How to Make Your Own Motorcycle Vest

  • 4-8 hours
  • Beginner
  • 75-200
What You'll Need
Material (such as leather, nylon or Kevlar)
An old shirt
A flat work surface
Measuring tape
Needle and thread
Metal snaps
Zippers (optional)

A motorcycle vest can keep you more secure against potential injuries in case you meet an accident. It serves two purposes - protection and style. Given that this vest is very important for your safety, you will be pleased to know that you can easily make one yourself. Here is a guide on how to do this. We will make use of a leather fabric since this is the most commonly used.

Step 1: Spread the Shirt Out on Your Work Surface

Make sure that you are working on a flat surface. The shirt will serve as your pattern for the shape of the motorcycle vest. See to it that the shirt is as evenly laid out as possible.

Step 2: Start Cutting

Once you have found the shirt and laid it out on your workplace, start cutting an inch away from the seam line. Fold it in half afterwards. Measure 6 inches below the collar and start snipping towards it. The goal is to take out the entire part of the collar. Cut the shirt into two sides so that you can have both a front and a back pattern. This is all you need to do for the back pattern and you can now set this aside for later. The front pattern should then be folded lengthwise. Start cutting from the top towards the bottom of the shirt. Cut off at an angle that will make the middle part of the shirt longer compared to the sides.

Step 3: Prepare Your Pattern

After doing this, you now have your patterns ready. This is what you will place on top of the leather material that you will cut off. Make sure that it is pliable so that you can easily work with it. The leather that you will use is not the same as the fashion ones. You need protective leather which is tougher and can resist abrasion and tearing.

Step 4: Sew Pieces Together

You can start sewing together the seams so that the motorcycle vest will start to come together. Check whether the vest fits you comfortably and make the necessary adjustments if it does not. It is important that your vest fits you well because otherwise it might lead to a worse injury if you get into an accident. It can also be distracting and noisy if your loose garment starts flapping against the wind.

Step 4: Attach Snap and/or Zips

If you are sure about the fit, you can start to put on the metal snaps. You may choose to put on zippers as well. You can make your homemade vest convertible by placing the same pattern on another color of leather and sew it on to the first piece. If you are not comfortable with a leather vest, you can use materials such as ballistic nylon and Kevlar. Some say that these are better at giving protection from heat and cold. You can also make pockets in them which make them a lot more useful. But most motorcyclists still stick to leather since it gives them more protection and it tends to last longer.