July 20, 2018

Wesley Crusher sweater

A little something different for today’s blog post – while my primary interests lie with the franchise’s actual Starfleet uniforms, I recently had the opportunity to examine an original, screen-used Wesley Crusher sweater from The Next Generation’s first season, courtesy of Angelo Cifaldi.

Wesley Crusher sweater


(You can also see my prototype 1989 Joker shirt photobombing on the right.)

Anyway, Wesley wore a few different sweaters that first season before being promoted to Acting Ensign and sporting his gray “rainbow” sweater.

This particular brown one was the one he wore for part of the pilot, “Encounter at Farpoint,” and then again in the episode “Justice.”

Wesley Crusher sweater
TNG, 1x1 "Encounter at Farpoint"
Wesley Crusher sweater
TNG, 1x8 "Justice"


As you probably know by now, William Ware Theiss seemed to love his knit fabrics, and this sweater appears to have literally been knit together, rather than made with a knit fabric.

Wesley Crusher sweater


There were a few aspects of the sweater’s structure and design that I found interesting. 

First, there was a small band of black elastic around the collar, hand-sewn to the underside via a catch-stitch.

Wesley Crusher sweater


The uppermost few inches of the sweater were also lined, although curiously with a cream-colored lining rather than brown.

Wesley Crusher sweater


As you may have noticed in the screencaps, on the upper, outer sides of the sweater on each side was a pleat in the fabric.

Wesley Crusher sweater
Wesley Crusher sweater


At the bottom of the sweater was a little extension, which appears to have been tucked into the trousers.

On the underside was a wide band of elastic, also catch-stitched (similarly to the neckline).

Wesley Crusher sweater


Here’s a shot of the sweater, inside-out.

Wesley Crusher sweater


The shoulder pads were quite large – which would have been surprising if I hadn’t examined that TNG skant recently, as well as a season 1 admiral jacket (which I’ll be posting about soon). 

They appear to have been custom-made, the same way the pads were on the actual Starfleet uniforms back then.

Well, almost the same way; instead of a dart in the pad, the fabric was pleated, and rather than black, it was made of the same cream-colored lining fabric as the upper sweater lining.

Wesley Crusher sweater
Wesley Crusher sweater


The upper/outer pleat in the sweater was actually formed with hand-sewing on the underside! The fabric was simply folded over and catch-stitched into place.

Wesley Crusher sweater


Curiously, the upper armscye area was interfaced with a white fusible interfacing – something I’ve never seen done in this manner before!

Wesley Crusher sweater


A fusible applied to a knit garment? 

Also, I wonder why the original costumers didn’t use black, instead of white, since you can actually see through the little holes in the sweater. (Scroll back up to the photos of the pleat, and you can see the white fusible peeking out from underneath.)


One final surprise was a little prick I got while examining the armscye; there was sewing pin holding the shoulder pad to the sweater!

Wesley Crusher sweater


A relic from the original costuming department, perhaps?

Anyway, I thought it was an interesting piece so I just thought I’d share some of my observations. Thanks again to Angelo Cifaldi for letting me examine it and post my research here!

Coming soon … a detailed look at the TNG season 1 admiral uniform!

TNG season 1 admiral jacket

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1 comment:

  1. Love these costume examinations! Just FYI, a nude colored lining is used so that the lining won't show when the garment is worn. If the lining is the same color as the fabric, it will shadow through and be visible. I'm not sure why they used cream, though, unless Wil Wheaton was extremely pale-skinned? Either way, it's a fascinating look at authentic costuming!

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