Friday, May 25, 2012

FREE Butterfly Straitjacket Patterns

Well, here it is folks, the pattern for my world-famous butterfly straitjacket! Woo-hoo! And I'm giving it away for free. Why would I do such a thing? Because I love you, that's why.

This pattern has remained almost unchanged from the first time I made it back in 2003. The body panels have been tweaked and modified very little, although the arm pockets have gotten smaller over time.

I keep shaping down the arm pockets in the hopes of getting the tightest possible fit without becoming unbearable for the model. You can see in the image below how the arm pocket shape has evolved through 3 versions, getting progressively tighter each time:
Even at the small size, because it doesn't bind-up anywhere it is comfortable for long-term wear. This pattern is designed to fit a bit loose at the collar so a hood can be worn underneath.

PLEASE NOTE: the pattern does not show 3 pieces which I usually cut from the hide without using a pattern, namely the two (1.75-inch wide) strips needed for the rolled edge at the collar and lower edge of the jacket, and the one (2-inch wide) strip needed for the zipper tongue in the rear of the jacket. I usually cut these using a ruler after taking measurements from the actual workpiece so I get the length just right.

As I mentioned before, I plan to put together detailed instruction sheets and materials lists for all of these projects (someday), but for now I just wanted to get these out sooner rather than later...

Check out this post for a detailed step-by-step process for making this project.

Click here for the Butterfly Straitjacket "LARGE arm-pocket" pattern:

Click here for the Butterfly Straitjacket "MEDIUM arm-pocket" pattern:
Click here for the Butterfly Straitjacket "SMALL arm-pocket" pattern:
Click here for ALL 3 versions of the Butterfly Straitjacket pattern in one PDF file.

Good luck, have fun, and let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions. Oh, and feel free to share any pictures of your finished project, I'd love to see how things turn out.


  1. Thank you Christopher for this pattern. It will be very useful at my new project.
    It will attach a zipper at neck for a hood and a zipper around waist to fit my leathersuit. Perfect..

    Thank you again.
    All the best.

  2. I noticed in all your photos that you put the zipper so that when it is closed the pull is at the top. I tried this out, and it seemed that everybody could reach the zipper through the butterfly arms and move it down. Have you tried turning the zipper around so that it closes down instead? I will be giving this a try to see how it works soon.

    1. I have always made the zipper end up top, but you definitely could run the other way. If I was going for inescapable, I would make the arm pockets as small as possible, make sure the body fit nice and close, and finally add a locking strap at the end of the zipper. Let me know how it goes!

    2. Took your advice about making things as tight-fitting as possible, ran the zipper top-to-bottom, and made the arm pockets as small as possible as well. It took a few attempts to get the fit just right for the model, but it was a success! I still want to add the locking straps to finish the piece, but so far so good.

    3. Dear Unknown, it sounds cool, I would love to see how it turned out! It sometimes takes me several tries to get the fit just right. Good for you for sticking with it.

  3. This is great, I'm currently midway making one of this jackets, I've already made an armbinder and a few hoods. Thanks a lot for sharing. I hope not to be a pest, but any chance you'll be sharing the square armbinder pattern? I'd love to give it a try too. :D

    1. You're welcome, and sorry but I'm not planning on digitizing the pattern for the square armbinder any time soon. I'm just too busy with other projects.