As for materials, you'll need the following:
- Fur: 1 yard of 60" fabric. We've used this - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001PL2K4W/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00. We tried a fair number of fur styles and learned a couple of things. You want some depth to the shag so that the LEDs diffuse a bit. You also want to use white. Anything else makes it difficult to control the color of the LEDs.
- Lining material: A light, ribbed, t-shirt material works well
- Pattern: The vest pattern can be found at http://www.simplicity.com/p-5874-misses-mens-vests.aspx. You can use anything you want but this worked for us. The only requirement is that you can fit 30 LEDs on the back (more on that later).
- Sewing tools: Sewing machine, scissors, thread...
- Safety pins: A lot of these. You need these to attach the LED strand to the vest.
- LED strand: This design uses 50 LED's from coolneon.com. Link to the item is: http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.ACCT88394/it.A/id.992/.f?sc=2&category=1665 (use square form factor)
Step 1: Fabric cut-out
There is a trick here. When you're cutting out the fur, keep the tip of the scissors close to the fur's backing. The reason for this is to keep that nice shag hanging over the edges of the cut. If you just cut straight through you'll end up with a more block'y looking vest. It takes a little practice. One thing that helps is to keep the cuts small. The larger the cut the more difficult it is to not cut the full depth of the fur.
One other option is to use a razor. The last photo in this step shows Emil cutting out the pattern with one. It's a nice option. Just score the backing of the fabric and pull it apart. The nice thing about this is that you really reduce the risk of cutting through.
Have fun with the pattern. Sometimes what you get out of the box isn't the look you're going for (but it provides a good foundation). Some people in the group wanted a less block-like vest look and extended the length by 6". Just be sure to make the same modifications to the lining.
Another modification we made was to put darts in on the front. Without them it was a little droopy. The darts help bring the sides in to give you a more fitted look. Mark the point on the front where your lower chest is. Place the top of the dart about 1" below that point down to the bottom. Cut and sew it like the rest.
As for the lining, you may as well cut it out now. It's an easy cut and sew (compared to the fur). One thing we found wasn't necessary was the front darts. Because of the bulk of the LED strands we didn't see the need to keep it so tight underneath.