Decades Everyday ESP Dress (Tribute Sewing)

For Sewcialist tribute month, Gillian asked me to contribute to the blog. I knew immediately who I was going to make a tribute to: Tanya from Mrs. Hughes.

I’ve been following Tanya since 2012. She is one of the reasons I got back into sewing in 2013 along with the other editors at the Curvy Sewing Collective. My adventures in sewing had been all over the place before. I was convinced that sewing patterns were incompatible with curvy women. I didn’t know about FBAs or other pattern adjustments. I still use Idle Fancy’s tutorials on that.  I also mostly saw bland clothing out there for plus sizes. Nothing colourful or interesting and certainly nothing with reasonable prices and shipping for a Canadian gal. I ordered some dresses from modcloth and eshakti, but I had to wait for sales. I knew I wanted to sew all my clothes since I bought a sewing machine in 2009, but I didn’t feel like the majority of sewing bloggers reflected my needs. When I started following Tanya, all that changed. Her style was exactly what I wanted to sew! Vintage, colourful, and lots and lots of dresses! 😀

Eventually after a million comments, Tanya and I became friends. She sent me the Decades Everyday ESP dress and Wonder Woman fabric and I knew my tribute to her would include both.

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If you don’t know, Tanya is the queen of the ESP Dress. She has several versions in all different kinds of fabric, including her very own Wonder Woman ESP Dress.

I love this dress!

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The ESP dress only goes to a 46 bust, though, which meant I had some pattern alterations to do for it. I did a 2.5 inch FBA on the largest size to give me 5 extra inches for my 51 inch bust. With the ease in the pattern, it worked out perfectly for me. I also did a large bicep adjustment on the sleeves. The sleeves weren’t tight, but I wanted a bit more ease of movement. For the future however, I will need to increase the armsyce just slightly since it is a bit tight and high.  The FBA added space to the waist. However, I could have made the waist darts a big bigger since the dress doesn’t quite come in enough at the waist without the belt. I also lowered the neckline since I knew that would be too high for me. After a muslin, I did a slight hollow chest adjustment at the neckline. I will also be taking a wedge out of the back neckline too next time.

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For the skirt, I was restricted with the width due to fabric constraints. I think the fullness works, though.

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I already have another version planned using nerdy Hello Kitty fabric.

While this dress isn’t going to worn to work that often, it will get a lot of wear at cons or on the weekends. Basically any excuse for Wonder Woman!

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TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Decades Everyday ESP Dress
  • Pros: Really well drafted dress with raglan sleeves and square neckline. Easy pattern for making alterations.
  • Cons: A good size range, but I do subtract meanly for it only going up to a 46 inch bust. Otherwise a 5 star pattern. (edit: Decades Everyday is going up to a 52 inch bust soon!)
  • Make again?: Already have my next one planned out.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdhalf-star-black-md4.5/5 stars
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C4 Winnipeg, Shatner, and Star Trek Costumes

This past weekend, my improv troupe, the Dandies, headed to C4: Central Canadian Comic Con in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to open for William Shatner with Star Trek improv. In true Andie fashion, I had to make some new Star Trek costumes for the event.

My inspiration for my costume was the dress uniforms from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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I have been feeling a bit body conscious lately and felt that the shape of my current uniform and these would not make me feel quite comfortable. So I adapted the look into a fit and flare dress with a wrap front and the gold trim. I chose M6887 as my base pattern and planned out my costume with that in mind.

Plans with the #curvysketchbook #sewing #sewcialists #startrek #cosplay #costumeideas

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I made flat pattern alterations and just cut right into my fabric since I knew the pattern already fit me well. The first step was to raise the neckline. I did this using M6696 and used the collar piece from that pattern for the costume. After raising the neckline, I took the center front and back and slashed for a yoke piece. I used the sleeve piece from my test version of the Auberley dress pattern since I knew that is was close to fitting. I made a 2 inch large bicep adjustment and narrowed the sleeve toward the cuff so it wasn’t a bell sleeve. I may have narrowed a bit too much since I like rolling up my sleeves and am unable to for this dress. For the back shoulder piece, I traced and cut a triangle from the sleeve head that matched with the yoke, added a seam allowance, and then topstitched the pieces on before putting in the sleeves. They *almost* match up. One side is off on each, but that can be solved by trimming off a bit of excess seam allowance before sewing the detail on. The dress has a wrap front and sew-on snaps are put in along the princess seams. I will be replacing them, however, with velcro tape since the snaps don’t really provide a very clean look. Because of the curved princess seam, they do show off some bumps and pulls that I don’t love and are a direct result of the snaps not being quite in the right place/matching up correctly. Velcro will make that a bit cleaner and take out all the guesswork. I will replace the snaps with velcro now. However, it being last minute and needing to pack meant that I just wore it as is all weekend.

My dress is made with blue polyester fabric (I got a huge bolt of this so expect to see many more things made with it), black cotton rayon, and gold lame bias tape.

For my husband’s jacket, my inspiration was Kirk’s admiral uniform from a few different movies.

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I really wanted him to wear a jacket that was an homage to Kirk since we were meeting Shatner himself.

More plans. Not for me this time though. #sewing #sewcialists #startrek #cosplay #costume

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I didn’t make many changes from the inspiration for this except in very tiny details such as adding the black bias tape to trim the inside white panels or adding a thin gold strip on the sleeve above the cuff or on the cuff itself. It was a result of not enough time and realizing that it wasn’t really worth the trouble.

I used the same pattern as his Picard jacket, M7216, as the base for this costume. I lengthened the jacket by 7 inches and turned the fronts into a wrap style. I raised the neckline using the M6696 pattern, but for this one I finished the neckline with red bias tape using the twill from the body. Other than that, I only added a cuff, a white rectangle at the shoulder, a belt, and belt carrier at the back of the uniform. The white turtleneck underneath is a dickie using white rib material. I also made the belt buckle and cuff pips using polymer clay. The fronts are closed with snaps and the belt is closed with velcro.

This costume is made with red and white twill, black cotton rayon for bias tape and the belt, gold lame bias tape, and white ribbing.

In the pictures below, I made all the Star Trek uniforms that our troupe is wearing because I am freaking amazing.

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

 

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

We had a great time. Other than opening for Shatner, we got our first paid gig at a private birthday party and we had a show in a local board gaming cafe called After Dark. It was a great time for bonding with the troupe as well. Now for a world tour. Errr, after our monthly home show tonight. 😉

Other than that, C4 was a lot of fun. I got my picture taken with Mark Pellegrino who plays Lucifer on Supernatural.

And I got my picture taken with the first blade and an impala to round out my Supernatural love:

I got my picture taken next to the impala #supernatural #c4winnipeg #baby

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I saw some great cosplay.

Shatner is sad it’s over:

That being said, con exhaustion is a real thing. I didn’t get con flu, though, but I’m ready to sleep for the next week! Ha!

If you want to check out more from that weekend, check out the troupe facebook page here. Here is the wicked video of us singing Shatner on stage:

Laugh long and prosper!

Star Trek Insurrection Captain’s dress uniform

Last night I finished the most involved project I’ve ever made in a short space of time.

About a year ago, my husband and I were watching Star Trek: Insurrection. Occasionally, my husband points out costumes or items of clothing that he wants me to make him. This time, he happened to point out one that I was in love with:

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The dress uniform has quilted panels across the shoulders and in the zippered front panel, extended front tails, a cropped back, gold lame bias tape accents, red and gold piping details, red bias tape in the collar stand, and red bias tape on the deep cuffs. To my husband’s disappointment, I did not make the funky braided ceremonial hat for his head.

I definitely procrastinated on this for a while. I was a bit fearful of fitting another person in such a tailored looking jacket. I assembled the materials for it after we watched the movie, but they sat around until last week.

I was able to find gold lame bias tape from fabric.com. It has a fusible back. While it was thin (1/4 inch), I used two lines of it in most places. I got red bias tape from fabric.com as well, but it is the low quality poly/cotton stuff. I should have bought the good stuff locally, but it is just a costume piece. I also got white poly cotton twill from fabric.com, but the grey stuff to eventually make a lower rank dress uniform for myself with the grey zippered panel. I did not find a good choice for the red and gold piping. Most stuff I found was thicker, upholstery grade and would have been difficult to sew in because of the many many layers of fabric. I decided to leave it off.

I started with M7216 for my pattern. PSA to all, it’s so easy to fit someone else, especially a guy! I started with a tissue fit to see if the pattern out of the envelope would fit him. There were some adjustments to make: full belly adjustment and a narrow shoulder adjustment, but overall it fit him really well. After those adjustments, I modified the pattern to have a front panel, as well as a bit of a curved side panel to make the fit over the stomach a lot cleaner looking. I raised the neckline and then used the collar stand piece from my M6696, because it was the closest pattern with a stand. Collar stands are pretty universal. I also added shoulder pads to give more structure to the shoulders.

Instead of adding panels for the quilting to the shoulders, I just sewed detail lines there and in the front zipper panel, too.

That lovely shoulder V in gold lame! 😍😍😍 #sewing #sewcialists #costuming #cosplay

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The sewing process was quite involved with all the lines and bias tape that needed to be matched as well as the cuff and collar.

The construction on the collar was a bit rushed as it was a half hour before we left for Fan Expo to perform, but I am not going to beat myself up on it.

DONE!! Just in time to leave for #fanexpo2016 #sewing #sewcialists #costuming #cosplay

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I love the cuffs.

My husband looks absolutely fantastic in it and it showed in his improv last night, because he kicked ass.

We performed last night at Fan Expo with PJ Phil from YTV’s the Zone. He was PJ in the 90s and I came rushing home from high school to watch Sailor Moon during the Zone every day. PJ Phil is a Canadian celebrity, especially for us 90s kids.

It was a lot of fun and Phil was a great Admiral Sulu!

I made the other uniforms excluding the other female performers’ uniforms which they purchased on their own. You can read about the guys uniforms here.

The jacket is my crowning achievement, though, and has given me so much confidence with sewing going forward.

Star Trek Insurrection Captain's dress uniform

Star Trek Insurrection Captain's dress uniform

The back fits incredibly well, but you will have to take my word for it since I didn’t take a picture of it.

Next up is to adapt this pattern into a Captain Kirk uniform from the early Star Trek movies for our performance at C4 in Winnipeg in October opening the Con and for William Shatner:

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My husband is eventually going to have an entire Star Trek cosplay closet along with his TNG uniform. It’s going to be great. I need to get business cards with my blog so when people ask him who made his spiffy costumes, he can pimp my blog. 😉

If you are in Toronto, come see the Dandies perform Star Trek improv at Fan Expo again at 5:30pm tonight in 701B. If you can’t make it to that, we also have our regular show Holodeck Follies on Wednesday night at Social Capital Theatre.

In terms of the pattern and giving it proper review, I feel I can’t really rate it fairly since I changed it so much. I do think, though, that the mark of a good pattern is being able to adapt and change it without the fit falling apart.

Live long and prosper or, as we say in the comedy business, Laugh Long and Prosper!

 

Star Trek Uniforms: Tahoe Tee pattern

This past week was a wild ride. Other than our regular monthly show, Holodeck Follies, on Wednesday, we also performed at FanExpo on Thursday night, the opening night of the convention.

My husband wrote a wonderful entry that recaps the whole affair. So this entry is about sewing, since that is the theme of my blog.

I sewed up four uniform shirts in four days using the Tahoe Tee pattern from Peekaboo.

Because of the time constraints, I didn’t have time to take detail shots. I have quite a few other shirts to make for the rest of the crew. I pushed through to get the shirts done for our FanExpo performers.

Dale and I already had uniforms. Although, I will also be making new ones for us to match the rest of the crew. I have about 7 more shirts to make before the October 7th show! I will be so tired of making Star Trek tops by then.

With some cast members, I was able to take measurements in person. With a couple, I was only able to go by their shirt size or get measurements from their wife. It turned out pretty well, though. The fit is reasonable on all the shirts. They are meant to be a looser fit than the original uniforms to give the cast some breathing room for human pyramids.

Each t-shirt got individual treatment. I traced out every size. I hate tracing patterns. This was seriously a labour of love. Some of the cast members are the same size so I will be able to re-use those patterns.

For Tracy, our blue shirted Bajoran lady on the left of the photo below, I did a small FBA to allow for a bit more room in the bust without making the shoulders ridiculous. I will have to shorten her sleeves before the next show, but overall the length and fit work for her. Tracy was fine with me using a men’s shirt pattern.

The fit was less complicated for the guys. For all shirts, except Chris’s, who is behind me in the below photo, I simply slashed the pattern to get the colourblocking and added in seam allowances in various areas. I sewed them all on my serger, except for the hems and sewing the topstitching on the neckband, and did a simple neckband in black. On Dale’s uniform and my dress, I did a Mandarin collar, but found that process to be difficult with a knit fabric. Because our show is a parody, it’s doesn’t require 100% accuracy. Leaving off that infernal collar saved my sanity…what’s left of my sanity.

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Photo credit for group shot: Quentin Twaites

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Chris (pictured above with my ire directed toward him) plays Weasley Pincher, our resident Wesley Crusher parody. I got to say, “Shut up, Weasley!” at one point during the show! I’ve been waiting for that opportunity for a while.

I made a basic grey t and added in the stripes in the three colours just below the armscye. Just don’t look closely at the stripe matching. It was the last one I made and I was exhausted. Bloody exhausted. Stripe matching that basically blew my mind. I couldn’t even…

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The Tahoe Tee is a pdf pattern and goes together really well. It even conserves paper by having smaller pattern pieces on a corner of the other pattern pieces. I liked that part. The only issue I have with the pattern is that there is a cutting guide rather than a pattern piece for the neckbands. I totally get this is personal preference, but I really hate cutting a square of fabric. I’d much rather use a pattern piece. I’m a princess. What can I say?

There are fit issues here and there. Without getting a ton of time to test the garments out or get accurate measurements for each cast member, I think they turned out really well!

Nothing else to say about the pattern. It’s a great base for a Star Trek uniform shirt!

Here are some choice actions shots. All taken by AltoVenue, like the picture above.

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TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Tahoe Tee
  • Pros: Super fast, basic t-shirt for men.
  • Cons: Runs large. Check the pattern pieces for finished measurements. I found they were off from what was printed.
  • Make again?: I HAVE TO! Lol. But honestly, if Dale wants a t-shirt, I’d make him one using this pattern in a heartbeat. It’s a nice basic t and comes with long, short, and no sleeves! Totally worth the 9 bucks.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

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Wonder Woman!!!

I had the theme song in my head the entire time I made my outfit. In actuality, I never watched the show. I was born in 1980 and didn’t even get to see it in reruns. I saw the original Batman series with Adam West in reruns, though, and grew up on other DC Comics. It wasn’t until recently that I started getting heavily into Wonder Woman through image sets on tumblr. I follow a lot of comic book feeds along with my various other interests/fandoms.

My first DC Comics love will always be Harley Quinn, but I already made cosplay for her back in 2011:

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I’ve only started reading Wonder Woman comics and only what I’ve been able to get my hands on so far. I won’t pretend to be the biggest Wonder Woman expert, but I really adore her.

Few super heros would blind themselves to kill Medusa (warning: image is graphic):

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She’s cool. She’s tough. When Monthly Stitch announced their December challenge as g33k out, I knew this was my girl. I’ve been wanting to make casual cosplay for various fandoms for a while. Outfits that I could wear to cons and not feel all dressed up. I love costumes, but there is something to be said about not wearing a huge costume to conventions and just chilling with other fans.

Enter my casual cosplay of Wonder Woman.

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Merciful Minerva! I know, technically, I am posting this in January, but I do have evidence on Instagram that I finished the shirt and skirt in December. 😛 I feel like Wonder Woman wouldn’t be super upset about the slight delay in the post.

The top is a Jennifer Lauren Vintage Bronte top. I graded up to a size 24 (the top only goes to size 20) and it fits perfectly. I may have been okay to leave it at a size 20, but I didn’t want to chance it. You can always alter things to be smaller, but making them bigger is a little tougher. The top is made from red jersey ordered from Joann fabrics. The star buttons on the top are from Kraftysian on etsy.

Suffering Sappho, the Bronte top was incredibly easy to make. I think I sewed it up in slightly over an hour and I find the style to be very flattering and the details in the neckline make me giddy. I already have three more of these tops planned out (white, black, and blue). I’ve been needing new tops for a while, especially since I’ve been going nuts for skirts lately.

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The skirt is very similar to the Cressida skirt from Jennifer Lauren Vintage. Unfortunately, I didn’t use that one. I feel kind of bad for choosing one that is very similar but not it, especially when paired with the Bronte top. Does anyone else get weirdly guilty for strange reasons?

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I used the skirt from McCall’s 6696, the popular shirt dress pattern this season. It’s the skirt from view A, but the pockets from view D. I am definitely making this skirt again, because I am in love with it. I will probably make a tutorial on this hack in the future. I want a million of these skirts. The skirt is made from  blue bottomweight canvas from Joann’s and the star details on the pockets are iron on applique from Joann’s as well. All purchased during the Cyber Monday sales. I really went nuts this year with them.

The only slight crisis I had in making the skirt was cutting the button bands too short. Unfortunately, the button bands aren’t quite on the grain because the portion of fabric I had left to recut them was off the grain. It doesn’t really change the skirt, because the bands are interfaced and are given extra support that was, but I will be interested to see if there is any issue with the shape after a few wears.

There are french seams throughout the skirt and I kicked butt on the pleats. They are so pretty, I can’t even.

I made a few accessories for this outfit:

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I bought a necklace from ebay. I used a printout of the Wonder Woman logo to embroider the headband onto felt and made the rope belt out of braiding jersey. I wasn’t happy with the quality of the jersey. Originally, I was going to make a belt that was a little more interesting, but this belt does work out as a lasso of truth as well.

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Careful, bad guys!

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Great Hera, I adore this outfit! 🙂 (Check out the matching nail colour)

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Geek Craft Sunday – Portable Tribble Containment Unit

Tribble containment unit to keep those tribbles from reproducing

The Dandies

Foam core board is a great thing for creating props and you can buy it at the dollar store.

So I said to myself: “Self, what can I make with this?”
And my self answered: “I could make a portable tribble containment unit, but I need some flexible plexiglass.”
So I said to myself: “Good thinking! You brilliant half-Q.”

And then I stopped talking to myself in the dollar store and bought the foam core boards.

wpid-20140525_145836.jpg Be Prepared!

I bought some flexible plexiglass and assembled my materials.
Then I took a nap. Naps are really important in crafting. Take lots.

When I woke up, I started making the portable tribble containment unit.

And there you have it: flexible plexiglass, packing tape, foam core board, duct tape, and electric tape. Portable tribble containment unit with removable lid: geek craft level 10.

Of course, I had to test it out. I put…

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Geek Craft Sunday – Combadges

The Dandies

No Star Trek show would be complete without communicator badges? (that’s right, I basically said the Original Series is incomplete. 😛 TNG FOR-EVAH!)

While we may not appear on stage in full costume, we do have communicator badges.

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I made the communicator badges out of polymer clay, which makes them really easy to make, but also somewhat fragile. Being the crazy crew of the Albatross, we have had some mishaps with the badges and I’ve had to make some extras as back up. Ensign Guy broke his while dying one time. Captain Field and I broke ours while killing Ensign Guy…ahem…I mean coming to his aid all too late. I’ve had to switch up the adhesive that holds them together to make them more durable. I started off using hot glue and now use contact cement, which is much better at holding them together.

Of course, I fully expect to…

View original post 25 more words