Wow the further and further I go along, the more I realize how inexperienced I am. That makes it more intriguing to me. I'm definately going with what you guys say would look best as far as the type of canvas. I didn't even know there were all those different weights, kinds, etc of canvas out there. This is confusing! lol. I really like the unprimed from that first link that Art was so kind as to provide. Thanks! I always thought the jackets looked "whiter" than that, but now that I look at it, that looks like a far better choice. I wonder how big a piece of canvas I will need. The life jacket measured 46" fully open and stretched out, then I have to make allowances for the space that will be taken up by the foam/cork blocks as they protrude out about, what would you guys say, an inch on both sides? Figuring out the "thickness" of the blocks is rather difficult with the limited pictures available. Shadows in the photos make it hard to get scale too. I believe I read somewhere though that the blocks were about 2.5 inches thick. That just seems too thick though.
Dan, you said that you have made one of your own? Let's see it! Can you post a picture of it? I like how you used bedsheet and foam. A lot more simple than what I'm trying to do. The only reason I want the canvas and cork is so that I can have it as historically accurate as possible, right down to weight and feel. I'd love to see yours though if you get a chance! About what size did you cut the "neckline" and shoulder straps? Oh, here's another question. What were the straps on the lifejacket made of? Canvas or another material? They look like a different material in the photos, but those can be most deceiving.
Thank you again Art and Dan and please don't hesitate to add more information if you happen to run across it or think of it! You guys are being of great help to me and it is most appreciated.