Spartan off duty vest


Jr Member
Here we go again!

Season 2 of Halo and they keep coming up with interesting costumes. One of my friends mentioned he liked the idea of the 'off duty' vest the Spartans wear, so I decided to make it for him.
Episode 1 was kind enough to have all the angles I need to get started so that is where I am going to get photo references from. My friend has a leather jacket that he likes the fit of so I based the pattern from there. I forgot to take photos of this process (oops) but in my Keyes uniform thread I go over how I take patterns from clothes without taking them apart. 1st Build - Miranda Keyes (Halo Series Uniform)

Traditional mock-up fabric (like cotton or muslin) has become very expensive so I am using scrap fabric (hence the multiple colours.) that has the same properties as the fabric I will use for the vest. A mock-up is a great way to figure out the alteration you want before cutting into the fabric you want to use. You can also draw designs or patterns straight onto it with chalk, like you see in the photo.
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Once I am happy with the way it fits and have the designs marked out I can take the mock-up apart and cut off the seam allowance. This way I can trace the exact pattern for the vest and add my seam allowance again after. This is especially great if your mock-up has uneven seams from alterations.


I like to add a 1/2" seam allowance all around my patterns instead of the standard 3/4". Doesn't waste as much but still prevents fraying once it is sewn together. There have been a few times I forget to add seam allowance and my costume piece end up too small and doesn't fit. I want the vest to be finished inside and out so I am doubling the pattern. In the end I will have x2 back pieces, x2 front right pieces and x2 front left pieces.

For the accent pieces I don't need to double up as they will be sewn on top of the vest. The flaps for the pockets on the other hand will need to be doubled as I don't want a raw edge. I did make sure to add the same amount of seam allowance to them though!. Tomorrow I will get it all sewn together!
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Next up is to add some detail before I attach the the pieces together. The angled lines on the front and one line across the back I am adding a piece of fabric that matches the design. I add it on the good side of the vest and just fold the seam allowance of the line edge and top sew it down. (Good side being what will be the outside of the garment.) To make sure it sits nice and flat I like to iron it before sewing.


For placement I have already measured where the line should sit on the mock-up so I just need to line up the seam allowances.

Now that the front detail is sewn, I can add the zipper. They don't like to show zippers in the show and it looks like this one is hidden with a couple strips. I'll offset them so when its zipped up the fold will sit in the middle of the vest. Which means I will have to off set it from the zipper.
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To the strips I only added 1/4" seam allowance because I would have to trim it down anyways to hide it under the stich. Folding it would make it too bulky. On the vest I am measuring from where the end of the strip sit when closed to the width of the strip. From that I take it in by 1/4" and mark it with a piece of chalk. By doing this I will have a line to line up the edge of the seam allowance and won't see the chalk line on the garment once sewn.

To reduce bulkiness even more I'm also cutting off the inner 1/4" seam allowance of the strip. (Is the orange is hard to read?) I am going to fold it over so that edge will be secure. Once I have sewn down the first side, I fold it over and sew 1/4" from the edge to lock it down. Do that 2 more times, one on other side of the zipper and another behind it and it's ready to piece the whole thing together!


I took really bad photos of this part I realize, apologies for that. But you want to attach the inner liner together and the outer layer together before attaching all as one.

outer, inner.

To make sure these sit nice once sewn together I iron each seam flat.


What I am not sewing together is the arm holes, neckline and the bottom on the vest. This way I can turn it inside out and fold in the arm seam and bottom on the vest after. The neckline I am leaving alone because it will be hidden by the collar.

Next I am going to size it on my friend to make sure everything is fitting right!
Ah man, I was hoping I would get to making this first lol! Looks super clean, hope you don't mind if I yoink some ideas from you ;)
Ah man, I was hoping I would get to making this first lol! Looks super clean, hope you don't mind if I yoink some ideas from you ;)
Absolutely! I hope that people can take something away from these posts. Let me know if you have any questions while you are making yours. :)
It fits! I did a quick pinning of the pockets for placement and attach the collar prior to the fitting but that was because we weren't too sure how tall to make it at first. So I just attached it on one side so we could get the idea and if it was terrible I could adjust as needed.

To finish the collar I just tuck the seam allowance in and top sew it down. You do want to make sure that the seams from the shoulders line up and lay flat before committing to sewing on the collar. Otherwise you will get uncomfortable bulk.


I followed the edge and sewed in about 1/4".

The pocket placement was mostly eye balled but you can also lay it flat and use a ruler to make sure they sit right where you want them.

to finish off the sleeves just tuck the seam allowance in and sew alone the edge about 1/4", just like the collar and iron it down so it sits flat.

All that is needed now it to get "UNSC" on the right side and the DIN on the left!
This part was arguable the most difficult. I couldn't find the correct font for the vest so I ended up drawing out the numbers and letters. Using Riz and the statues board for numbers and Cortana for a flatter "UNSC" to trace from. (it was the most flat)

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This is what I ended up with (can you guess who's vest it is haha). Unfortunately because I drew it, the cricut I was going to use to make the stencils wanted to cut out every pixel instead of smooth lines. So instead I decided to cut it out by hand. I measured from the vest and figured the "UNSC" should be about 82mm long and 16mm tall with the DIN being 64mm long and 40mm tall.


I like to use glass from a picture frame to trace the image onto graph paper but this time around I drew it on the glass and transferred right onto the stencil sticker. With cricut stencil sticker you thankfully don't have to press to hard to cut through it, so I was able to use my xacto knife and minimal pressure.
Once it's all cut and the stencil is left place the transfer tape and eye ball the placement on the vest. Be careful when pealing up the tape that all the sticker is coming with it. If you find that, for example the middle of the zero isn't coming up, you can push the sticker back down and press until the transfer tape sticks and lifts it. Same in reverse when transferring. If the sticker isn't coming free from the transfer tape press it down on the fabric a little more until the transfer tape lifts free.


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I eye balled the placement as Chiefs measurements are different anyways given that he is over 6' tall and broad chested.

For the colour I went with modeling airbrush paint. (Dark black green). It took a couple tries to find the best colour and as straight black would be too punchy. But this premixed colour works great! The nice thing with airbrushing it is that the paint will move with the fabric. Unlike when you paint it on with a brush the fabric becomes stiff because the fibers become saturated.


Before painting I recycled some paper and taped around the stencil to protect from any over spray or spills. I did about 4 coats just to make sure that the colour was consistent all the way across. Letting the paint dry full between coats.


Once it is all dry I removed the stencil and was so happy! No paint bleed and even colour!


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