Posted in My Makes, Sewing

Vault Dweller Costume

We had a Halloween party invite there were two themes was Fallout & Circus.

My husband’s favourite game is Fallout so it was an easy choice to pick between the two and vault dwellers were the obvious choice for us with their distinctive blue jumpsuits with yellow embellishments.

If you don’t know if you recognise the game or vault dwellers, this guy is the cartoon character.

Image result for fallout


There were 2 main parts to our outfits; clothing & weapons so our costume clothing was down to me.

To make things easier we purchased blue boiler suits and at first I thought I would just iron stick on some yellow bits and it would be an easy job.  However nothing ever quite works out.

When the boiler suits arrived we cut the many external labels off and tried them on, mine fit fine (having taken up sewing I knew my measurements by referring to my cheat sheet) unfortunately my husbands boiler suit was a bit small for him (I should have measured him and not left him to his own devices).  We didn’t have time to send them back and had cut off some badges and labels so I though I could fix the problem by adding some extra length on the yellow waistband.

Adding the waistband meant  cutting out most of the zip (and having the zip end lower when I re-stitched it back.  There were poppers as well a a zipper so I was happy that would leave him awkwardly half dressed.

I started out using some lovely yellow cotton that I found in the bargain bin at my local fabric shop.
However i didn’t look at it carefully before purchasing it and it was very pretty but thin, with a pattern.  I thought I could double it to add strength and help blot out the pattern.  However having added a band to the trouser half I decided I wasn’t happy and unpicked everything to start again.

Second time around I used some unpatterned polyester backed with fairly firm interfacing for his waistband.  After attaching my second band to the trousers I kept his boiler suit in two pieces until the end as it was much easier manovering around to sew in all the other embellishments without having all the trouser material to deal with.

We did a little research on what our vault number would be.

101 is the Vault most will recognise from the game but as we weren’t actually going as specific game characters just people from the fallout I had a quick look on a wiki and picked Vault 29 to be our Vault.

Short Story of Vault 29

Vault 29 is one of the vaults built by Vault-Tec. As part of the vault experiment, it was meant to be populated by young children, with the original inhabitants being no more than 16 years old. (longer story at the bottom of this post.)

In addition to yellow waistbands both costumes needed parallel vertical lines up the front of the chest which curve round the neck and meet at the back.

Large Vault number on the back and small numbers on the collar.

We also needed mandarin collar – which are not usually an option on boiler suits.

My husband selected the correct font for the numbers (this was an important detail) and drew out the numbers.  On the larger numbers for our backs to get nice crisp edges he also drew out edges for folding that we cut round (using some careful snips round the curves.  I used my heaviest interfacing to make the numbers easier to handle and we both pretty pleased with the result.  I had to sew round the edges the numbers onto the back as they just wouldn’t stick well with wonder web and those were the turns that made not having all the leg material getting in the way made a real difference.

On the collar I did quick attempt at something like a mandarin collar by folding the collar inwards and sewing it up – it worked from a distance.  I would have like to cut part of it out but I was against the clock and hours from the party by this point.

I used a bit of glue to hold the smaller collar numbers in place for long enough for me to stitch along them.

The other yellow stripe was a bit of an interesting one.  Along the chest was nice and easy as the stripes were straight but round the neck was a bit more challenging.  I used a technique I would call bodge and guess to draw out the shape I wanted whilst hanging the top off the end of the ironing board and then just did my best, pinned it all in place and stitching the strips on.

Then finally I sewed the bigger suit back together, using several lines of stitching connecting but  top and bottom to the waistband.  Thinking that my husband would not thank me if he popped a few stitches and had his trousers fall down at the party.  I re-attached the zip and then piled everything in the car for a very long drive to Devon with a significant detour to pick up my husband along the way.

I’m pretty pleased with the results, especially given what a rush it was to get finished on the day of the party.

We added some old 58 pattern webbing belts and pouches to complete our look, along with our awesome weapons (which don’t fire anything are made of cardboard and plastic mostly but look so much like the weapons in the game).

We had a great time at the party, and were impressed when we turned up and found out host Joe had transformed his house for the occasion.



If I was to do this again I would 
1.  Make sure the boiler suits we ordered were the correct size before ordering.
2.  Forget cotton and polyester and go for felt or anything else less prone to fraying.
3.  Investigate gluing/ironing on options, there must be something better than wonderweb, and if no try using lots of wonderweb and then just tacking odd bits where i think things are more likely to come unstuck.
4.  Learn how do insert collars/mandarin collars – as up close you can see my bodge.
5.  Try not to leave everything to a last minute panic (well maybe that would be my intention).



Long Story of Vault 29 

‘This vault’s experiment was devised by scientific genius Derek Greenway. Most of the parents were either “accidentally” redirected to other vaults or were in the early stages of health conditions that would no doubt cause them to die soon after entering the vault. Instead of a human controller, Vault 29 would have a ZAX super-computer. The ZAX would be programmed to raise children with the aid of robotic helpers, educate them in a primitive culture, and upon their reaching maturity, release them into a controlled environment. They would then be free to rebuild society from the ground up.
At one point Greenway explained his plans for Vault 29 to Diana, the human brain connected to a powerful computer, to see what her opinion would be. He was quite surprised when Diana was appalled at the idea. She said that, although the idea had merit, she found it to be morally objectionable on several levels. She recommended that the plan be scrapped. When Derek refused to do so, Diana took it upon herself to become involved with the project without his knowledge.
When the Great War started and civilization began to fall apart, Diana appropriated control of a satellite dish and aimed it at Vault 29. She then transmitted a series of security codes to the vault’s ZAX unit, and gained control. Over the years that followed, Diana was able to see to the upbringing of the children. Every year she ordered a worker robot to leave the vault under the pretext of checking conditions outside. In reality they were preparing an area – the village of Twin Mothers – to receive the vault populace when they were ready to leave. Lastly she had a series of projectors installed at strategic locations, ready to project her chosen image. Finally, when the vault doors were opened the inhabitants found Twin Mothers built. Everything was coming together, Diana was ready to play god.
By 2253, the vault itself has ceased working, but it’s still a holy place to the inhabitants of Twin Mothers.’

So now you know.


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