Soft Parts Halo 3 UNSC Officers Uniform WIP


So on a whim I decided I would make a Halo 3 officers uniform in the style worn by Commander Keyes for a HaloWeen party that a local gaming bar are holding this year (with H2 lan party). Went last year (with H5 tournament) in my Reach armour with friends and it was heaps of fun, but partying and dancing absolutely hammers the foam armour, and I didn't want to further damage my poor Reach armour or my new ODST armour so I decided a soft and comfy option was called for :p As a result I have gone back to my costume making roots and pulled out my sewing machine.

Now that the jacket is actually taking shape and some semblance of what I am copying, I'm posting a couple of WIP pics :) still a lot to go, but it at least looks like a jacket now! I also have pants made to match but they are kinda boring looking coz they are just grey pants :p This has never been designed to be 100% accurate, but in my typical fashion I made it look more accurate as I went lol. It started from a very simple lined, semi fitted jacket pattern I bought and has evolved a great deal from that, very much making it up as I go along coz thats the way I tend to work :) More pics will come tomorrow when I finish it.



And as a reference image:




Well-Known Member
Ooooh! That's amazing! I loved your Dare costume and seeing a non-armor Officer costume in progress... amazing.
Will be following it for sure.


Jr Member
Looks good!
It's also nice seeing some non-armor posts once in a while. How will you be doing the pieces on the upper shoulder and neck btw? :D


Looks good!
It's also nice seeing some non-armor posts once in a while. How will you be doing the pieces on the upper shoulder and neck btw? :D
Hopefully the photos can tell a bit of the story. I can give better explanations of things when its not after midnight ;)

Heres the basic jacket finished. I still need to do the insignia etc, but I'm not too fussed about that for a Halloween party ;) I might do a few additions to the pants like the black back of knee patches and maybe add the pockets that I realised are on the side of Keyes' pants but that's not a big deal right now and as I've said, I never set out to be 100% accurate.





Sorry for the poor photos, it's late and well and truly my bedtime, and when the hubby got the photos of me he was on his way to bed at the time. But you get the general idea :D In case you are wondering Jaste (Shayla Jaste) is my cosplay name so I decided to go with that on the name badge :)



Well-Known Member
Looks great. You are quite the seamstress!

"I don't know what is weirder - that you're fighting a stuffed animal, or that you seem to be losing." - Suzie


Thanks people :)
so the help I need is in relation to the insignia and ribbon bar. I am a complete noob when it comes to anything military, but from what I can tell the insignia pin (which I've looked up and know what it is in the Halo universe) is usually worn on the collar yet Keyes has something else entirely there? Is this a Halo thing, and in which case what should be on the collar for a Lt? Also the ribbon bar- I have no idea what to do with that, and need help figuring out something appropriate for a Lt. I'm guessing basing it on the US system would be most appropriate given the Halo universe has based their rank structure on the US system.

Thank you in advance.


Jr Member
With the UNSC uniforms, much like those used by Starfleet in Star Trek: The Next Generation, the rank insignia is worn on the collar. And in the case of Miranda in Halo 3, she wears the rank of Commander, as shown by the leaf and three bars on her collar and shoulder, and the three bands on each cuff.

Seeing as you're going for a rank of Lieutenant, you've already got the epaulettes and cuff bands perfect. For the collar devices, you just want two gold bars arranged vertically with another pair on the other side of the neck opening. The bars are located about 1cm away from the inner edge of the neck opening, and have about the equivalent of another bar between them.

As for the ribbon bar: it's ultimately up to you, but bear in mind that the UNSC will have medals the the US military does not. For example, the UNSC would likly have a Coventant War Victory medal and things like that, which are never mentioned or seen. So if you want to play it safe, use the US ribbons as a base.

But if you want to experiment, consider that this uniform would be in use for a year or two post-war. So an "Earth Defence Medal" (or something) could have the ribbon pattern of maybe blue-white-wide blue-white-blue or something similar.

One thing to think about about with ribbons - they are specialisation-specific, so a naval officer is unlikely to be wearing the ribbon of an airman and vice-versa.


Commanding Officer
Community Staff
Division Staff
I think you've done a really wonderful job with a complicated, pieced together, structured jacket. That most definitely isn't easy. I find more than any other part of a costume from a drawn media like video games or comic books etc., the soft parts are often the most difficult to recreate because they do not need to show logical ways to get in and out or seams or any of that other fun stuff. And even though you had no intention of achieving the exact look, you've done a fabulous job at making little doubt to any Halo fan as to who you are dressing as. I'm highly impressed! If you are able to share some details of your build, I'm sure that there are others that could really benefit from your skills.


Thanks blackout11c for your assistance, and FANGS for your kind words :) I am always more than happy to share how I've done my work and will write something up over the next few days as I have time (madly finishing off props for an event tomorrow atm :) )

For now, a couple of photos from after the event last night to show the costume off a little better. Ignore the small bulges at the front, I pulled out two of my Spartan belt pouches to hide under my jacket so I could keep my phone and wallet on me without needing a bag :D





The base pattern is Butterick B5927 (womens semi fitted jacket). Used a combo of Patterns C and D, then did extensive adjusting and making my own pieces based on the pattern to create the detailing- Ill go into more detail later. Pants are just a plain pants pattern with zip up front, like the type you use to make jeans (in this case McCalls M6361 Pattern A). Because I like wearing belts I then added the belt loops. On both patterns I excluded the pockets.


New Member
you've all ready got it right for the most part the UNSC follows Naval tradition. in the US navy the emblem for LT is two gold bars worn on the wrist and on the epaulettes


Sorry this is a bit late getting up, been busy with other commitments, real life and all that jazz. Better late than never though right? :) I’ve taken photos of all the pieces against a black tablecloth so that they stand out better.

NOTE: I have a pretty good sewing machine. I worked out at times in some places it was going through at least 8-10 layers of fabric and it wasn’t even breaking a sweat (it’ll do 8 layers of heavy calico like its nothing). Cheap sewing machines, like the one I used to have, would struggle to do that so make sure you go slow through the thick sections and take it easy with your machine.

So these were the two patterns I used to make this outfit.



The first is McCalls M6361 fitted pants with waistband, zip up the front and pockets. I pretty much made this pattern up as they instructed, with the exception that I didn’t make them with pockets, and I added belt loops. Pretty much any pant pattern of a similar style could be used, I had another at home as well but this was an easier and better pattern.

The second is Butterick B5927 women’s lined semi fitted jacket in four different styles. I basically combined styles C and D. The front side and back sections were common to both, I used the sleeves from C and I used the front middle section from D as I needed that overlap look, as well as the collar from D. I think initially I added a bit extra to the front middle centre width, then took off an inch. I added about four inches to the total length. Either way in the end I got about what I wanted :)

For both pants and jacket I used panama mechanic stretch fabric, and for the lining in the jacket I used very cheap cotton, though in hindsight I would have probably used a stretch fabric as I ran into a couple of issues with the non stretch cotton, though it will also mean that the jacket can’t pull out of shape anywhere. The jacket is lined in both the torso and the sleeves. I traced my pattern pieces out onto greaseproof/ tracing paper because I knew I’d be doing a lot of adjusting and didn’t want to do that on the original pattern.

To start with I made the pattern up as it was for the cotton lining for the torso only to get the size and fit correct. I adjusted it where it was needed and noted this on my pattern. *HINDSIGHT NOTE* should have left a little bit more width across the back of the shoulders than what I did! From there I put that aside, then laid out the back pattern piece and started looking at reference pictures. I drew the general idea of what I wanted onto the back of the pattern piece, then using these lines traced out and made a back top piece (piece 1 in the photo), lower back middle piece (3) and lower back side piece (2) to get the right look for the main grey jacket. Added seam allowances of about 1.5cm before cutting out the pattern. Then I used these new pieces, my earlier planning and my reference pics to make pattern pieces for the black contrast sections (Upper contrast piece 4; Lower belt style contrast 5).


Cut out the base pieces in the grey panama fabric, and cut out the black contrast sections in black panama fabric: piece 1- 1x grey fabric, pieces 2 and 3- 2x grey fabric, piece 4- 2x black fabric, piece 5- 4x black fabric. The upper side contrast sections(4) were sewn onto the lower side pieces (2) first. Then each pair of two belt style contrast pieces (5) were sewn along the long edges right sides together then turned back out. These were stay stitched in the right place to the edge of lower side back piece (2) then pinned to keep them out of my way. Sewed them all together and with a bit of fiddling tada, success! Then I traced the shape I wanted for the middle back black section (6), added 1cm seam allowance, cut it out, ironed the seam allowance over (NOTE this stuff will melt if your iron is too hot, make sure it is turned down to a polyester setting), then carefully sewed that to the back.


Then I worked on making my extra front pieces. First I cut out the front side (7) and middle (8) pieces in grey fabric (cut 2 of each) and sewed them together as the pattern said. Using the front middle pattern piece (8) I looked at my reference pictures and traced the shape I wanted for that extra overlapping section on the front of the uniforms (kind of creates a tabard look) to create pattern piece 9, then made a facing piece for 9 (10). Both got an added seam allowance of 1.5cm before cutting the pattern in grey fabric (x2 of each 9 and 10). These I sewed right sides together, cut notches where needed around the curves to make them side flat, turned them so they were right way out, ironed flat then sewed these pieces (9 and 10) to the front middle piece (8) about 5mm in from the edge to make it look like it’s an extra layer.




I took my front middle (8) and side pattern pieces (9) and pinned them together, then looking at my reference pics worked out how to make the front black contrast piece, then traced that, added seam allowance, cut the pattern piece out (11). Cut 2x piece 11 out of black fabric, pinned the edges around the shoulder and arm into place onto the grey fabric pieces (pieces 7, 8, 9 and 10), carefully folded the seam allowance under and pinned into place along the long curved edge. Then I pinned the front sections to the back sections and very carefully put it on (since it somewhat resembled a pin hedgehog) to make sure everything was sitting how I wanted and that the front and back black contrast sections lined up under the arm. They were a little out so I unpinned, realigned and repinned until everything was right. Then sewed the front contrast piece (11) to the front pieces.



Front and back sections were sewn together across the shoulder and down each side making sure to line up the contrast sections, then the lining and fabric were sewn together down the front edge and along the bottom edge, obviously right sides together then trim, cut notches etc where needed before turning right side out and ironing flat. As you can see the front middle section is shorter than the main length, so this was sewn this way at this point, then the extra cut off, notches made etc in order to turn it right way out and have it sit flat. It is also at this point that I figured out exactly what width I needed each front piece so it sits in about the right position with the right amount of overlap. Remember the contrast piece number 5 which I referred to as the belt style contrast? This appears to be something like a belt in the game except it is attached at the back to the jacket and so is part of it. I didn’t want the hassle of that getting in the way so I stitched it flat into place along each edge, trimming then folding over the front ends so they tucked slightly under the extra layer pieces (9 and 10).

Next was the collar and epaulettes. The collar piece had to be adjusted from the original pattern so that it had the gap in the centre, instead of the large overlap that jacket style D has. Using the original centre back and centre front lines on the pattern I just pinned it back to what I guessed would be around the right length, and fluked getting it right :D Cut 2x grey fabric plus 1x fairly heavy weight interfacing for the collar (12). Sewed them together right sides together, trimmed then cut notches and turned right way out before ironing then sewing a few mm in from the edge to make the edge sit nicer. I then attached it to the jacket torso (fabric first, then folded the edge of the lining back, pinned that to the inside collar then sewed) after cutting a good 1.5cm off the bottom of the collar because it initially sat way too high. The epaulettes (13) I just made up from looking at reference pics from both Halo 3 and of officers uniforms and adding a seam allowance. *HINDSIGHT NOTE* I cut these triangular at the ends (if you look at the very first picture I posted they can be seen sticking up) before realising that in Halo they seem to be squared off and right up to the edge of the collar, as opposed to looking like a sleeve over it that’s buttoned/ studded into place. I purposely made these too long. Cut x4 out of fabric, sew right sides together, cut notches and trim before turning right side out, ironing flat then pinned and stay stitched into place on the shoulder at the sleeve.


Finally the sleeves (14) were done. Cut x2 fabric plus x2 lining, and because I was feeling really slack I sewed them into the jacket together. Roll up sleeve hem and sew. Cut off excess epaulette fabric. Main jacket done!

The sleeve stripes are satin bias binding in gold. I thought this looked nicer than the satin ribbon and was a better colour than cotton bias binding (which I have used to sew stripe detailing all over one of my Jedi robes before. Don’t ask, I am obviously insane!). This was a simple case of carefully sewing the bias binding along both edges very close to the edge. I used my tape measure to keep them even to the edges (laid the tape measure flat around the sleeve, laid the bias against this, sew first edge, take tape measure away then sew second edge down), then did the same thing again to get the even distance between the two stripes. I didn’t pin these but did it freely. The same bias binding is used on the epaulettes. I cut two rectangles of black fabric and one the same size of interfacing for each epaulette, sewed them together, added the bias binding stripes using my tape measure to give that even gap again, finished the edges then slid them onto the grey epaulette pieces. Pinned them flat then did about 1cm length of zigzag stitch back and forth a few times at the centre near the neck going through both layers of epaulette, jacket fabric and jacket lining (or you could just do a few hand stitches, I hate hand stitching).


Finally the zip. This is a plastic jacket zip, and is fitted much the same way as you fit pant/ jean zips. I did however first pin the zip in place to both sides then tried it on and made sure it all fitted right (not too tight, not too loose) before I sewed it down. Conveniently the stitching for the zip on the outer overlap piece lined up perfectly with the centre front :p Added a press stud to the top of the zip to hold it flat (I’m going to add a second to make the front top and collar sit more flat) and done!


The round detail things that look a bit like oversized buttons on the front were run up really quickly from 3mm and 6mm black craft foam and superglue and had some safety pins glued to the back so they are removable for washing. They will get replaced later with something a bit better. The name badge is just a printed sticker, stuck to some foam with a safety pin glued to the back :p again, I’ll make something better later.

Hope this helps some people. Any more questions or need clarification on something, feel free to ask.