On to the jackets! This was by far one of the easiest parts of the build, in my opinion. I say this lightly as there are many steps… to sewing a jacket from scratch. I would say you need moderate experience with sewing to tackle this. If you’re a beginner I still say give it a try! You can only gain experience by attempting things that challenge your skill set. A simple cropped jacket. I always see people use leather jackets for this costume, while they look very nice I doubt the military would issue uniforms in leather. It hinders your mobility and makes you sweat to death. I don’t want to sweat to death in the August heat. SO… we’re not going to do that. Instead we bought a tobacco colored twill, probably far too much of it to be honest. We also bought a similar colored liner fabric.
I patterned a cropped denim jacket I already owned. Two panels for the front, one panel for the back.
Someone asked me to add this. Here’s a rough sketch of the pattern, but use your own measurements. Hopefully this helps… but it might not… Sorry.
- Diameter around your arm hole (try using something you already own
- Collar – neck
- Shoulder (collar to arm hole)
- Shoulder (across back from arm hole to arm hole)
- Arm pit to bottom of the jacket, remember it’s a cropped jacket.
Make sure when making your own pattern to leave extra room for seam allowance. For each piece of your template you will trace and cut 2 front panels and 1 back panel in both the main fabric and liner.
Sew the pieces together to make a vest. You should have two “vests”, one of your main fabric and one of your liner. Attach them together at the bottom by sewing them together with the finished sides face each other. Then flip them around so they’re the “right” way.
Next measure the arm hole (you just created), wrist (leave room to get your hand through) and the length of your arm from shoulder to wrist (it’s best to do this with your arm bent in front of you, so you don’t end up with short sleeves). Measure out these dimensions
Cut our 2 on your fabric.
The best way is in the shape of a cone.
Repeat on lining fabric.
Sew all “4″ sleeves. Adjust as needed.
Put 1 normal fabric and 1 liner fabric together, raw edges facing each other and sew down the cuff.
Pin the sleeve inside of the arm hole of your “vest”.
It’s important at this point to try it on before sewing so you can adjust the fit if needed. If everything is okay, repeat on the other arm, try it on again, and sew it together.
For the shoulder detail I cut out two thick strips. Pinned them down into the shapes I wanted and sewed. For the thinner strips you fold the fabric in half and sew down the raw edge. Then you flip it inside out and iron it down.
Attach them to the shoulder.
Cut a thin triangle pattern that spans the length of the front of your jacket.
Pin in place, then sew down or attach with seam tape. Add button details to the shoulder.
Cut out two pockets and leave enough room for seam allowance.
Sew down the top of the pocket and measure out the pocket flaps with 4 pieces of material. Then sew two together along your measured lines, leaving the bottom open.
Flip inside out and iron down. Tuck the raw edge inside, iron and sew down. Then add the button detail.
Pin the pockets down, make sure they light up evenly. Then sew it to the jacket.
To make the patches we printed the emblem on iron-on transfer paper for dark fabric. Ironed them onto fabric and cut them out to make it look more like a patch. This also gives more room for error instead of just ironing it directly onto the jacket.
Need the Recon Corps emblem? Nikodiazderivera on Deviantart made a high resolution Illustrator file of the emblem, to download Click Here. If you’re going to use this art, please give credit back to the original creator.
Here are TIFF versions of that original art that I re-sized for our jackets to print on iron-on transfer paper 8.5×11:
- A page of 6 emblems, 2 inch wide for pocket and arms. Enough for 2 jackets
- A page with a single emblem, 5 inch wide for the back. Enough for 1 jacket
Mostly finished photo: