Prince of Persia (2008) – Costume Making (Part 3) – Python vest

When creating an intricate layered suit, always start with the lowest layers. This will allow you to gradually “string” one element on top of another, taking into account changes in dimensions and avoiding mistakes in the patterns for each next element.

In our case, such a “bottom layer” was a vest, so we started with it.

We wrote about the selection of the material in detail in the previous article, but in a nutshell, we chose a natural python of a warm gray-sand shade as the upper material.

Color scheme for matching leather for a vest

We’re looking for the right hide for a long time…but fortunately, we suddenly opened a new store for themselves with an amazing assortment and wonderful employees –

How many different hides we went through just not to tell, but finally found that “One”! :)) In fact, we found 3 almost perfect hides, but as often happens when buying natural material, the shades were slightly different, so we chose one, slightly darker and slightly more sandy than the others.
The reference shows medium-sized scales, so a 2.70 m hide was perfect for us, especially since we planned to cut the back from ordinary leather.

So, with the top, everything is clear for now, now we need to think about the lining…Here our solutions changed several times in the course of work…
Even before buying the python, we thought of making something like a leather base lining, on which the pieces of the “snake” could be fastened. But at that time we did not know how strong the python would be… Subsequently, we abandoned the idea of any additional reinforcement of the seams in favor of the lightness of the vest.
Since the leather lining was no longer needed, we began to think about the fabric one.

Even at the first stages of working with the references, we noticed that some asymmetrical edges stick out along the edges under the vest… In some of the art they had a “embossed” leather texture and we even thought to hem some embossed leather elements. Then, after working with screenshots from the game, we were able to see the texture of the rough weaving of the threads. Apparently, according to the idea of ​​the designers, this is nothing more than the edges of the lower fabric vest, which is wearing under the leather one.
Since on all sources only its edges on the chest are visible, we decided not to make it a separate element of the suit, but to cut the lining for the leather vest in such a way as to imitate the cotton vest worn under it.

And now the time has come for patterns :))) Initially, we planned a fairly simple cut: 4 main parts, separated in several places.

First sketch for evaluation

However, in the process of working with patterns, we nevertheless leaned towards the variant of the vest with a cut-off flank – this allowed us to fit it in more accurately. In addition, we were limited in material. Recall that we took a 2.70 m long hide, from which we planned to cut only the beautiful front visible parts. For the whole vest, the hide would not be enough in any case, but the side parts of the backs (in those places where the vest is visible from under the cloak) we would still have to cut from pieces of python. So the number of stitches increased anyway.

Why didn’t we take more python to cut the backrests entirely? The answer is simple…this would require buying another hide (this is about 170 – 220 $), which would greatly increase the cost of the vest, but at the same time we would not use the second skin completely, but would take about 80 cm. And the back above the waist is never visible under the cloak. So we chose economy and common sense :)) And for the back – a material suitable for a python in terms of lightness and strength – a polished goat of a gray-brown shade.

As a result, the number of the main parts of the pattern increased from 4 to 7, and the total number of pieces from which we planned to assemble the vest was 25 pieces in order to use the whole python.

As always, we first sewed a fabric mockup, but in this case, to save time, immediately from the cotton from which the lining was planned.

After all the adjustments, we dyed the edges with natural dye, because the color of the unbleached cotton was too light (but only the edges so that when worn, the skin would only come into contact with pure cotton). All the edges were manually swept with the same threads from which the fabric was woven – this made it possible to create a controlled “artistic” wear.

Left – hemmed edge, right – untreated edge

Now we had to lay out the patterns on the leather, select the “pattern” of the scales and cut out all 25 details.

I must say that this is a process full of pain, suffering, contradictions and doubts! :))))) And it takes a lot of time… But we managed it! We cut off almost all sides of the details by repeating the shape of the scales, with the exception of the edges of the shelves, where there will be embroidery.

… leftovers …

The next stage is assembly.
We chose the overlap method as it is more suitable for manual assembly, and its appearance is more similar to the reference. Therefore, at first we had to glue all the details together “overlap”.

You can find the video timelapse here –

It took 4.5 hours of continuous work.

At this point we had to take a short break, because there were no threads of the required color in the Workshop. Some were too brown, others too gray … But finally we managed to find the right shades (including for the cape) in… picked up, as always, the last ones … :))))

The assembling could now be continued! 🙂
We did not complicate the details of the backrest from above and were stitched on a typewriter, but all the decorative seams on the bottom of the back, sides and shelves were manually sewn with a flat waxed thread.
The shade of the thread came up just amazing: the stitches are unobtrusive, but they are visible, as they should be.

Now we can join the leather part and the lining. To begin with, almost the entire perimeter was slightly glued, leaving only the bottom not fixed so that it dangles freely, imitating a separate item of clothing. On the collar and armholes, the lining was imperceptibly fixed with a cotton gray thread.

The edges of the Prince’s vest are embroidered, and we finally got to it! 🙂 Looking at the references, we came to the conclusion that the pattern is formed by a rather thick thread. However, if it was just embroidery with a thread, then we would see holes where the thread enters and the pattern line would be discontinuous and resemble a dotted line. But we see a continuous line. So it is more like an ornament, in which the pattern is laid out with a thick thread and sewn with a thinner one.

We picked up unbleached cotton thread, which we dyed in the same way as the edges of the lining and reinforced cotton for sewing on.

First, we drew an ornament on the pattern and made the markings for sewing. We transferred it to the leather and made holes with a small punch. The fact is that it is very difficult to pierce the skin of a python with a needle, and prepared holes facilitate and speed up the embroidery process.

The embroidery took about 8 more hours…Video –

Was doubted whether to sew a vertical thread … The fact is that on the references on one side it is, and on the other – it was absorbed by textures :)))

But in the end we decided that with this finish the vest would have a more finished look, so we made it on both sides.

We thought for a long time how the vest would be closed: leather loops, eyelets, hooks … In the end we chose a pair of decorative loops (which had been in our Workshop for 11 years and waited in the wings) with a pattern and blackening, through which a leather cord was passed. They will never be seen under the belt, but since we treat each piece of the costume as a separate finished piece, we wanted to find something that really matches the Prince’s costume! 🙂

And now, finally, we can show you the result!

To be continued…

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