Scout Trooper – Boots – New Direction

Mail Call…

I had been trying to work on my boots, doing the sole cut outs, but I just wasn’t feeling it. It’s an extremely tedious process, and I’m just not happy with the way they were turning out. I was finding it very difficult to even get excited about working on them. After wrestling with the decision, I decided to switch gears and order the Crowprops Biker Scout base boots

Today, my boots arrived, and I can’t be more happy with the way they look, and fit. The soles are amazing, and are VERY close to the original shoe soles used for the film…

Scout Trooper – Vest – Construction, Continued

Sleeve Placement…

With the body of the Flak Vest pieces sewn together, it’s now time to try and get the sleeves attached.

I first marked the center point of the sleeve with a pin…

The body piece was laid flat, with the seam markings facing up. This is the inside of the vest.

I put a small piece of tape on the outside of the sleeve piece, to make it easier to tell if I have the pieces going together correctly.

For the first test fitting, I used safety pins to attach the sleeve to the front/back, right long the edge of all seam allowances. Because of the extra 2 inches I added, the sleeves will be too long, but I need to get an accurate measurement of just how much needs to be brought in while wearing the Flight Suit.

I did a first test fit, while wearing the Flight suit. The Vest fits pretty well, around my chest, but of course the sleeves were way too long. So, I took a measurement from the bottom of the Shoulder Armor to the sleeve edge. It was 4 inches. There should only be 1 to 1 1/2 inches of sleeve sticking out below the Shoulder Armor. So, I re-pinned the sleeve to the new measurement…

Looks weird to me, but it’s late and I don’t feel like putting the Flight Suit back on for a test fit. I think I just need to step away from this for now…

Scout Trooper – Vest – Construction, Continued

Front And Back…

Creating the body of the Flak Vest.

Measuring out a piece of the duck canvas…

After the piece of duck canvas was ironed flat, I traced around the front pattern piece.

Then, I added the markings for the excess fabric that will be needed to create the seams, etc. I added 1/2 inch for the regular seams.

I added 2 inches for the sides, just in case I need to make any adjustments.

Front piece, cut out.

Preparing the back piece…

The back will need to be two separate pieces, with an overlap of 2 inches. To make this overlap centered on the back, I drew a line, 1 inch on each side of the center line…

The pattern was then folded on those lines, and traced on to the duck canvas.

The seam allowance was then added.

With the pieces cut, it was time to sew them together. I first pinned the top of the shoulder.

Which was sewn.

The other side was then pinned…

And, sewn.

Both pieces of the back, attached to the front at the shoulders.

I then temporarily pinned the sides together, just to check alignment. Everything seems to look good, at this point.

Scout Trooper – Vest – Construction, Continued

Padding The Sleeves…

Finishing up the sleeve parts.

Back to working on sewing the lines on the first sleeve…

First sleeve completed.

Second sleeve, with the first guide line marked.

Batting cut to size and placed into position.

First line pinned and ready to be sewn.

Sewing one of the lines…

Tip #1: I’ve seen it stated that you should remove your pins before you sew over them in order to keep your needle from breaking if it strikes one. However, I found that removing the pins slowed down the sewing process and also allowed the bottom piece of fabric to “bunch” up and create a bit more “tension” than the top piece. Leaving the the pins in helped keep everything aligned and there was no bunching/tension, plus sewing the lines went a LOT faster. The few times the needle did hit a pin, it just rolled right off of it. So…

Second sleeve with all of the lines sewn.

Tip #2: If you use batting that contains polyester, do NOT use a hot iron on it. It will melt it and you will lose the puffiness that you are trying to create.

Both finished sleeves.

Scout Trooper – Vest – Construction

Building The Sleeves…

I purchased duck canvas for the Flak Vest, but after receiving it, I’m thinking that the sleeves wouldn’t look quite right in that type of fabric because it’s very stiff. So, I had some plain black cotton fabric in my stash that I’m going to try to use for the sleeve parts.

Transferring the sleeve pattern to the fabric. To be safe, I am adding 2 inches to the edge of the fabric, which should give me enough for any adjustments I need to make.

First piece, marked up. I also left 1/2 inch on the sleeve end to be used for the hem.

First piece cut out…

First piece, pinned to a new piece of fabric. I’ll just cut out the remaining sleeve pieces, using the same process. I need 4, total.

Two down…

All four pieces cut.

All four pieces got ironed so they’re nice and flat.

The edge of the sleeve doesn’t have a visible hem. So, I need to make the hem “hidden”. I’m not a seamstress, so I have no idea what the proper term for it is…

I stacked two pieces of fabric, and marked a 1/2 inch line with a wax crayon.

Then, it was pinned…

Then, sewn.

Second sleeve sewn.

Both sleeve hems completed.

The first side of the hem was folded over, and pressed with an iron.

Then, the other side of the hem was folded over and pressed with an iron.

The result.

After finishing the hem on both sleeves, it’s time to add in the padding. I’m going to make the sewn lines 1 inch apart. I don’t want a line to run at the very top of the sleeve, so I aligned it so that the center point of the sleeve (in my case, at 9 1/2 inches) falls in the middle of where two lines will be.

I made my first guide line at 9 inches.

I cut a piece of batting, and made one edge perfectly straight. The straight edge was then placed right up into the hem edge.

The top piece of fabric was then brought back down to sandwich the batting in between the two pieces of fabric.

The excess batting was then removed.

In order to keep the two pieces of fabric and the batting all in place, I pinned them all together along the line to be sewn.

Tip #1: When pinning all of the layers together, make sure there is NO bunching or stretching. Try to keep everything aligned, relaxed, and as flat as you can.

First line sewn, and second line marked and pinned.

Tip #2: When marking the lines, in order to keep them a consistent width, you will need to mark them one at a time, AFTER you sew each one. If you mark them all in one shot, and then sew them, they will get smaller as you go because of the shrinkage created by each stitch line.

It’s a very slow process, but the lines are looking pretty good.

Five lines done; time to stop for the day…

Scout Trooper – Vest – Pattern Development, Completed

Rethinking It…

After attempting to use a plain t-shirt to create a Flak Vest pattern, I wasn’t real happy with the result. So, I decided to try and create a pattern from scratch…

My line of thinking is… Ok, the Flak Vest needs to fit on top of the Flight Suit, semi-snuggly. So, if I use the fitted Flight Suit as my base, I should be able to sketch out a working pattern. Right?

I temporarily placed the marked up t-shirt on top of the Flight Suit just to see where my marks lined up. The sleeves of the t-shirt look like they’re too wide and low where they meet the main body part. I’m thinking this is why the t-shirt method just looks “off” to me.

I used a piece of butcher paper to sketch out a rough outline of the Flak Vest.

I folded the paper in half, then cut the pattern out.

Checking the pattern against the Flight Suit…

Bottom part seems to have a bit too much “flare”…

After a quick trim…

Looks a lot better.

I then flipped the Flight Suit over to work on the back…

I first used the front pattern to trace out a rough back pattern…

Since the back collar area needs to be higher, I made an adjustment.

The back was folded in half, and then cut out…

Front on top of the back. Back neck line looks good…

Checking pattern fit to the Flight Suit. Looks good.

Trying to determine the sleeves. I placed my Shoulder Bell on the pattern…

A quick sketching…

I placed the front pattern on top of the back pattern to transfer the sleeve length. Then I cut the back sleeve to the same length as the front.

The front sleeve was cut out and the pattern was then used to transfer the sleeve outline to the back pattern. The back part of the sleeve was then cut.

The front and back pieces…

The sleeve needs to be done in one piece, so I used a folded piece of paper to mark the outline…

The result.

Checking alignment of the pattern pieces.

Checking alignment with the pieces in the correct alignment, and with the Shoulder Bell.

Scout Trooper – Vest – Pattern Development

Breaking It Down…

Current standard practice for making your own Flak Vest is to use a plain t-shirt to create the pattern…

I started by putting on the Flight Suit, and then put the t-shirt on. I then added my Chest/Back Armor and marked the edges using a white crayon. I also added the Shoulder Bells and marked the bottom edge.

After removing the shirt and laying it flat on a table, it looks a bit “off” to me. The sleeves don’t seem to line up very well. Maybe I need to do some more research on this…