Flak Vest Tutorial. Draft your own pattern.

Discussion in 'Boba Fett Costume' started by Darth Mule, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. Darth Mule

    Darth Mule Active Member

    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

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2017
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  2. Darth Mule

    Darth Mule Active Member

    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:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2017
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  3. Darth Mule

    Darth Mule Active Member

    And here's pics of the finished product. This is made from the pattern instructions posted above. Notice how it is fitted throughout the waist unlike most of the cheerleader patterned vests.

    vest 002.jpg

    vest 003.jpg
    slave1 fettish likes this.
  4. Kivas

    Kivas Active Member

    Well done :)
  5. Darth Mule

    Darth Mule Active Member

    Update. Edited part of the instructions to add for additional movement room.
  6. wizardofflight

    wizardofflight Active Member

    Excellent!! Thank you.

  7. wizardofflight

    wizardofflight Active Member

    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.

  8. Darth Mule

    Darth Mule Active Member

    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.
  9. TBone

    TBone Active Member

    Awesome job DM. Thanks for posting this!
  10. Skupilkinson

    Skupilkinson Active Member

    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.
  11. jabbathenutt

    jabbathenutt New Member

    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...
  12. AndrewRP

    AndrewRP New Member

    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?

  13. cr4nky

    cr4nky Member

    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.
  14. Skupilkinson

    Skupilkinson Active Member

    I used wadding, and that looks great.
  15. cr4nky

    cr4nky Member

    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? :)
  16. Skupilkinson

    Skupilkinson Active Member

    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.
  17. cr4nky

    cr4nky Member

    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).

    HIRAM FETT New Member

    Nice work , Thank you .
  19. grindking

    grindking New Member

    awesome work man!!! thanks for this it will be very helpful.
  20. Gaanyc Tor

    Gaanyc Tor New Member

    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:)
  21. cr4nky

    cr4nky Member

    I think it would depend on the thickness of the material. And you'd need to get the right type of needle, which you can find in any store selling sewing machines etc.
  22. stormtrooperguy

    stormtrooperguy Sr Member

    when sewing vinyl you also may need a different foot for the machine. them metal ones tend to get stuck. they sell plastic feet meant for this sort of thing.
  23. LadySewforus

    LadySewforus Active Member

    You can purchase what is called a walking foot for about $20 if you need to. They do sell as stormtrooperguy mentioned a "teflon" foot. It is meant to be non-stick.

    You can sprinkle baby powder on the vinyl where you plan to sew, but keep the dust down. You do not want that to get up into your machine. But a light layer can help to make the vinyl more slick. There is one more tip. There is something called "Sewer's Aid"
    It is like a liquid silicon that you dab onto the vinyl and it will help the needle and thread move smoothly and the material move smootly under the foot.
    You can find it at a sewing store, in the notions department.

    I have had no problems with staining at all, but you may want to try it on a scrap to make sure.

    You should also try a "leather" needle, which is stronger and sharper than your average sewing needle.

    Good Luck and have fun!
  24. Gaanyc Tor

    Gaanyc Tor New Member

    Awesome, thanks for all your help guys (and gals), Im going to begin sewing today!
    with my mothers help of course, gotta love her even tho she thinks im crazy lol.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2009
  25. Gaanyc Tor

    Gaanyc Tor New Member

    This pattern is amazing, i had a bit of confusion with the picture featuring point DD and the lack of instruction for point DD, but i soon realized my error
    Keep up the good work!:cheers(y)(y)
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2009

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