C4 Winnipeg, Shatner, and Star Trek Costumes

This past weekend, my improv troupe, the Dandies, headed to C4: Central Canadian Comic Con in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to open for William Shatner with Star Trek improv. In true Andie fashion, I had to make some new Star Trek costumes for the event.

My inspiration for my costume was the dress uniforms from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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I have been feeling a bit body conscious lately and felt that the shape of my current uniform and these would not make me feel quite comfortable. So I adapted the look into a fit and flare dress with a wrap front and the gold trim. I chose M6887 as my base pattern and planned out my costume with that in mind.

I made flat pattern alterations and just cut right into my fabric since I knew the pattern already fit me well. The first step was to raise the neckline. I did this using M6696 and used the collar piece from that pattern for the costume. After raising the neckline, I took the center front and back and slashed for a yoke piece. I used the sleeve piece from my test version of the Auberley dress pattern since I knew that is was close to fitting. I made a 2 inch large bicep adjustment and narrowed the sleeve toward the cuff so it wasn’t a bell sleeve. I may have narrowed a bit too much since I like rolling up my sleeves and am unable to for this dress. For the back shoulder piece, I traced and cut a triangle from the sleeve head that matched with the yoke, added a seam allowance, and then topstitched the pieces on before putting in the sleeves. They *almost* match up. One side is off on each, but that can be solved by trimming off a bit of excess seam allowance before sewing the detail on. The dress has a wrap front and sew-on snaps are put in along the princess seams. I will be replacing them, however, with velcro tape since the snaps don’t really provide a very clean look. Because of the curved princess seam, they do show off some bumps and pulls that I don’t love and are a direct result of the snaps not being quite in the right place/matching up correctly. Velcro will make that a bit cleaner and take out all the guesswork. I will replace the snaps with velcro now. However, it being last minute and needing to pack meant that I just wore it as is all weekend.

My dress is made with blue polyester fabric (I got a huge bolt of this so expect to see many more things made with it), black cotton rayon, and gold lame bias tape.

For my husband’s jacket, my inspiration was Kirk’s admiral uniform from a few different movies.

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I really wanted him to wear a jacket that was an homage to Kirk since we were meeting Shatner himself.

I didn’t make many changes from the inspiration for this except in very tiny details such as adding the black bias tape to trim the inside white panels or adding a thin gold strip on the sleeve above the cuff or on the cuff itself. It was a result of not enough time and realizing that it wasn’t really worth the trouble.

I used the same pattern as his Picard jacket, M7216, as the base for this costume. I lengthened the jacket by 7 inches and turned the fronts into a wrap style. I raised the neckline using the M6696 pattern, but for this one I finished the neckline with red bias tape using the twill from the body. Other than that, I only added a cuff, a white rectangle at the shoulder, a belt, and belt carrier at the back of the uniform. The white turtleneck underneath is a dickie using white rib material. I also made the belt buckle and cuff pips using polymer clay. The fronts are closed with snaps and the belt is closed with velcro.

This costume is made with red and white twill, black cotton rayon for bias tape and the belt, gold lame bias tape, and white ribbing.

In the pictures below, I made all the Star Trek uniforms that our troupe is wearing because I am freaking amazing.

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

 

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

We had a great time. Other than opening for Shatner, we got our first paid gig at a private birthday party and we had a show in a local board gaming cafe called After Dark. It was a great time for bonding with the troupe as well. Now for a world tour. Errr, after our monthly home show tonight. 😉

Other than that, C4 was a lot of fun. I got my picture taken with Mark Pellegrino who plays Lucifer on Supernatural.

And I got my picture taken with the first blade and an impala to round out my Supernatural love:

I saw some great cosplay.

Shatner is sad it’s over:

That being said, con exhaustion is a real thing. I didn’t get con flu, though, but I’m ready to sleep for the next week! Ha!

If you want to check out more from that weekend, check out the troupe facebook page here. Here is the wicked video of us singing Shatner on stage:

Laugh long and prosper!

Star Trek Insurrection Captain’s dress uniform

Last night I finished the most involved project I’ve ever made in a short space of time.

About a year ago, my husband and I were watching Star Trek: Insurrection. Occasionally, my husband points out costumes or items of clothing that he wants me to make him. This time, he happened to point out one that I was in love with:

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The dress uniform has quilted panels across the shoulders and in the zippered front panel, extended front tails, a cropped back, gold lame bias tape accents, red and gold piping details, red bias tape in the collar stand, and red bias tape on the deep cuffs. To my husband’s disappointment, I did not make the funky braided ceremonial hat for his head.

I definitely procrastinated on this for a while. I was a bit fearful of fitting another person in such a tailored looking jacket. I assembled the materials for it after we watched the movie, but they sat around until last week.

I was able to find gold lame bias tape from fabric.com. It has a fusible back. While it was thin (1/4 inch), I used two lines of it in most places. I got red bias tape from fabric.com as well, but it is the low quality poly/cotton stuff. I should have bought the good stuff locally, but it is just a costume piece. I also got white poly cotton twill from fabric.com, but the grey stuff to eventually make a lower rank dress uniform for myself with the grey zippered panel. I did not find a good choice for the red and gold piping. Most stuff I found was thicker, upholstery grade and would have been difficult to sew in because of the many many layers of fabric. I decided to leave it off.

I started with M7216 for my pattern. PSA to all, it’s so easy to fit someone else, especially a guy! I started with a tissue fit to see if the pattern out of the envelope would fit him. There were some adjustments to make: full belly adjustment and a narrow shoulder adjustment, but overall it fit him really well. After those adjustments, I modified the pattern to have a front panel, as well as a bit of a curved side panel to make the fit over the stomach a lot cleaner looking. I raised the neckline and then used the collar stand piece from my M6696, because it was the closest pattern with a stand. Collar stands are pretty universal. I also added shoulder pads to give more structure to the shoulders.

Instead of adding panels for the quilting to the shoulders, I just sewed detail lines there and in the front zipper panel, too.

The sewing process was quite involved with all the lines and bias tape that needed to be matched as well as the cuff and collar.

The construction on the collar was a bit rushed as it was a half hour before we left for Fan Expo to perform, but I am not going to beat myself up on it.

I love the cuffs.

My husband looks absolutely fantastic in it and it showed in his improv last night, because he kicked ass.

We performed last night at Fan Expo with PJ Phil from YTV’s the Zone. He was PJ in the 90s and I came rushing home from high school to watch Sailor Moon during the Zone every day. PJ Phil is a Canadian celebrity, especially for us 90s kids.

It was a lot of fun and Phil was a great Admiral Sulu!

I made the other uniforms excluding the other female performers’ uniforms which they purchased on their own. You can read about the guys uniforms here.

The jacket is my crowning achievement, though, and has given me so much confidence with sewing going forward.

Star Trek Insurrection Captain's dress uniform

Star Trek Insurrection Captain's dress uniform

The back fits incredibly well, but you will have to take my word for it since I didn’t take a picture of it.

Next up is to adapt this pattern into a Captain Kirk uniform from the early Star Trek movies for our performance at C4 in Winnipeg in October opening the Con and for William Shatner:

Kirk-Uniform-022614

My husband is eventually going to have an entire Star Trek cosplay closet along with his TNG uniform. It’s going to be great. I need to get business cards with my blog so when people ask him who made his spiffy costumes, he can pimp my blog. 😉

If you are in Toronto, come see the Dandies perform Star Trek improv at Fan Expo again at 5:30pm tonight in 701B. If you can’t make it to that, we also have our regular show Holodeck Follies on Wednesday night at Social Capital Theatre.

In terms of the pattern and giving it proper review, I feel I can’t really rate it fairly since I changed it so much. I do think, though, that the mark of a good pattern is being able to adapt and change it without the fit falling apart.

Live long and prosper or, as we say in the comedy business, Laugh Long and Prosper!

 

Star Trek Uniforms: Tahoe Tee pattern

This past week was a wild ride. Other than our regular monthly show, Holodeck Follies, on Wednesday, we also performed at FanExpo on Thursday night, the opening night of the convention.

My husband wrote a wonderful entry that recaps the whole affair. So this entry is about sewing, since that is the theme of my blog.

I sewed up four uniform shirts in four days using the Tahoe Tee pattern from Peekaboo.

Because of the time constraints, I didn’t have time to take detail shots. I have quite a few other shirts to make for the rest of the crew. I pushed through to get the shirts done for our FanExpo performers.

Dale and I already had uniforms. Although, I will also be making new ones for us to match the rest of the crew. I have about 7 more shirts to make before the October 7th show! I will be so tired of making Star Trek tops by then.

With some cast members, I was able to take measurements in person. With a couple, I was only able to go by their shirt size or get measurements from their wife. It turned out pretty well, though. The fit is reasonable on all the shirts. They are meant to be a looser fit than the original uniforms to give the cast some breathing room for human pyramids.

Each t-shirt got individual treatment. I traced out every size. I hate tracing patterns. This was seriously a labour of love. Some of the cast members are the same size so I will be able to re-use those patterns.

For Tracy, our blue shirted Bajoran lady on the left of the photo below, I did a small FBA to allow for a bit more room in the bust without making the shoulders ridiculous. I will have to shorten her sleeves before the next show, but overall the length and fit work for her. Tracy was fine with me using a men’s shirt pattern.

The fit was less complicated for the guys. For all shirts, except Chris’s, who is behind me in the below photo, I simply slashed the pattern to get the colourblocking and added in seam allowances in various areas. I sewed them all on my serger, except for the hems and sewing the topstitching on the neckband, and did a simple neckband in black. On Dale’s uniform and my dress, I did a Mandarin collar, but found that process to be difficult with a knit fabric. Because our show is a parody, it’s doesn’t require 100% accuracy. Leaving off that infernal collar saved my sanity…what’s left of my sanity.

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Photo credit for group shot: Quentin Twaites

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Chris (pictured above with my ire directed toward him) plays Weasley Pincher, our resident Wesley Crusher parody. I got to say, “Shut up, Weasley!” at one point during the show! I’ve been waiting for that opportunity for a while.

I made a basic grey t and added in the stripes in the three colours just below the armscye. Just don’t look closely at the stripe matching. It was the last one I made and I was exhausted. Bloody exhausted. Stripe matching that basically blew my mind. I couldn’t even…

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The Tahoe Tee is a pdf pattern and goes together really well. It even conserves paper by having smaller pattern pieces on a corner of the other pattern pieces. I liked that part. The only issue I have with the pattern is that there is a cutting guide rather than a pattern piece for the neckbands. I totally get this is personal preference, but I really hate cutting a square of fabric. I’d much rather use a pattern piece. I’m a princess. What can I say?

There are fit issues here and there. Without getting a ton of time to test the garments out or get accurate measurements for each cast member, I think they turned out really well!

Nothing else to say about the pattern. It’s a great base for a Star Trek uniform shirt!

Here are some choice actions shots. All taken by AltoVenue, like the picture above.

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TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Tahoe Tee
  • Pros: Super fast, basic t-shirt for men.
  • Cons: Runs large. Check the pattern pieces for finished measurements. I found they were off from what was printed.
  • Make again?: I HAVE TO! Lol. But honestly, if Dale wants a t-shirt, I’d make him one using this pattern in a heartbeat. It’s a nice basic t and comes with long, short, and no sleeves! Totally worth the 9 bucks.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

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Colourblocked Colette’s Moneta

My plan was to wait and take better pictures of my Moneta, but sadly that just isn’t going to happen. I’ve been sick with a cold for a couple of weeks now and allergy season has begun. I will work on better pictures in the future. I made this two weeks ago before I got sick and love it. The pattern was really easy to follow. It was my first Colette pattern and I am definitely sold on them. I purchased the pdf and would have to say the most difficult part was taping together the pattern.

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Connect the dots whoaaaawhoa

Star Trek Voyager got me through it, though. Captain Janeway was very encouraging and Seven-of-Nine critiqued my methods.

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Laser cat will find where you hid the food

And my laser cat kept the borg away.

It was also my first time sewing with a twin needle! Except for two broken needles (one because it hit a pin and the other because I failed to properly tighten the needle).

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Sad bent twin needle is sad

But I managed to get it done:

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This is my casual LOOK I HAVE POCKETS stance

Oh how I love in-seam pockets. Let me count the ways…. or not. I won’t bore you. I took the picture in my step-son’s bedroom. I made that goalie player behind me. I’m an artiste!

But I digress.

I used a stretch cotton teal for the bodice and a stretch cotton navy blue for the collar and the skirt/pockets. I really like the colourblock look of it. The material I used wasn’t super great quality (not great in terms of recovery), though, but the plan is to make tons more of these in the future. I also think that I will cut an extra-large next time instead of a 2XL. I like the dress with a belt, too. This dress is definitely “secret pajamas” in its comfort level. If I had a comfort level scale of 4-inch heels to pillow room, it would get pillow room.

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I’m a high-paying artiste – people pay me to stop drawing

I’ve thought about this enough to make 240 other drawings of a pillow room.

I highly recommend this pattern, because wearing a dress that is comfortable as a room filled with pillows is definitely something everyone should be doing.