well good update!
I was able to get my top and bottom together and the zipper added as well!
It took an extra evening for me to make sure the fit was acceptable and re-adjust the pinning on both the halves and the zipper placement, but it all went pretty smoothly. i think.
First was just the pinning of the top to the bottom and checking the fit.. I pinned the top and bottom about 1/2" more than the previous fit to make it sit a bit more snug from shoulder to crotch. This is because the RedKap is an overall or coverall, and meant to go over existing clothes, so i have noticed the legs, especially the butt area, are a bit more loose than a flight suit would be. I still may need to adjust the seam in the butt to tighten that up after the whole thing is sewn shut, but i think i could just remove the crotch stitching and take it in a bit and it should be fine.

Once the pinning was in the place i wanted the halves to sit, i went ahead and sewed the whole thing together giving an extra bit of overstiching at the edges. I did leave the waist band loose at this point because its one continuous piece and i want to maintain that when its all finished.

The zipper placement was fairly straight forward. Since i had the original placement still visible on the lower half, i decided to use that first to check the alignment to the top of the collar. It looked good, but i noticed the end of my revised collar was slightly too short for the original placement of the zipper so i moved the zipper about a half inch toward the collar alignment all the way down, meaning i had to adjust the original placement and fold the fabric an extra half inch to the right (as you would wear the suit). This aligned the collar well and i was able to begin pinning the zipper from the top down leaving about 1/4" from the zipper teeth to the edge of the flightsuit fabric all the way down.
If i had to do this part over again, i would start the Zipper higher on the neck area so it better matched the other flightsuits i have, but i think having a slight gap there is not an issue.
When i was satisfied with my pinning and double checked my alignment, i went ahead and put it to the machine. I used full right needle on my sewing foot so it was as close to the teeth and at the closest part of the edge of the fabric as possible, then with zipper closed, sewed it to the waist.
I am leaving a slight gap in the waist seam for that belt portion when i close up the sides.
Then moving the zipper pulls to the top, i finish the lower portion sewing as low as i can get. I will seal the lower end of the 2 way zipper after its all done so it doesnt lose the pull on the lower side, just in case.
After the right side is done sewing, i move the zipper to the full closed configuration, and close up the front how i want it to look when its closed, fix the folds on the front flap so its straight all the way down, making sure to line up the chest seam, and i pin it closed from collar to crotch so it doesnt move when i flip it inside out.
After its inside out, i fix the interior folds around the zipper and pin it in place for sewing. Having moved the placement slightly earlier when working the front, at this point i realize that my front zipper flap is not going to get any thread to hold those folds in place, so i will need to address that later. When the left Zipper side is all pinned up nice on the inside, i remove the outside flap pins and move to the machine to close up the collar and sew from top down, skipping the belt area, and making sure to add some overstitching in a couple areas for stress of pulling the zipper.

It works better than i expected, and i am pretty happy that when i zip it closed, it works and there are no wrinkles or weird alignments.
Zipper finished!

At this point i decide i have had enough for the weekend and go spend some family time. i will tackle the front flap later. No big deal. I can add a couple seams and call it good.

The next step is to inside out the whole suit, pin for the lower leg hems and sew, then pin for the side seams while taking in about 1 inch all around and 3 inches at the ankles. Then we check fit and adjust for final fitting.

enjoy the photos.
 

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I finished the conversion and was able to wear the suit for the evening to test out the fit in normal activity.
After installing the zipper, all i had left to do was to install the waistband and tidy up any other problems i found.
I tackled the remaining portions of the waist band by pinning the front along the original band location while keeping the waist band separated from the newly added pockets and the adjusted waist height. I had left just enough room for a slight separation from the waist band and the chest pocket and top leg pocket.
When i got to the zipper area, i tucked the remaining waist band into the zipper and wrapped it around the fold on the inside of the suit to make a nice hem. I did the right side of the suit first and sewed the inner seams to lock the band in place. Then i moved to the left side and repeated the process, making sure i didn't sew the zipper and adding a little extra seam work to the edges for strength.
When the band was in place i sewed the outer seams on top and bottom of the waistband around the entire suit. This went fairly quickly and i added an extra couple stitches at the side seams for strength there as well.

Now that the waist is complete, i went back to the zipper to shore up the zipper at the waist band, and i wanted to add a bottom stitch to the crotch for the lower zipper pull so it didn't disappear down into the suit when i needed it. I placed the zipper pull where i wanted it to stop, and turned the suit inside out to sew.... unable to make it work in the machine, i went to hand sewing and tacked the zipper closed so the pull could not go any lower. I ran several stitches and loops in that area to create a physical barrier for the zipper pull. I have had troubles with this part of zippers in flight suits in the past and wanted to make sure this didn't happen with this one.

Now for finishing touches..
When i was taking this suit apart i used a couple different seam rippers and ripped the fabric in several places... this wasnt on purpose, but since this fabric is fairly thin, it happened a few times when i was making long runs or at corners. I left these tears figuring it would later add some character and wear to the suit to help the weathering parts of what i wanted to do. A couple of these tears, i left alone at the end.. and i did fix one tear near the chest pocket just by going over it with a V stitch along the length to make it look repaired. And since this is a real tear and real damage, its a real piece of weathering.
Also when i got the suits in the mail, upon inspection, i noticed a couple areas of faulty dye almost like bleach spots on the back of the suit. This was also expected to become weathering and i left these alone. I also cleaned up random threads here and there that were long and peaking out of the finished suit, and cleaned up the inside a bit since i didnt really make this super clean and hemmed inside like the original suit was. There were a couple places that i used parts of the old suit that i thought would be enough fabric where it was slightly less than i really needed to make it hemmed up and nice. So instead of fixing all this, i went with it and left it a bit handmade on the inside in a couple places.. mainly at the zipper hem and the collar.

I also went back to the interior seams and ran V stitches along both sides, the entire length from wrist cuff to ankle, to clean that up and make it more solid.

And then we are done!
All i really need to do is to give it a good bath to remove whatever pencil lines are still around, and do some tea and coffee weathering and ill have a nicely accurate ANH flightsuit for my X-Wing pilot.

Thanks for following the journey and i hope this helps others to be able to do this project with some guidance.
If you ever have questions, even years down the road, feel free to ask and ill do my best to reply.

for my next project.. i will be doing a Rebel Flight Helmet bag based on the military helmet bags but in the orange flightsuit material. Those are easy to find out in the wild, but not in orange, and i have never seen one made in the community, so i intend to be the first one, or at least the first i know of. I have already made the plans for this so it should be relatively quick. I may even add some patches if i can find any that suit my interest. I have an imperial one that i used for my TK and TB helmets complete with patches from the Legion when i was involved, so this should be a fun one to do for the Rebels and for my character.


Enjoy the last photos!
 

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I did some tea and coffee weathering on the flight suit today. I may come across with a light Schmere pass later for some dusty areas.
I focused on areas where there might be some stains and grime.
Note that I did a couple passes with tea alone, then a pass or two with some very strong coffee for a slightly darker effect on some places.. elbows, cuffs, knees, collar, pocket where there would be heavy usage.
Also when these areas dry the color should be slightly different. I also did some weathering on my flak vest at the same time so the effects are uniform to the whole costume.
Its not easy on nylon but the coffee is a bit better at soaking in than the tea for that fabric.
enjoy!
 

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Thank you!
for my next project i will be doing an XWing pilot helmet bag with orange nylon and possibly a patch panel if i can find some good XWing patches or even some rebel squadron-type patches to add to it... that has not been a simple search.
I have the basic idea for this project lined up already... i am basically deconstructing and reconstructing a military flight helmet bag, with a couple slight modifications for the Galactic look.. just need to get the patterns drawn out.
Hopefully in the next month or less.
 
They make orange helmet bags.
Almost bought one for my costume.

I use a green one I found cheap that fits everything but my boots.
 
yeah i have seen them sparcely.. i have several black, green, and tan ones that i have used in the past, but figured since i did the suit i might as well do the bag too since i have never seen anyone use one with the costume. We did begin to use them in our Garrison for Imperial helmets about a decade ago, but i wanted one to match the rebel pilot since its a pilot bag and it fits well.
I never thought about tailoring it big enough to hold the whole costume including boots.. thats not a bad idea. I have a couple kit bags i use all the time as well.. perhaps thats another project i could ponder.. a kit bag would be a lot easier to create. Maybe that would be a good one after the helmet bag.
kudos!
 

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