In this step I took the faux wood blind slats and toyed with them a little I curved them and wrapped them around my body to try and see the length I would need to cut them to. Be careful not to make a crease by over-bending. I used the longest for the chest armor and the shorter for the helmet. I did this because the slats have slits already cut in them and I didn't want holes showing up where I didn't want them.
The measurements of the slats I used on the helmet were taken from the brim edge around the back and to the other brim edge. For the body I measured around 3 feet. Better to have them a little longer than to short. The measurements may vary from person to person taking body size and different hard-hat styles into consideration.
Next I stacked and measured to see how many slats I would need to use to make it look right. I also took measurements from my waist to mid-chest and another from rim of the hard-hat to the base of the neck.
Which came out to be in my case 7 slats tall for the body portion and 3 slats for the drop down from the helmet.
I'm tall (6'3") so these measurements may not be best for everyone. Play with it a little bit till it seems right. The body is hardest to guess right so gieve yourself an extra slat or two to work with.
Now take your slats and cut them to the length you measured earlier. (Be Safe!)
Once cut to the desired lengths I used this template provided by sengokudaimyo.com which I was led to by another great instructable author, Atrophius. (Bowing in respect)
Measuring equal distances from the center I marked in pen where I needed to drill and once it looked right Idid one slat first to use as a template for the rest which I stacked and drilled holes for multiple slats at a time. I used four columns for a nice symmetrical look which holds the armor together nicely but don't be afraid to do more you'll just need more lashing. Essentially you need at least three columns; two to hold the ends and one column for the middle.
Also, make sure your holes will be big enough, but not oversized, for the type of lashing you are using so it will fit through.
When I saw the purse at the thrift store it reminded me of studded leather and I thought I could use it in my design. The handles came up near the shoulders in the perfect way too.
No one ever knows that it was a purse and I usually don't tell them because that would make it seem, well, less manly.
So the handles were cut and the opening and remaining handle portions were sewn with a cardboard cutout inserted to help hold its shape. The cutout was done by simply tracing out the desired shape on cardboard and then cutting it out with some scissors and sewing the material around it.
Once together some extra pieces from another leather purse (believe it or not) were sewn on to fashion the covering you see now for the chest. This was done seperately from the slats and added later.
Note: Be sure to see the pictures and the notes for more details.