Star Trek: TNG Skant

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This project has been a really long time coming. One of the first photos I saw of my husband was of him at a convention in a Star Trek uniform, and I thought, “aw look at that adorable nerd.” I had no idea that some 6 years later, I’d be suiting up in my own uniform and happily stumbling around a convention.

Ian and I watched Star Trek together a ton when we first started dating, and one of the things he pointed out to me were all the crazy costumes and different obscure things he wanted to cosplay, namely the Ten Forward bartender and the male skant. So, I felt that the skant would be the easiest. A friend of ours also made some skants, so I borrowed her sewing pattern.

As soon as I took it out though, I put it back… for 4 years. At this point I considered many of the other skant tutorial options, where they remove the “skant” part and make it into a dress. But I knew that if I were putting in the effort, I wanted it to feel authentic. So I stuck with my pattern. It was the original Gene Roddenberry costume designer sewing pattern, with no measurements for sizing, and nary a sensible instruction on how it was all magically put together. The zipper location on the diagram made no sense, and for some reason the construction of the legs was completely out of wack. I made up a muslin, and decided that the diagram had the pattern pieces labeled incorrectly. Turns out they were correct, just wildly bizarre.

The weird “skant” part, where each side is a mirror image with a flap and pseudo-shorts

I used Obsessive Costuming Dude‘s PDF and video tour of the skant as a resource for all things construction and finishing touches. Luckily, his posts on the uniform were made at the same time that I was laying on the living room floor, pattern pieces strewn about me, crying to my cat and husband about how it JUST DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. You could say that this costume certainly would not have come together if it weren’t for Obsessive Costuming Dude’s posts. I might have been a little emotional too, as we were trying to finish this before buying a house. Whoops.

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The fabric we sourced from Fabric.com and includes the Fabric Merchants Teal Ponte and Fabric Merchants Black Ponte. These fabrics were lovely to sew and work with, and in appearance looked very similar to the uniforms. Unfortunately, after wearing them for a full day at the convention, our con bag ended up making a terrible patch of pilling and pulled loops. I used a crochet hook to pull these back inside, and will likely take a razor blade to the patch in the future.

For the skant contruction, I followed his directions almost to a T. I made a muslin for myself and Ian first, and only had to alter the length by about 3 inches for myself. Ian’s skant had to be nearly redrafted to accommodate for his male figure, and the hem was lengthened 5 inches while the sleeves were lengthened by 2 inches. I reinforced the zipper seams with a knit fusible interfacing to reduce the potential for a wobble in the fabric, which I thought worked really well!

After months of agony and painstaking hand sewing of every hem and hook and eye, the skants fit. And they looked damn good! I went to try my own on, and nearly died. My zipper broke, right across my the chest. It was 2 days until we left for the convention and my costume had broken due to a crappy invisible zipper. The teeth had come clear off the zipper tape, there was no fixing it! So, I had to cut the zipper pull out of the garment and sew the seam up along the chest. Turns out, you really don’t need that zipper to get in and out of the uniform anyway when it’s a nice, stretchy ponte!

The uniform felt nice and breezy (a little too breezy, definitely wear spanx!) at the hot, July convention and we received a ton of a compliments on them. Making the pair of uniforms is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, just below making my wedding dress, purely because it was such a struggle to figure out how they come together cleanly. A huge thank you to Obsessive Costuming Dude for making such a detailed analysis of the costume, and allowing us nerds to embrace the authenticity of the skant.

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