May 10, 2019

TNG medical smock analysis PDF added!

My TNG medical smock analysis is now available as a free PDF download! 

I've added a download link to the TNG medical smock "analysis contents" page, but you can also download the PDF via the direct link below:

Note that because of the file size, you might not be able to view the PDF online; it may only work as a download. 

Also, I'm putting the final polish on my (Bad Wolf Costumes) TNG medical smock sewing pattern, and it'll be available soon! 

Remember to join my "Costume Guide" e-mail newsletter (if you haven't already - upper right corner) for updates and a 10% discount off all Bad Wolf Costumes sewing patterns and pattern bundles!


May 3, 2019

Free TNG medical smock pattern!

As you've probably seen from my TNG medical smock analysis, blog post documenting the smock, and TNG medical smock video tour, I got a lot of mileage out of the screen-used Dr. Pulaski uniform I examined recently.

Free TNG medical smock (Dr. Pulaski uniform) sewing pattern


In addition to measuring every edge, every nook and cranny of the costume, I actually extrapolated a sewing pattern from it, using a technique I learned from a book called 101 Sewing Secrets from the Singer Sewing Reference Library.
101 Sewing Secrets - Singer Reference Library

Basically, this process entails pinning or hand-basting a layer of muslin to the garment and lightly tracing the seam lines, darts, etc. with a pencil.


I did for this every single piece of the smock.

Free TNG medical smock (Dr. Pulaski uniform) sewing pattern


In addition to the shape of the pieces themselves, I also noted the direction of the grain, as well as all the various seam/hem allowances (etc.)

I transferred my muslin pattern to my dot-and-cross pattern-drafting paper, "true-ing" all the seam lines with the various rulers needed and double-checking everything for accuracy.
Free TNG medical smock (Dr. Pulaski uniform) sewing pattern


Then, I added all the appropriate seam/hem allowances to the appropriate edges and traced the pattern onto the large pieces of paper we usually use for our (Bad Wolf Costumes) sewing patterns. 

Luckily for all of you, I play a lot of Tetris, and I managed to cram every pattern piece onto a single 36” x 48” page!

Free TNG medical smock (Dr. Pulaski uniform) sewing pattern


I've since had it scanned at my local copy/print shop, cleaned it up, and digitally labeled it, so it's all ready to go! 

You can download my extrapolated pattern here for free. 

The pattern is a large-format PDF, 36" x 48" black/white. Unless you have a large format printer, you'll need to take it to your local copy/print shop to have it printed.

A few notes on the pattern draft:

  • The finished garment measures approximately 38” around the chest and 33 ½” around waist.

  • The grain lines indicate the crossgrain, not the straight grain! Use the horizontal “weave” of the jumbo spandex as a guide.

  • The neckline trim and yoke piping pieces were extrapolated based on the length of the original seam lines, rather than tracing the actual pieces.

  • There were slight discrepancies on the right and left sides of the garment; I made it symmetrical.

  • I took the liberty of rotating the inner/under-sleeve seam slightly forward so it matched the side seam.

  • I reduced the sleeve hem allowance from 2 ⅜” to an even 2”.

  • The bottom of the original smock was simply cut to length and left unhemmed; I added an optional 1” hem allowance around the bottom.

  • You'll want to allow about ⅛" in any particular direction for "human error!"


I'll be using this pattern as a base and grading it into multiple sizes for my (Bad Wolf Costumes) patterns, and those should be ready soon.

In the mean time, though, I hope you enjoy this free pattern!

My TNG medical smock sewing tutorial will follow soon after the (BWC) pattern, and you should be able to use it with this pattern, too!

Subscribe to my "Costume Guide" e-mail newsletter (upper right) if you haven't already for updates and other goodies!


April 26, 2019

TNG medical smock video tour

As you may recall, I recently had the opportunity to examine an original, screen-used Dr. Pulaski medical smock (from the season two episode "The Child"), courtesy of Angelo Cifaldi. 

I documented it extensively via photos, rulers, measuring tapes, etc., and in addition to my actual TNG medical smock analysis, I gave a sort of "virtual tour" of it in a previous blog post.

Now, I'm delighted to be able to give you an actual VIDEO tour of the jacket!




Watch the fabric change color before your very eyes as I discuss the uniform's construction, demonstrate the closure system, and examine some of the costume's more unusual elements. 

I mention a special surprise at the end, but give me a week or two and check back here on the blog. I'll also send an e-mail once it's available, so subscribe to my "Costume Guide" e-mail newsletter (upper right) if you haven't already for updates and other goodies!


April 19, 2019

Screen-used Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock documentation

As I mentioned in my TNG medical smock analysis, thanks to Angelo Cifaldi, I recently had the opportunity to examine an original, screen-used Dr. Pulaski medical smock.

Screen-used Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock


And now, as a supplement to the costume analysis, I’d like to give you a sort of “virtual tour” of it, as well – just like I did with the screen-used TNG skant and screen-used season 1 admiral jacket I examined last year! 


Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock
You’ve already seen some of these photos in the actual TNG medical smock analysis, but whereas that was a sort of “summary examination” of all five versions Dr. Pulaski wore during The Next Generation’s second season, this is a far more detailed look at this particular uniform, specifically. 

Naturally, this is a fairly lengthy blog post with lots of photos, so I hope you enjoy this detailed look at a screen-used Dr. Pulaski uniform!


Initial Impressions

Three things struck me almost immediately upon beginning my examination of the costume, all of which I’ll elaborate on over the course of this post.


First, I’d been extremely curious about the color; as you may recall, it nearly always looked full-on blue in the actual show, but photos of the screen-used Dr. Pulaski uniforms by auctioneers and private collectors spanned the gamut – everything from greenish teal to, again, full-on blue. 

Well, having seen it in-person, I can confirm that the original jumbo spandex was, in fact, a very dark teal – a bluish teal, but teal nevertheless! 


Second, this thing is short – over 5” shorter than the women’s TNG skant I examined. I’d been working under the assumption that the two garments were approximately the same length, considering the screencaps I examined, but apparently not – possibly an optical illusion caused by Diana Muldaur’s height, or perhaps she simply has very short arms? Or a combination of both?


And finally, as I began studying and measuring the smock more, I became increasingly convinced that this particular uniform was hastily – and I do mean hastily - assembled in a mad rush. I really got the sense that whoever made this thing was in a huge damn hurry, and with this particular uniform only EVER being seen in the first episode of the season, that kind of fits … 

Which is not to say, of course, that this costume is rubbish or somehow substandard in quality! It’s a solid piece of work, surprisingly heavy, and it was obviously sturdy enough to withstand production use for (at least) an entire episode. It’s a fine piece, and for you TNG and/or Dr. Pulaski fans reading, I think you’ll find this examination interesting.


Fabric

As I mentioned, the actual division color was teal – a dark, bluish teal, but definitely teal!

Of course, as you may recall from my TNG jumpsuit analysis, the actual hue and saturation of the teal appeared to vary from season to season – hence the title “Fifty Shades of Teal.”

TNG medical division - "Fifty Shades of Teal"


And as you may also recall from my TNG medical smock analysis, the Dr. Pulaski fabric was noticeably bluer and darker than my friend Michael Cowart’s swatches of screen-used Dr. Crusher and Counselor Troi swatches – hence the title, “Fifty Shades Darker!” 

Interestingly, the teal Beverly and Deanna swatches were already different colors, with the Deanna swatch being a bit bluer and more saturated. 

And, of course, neither were a match for the Dr. Pulaski uniform!

Here’s a series of comparison photos I took, under different lighting conditions:

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Outside, sunlight
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Outside, shade
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Indoors, with flash
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Indoors, no flash


As you can see, the Dr. Crusher teal was a far cry from Dr. Pulaski’s!

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Outside, sunlight
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Indoors, with flash
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Indoors, no flash


The Counselor Troi teal was a bit closer, but still not quite blue or dark enough.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Outside, sunlight
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Indoors, with flash
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Indoors, no flash


My guess would be that the Dr. Crusher swatch was probably from the later-middle era of the show - perhaps season 5 or 6, when her uniform looked the palest – whereas the Counselor Troi swatch was probably from the last year-and-a-half of the show, when she actually wore the standard Starfleet uniform (and, incidentally, when the teal division color got a bit darker and more saturated).


As with the TNG skant I examined, the division-colored neckline piping wasn’t the same jumbo spandex as the body of the uniform, but a different fabric entirely!

And again, it didn’t quite match the teal jumbo spandex used for the body.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric colors
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric colors


I just don’t know what to make of this fabric/color mismatch, which is looking more and more to me like it was a universal issue characteristic with the early TNG uniforms. 

I mean, was it an intentional stylistic design choice? Or was it just the best The Powers That Be could do at the time? Where the two fabrics dyed simultaneously and took the dye differently? Were they unable to properly color-match under the circumstances, or were they not ever even intended to match? Perhaps one, the other, or both were simply the best match achievable with off-the-shelf colors? 

Anyway, the neckline/yoke trim fabric appears to have again been a lighter-weight spandex, cut on the bias/diagonal. 

Here’s a quick look at how the Beverly and Deanna swatches look next to the neckline trim.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric colors
Indoors, with flash


I did my best to color-match some thread to both teal fabrics. 

For the smock body, Coats & Clark #5380 “Dark Teal” was a fairly close match.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Outside
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Indoors, with flash


For the division-colored yoke/neckline trim, G├╝termann #635 was the closest that I found.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Outside
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Indoors, with flash


Here's what they look like, together.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Outside


I didn't own a Pantone book yet when I studied this costume, but I did my best to color-match the fabric with some paint chips from my local hardware store.
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color


The closest I found was Valspar #5011-8, "Classic Teal."

Valspar #5011-9, "Shaded Lake" was the runner-up.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Indoors, with flash
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Indoors, bright light, no flash
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Indoors, normal light, no flash


Something else I noticed while photographing the Pulaski uniform is just how differently it registers on-camera. I can totally see why this dark teal would span the gamut in every medium: the show itself, behind-the-scenes footage, publicity photos, auction photos, private collector photos, as well as my own photos. 

For example, under flash, with my DSLR camera (Canon Rebel T5i), the teal registers as a very green teal; something about the flash on my camera seems to really bring out the yellow, making it appear more green. 

However, with no flash, especially in interior lighting (even very bright interior lighting, with my photography umbrellas nearby to brighten the room), the teal photographs as a full-on blue. 

For example, here are two detail photos I took within moments of each other, the only difference being that one was with flash, while the other wasn’t:

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Indoors, no flash
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Indoors, with flash


As if that weren’t bizarre enough, I noticed a similar effect when photographing the thread on top of costume outside – again, two photos taken within moments of each other, but this time, neither was taken with a camera flash!

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - fabric color


I mean, like, the wind blows, and this thing changes color?!? Even the spool of thread looked different!


I’m no expert at photography or colors, so in my ignorance, I can only conclude that it’s something about this particular color that throws not only my DSLR camera for a loop, but also the actual film that was used to shoot The Next Generation

(That, or it’s those damn gremlins …)



FYI, most of the following photos of the Pulaski smock’s exterior were taken without flash, which is why it looks so blue. However, most of the interior photos were taken with flash.


Exterior Dimensions and Construction

After all the color shenanigans, I grabbed my measuring tape and began the process of documenting the smock’s dimensions and construction, generally working from the top down; front, then back; outside, then inside.

The neckline was only 5” from edge to edge, at its widest.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - neckline


It was tough to get a read on the width of the neckline trim; sometimes it appeared to be 3/16" (like the TNG skant I examined), but it also sometimes looked closer to a full ¼”.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - neckline trim
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - neckline trim
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - neckline trim
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - neckline trim


The same was the case with the yoke piping, on both the front and back.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke trim
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke trim
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke trim
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke trim
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke trim


My guess is that it was either intended to be 3/16" (like the TNG skant I examined) and got a little stretched out in places, or it was intended to be ¼” and was accidentally sewn in a hair too much in a few places. 

As to which was the intended width, there’s a good argument to be made for both widths; there’s the TNG skant trim width as evidence for 3/16", but one should also consider that season 2 costume designer Durinda Rice Wood appears to have widened the trim slightly from the first season, which would seem to indicate ¼” as the intended width. 

As of the writing of this blog post, I’m inclined to believe that ¼” was the intended width; but either way, after having made numerous TNG jumpsuits and TNG skants (as well as a replica of this particular Dr. Pulaski medical smock), I can personally attest to how difficult it can be to control the neckline trim and yoke piping to within less than 1/16" margin of error!


At the center front, the yoke was about 1 ⅛" deep (including the neckline trim).

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke


The shoulder seams were rolled forward slightly, in comparison to the TNG skants (and presumably, the early TNG jumpsuits). 

Curiously, though, the front yoke was 4 ¼" deep, measured from the neckline end of the shoulder seam, just like the TNG skant I examined!

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke


(The back yoke was deeper when measured from the shoulder seam, though – more on that shortly!)


The front yoke extended onto the upper sleeve approximately 3 ⅜".

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke


Like with the TNG skant I examined, using the horizontal "weave" of the jumbo spandex as a guide, one can observe that the lower edge of the front yoke wasn't cut straight, but it curved downward away from center!

The front yoke curved downward about ⅝" from center front to armscye.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke


The yoke continued to curve onto the sleeve – ⅝” from the armscye to the lower/outer corner of the yoke.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke


Interestingly, the lower edge of the front yoke was gracefully curved all the way from the center front to the lower/outer corner, but when the sleeve was raised, it pulls the lower edge of the yoke as to make it appear to have a slight “point” at the armscye.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke


The back yoke was 3 ⅜" deep at the center back, including the neckline trim.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke


The back yoke was 4 ⅜" deep, measured from the neckline end of the shoulder seam – a full ½” deeper than the TNG skant I examined!

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke


The back yoke also curved downward away from center; it curved downward ½" from center to armscye.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke


It also continued to slightly curve onto the sleeve, although noticeably less than the front – a mere ¼”.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke


The sleeves themselves were two-piece sleeves, although not in a traditional/theatrical/ Victorian/suiting style; there was an outer seam, and an inner/underarm seam.

The sleeves were cut on the crossgrain, and again using the weave of the jumbo spandex as a guide, we can observe that the wedge cut for the outer front yoke was 1 ¼” tall.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - armscye
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - armscye


The back “sleeve wedges” were taller – 1 ¾” on one side, and 1 ⅞” on the other.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - armscye
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - armscye


On both sleeves, the outer sleeve seam measured 19” from the outer/lower corner of the yoke to the hem line.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - sleeves
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - sleeves


Also on both sleeves, the inner sleeve seam measured 17” from the armscye seam to the hem line.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - sleeves
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - sleeves


Curiously, though, the inner sleeve seam did not align with the side seam on the body of the smock! 

On the left side, the sleeve seam was ⅝” behind the side seam, while on the right side, it was ½” behind it.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - armscye
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - armscye


(This was my first head-scratching moment, since, in my experience with the TNG jumpsuits, TNG skants, and TNG season 1 admiral jackets, it’s sssooo much easier to just sew the sides and inner sleeves closed in one go.)


The Pulaski medical smock was 23 ⅝” long at the center front, measured from the bottom of the yoke to the bottom of the smock.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - length


I find this very curious, since this is over 5” shorter than the TNG skant I examined (which was 29” long, measured in the same manner), yet Dr. Pulaski’s smock appeared to be about the same length as the TNG skants – or, if anything, perhaps even a bit longer!

TNG skant - length
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - length
TNG, 2x1 "The Child"


This could be a height issue, but there’s some confusion there, as Google says Marina Sirtis is 5’ 5” tall, while IMDB says she’s only 5’ 3”. 

On the other hand, Google says Diana Muldaur is 5’ 5”, while IMDB says she’s 5’ 5 ½”. 

Perhaps Diana Muldaur simply has short arms?


In any event, the back panel was a couple inches longer than the front – 25 ⅝”, measured from the bottom of the yoke to the bottom of the smock.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - length


The upper edges of the front panels were 6 ½” wide, each, measured from the center front to the armscye.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - body panels
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - body panels


These edges were curved similarly to the lower edge of the yoke, although less so – a mere ¼” from center front to armscye.
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - body panels
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - body panels


The upper edge of the back panel also measured 13” across, from armscye to armscye.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - body panels


The upper edge of the back panel was considerably more curved than the front – ¾” from center back to armscye!

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - body panels


Something else, very important (you may have noticed) is that like the other early TNG-era uniforms (TNG jumpsuits and TNG skants), the jumbo spandex was cut on the crossgrain for the front panels – i.e. with the “weave” being horizontal, and the fabric’s stretch being vertical. 

However, on the back of the skant, the jumbo spandex was cut on the straight grain, with the “weave” being vertical, and the fabric’s stretch being horizontal! 

(I have a theory as to why – more on this later!)


Oddly, the sides of the smock were slightly different dimensions. 

On the left side, the side seam measured 10” from the armscye to the top of side panel insert.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side seams


However, on the right side, the side seam was slightly longer - 10 ½” from the same points.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side seams


Interestingly, the smock appeared to have lower side “split” openings in the show, resulting in a sort of black triangular shape at the lower sides.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side openings
TNG, 2x1 "The Child"


However, these “slits” weren’t merely the lower side seams left open, revealing the high-waisted black uniform trousers underneath; there were actually triangular black mesh panels sewn into the lower sides!


Both the front and back edges of the left side panel were 10 ¾”, and the bottom edge was 3 ⅞” wide.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side inserts
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side inserts
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side inserts


The front and back edges of the right side panel, however, were a bit shorter – 9 ¾”, and the bottom was ever-so-slightly wider (4”).

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side inserts
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side inserts
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side inserts


The bust area was shaped with bust darts. 

The right dart was 4 ½” long (from side seam to tip), while the left dart was 4 ⅝” long.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - bust darts
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - bust darts


At the front waist area was a V-shaped waistband, 2” wide.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - waistband



The total incline of the waistband, from center front to side seam, was 2 ¾”.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - waistband


The upper edge of the waistband was 11” beneath the lower edge of the front yoke at the center front.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - waistband


In the lower, outer front area of the medical smock were two double-welt pockets – a rarity, indeed, for the TNG/DS9/VOY-era of Star Trek

In fact, other than the TNG, VOY, and DS9/NEM-era cadet uniforms, this is literally the only TNG-era Starfleet uniform I can recall that had visible pockets of any kind! 

Considering this particular Pulaski uniform was only ever seen in a single episode (and the first episode of the season, to boot), I wonder if costume designer Durinda Rice Wood was only told about the “no pockets policy” of the TNG-era uniforms after it was too late to do anything about it. 

The pockets themselves were both 7 ½” tall.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets


As you can see, the pocket welts were cut on the crossgrain, just as the front fabric was. 

However, the pocket facing was cut on the straight grain, allowing it to stretch with the pocket opening. 

The pocket was also edge-stitched around its perimeter.


As for the pocket width … well, that’s a can of worms! 

Both pockets measured 7/16" wide at the top, widened to ¾” at the middle, and narrowed back down to 7/16" at the bottom. 

Right pocket:

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets


Left pocket:

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets


The pockets were literally fixed into this position via hand-sewing, but more on that later!

I could, of course, be mistaken, but it is my belief that the welts were originally intended to be ¼” wide, with a total pocket width of ½”, but a tiny little bit was “lost” in the construction (which, again, I believe to have been quite hasty).


Anyway, on the back of the smock was a pair of fitting darts!

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - back darts


The back left dart was 8 ¼” tall, while the back right dart was 8 ½” tall.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - back darts
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - back darts


Both darts were positioned 4” away from the side seam at the waist.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - back darts
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - back darts


The lower front measured 18 ½” wide, from side insert to side insert (with the right side being slightly wider than the left).

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - bottom edge


The lower back measured 16” wide, from side insert to side insert.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - bottom edge


One of the most surprising – even shocking! – aspects of the smock is that the lower edges were simply cut to length, and left raw and unhemmed!

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - bottom edge
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - bottom edge


I mean, jumbo spandex doesn’t fray like woven fabrics tend to, and there’s no real structural risk of leaving the bottom edges unhemmed, but I found it particularly surprising considering how extensively the TNG skants were hemmed (literally every edge), and that the sleeves on this same medical smock were turned up and hemmed! 

While the other minor inconsistencies with the alignment and proportions were just that – minor – this was the first major indicator to me that this particular uniform was made in a rush. 

It’s admittedly possible that some of the fabric at the bottom of the smock was trimmed away in the 30-odd years since the episode in which it appeared first aired, but the overall length in relation to the sleeves looks about right to me, so I find this unlikely. 

Furthermore, most of the evidence that this uniform was hastily constructed is to be found on the interior of the smock …


Interior Construction

Now we’ll take a look at the Pulaski smock’s interior construction.



Here’s a general glance at the front interior, before we start to examine it in detail.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - interior construction


At a glance, the neckline trim appeared to have been constructed in the same manner as the other early TNG-era uniforms (jumpsuits and skants), but it actually wasn’t! 

Rather than being a strip of fabric folded in half, sewn on, and turned under, the Pulaski medical smock’s neckline trim was actually attached more like bias binding might be; the strip was sewn on, pressed over, turned under, and a “stitch-in-the-ditch” secured the underside. 

You can just barely see the “stitch-in-the-ditch” on the outer edge of the neckline trim in these photos:

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - neckline trim
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - neckline trim
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - neckline trim
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - neckline trim


The net effect is a subtle difference from the other construction method; rather than the neckline trim extending out from underneath the yoke, this way the trim sits on top of the neckline, creating a tiny “bulge.”

The neckline trim’s allowance on the underside was ⅜”, and it was catch-stitched to the underside of the yoke.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - neckline trim
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - neckline trim


The shoulder seam allowances were ⅜”, except they widened to ½” at the neckline – another minor indicator that this costume was made in a hurry!

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - shoulder seams
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - shoulder seams


Also note that the shoulder seam allowances were “pinked” (i.e. cut with pinking shears), and the shoulder pads obviously appear to have been removable, attached via two black snaps sewn to the shoulder seam allowances – more like what we saw on most of the costumes throughout the modern era of the franchise.

The upper/lower yoke seam allowances were ⅜" and pressed upward.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke trim
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke trim


However, the yoke piping seam allowances were trimmed down to ¼".

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke trim


The front yoke/body seam allowances were pressed open.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke seams
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke seams


While the yoke’s lower seam allowance was consistently ½”, the upper front seam allowance was ½” at the center front and tapered down to almost nothing at the armscye.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke seams
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke seams


To me, this implies that the seam was either hastily let out for fitting reasons, or the seam allowance was trimmed away toward the armscye (since, in my experience, those armscye seam allowances want to poke upward, even when the seam allowance is pressed open).


The back yoke/body seam allowances were ½” and pressed upward.

And again, the armscye seam allowances were both pressed, and sewn-in, open.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke seams
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - yoke seams


The smock closed up the center front via a non-separating invisible zipper, and the front seam allowance was 1”.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - front zipper


In total, the zipper was 23 ½” long, and the bottom of the smock was sewn closed beneath the zipper.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - front zipper


The top inch or so of the zipper was left hanging free, the upper front (yoke) seam allowances were tacked into place by hand, and three hook-and-eye closures closed the upper front above the zipper.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - upper front closures


The top of the front body panels was reinforced with a small piece of black fabric, which was (more or less) centered over the seam line and sewn in with the zipper.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - zipper interfacing
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - zipper interfacing


Also note the additional row of stitching, where the zipper tape was fastened down.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - zipper stitching


Beneath the waistband, the outer edges of the seam allowances were reinforced with what appears to be bias-cut hair canvas (comparable in weight to “Heavyweight hymo” from B. Black & Sons), approximately ¾” wide, folded in half, and hand-sewn to the allowances.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - zipper interfacing
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - zipper interfacing
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - zipper interfacing
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - zipper interfacing


I have no idea what purpose this interfacing serves; it doesn’t extend to anywhere near the seam line, and it’s not sewn in, so it wasn’t to stabilize the jumbo spandex for the zipper installation. 

There’s negligible risk of the seam allowances stretching out of place while the zipper’s closed, and even if they do, then so what?

It’s not attached to anything else (like the pockets or the mesh “panty assembly, which we’ll get to momentarily), so it doesn’t seem to serve any structural purpose. 

Literally my only guess would be that it was intended to bulk up the outer seam allowances past the zipper tape, so on the front of the costume, there’d be less of a bulge at the center front – tapering from zipper, to hair canvas, to just the front body. 

But if that were the case, why is there no hair canvas on the upper front, above the waistband?!?


The bust darts were 1” tall and pressed open over the dart’s stitch line.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - bust darts
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - bust darts


The waistband had some weirdness going on, too.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - waistband


As you can see, the waistband was reinforced with a white, knit, fusible interfacing.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - waistband
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - waistband


The waistband’s upper seam allowances were pressed open.

They appear to have originally been ½” and trimmed down to ¼” an inch or so from the center front, and they were almost entirely trimmed out from underneath the front seam allowance.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - waistband
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - waistband


(Normally I’m all for reducing bulk, and trimming/grading seam allowances is a great way to do this, but I find this particular method curious; why not simply trim them down to ¼” all the way? Perhaps the wider seam allowances at the front were, again, to help obscure the zipper/front seam allowance?)


The lower seam allowances were also ½” and pressed upward.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - waistband
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - waistband


In addition to the waistband itself, the lower waistband seam allowances served two other important purposes. 

First, and perhaps most obviously, there was a sort of black mesh “panty” attached to the body of the smock, made of the same black mesh as the side panel inserts. 

This “panty” was almost certainly intended to “anchor” the smock into place on the wearer, preventing it from twisting or pulling upward. 

Both the front and back were cut as a single piece, and it was sewn into place on the sides at the waist, as well as to the front waistband’s lower seam allowances.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - "panty" attachment


A slit was cut in the “panty” for the zipper, and the upper front corners were hand-sewn to the front seam allowances.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - "panty" attachment


The upper back edge of the “panty” was actually hemmed, with approximately 1” hem allowance and stitched down ¼” from the edge, creating a channel for a length of ½” black elastic.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - "panty" attachment


Both the upper back corners of the “panty” and the ends of the elastic were tacked down by hand.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - "panty" attachment
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - "panty" attachment


My guess would be that this elastic helped the “panty” hug the back more and keep it from drooping.


As you may recall, the front pockets were literally sewn closed, so I was surprised to discover pocket bags on the interior of the costume – implying that these pockets may have been originally intended to be functional!

(The pocket bag fabric looks kind of silky, but it felt more like a polyester lining to me.)
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets


My hypothesis is that they were originally intended to be functional pockets, but it was determined that they weren’t viable for actual use – probably due to lack of stability (perhaps a combination of the spandex itself, and the fact that only two sides of the pocket were actually fastened down). 

So, the pockets were quickly hand-sewn closed – perhaps even on the day, between filming takes! - to prevent the actress from using them, or perhaps even to keep them from stretching outward while not in use. 

While this is admittedly a theory, to me it’s additional evidence that this costume was made in a huge hurry. 


The other function served by the waistband’s lower seam allowances was to anchor the upper edges of the pocket bags into place.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets


The pocket area was stabilized with a rectangle of black fusible interfacing, 2 ⅜” wide, which has (probably long since) unbonded from the fabric.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets


The middle portion of the pocket welts was also reinforced with a strip of black fusible interfacing.
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets


On both sides, the pocket welts were slightly uneven in their positioning, especially the left side! 

(Not that it really matters, of course, on the exterior of the garment, but it’s yet another indication to me that this particular costume was hastily constructed.)

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets


Another perplexing, albeit very minor, oddity is that the edges of the centermost pocket welts were hand-sewn closed … but not the outer ones! Only one welt of each pocket.
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets


Both pocket bags were approximately 12” tall at the outer edge, 10” tall at the front edge, and 6 ¼” wide.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets


As you can see, the pocket bag was sewn closed with ¼” seam allowance, and the outer edges were “pinked.”


Curiously, the pocket bag was hand-sewn to the pocket opening. I have no idea why; I’ve always machine-sewn my double-welt pockets. Perhaps the combination of jumbo spandex and lightweight lining proved too frustrating to sew by machine?
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets


Here, you can just barely see the thread, where the pocket opening was hand-sewn closed.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets


The pocket facing was simply topstitched into place on the pocket bag. You can also see the hand-sewn threads.
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - pockets


On the back, the right dart was about ¼”, but the left dart was a tiny bit wider - 5/16". 

Both darts were pressed toward the center back.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - back darts
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - back darts


The side seam allowance “warbled” quite a bit. 

Both appeared to be ⅜” wide at the armscye (underarm), widened considerably toward the bust/waist (especially the back), then tapered down to almost nothing toward the side panel insert (although the lower side seam allowances appear to have been trimmed down with pinking shears for some reason). 

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side seams
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side seams
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side seams


The side panel insert seam allowance likewise wavered.
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side insert


For example, this particular seam allowance was approximately ⅜” near the top, widened to ½” at the lower middle, and tapered down to less than ¼” near the bottom (although the mesh/netting was noticeably wider).

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side insert
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side insert
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - side insert


To me, these wavering seam allowances further indicate a rushed construction. 

Another theory I have, that happens to fit all the evidence, is that the non-separating front zipper caused the obvious issue of donning and removing the smock, so to compensate, the back of the smock was cut with the stretch going horizontally, around the wearer’s body. 

However, even the additional give may not have been enough, so the lower sides may have been opened and the black mesh inserted later, to allow the smock to open farther when putting on the garment. Not only did the black mesh panels open the bottom of the smock by about 8”, but it stretches a bit as well. The combined stretch of both the back spandex and the additional fullness with the side panels allowed the smock to be donned, in spite of the non-separating front invisible zipper.


The front armscye seam allowances were uneven, too!

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - armscye
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - armscye


The front sleeve’s armscye seam allowance was noticeably wider than the front body armscye (½” vs. ¼”, respectively).

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - armscye


The back armscye seam allowances, however, were both ½”.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - armscye


The seam allowances at the lower/outer corner of the yokes and the upper corners of the sleeves were tacked open by hand.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - armscye


The sleeve seam allowances were, again, inconsistent.
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - sleeves


The outer sleeve seam allowances were about ¾” at the top and tapered down to ½”, toward the bottom of the sleeve.


Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - sleeves
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - sleeves


The inner sleeve seam allowances, however, were consistently ½”.
Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - sleeves


The sleeve hem allowance was pressed upward and catch-stitched to the underside by hand.

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - sleeves


The sleeve hem allowance was 2 ⅜” – a very curious allowance!

Dr. Pulaski TNG medical smock - sleeves


In Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this detailed look at a screen-used Dr. Pulaski medical smock! 

I’d again like to thank Angelo Cifaldi for giving me the opportunity to examine it, and to share my research with you.



Also, you can download my entire library of high-resolution costume photos as a ZIP file here.

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