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wip Updated BSG BDU Costume Conversion Tutorial

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Here is the new and improved BSG BDU Costume Conversion Tutorial. The previous one I created back in 2008 was using pictures of Starbuck's costume from the first season and since then I got better pictures of many different characters and I also got to inspect and compare several screen used costumes as well. So this revised tutorial is based on the most accurate information I have.


Here is a costume that I completed recently (at the time of this writing)




Here are two SciFiHero.net members who bought some of my BSG BDUs seperately and they met at a convention because they recognized the workmanship as one of mine. The BSG BDUs in the above picture is actually being worn by the guy in the picture.







I use a standard 4 pocket BDU shirt by Genuine Gear (by Propper) in Olive.




You can either purchase the componets you will need to finish the BSG BDU shirt convertion on your own or you can get one from AlchemyArms.com for about $60.00 USD + shipping.




You will enough microsuede (in Dark Olive or Dark Olive Green) to make the two shoulder panels (remember to include enough extra fabric to fold under (aka seam allowance of about 1/4" to 1/2"). Alchemy Arms' BDU kit uses Ivy colored Untrasuede which is about $50.00 - $60.00 a yard.


You will need 1" wide by 48" long nylon straps in Forest Green. These will be cut into four 8" long straps and four 4" long straps.


You will need four 1" wide "Stealth" side-release buckles and some Antique gold "Rub and Buff" wax metalic paint to paint the buckles.


You will need a 3.5" Ship patch (Galactica, Triton, Pegasus, Columbia, Athena, Acropolis, Ajax, Minstry of Defense also available at AlchemyArms.com)


You should also get two 1" wide Tri-glide buckles, this will help to secure the straps on the cuffs.


You should also get a set of 3.5" to 4" square pieces of velcro (both fuzzy and hook sides) in OD Green. These will allow for your patch to be interchangable or removable when washing your costume.



Template for the shoulder panels:



The template measurements are for the finished panels, so don't forget to add about 1/2" seam allowance around it so you can fold the edges over to get a nice finished edge on the panels.

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You should prepare your BDUs for since this part can be the largest pain and suffering section you will have so be very careful when you to the "tear down". I made several blood scarifices doing this part... The dreaded removal of the lower pockets and flaps. First make sure you only remove the lower pockets and flaps, because folks have gotten on a roll and removed the upper pocket(s) and/flaps by mistake.





First unbutton the pocket flap and then cut off the buttons. (The pocket flap and the pockets materials are used to make the belt loops so don't damage them or toss them away.


Carefully break/cut the threads that hold the lower pockets on. I usually start at the corner and then pull the pocket away from the shirt while I cut the treads.






When you get to the reinforced stitching at the top of the pockets, cut the thread from the inside for pocket so that you have the pocket fabric between the knife and the shirt.



You can use a seam ripper, but all that seams to do for me is rip fabric. I use a folding pocket knife... its actually the same type of knife Admiral Caine and Kendra Shaw used on "Razor" ;) I first pluck some of the threads loose with the tip of the knife, enough so I can slide the knife between the pocket and the shirt. Then I use a slight tilling of the blade to actually scrap the threads and pry the pocket from the shirt. I also pull them apart as I wiggle the threads apart. Good thing I have my front teeth!



Then I remove the button that is directly under each of the cuff flaps. This will allow the buckle on the cuffs to lay flatter.




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I changed those as well and it's based mostly on size of the BDUs (these are finished size so add for seam allowances):


For BDUs that are Extra Small or Small = 3.5" x 2.0"

For BDUs that are Medium or Large = 4.0 x 2.25"

For BDUs that are Extra Large or 2XL = 5" x 2.25"

For BDUs that are 3XL or 4XL = 6" x 2.5" (I use a 2" wide belt at these sizes )and I use 4 belt loops instead of 3


I line up one side of the belt loop (short side) with the edge of the pocket opening, it supports the pant better and looks nicer and avoids crowding the buckle. If you are doing 4 belt loops, instead of centering the one in the very back, you space the two so they are evenly spaced between the two front loops and each other.



Oh, on the old tutorial, I have you take off the cuffs, turns out that is only for Starbucks! They did that to shorten the sleeves for her! So if the sleeves fit, don't remove them!

Here are the new instructions on the cuffs:


1) Only remove the one button on each cuff that is directly under the button flap.


2) Take the 4" long webbing and loop it through the female side of the buckle and put both ends together.


3) Line up the tip of the female end of the buckle just about the end of the button flap and sew it down where it sitches run across the cuffs at the point that allows the floppy end of the button flap to flap.


4) Then stitch down the end about 1/8" from the end of the flap to hold the entire strap/buckle down.


5) Take the 8" long strap and follow the button flap to the oposite end where it is folded and sewn into the seam of the cuff. Line up the end of the 8" long strap so that one end butts up to that seam and points away from the cuff/button flap unit.


6) Stitch it 1/8" from the end nearest the seam and again 1/2" from that stitch in two parallel lines. I usually run the stitched for the straps back and forth 2 times in each direction to make sure its will not pull out.


7) Put the triglide buckle on the 8" strap and then put the male end of the buckle on and secure the loose end with the triglide buckle.


8) Button the button flap to the second to smallest setting and connect the male end to the female end of the buckle.


9) Adjust your buckle straps.


10) Repeat for the other cuff.

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