Upcycling a Vest to Make it Steampunk (Edited)

Edited: I added some details. Read at the bottom of the page.

I had so many plans for this vest but, like with a lot of my bright ideas, I had to change some of my ideas and adapt the design. Originally, I wanted to add lots of faux leather to it but I discovered a few problems with that. I will explain below in the steps.

Originally, I was going to make shoulder armor for Max, my boyfriend, for his Steampunk outfit but my attempt at making it was a big fat fail. Some of my ideas just don’t pan out and that is alright because I just think up other ideas. I thought that I could just go to Spirit Halloween and find some shoulder armor. I mean, there had to be a costume from Star Wars or some medieval knight costume that came with shoulder armor, right? WRONG! There was nothing. That was disappointing so I thought we could go and check at the thrift store. They didn’t have anything either so I found this vest and thought, “Oooh! I’ll add faux leather to the shoulders and around all the button holes and give it faux leather pockets and change out those plastic buttons for metal ones.’


Just ignore the crazy, out of control beard.

It was a little snug through the back for him so I added a strip in the back. You would think that would be pretty straight forward but NOPE! I already knew the satin lining material was going to be a problem and there was no way I was going to cut it and have to try to deal with the slippery fabric so I sewed two lines and then cut in the middle of it to keep it all in place.

Sew to lines

I measured out two pieces of the fabric I wanted. I have to say that I love the fabric. It had tarot cards and little skeletons all over it. Super cool! I sewed the two pieces together, right sides facing each other and left a gap in the side to turn it inside out. I sewed it in and top stitched over it.

Added strip

Then came the curse inducing part of the project. I cut out two pieces of faux leather to make the pockets and pinned them on. I carefully sewed around them but I there was no amount of careful that kept the satin lining from sliding around so it bunched. I had to cut the lining around the pocket to make the vest hang correctly. Womp Womp Womp! I couldn’t bring myself to take a picture of how awful the inside of the vest looks. I was upset about it but I kept reminding myself that it is only a Halloween costume so I shouldn’t get too upset.

Faux leather pockets

I was going to add faux leather shoulder decorations and some patches of leather but I just didn’t want to deal with the liner. I added a faux leather patch. I sewed around the leather I cut out and then glued it onto the vest. Then just added gears and called it good. Oh, I changed out the buttons.

Back of vest
Front of vest
Finished Vest

He looks thrilled, doesn’t he? I feel like it still needs something. I’ll probably agonize over it until my brain thinks of something. Maybe I will scroll through Pinterest to get more ideas.

I added some leather patches and a strip for loops. I had Max add the rivets. I like it a lot more now.

Published by dragonlion64

I love to craft. I sew, crochet, do duct tape crafts and recently, I bought a Cricut and I'm using it quite a bit. I get an idea in my head and I have to try it.

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