Vash Coat

how I made my coat
I'm almost done with my Vash coat. It's made from red leather, black buttons, red upholstery thread, tanners bond glue, and a little bit of stiff interfacing. (the interfacing is used only where the belt connects to the front panel, to keep the leather from stretching... The collar is stiff enough on its own) As soon as I'm done putting the rest of the straps on, I'll get some pictures of it and write up better info on how to make one.

I've built this coat from scratch with no prior experience working leather, and about an hour of prior sewing experience. The pattern is based on measurements of myself combined with guesses about how the coat is supposed to fit together. The cartoon shows plenty of angles to get a good idea how the pieces fit and what shape/size they are. The rest has been trial and error, and a little time watching a local leather tailor at work. I made several prototypes from cheap fabric before making the final leather coat. You may want to do the same.

Below are some pictures I took of the pattern I created. Not all of the pieces are shown. Some of them are best described with words instead of pictures. There are a lot of rectangles in the pattern, which are pointless to take pictures of.

Anyway, if these pictures don't help, you're on your own. This should at least help people get started making their own patterns, though. BTW, the ruler in the picture is marked in inches. Use a paint program with a ruler function to calculate sizes and lengths based on the size of the ruler in each image.

These pieces are cut with no seam allowance, so you'll need to add that. I have no "real" measurements, and no pattern pieces other than the ones shown here. Some pieces were created without a pattern, because there are so many rectangular pieces. No point in making a pattern for that. :)
Showing images 1 - 7 of 7.

thumb_pattern_back.jpg thumb_pattern_flaps.jpg thumb_pattern_front.jpg thumb_pattern_sleeve.jpg thumb_precut-1.jpg thumb_precut-2.jpg thumb_vashes.jpg
A friend of mine wanted to draw a charcoal picture of me in the coat, so here are some pictures of his artwork. This was done long before the coat was finished, so there are parts missing. Showing images 1 - 3 of 3.
thumb_scottvash-3.jpg I colorized part of a photo of Cajhne's drawing.
thumb_scottvash-4.jpg This is a completely colorized (or over-colorized) version of Cajhne's drawing, after I scanned it in.
thumb_scottvash-44dpi.jpg The drawing, scanned in at 300dpi, then shrunk down to 44dpi.

  • My coat was based on screenshots of the cartoon, not on the Trigun book.
  • The sleeve piece should be cut with the flat edge on a seam.
  • There are two of each shoulder flap piece.
  • There are two of each front / back piece.
  • The belt rests significantly above where a regular belt goes.
  • I used a zipper underneath the front panel, making that panel more decorative than functional.
  • I could have made the coat body at least a couple inches thinner, but I wanted to be able to wear the coat if my stomach grows. :)
  • I used buttons instead of snaps. .. Around 80 buttons, if I remember correctly. Some act as backing reinforcement for others, so many of those 80 are not visible. Good luck finding that many buttons of one style at your fabric store!
Putting the coat on and taking it off takes a little while. This is what I have to do just to put it on:
  • put my arms in
  • zip up the center
  • button the collar
  • put the shoulder piece over my head
  • button the shoulder piece on
  • button the front panel on
  • button one end of the belt into the front panel
  • put the belt around me
  • button the other end of the belt to the front panel

And my original text notes on making the pattern. The measurements here are measured for me. So, you'll need to adjust unless you are the same size I am. I'm 6 feet tall and about 150 lbs.

Coat hangs to ankle level, perhaps slightly above.

   chest/waist/hip (with clothes on): 41", 36", 40"


 - todo
 + partly done
 * done


 * Front strip with lots of buttons/snaps (1 piece)
   Roughly 52" long and 6" to 7" wide.
   Buttons at 3" to 4" intervals, 1" in from the edge.

 * 2 front plates (2 pieces)
   Upper half to be copied from an existing pattern, and maybe made a bit
   tighter for a better fit.
   Bottom half fans out slightly and stops at the ankles.

   Connected underneath main panel by a zipper.  (optional, but handy)

   9" wide at chest
   52" from hem to bottom of neck?
   57-59" from hem to shoulder seam
   48" to armpit seam?  (if that's not too tight)
   5-6" from side of neck to bottom of shoulder
   12" (or so) wide at hem

 * 2 back plates (2 pieces)
   Split from front plates at hip, possibly halfway between hip and waist.
   No, splits from front plates just below belt, to allow access to pant pocket.
   Split from each other mid-thigh, or slightly higher.
   56" from hem to bottom of neck?
   48" to armpit seam?  (if that's not too tight)
   10.5" wide at chest?
   12" (or so) wide at hem
   5-6" from side of neck to bottom of shoulder
   5" from back of neck to top of shoulder?
 * Straps connecting front to back.. (4 pieces) (2 pieces per strap)
   Connect roughly where the bottom of a pocket would be, above mid-thigh.
   Straps are 3"-4" long.
   Mostly just keeps the coat together but allows access to pocket.
 * Top half.. shoulder plating.  (4 pieces)
 * Front shoulder plates
 * Back shoulder plates

   Shoulder pieces extend outward, then straight down toward point.
   Shoulders go out about 2" past the main edge.
   Main edge is aligned with body.
   Point on each piece reaches 1" above belt.
   Trough goes just above 2nd snap down in front, 3rd in back.
   14-15" from shoulder seam to tip
   3.5" from neckline to bottom edge (fits in 4" button gap)
   10" from neck front corner to outer shoulder corner?
   6" from upper neck corner to outer shoulder?

 * Collar strip (2 pieces)
   Collar goes out 1" or so past a regular collar, except in back.
   Collar is 4"-5" tall.
   Right half overlaps left by 5" or 6".
   Button square is 1" wider than tall.  Perhaps 3" by 2"?
   22" - 29" around base.  So, with overlap, collar is 27"-35" around.
 * Sleeve (probably two of them, since I don't have a bionic arm)
   (2 pieces) (sleeve pattern piece is only half of a sleeve)
   (measurements describe shape of pattern piece, not full sleeve)

   22"-25" long (over)
   20"-21" long (under)
   10"-11" around at wrist (wrist strap cinches tighter)
   13"-14" around at elbow
   Shoulder area is, um, puffy and difficult to figure out.

 - Wrist straps  (decoration) (4 pieces) (2 pieces per strap)
   3"-6" long?
   Or, if it were to be able to wrap around, 9"-10" long.
 - 2 shoulder straps  (decoration) (4 pieces) (2 pieces per strap)

   8"-10" long
   Buttons are connected to main panels.
   Button holes are in the shoulder plating.
   Buttons go through straps, too.
   (buttons will need long tethers)

 - 2 waist straps (4 pieces) (2 pieces per strap)
   Connects to snap ends of belt.
   Connects to snap center of belt, where straps cross.
   Connects to back shoulder panels, halfway between point and trough.
   Belt holes along the side sections.
   About 40" long?

 * belt (1 piece)
   Goes over main panels, connects to center panel.
   Belt and waist straps connect to same center panel snaps.

   Belt/strap connection is at the 4th snap down.

 - Sunglasses

   Circular lenses, frame covers top 2/3rds of lens.
   Lens diameter is generous, 1.5" or so.
   Zig-zag makes two V's, 1/2"-3/4" deep.

 - Earring

   Simple, brass ring in left earlobe.

Last modified: October 12, 2003 @ 7:07 MDT
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