You only need to see the first episode of Voltron Legendary Defender to get a look at the Garrison uniform. It’s a wonderful blend of sci-fi and military which makes total since for the Galaxy Garrison (a sort of science military organization. It’s not 100% clear). It has two of my favorite aspects of such designs: weird shapes for no discernible reason and a “how the hell does that close” front. So I was super excited when I got commissioned to make it.
The person that I made it for is female (and does a genderbent version of Shiro) so I took that into account when I picked my base pattern. I decided to go with the Vogue V7978 jacket pattern (I used view A). However there are lots of other patterns that would work well for the base of this jacket that would provide you with a much wider range of sizes (especially if you didn’t want or need the shaped seams meant to accommodate a chest). A chef’s coat would be a really good base pattern option as well though the color would need adjusting.
Anyways, I traced out all the pattern pieces and then got to work altering the front of the pattern to match the design in the show. The jacket needs to close left over right, which is a shift from the pattern. That really only requires paying attention to when it comes to cutting the fabric. I considered altering the right side pieces to eliminate the seams but in the end decided to keep them since the curve would help the jacket wear better on my client. Here’s what the new front pattern pieces look like:
All the other pattern pieces stayed the same. I did have to draft the orange chest symbol. It’s about 4 inches long and 1.5 inches tall. I also drafted the gold shoulder details last as I wanted it to be sized perfectly to the actual jacket. To do that I took some scrap lining fabric and a fabric pen, draped it over the shoulder while on my dress form, and then rough sketched the approximate size of it. I then took that to my table and traced it out on tracing paper to clean up the lines and sizing. I double checked the paper pattern on my jacket to make sure it still was the right size. That piece looks like this:
For this jacket the fabric I used was a broadcloth that I dyed a blueish-gray, cotton for the cuffs/bias tape/chest symbol, and a satin for the shoulder details. I also used 2 black buttons, and 12 snaps of varying sizes for the closures. The bias tape I decided to make myself since I could make way more for much cheaper than buying packs of pre-made bias tape. This is a personal preference though and you’re totally welcome to buy the pre-made stuff. I recommend getting the wider sized bias tape.
Once my pattern was all ready to go, and my fabric was dyed, it was time to cut it out. Everything was cut per the pattern instructions except for the front pieces. Those only needed one cut for each. Make sure you’re cutting them facing the correct way for the fashion side of the fabric to be facing the correct way when sewn together. I totally had to recut a piece or two because of not checking that right away.
Once everything it cut you pretty much sew it all up per the pattern instructions. The newly drafted front piece can be a little tricky to sew together because of the angles but that’s it. Make sure you sew on your orange front symbol before you put the lining in. I used Stitch Witchery to tack it to the jacket and then did a satin stitch all around the edges to stitch it down. You can use other tacking methods if you like. I just happen to have a bunch of Stitch Witchery on hand. This jacket comes together pretty quick and easy after that. I even put the lining in per the instructions so that the jacket looks like this before bias tape:
Once the lining was in it was time for final details, aka ALL THE BIAS TAPE! This jacket has a black binding all along the front, collar, bottom, and cuffs. I decided to bias tape the right side that is under the outer flap too. This is not necessary since it’s a fully finished edge from putting in the lining. I also decided to bias tape the cuff to jacket sleeve seam just to finish it off nicely and avoid any future fraying issues. It also helped keep that seam nice and crisp. Here’s what everything looked like with bias tape and cuffs:
Now it’s time to mark out and sew in all the snaps so that the jacket closes nicely and securely. The spots for the 2 buttons need to be set and the gold shoulder pieces need to be added. Snaps were used for the closures: 3 large snaps (I call them whopper poppers) and 8 small snaps. I did 3 along the inside edge of the under piece (1 small near the collar and 2 large down the side). For the outer edge I did a small snap at the collar, small snaps on the top and bottom of the little flap with the button, a large one on the flap, a few small ones down the length of it, and then 2 small ones at the top of the indent. Here’s how they look on the inside of the jacket:
The gold pieces I placed on the shoulder of the jacket the same way I did the orange chest symbol. The only difference is that I did 2 rounds of stitching around the pieces. This was to make sure there was no gap in the satin stitching. The gold fabric frays really easy and I didn’t want that to potentially be a problem later on.
And with that the jacket is all done!
I hope you enjoyed this walk-thru of how I made the Garrison Officer Uniform jacket. If you have any questions let me know in the comments. I’m happy to help and clarify anything. 🙂