Originally Posted by stricky345
About achieving a recessed look:
My thoughts were to abuse the ladder-stitch, by either stitiching into the side of the vest and then into the top layer of the armor plate (would loose some fabric along the lenght and width of the vest), or something I haven't tested myself but have not much hope of working, is to leave the spots where the armor-plates will be unquilted in the vest and sew through both vest layers and one plate layer..
Another way could also be to cut out the shape of the plates on the vest and sew the fabric used for the plates on the back and try to turn them inside out with enough batting..
Thanks! We're playing with a couple ideas. One is to do a full layer of batting in the piece, and then I would understitch the armor on around it's edges (so it would be invisible. I'd need one hell of a thimble and about three hours, but it's a viable option.) Then I'd quilt in the ditch. MJStephens (my hubby, this is his vest here) thought maybe to cut out the shape of the armor pieces out of the batting, so that in sewing down the edges of the armor, the vest seen at the sides of the armor is thicker inherently.
The armor construction itself is getting bounced around some, too, with my husband's initial idea being a layer of styrene, then a layer of 1/2" foam, then wrapping that (like you'd upholster a headboard) with the vinyl that gets seen. There are several issues with this for me. 1: how do you attach all the layers without adding lumpy thicknesses (hot glue or fabric glue), sharp bits (staples), etc, and even still again, how do you attach it to the vest (I DO NOT BELIEVE VELCRO IS A GOOD IDEA) and still move credibly.
Dilemmas all around.
RDMaul...I would love you forever for any insight. (Don't tell MJStephens, he'll never know...)