February 23, 2018

Why did the TNG skants disappear? A theory ...

The early TNG skants may be alive and well in Star Trek fandom today, but they really weren't around for much of The Next Generation before they quietly and inexplicably disappeared.

In an attempt to make sense of the situation (in-universe), I've devised my own theory as to what may have actually happened ... 

(Remember, you can click on the images to enlarge and scroll through them.) 

TNG skant theory
TNG skant theory

TNG skant theory

TNG skant theory
TNG skant theory
TNG skant theory

TNG skant theory
TNG skant theory

TNG skant theory
TNG skant theory

TNG skant theory

TNG skant theory

TNG skant theory

TNG skant theory
TNG skant theory

TNG skant theory

TNG skant theory
TNG skant theory
TNG skant theory

TNG skant theory
TNG skant theory
TNG skant theory

February 16, 2018

Free TNG skant pattern!

As you've probably seen from my TNG skant analysis, blog post documenting the skant, and TNG skant video tour, I was really able to get a lot of mileage out of the screen-used TNG skant I examined recently.

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.

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 this for every single piece of the skant, even including those enormous shoulder pads!

TNG skant "rub-off 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.).

TNG skant "rub-off pattern"

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. 

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.

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 PDF, with two large 36" x 48" black/white pages. 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 minor notes on the pattern draft:

  • This is a women's skant, with finished garment measurements of 36" bust and 29 ½" waist. 

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

  • I made the neckline/trim seam allowance ⅜" all the way around, instead of the back being ½" (which seemed unnecessarily confusing). 

  • The front yoke "leaned" slightly to one side; I made it symmetrical. 

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

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

That said, here's a comparison of the original TNG skant I examined, and the replica I made using this extrapolated pattern I'm sharing:

Free TNG skant pattern

I'm still whipping up a couple (Bad Wolf Costumes) TNG skant patterns, both male and female, which will, of course, include multiple sizes for each gender, and those will hopefully be finished soon. 

In the mean time, though, I hope you enjoy this free pattern! Steve's actually selling this skant, so contact me if you're interested and I'll put you in touch with him. 

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

February 9, 2018

TNG skant video tour

As you may recall, I recently had the opportunity to examine an original, screen-used women's TNG skant, courtesy of Steve Barnes. 

I documented it extensively via photos, rulers, measuring tapes, etc., and in addition to my actual TNG skant 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 skant!

In this video, we look at the fabrics and colors (yes - colors, plural), examine the unconventional interior construction, and perhaps most importantly, I demonstrate the unfastening process with the skant's bizarre double-invisible-zipper closures! 

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

February 2, 2018

Obsessive Costuming Dude

Heads-up, everyone! 

Henceforth (I like that word), all my costume research, analyses, and sewing tutorials will be done under my new alias, Obsessive Costuming Dude, as opposed to Bad Wolf Costumes. 

Why the name change? 

Well, there are two main reasons. 

First, as Bad Wolf Costumes has grown these past few years, we've learned that we actually have two separate demographics: people who want to buy ready-made costumes, and people who enjoy reading about them and/or making their own

From the beginning, Kate and I intended for Bad Wolf Costumes to be for the former. Sewing patterns were more or less an afterthought - an extension of my hobby.

Being the over-achiever and perfectionist I am, though, I became increasingly thorough with my research. It didn't take long for my costume analyses and sewing tutorials to escalate to the point that they needed to not only be their own separate files, but their own entire projects - in addition to the sewing patterns themselves!

Basically, through Bad Wolf Costumes, we've been talking to two different groups of people, simultaneously engaging and boring about half of our followers. 

Since we're committed to each, separating our work is the best way we know of to give both groups the attention they deserve!

Secondly, sharing my work as an individual, rather than as a representative of my costume business, is a more accurate presentation of it to you, my readers. 

While I'm delighted to have gained the good reputation I have (or, rather, my costume business has) these past few years, I feel like there's been an increasing perception that Bad Wolf Costumes is some large-scale business (like, say, ANOVOS), with a corresponding set of expectations. 

The truth is, I'm ultimately just a fan boy with the right set of skills, vision, and ambition to build a massive resource like the "Star Trek Costume Guide."

I haven't the slightest inclination to make Star Trek uniforms for a living; aside from the fact that music is my passion, what I enjoy most about costuming is exactly what I do: research, analyze, share my findings with others, replicate, and teach other people how to do the same. 

In doing so, my goal is to contribute to the costuming community, and hopefully raise the collective bar - both in terms of costume replicas, and of sewing/tailoring skills!

Ever since I was a boy, I wanted to be a starship captain. The first sewing pattern I ever bought for personal use was a Star Trek pattern, and it took me years of figuring things out before I was even competent enough at sewing to make a recognizable costume that didn't fall apart in a week. (The fact that that first pattern was crap didn't help.) 

Helping other people achieve their "dreams" via cosplaying, while saving them headaches and frustration - that's a gift I enjoy giving! Whether you do this as a hobby, or you're an aspiring sewer/costumer/tailor, I want this blog to be as helpful a resource as possible, but I write it as me, not as the co-owner of Bad Wolf Costumes. 

"Obsessive Costuming Dude" is less of a division, and more of an outgrowth of our costume business.

From where you're sitting, though, very little will actually change. 

I'll still be researching costumes, posting costume analyses, writing sewing tutorials, and sharing lots of other cool sewing/costuming stuff. And we will continue selling my sewing patterns through Bad Wolf Costumes.

It's just that all the material surrounding those sewing patterns will now be done as "Obsessive Costuming Dude," so we can stop boring all the non-DIY-types with our shenanigans! 

I've begun regularly posting photos on Instagram, I'll be posting announcements on Facebook, and I'll be occasionally uploading costume videos on YouTube.

Also, I've also started another blog for all my sewing/costuming projects which aren't directly related to Star Trek or Doctor Who. Check it out here: 

My "Costume Guide" e-mail newsletter will now be from "Obsessive Costuming Dude," so be sure to add it to your approved contacts! 

And of course, please continue following Bad Wolf Costumes if you're interested in the costumes and/or sewing patterns we offer!