MST3K’s Kinga Forrester Coat

MST3K’s Kinga Forrester Coat


Whew, it’s been a busy fall. Between tons of duties at work, and learning how to prep a home for the winter, we’ve had our hands full here. We adopted the joy of hosting the family’s annual Halloween party since we have a home to host in now, and it wasn’t until a week before the party that I realized I didn’t have a good costume that I hadn’t worn yet… Whoops. I could’ve worn the skant, but it was real cold that night and those legs are out on display.

I had been planning on recreating the coat that Kinga wears in MST3K since I saw the first episode of the return. Between the simple lines, weird details, and adaptability to easily use an already-made pattern, it could be done in a snap. Luckily for my procrastinating Halloween-costume-needing self, I had already done a muslin and purchased the fabric months ago! It just needed to be made. In a week. And so it was.

The coat pattern is Vogue 8346, view B, cut in a size 14. I initially made a muslin, which  worked out great. I liked the sleeve length and fit of the bodice as a whole. I would have liked to move the buttons up to have more of a traditional peacoat shape like Kinga’s is, but that was more complicated that I was ready to dive into. I generally prefer when sleeves are made of 2 separate pieces to allow greater arm movement, so in the future I will hack this to have 2 parts.

I sourced the fabric for my coat, a wonderfully dark melton wool, from S.R. Harris in Brooklyn Park, MN for $19.99/yard, but purchased the contrasting lapel color, a simple quilting cotton, and lining at my local Jo-ann Fabrics. My patches were sourced last minute from Etsy (one showed up the day of the party!) from these two shops. Lastly, my hair bones were made from sculpting Sculpy onto some melamine chop sticks, and painting it all white after baking.



Oh! My partner in crime! Ian is wearing a Jonah-style costume with his own name on it that we made for the convention we went to this summer. I knew that a wool coat wouldn’t fly at a convention in July, hence why I had the supplies and never made it on time. But, it is surprisingly difficult (impossible) to find long-sleeved  yellow coveralls. So we purchased a white cotton jumpsuit on Amazon, and dyed it in a big bucket with Rit dye. Then, I sewed on the patches. We found a velcro tactical belt with accessories  for him to finish off the look. Bam! Our own test subject!

We ran into a few other Jonah-like people at the convention, and they had dyed their coveralls with both the cotton and polyester dye. I should have done this as well, because while the fabric is made of cotton, the thread is polyester and is still white. So, this is what I would recommend if you’re trying to make your own test subject.

Overall, I love this costume! The coat came together quite smoothly in a week, and the hardest part was simply working efficiently after work to get it done on time.

Oh, our Halloween party was a success too. Hurrah!




Star Trek: TNG Skant

Star Trek: TNG Skant


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.


The fabric we sourced from 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.

Lost In Time Shawl

Lost In Time Shawl


In the past year, I taught one of my friends who knits to crochet. She picked it up unbelievably quickly and has inspired me to try new projects and techniques along side her. In her journey looking at crochet patterns, she was inspired by the Lost In Time shawl as a yarn stash buster and suggested we combine our yarn stashes to make some color palettes that worked well. Little did we know, this project is not so much a stash buster as it is a yarn hog…

The first two repeats came together really quickly, and we were motivated by how the design was shaping up! However, the last two repeats of the pattern dragged on. It was a combination of the increasingly lengthy rows and the lack of stitch counts to keep us on track, that we both ended up making some dire mistakes and needed to rip out numerous rows.


Though when mine was completed, I loved it. The autumnal color palette, the interesting stitch combinations, and the warm weight of the shawl made it feel worthwhile. It took a few evenings of movies to weave in all my ends, but overall I loved it. So, I started on a second one!


This monochrome version was a delight. I couldn’t stop staring at how the colors intertwined in the pattern through its construction, and I’m really happy with it. In order for the pattern to alternate colors appropriately, I did not change colors for the double row of sc’s prior to the initial popcorn stitches (rows 21 and 22 respectively). For this project unfortunately, I still ended up weaving all my ends because I didn’t have the insight to carry over my strings at the ends of my rows. Well, you live and learn!

If I end up needing a gift for someone, this is definitely a pattern I’ll consider making for them. In only one or two colors, it comes together more quickly because you won’t have to weave in the ends. It’s stunningly beautiful and is nicely challenging for an experienced crocheter.

Nintendo Switch Bag

One of the great things about the Nintendo Switch is that it can be used on the go. We end up taking ours to breweries and play games with friends. This means we also occasionally bring the pro controller, charging pack, and other accessories. Bringing all this around in a non-padded tote bag with all the stuff sloshing around was making me concerned, so I decided to make a messenger bag made for the needs of the switch!

I roughly based my sewing off of this tutorial because I wanted a two dividers inside to hold the console itself. There are quite a few changes that I’ve made however, hence why I went through and basically rewrote their tutorial. I want to give full credit to the original maker of the tutorial however, because I wouldn’t have been able to make this without them.

The linked diaper bag tutorial has you adhere fusible fleece to all exterior sides, but I know from the past that this makes a bulky, fluffy bag that I’m personally not a fan of. Here, I use a medium weight interfacing to add extra support. I also opted to make a flap to go over the top of the bag, rather than adding a magnetic closure, and I didn’t add any of the decorative piping that they did.

I made sure the pockets within would provide room for the pro controller, controller thing that holds the Joy-cons, charging cable, and battery pack. In the end, this bag will measure about 11x10x4 inches, have four pockets, and further space for other books, keys, wallets, etc.

Supplies you will need: (I used scraps for this bag so I’m not sure, but you’ll need less than 1 yard of each!)

  • Exterior fabric
  • Interior fabric
  • Fusible fleece
  • Medium weight interfacing

There’s a lot of parts and pieces to cut out for this, so staying organized will help. I labeled my pieces as I sewed to stay organized, and will use these labels through the tutorial to help you follow along. Pieces to cut are as follows:


Exterior pieces:

  • 2 – Front and back 12×11 inches
  • 2 – Sides 5×11 inches
  • 1- Bottom 12×5 inches
  • 2 – Outside flap 12×20 inches
  • 2 – Straps 3×40 inches

Interior pieces:

  • 2 – Front and back 12×11 inches (note: for this bag, I cut these out of my exterior fabric because I ran out of scraps!)
  • 4 – Sides 3×11 inches
  • 2 – Bottom 12×3 inches
  • 4 – Divider 12×8.5 inches
    • also cut 2-4 pieces of fusible fleece depending on how much padding you want and fuse to divider pieces. I only fused one of my four divider pieces, but you can do all four if you’d like!
  • 2 – Inside pockets 12×8.5 inches

This is one section of the tutorial that I loosely followed where I noticed an error in language. Not a great way to start this, I know, but bear with me! It states to sew the exterior bottom to the exterior sides, but in fact we’re sewing the bottom to the front/back. We do so by beginning and ending 1/2 in from either side, to make it easier to stitch our corners together later. I used chalk to march 1/2 in from the edges prior to stitching to ensure I didn’t forget (I did when I first made this bag!).

We’re then going to sew the sides to the front of the exterior, leaving 1/2 in unsewn at the bottom but stitching all the way to top. Then, leaving the bottom/side seam open, stitch the side to the back again leaving the bottom 1/2 in unsewn. These seams should nearly meet or meet, but not have one seam go past the other. Aka, make a nice little right angle.

We’re almost done with our box! This is a weird little seam to line up, I did so by pulling the corners taught and pinning right in the middle. Let the sides/front/back fall in a little triangle away from the corner and stitch from where the seams begin to the seams end, corner to corner. The reference tutorial makes no mention of trimming the corners or seams, but I highly recommend it (especially the corners)! Otherwise it’ll be a little bulky. Just be sure you don’t cut your seam when being trim happy.


This section is nice and easy! We’re going to leave a 1 in gap at the top of your two flap pieces, and sew three sides together with right sides facing each other. Trim the corners, turn it right side out, and fold two bits of 1 in fabric to the inside. Iron, and top stitch all the way around.

At this point we attach the flap to the exterior of the bag. Turn it right side out, stand it up (holy crap it looks like a bag!) and look at where you want the flap to lay. I want mine to be flush with the bottom of the front of the bag, so I’ll hold it there and see where the back of the flap ends up and pin in there, lining up the edges of the flap with the seam of the side/back. This ends up being 5 inches from the unfinished top of the bag for me, but you can adjust it as you want. Make sure it’s the formerly open part of the flap that’s being pinned to the back of the bag. Stitch it down, sewing over where you had top stitched before, and backstitch the heck out of it at the edges! This flap will see a lot of wear and you want to make sure it’s secure.

We’re going to finish up the rest of the exterior components of the bag before diving inside by making our strap. I don’t like to turn out long straps like this because it tends to add bulk. You can reference this non-turning tutorial to see what I loosely based mine on. Due to fabric restrictions, I used two different fabrics (thanks scraps!) and cut mine 3 in wide and folded them in to the crease in on each side (3/4 in fold over), sandwiched the two strips with the wrong sides together, and top stitched them down. We will come back to the straps in a little bit when the bag is assembled!

Note: I like to do a crossbody length strap so it looks more like a messenger bag, which measures about 40-45 inches long. If you want, you can make it the length of a purse strap like the linked tutorial, which is 30 inches long.

Congratulations! You’ve finished the outside, and we’re onto the inside. It’ll be a little different for the side seams and bottom because of the attached divider, but other than that it’s mostly the same methodology. We’re still going to leave a 1/2 in unsewn for the seams at the corners to make them nicer.

Start off with interior pockets. Fold top of the pocket down 1/4 inch twice and top stitch so no raw edge is exposed. Pin each pocket to a respective interior front and back piece, lining the edges of the sides and bottom. Sew or baste down within the seam allowance (I did 3/8 in).

With chalk or another fabric marking tool, draw a vertical line down the middle of the pocket (6 in from either edge). Sewing from the bottom to the top so it doesn’t gather on accident and backstitching at the top, stitch the middle of the pocket to the front/back of the interior.

To make our divider pocket for the switch, we’re adding not one but two divider inserts that are both padded with the fusible fleece. Right sides together, sew only the top (long edge) of the divider pieces remembering that you should have two of these. The fusible fleece likes to wiggle as you sew, so I’d recommend a walking foot. If you don’t have one, pin it like mad. Iron it down right side out. Because we will be treating the two dividers as one, baste the sides and bottoms together, right sides together. This will shift as you sew, so be consistent with your stitch direction (top to bottom center to corner, etc.) and adjust as needed. At this point you can test the fit of the switch in the pocket, and see if there’s anything else you want to add (flap on top with a button for security, stitch up the sides closer to the switch to hold it in tighter).

Because we’re stitching the divider into the interior of the bag, we have two bottom pieces. Sandwich the bottom edge of the divider between the two interior bottom pieces and sew, again leaving the beginning and end 1/2 in unsewn.


We’re now going to attach the interior front/back to the interior bottom pieces. Same as before, we’re putting the raw edges together and leaving the 1/2 inch unsewn. The photo have it all laid out flat, flip flopping the divider from one side to the other, so you can see how it’s all coming together.


We’re almost there, your messy sewing space has so few free-floating pieces now! We’re going to attach the four side interior pieces to the rest of the interior. We first sew the long edges of the side interior pieces to the front/back, lining up the top edge and sewing to the bottom seam, lining it up best you can but not exceeding the bottom stitching line. Ensure that you leave a large gap (~4-5 inches) on one of these seams, with backstitching on either side of the hole, to turn the bag right-side out when it’s all assembled.


Leaving the divider free, we’re going to attach the 4 side segments to the interior bottom. It feels really weird to pin this, but pull the corners of the parts that you want to attach and let the other sections fall away. It’ll come together!

For the last bit of sewing, we’re going to sew up the interior side seams. Sandwich the divider between the two long, unsewn edges of the side interior fabric, and sew from bottom to top (to prevent gathers). And that’s the end of your interior! Clean up the corners again, do some last bits of ironing, and we’re moving onto the home stretch.

It’s time for the bag assembly. We’re essentially putting the exterior inside the interior, and sandwiching the strap in between.

There’s a few ways you can go about attaching the straps. In a previous make, I added tabs with a D-ring and stitched the strap around those. The D-ring allows for greater movement and less strain on the bag from the strap, but for this scrappy bag I didn’t have the right size D-ring sitting around. Instead, I’m sewing the straps directly into the top seam between the interior and exterior of the bag, then top stitching from the outside for extra security. This way, I don’t have to hide any unsightly raw edges and I know it’s secure. I basted the straps to the exterior of the bag to make sure they were evenly spaced.

Note: I forgot to extend the strap down a few inches within the seam allowance when I initially pinned it together, so it’s only in the second photo! But, I’d recommend you leave 1-1 1/2 inches in the seam allowance, and top stitch in a square then an X from the exterior of the bag to ensure that it’s securely in place in the seam allowance.

The bag exterior is going to be right-side out, while the bag interior will be inside out (so that the right sides are together for both of them). To make it easier to turn it right side out, roll up the flap and secure it to the exterior. I did this by stabbing it with a pin because I was too lazy to find a safety pin and like to live dangerously. Nestle the exterior into the interior, choosing one side of the divider. It doesn’t matter which, as long as you can line up the top of the bag. match up the seams, pin all the way around, and sew it down!


It’s time for the big reveal! It seem’s like a lot to cram into the hole you (hopefully) remembered to leave in the interior, but take it little by little and slowly you’ll turn it right side out. We have some finishing touches to do still. Pin the hole inside the bag and stitch it closed. I machine stitch it because I’m too lazy to hand sew, but if you want a clean finish you can hand sew it together! Lastly, iron down the top of the bag, and top stitch it all down. This is the point where you top stitch the extra bit of strap from the outside of the bag to ensure it’s not slipping out of the seam allowance over time.

Now, bask in the glory of your new bag!


Birb Button Up – Vogue 8772

Birb Button Up – Vogue 8772


Don’t worry, my commitment to building my basics in my closet will soon shift away from button up blouses. But look at how nice they’ve been turning out! The more I sew them, the more I learn to enjoy each and every piece. The familiar motions were perfect for getting me through the home stretch of MLS school. Easy to conquer (unlike a lot of my exams), and satisfying at the end.

I’m yet again testing out another pattern for the fit of the bodice, this time it’s Vogue 8772. The pattern has a nice array of options, including a tie neck collar and different sleeve lengths. Due to fabric constraints, I went with a sleeveless collared version altered to have the shorter length of the normal blouse. This is a wearable muslin for me, made up of a discounted cotton fabric from


Overall, I’m happy with the out of envelope fit. I needed to add about a half inch to each side around the hips, but that’s an easy fix that I did by grading the width below the waist! Due to the stiffness of the fabric, I noticed some bunching in the sway of my back and may make an adjustment for that in the future if I choose to make this up again.

I finished the armholes and curved hem with bias tape made from the fabric scraps. I love this technique for the curved hem, as there’s no fiddling with easing the curves and it leaves such a clean finish. It’s smooth and effective!

Another detail that I like about this pattern are the little darts on the top of the shoulder blades. They lend a little shape and construction interest to the back of the garment since there’s no yoke.


I find this pattern will be good for lightweight, draping fabrics and for when I want a flowing blouse. I won’t be again making it up in a more traditional, stiffer shirting cotton as the darts and lack of yoke better lend themselves to lightweight fabrics. This would be a great pattern to make up a rayon blouse with a long, flowing neck tie! Maybe that’s in the future for me now?