it from pics, which isn't the easiest way. I'm just afraid that to layers of fabric with nothing to thicken it will make it look a little flimsey.
And wadding is? Hehe. Madly different terminology on stuff like this in Norway. Same as batting or whatever people call the white, soft and fluffy stuff you use in the neckseal? :)
Sounds like it's the same stuff. ;) Worked a treat for my vest. It's actually a lot of fun. To see it come together that is. I'm thinking of making some more so I have a choice.
Cool, thanks!

I have enough tackle twill to make two, so if the first one is good, I'll make another for myself too, or sell it (if the quality is good enough that is).
I just have a quick question, mine is going to be made for my own custom beskar'gam so and i was going to use this black vinyl imitation leather.... any idea if my sewing machine is going to be able to punch through that? thanks:)
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