Clara Oswald’s The Girl Who Died outfit featuring the Maje Chianti Denim Shirt, a custom made Viking vest, H by Hudson Keira Boots and black jeans

Item: Custom Made Viking Vest
Appearance: The Girl Who Died
Combined With: Maje Chianti Shirt, H by Hudson Keira Boots, Black Jeans, stud earrings, helix stud, un-IDed bracelet

Clara’s TGWD outfit isn’t really so recognizable without the Viking Vest, so I decided to make my own. I looked through my grandma’s fabric boxes and found an old tablecloth that was made out of a rough, beige-coloured fabric and I decided to use it. Patterns for a simple vest like this one can be found online for free (just google it). For the wine red trim, I used belt straps that I found on eBay and the yarn for the stitching came from one of my favourite online craft shops. I had to search for a while before I found the fur trim, but eBay helped me out once again. Overall, I think the vest cost me like £20, but even if you have to buy the fabric, it won’t be much more expensive than that.

This vest is really easy to make even with the most elementary sewing skills. You don’t even really need a sewing machine for it (the Vikings certainly didn’t have one), but it will take a bit longer without it. Unfortunately, I didn’t pay attention to how long it really took me to make it.

The main part of the vest is also the easiest part. As I’ve said before, you can find a basic sewing pattern on google that will give you the result you want. Before I made the vest, I hadn’t sewn anything since 2012, so that was an easy way to get back into the sewing game. The basic vest took me maybe two hours and that included setting up the sewing machine and putting it back. You don’t even have to be very clean when making it because, as you can see from the screenshots, Clara’s Viking Vest is fraying around the edges as well.

Adding the belt straps didn’t take very long either, but if you decide to make this without a sewing machine, remember to use a thimble – otherwise, it will probably be quite painful with the thick fabric.

The part that took the longest was the stitching around the wine red belt straps. I did them all by hand and I remember sitting on that evening after evening while watching a rather boring TV show. But hey, at least you’ll appreciate the vest even more after you’re done. Again, a thimble is recommended here (I say that because I had lost mine at that time and it wasn’t pleasant).

Detailed photo of the stitching

Detailed photo of the stitching

The fur was the last thing to arrive when the rest of the vest had already been finished for a few days and while I was adding that, I broke off my sewing machine needle because of the thick material. If you wanna do this by hand, you really need a thimble, otherwise, you may stick the needle through your finger before you get it through the fur, but that always depends on the material you use. Mine was thick enough to break two needles.

I am very pleased with how my vest turned out and I love wearing the entire outfit in general. It’s really one of Clara’s easiest to achieve looks because you can buy/make it without spending too much money and it’s still recognizable. Even if you’re completely new to sewing, you will be able to make a vest like this one – with or without a sewing machine. It takes a bit longer if you decide to make the stitches like I did, but if you feel like it’s too much work, you can leave them out as well. They’re just a detail and not really necessary for the outfit to be complete. Add a denim shirt, a belt and black jeans and you’re done with Clara’s TGWD outfit.

Clara Oswald's complete The Girl Who Died outfit featuring the Maje Chianti Denim Shirt, H by Hudson Keira Boots, black jeans and Viking vest

Clara Oswald’s complete The Girl Who Died outfit featuring the Maje Chianti Denim Shirt, H by Hudson Keira Boots, black jeans and Viking vest

A close-up of Clara Oswald's custom made Viking vest

A close-up of Clara Oswald’s custom made Viking vest