So, the Star Trek skant.
It is finished. I did wear it. I made one for my good friend Rori, and she wore hers. We even endured about a million comments about how we were wearing the wrong color from people who had never actually seen the show, just referencing the general pop culture fact that the red shirts always died horrific alien deaths. Except for the part where it was only the male red shirts who died. The females were either fourth in charge of the ship, i.e. Uhura (according to Nichelle Nichols herself), or too busy bringing the men coffee and a sandwich on the bridge to get killed on an away mission.
But I digress.
If I sound less than enthusiastic about the skant, it’s because making it was the most frustrating, hair pulling, curse word-filled three months of my life.
See, the measurements on the sizing chart were not accurate. At all. In any way imaginable.
I mean, I knew that the measurements were a bit wonky. I did. I had done my research. I just didn’t realize exactly how wonky they were. When I made the mock up for myself, I used the highest measurements, equivalent to a size 20, according to the sizing chart, but more like a 14 as far as I can tell. I don’t even wear a 20 in day to day clothing, yet I had to add two inches to the arm and an inch to the other panels. I assumed it was just my body shape, but when I consulted the measurements and chose the size 12 pattern for my friend’s skant, I discovered that it really wasn’t me. It was the pattern. She has an average body size, yet I had to completely recut her dress with the size 20 panels, then cut down the panels just below the neck line and at the shoulders to make it fit properly.
Furthermore, the arms and armpits still don’t fit properly on either of our dresses. The arms seem to be too narrow above the elbow, but too big at the shoulder. The armpits don’t fit snugly at the sides and under the arms. Instead, they stretch out too tightly about an inch from our skin. This makes lifting the arms to, say, put on eye shadow or fix your hair very difficult. The collars don’t lie flat, either, and it seems that no matter how many inches I added to each end of the collar, it never seemed to be enough for the whole neck line.
I’m not the only one who has had these problems. I stood in line with a woman on the day I wore the skant, swapping Star Trek pattern war stories. And you could easily spot the homemade skants verses the store bought ones: the homemade did weird things at the shoulders, kind of poofing out awkwardly and folding just above the bicep, while the store bought skants fit perfectly.
All that being said, I put on my dress Saturday morning, bemoaning the flaws, the tight upper arms, the weird armpit fit in our dresses. I fussed and whined and frowned, but consoled myself with how good I looked in my new, bought-for-Dragon*Con boots and hoped no one would notice the flaws. Then we went down to the lobby. Within three feet we were asked for our picture. We were asked for our picture all day, together and apart. I was stopped in the vendor area twice and asked where I had bought my dress, then later in the lobby while waiting to get into a panel. By the end of the day, Rori was convinced she was Uhura, and I was convinced that I could make ANYTHING.*
Yeah, no one noticed the flaws.
And I guess, looking back, we do look pretty fantastic:
* A couple of weeks ago, when we went out for Halloween in our snazzy Star Fleet uniforms, we got multiple compliments on our dresses, and one woman even asked me if I had a card so that she could contact me about making costumes for her party planning business. Seriously, I can make ANYTHING.