Monday, April 16, 2012

The Class A Starfleet Uniform

So, I posted on FB or Twitter or somewhere that I had finally given in and started on my Class A Starfleet uniform. Since I have a lot of Trekkie friends, they were immediately asking, "A what what?"
I first came across the Class A variant a few years ago, when I found this page that had every single uniform variation ever listed on it.The Class As immediately caught my eye because it was a combination of my two favourite uniform styles - the Monster Maroons of the 2270s and the grey shouldered uniforms of the 2370s.

With a little more digging I found Katrina Andrew's DeviantArt entry for the Class A uniform. From reading the information on the DA entry, it seems that she is probably the first one to have made this uniform variant. I'm not sure if her uniform came first or the drawing on the USS Galaxy's page (both pages went up in 2009, within a few months of each other), but whatever the case, I HAD TO HAVE THIS UNIFORM.

Ahem...anyway, I wanted this to be mostly a Stash Dash project, and I was pretty sure I could pull it off with leftover material from all the Starfleet uniforms I'd made in the past. I originally wanted to make the uniform jacket out of the same suiting wool that I used for the Maroons since I really love the way it draped, but at nearly $30/yd it wasn't really something I could afford to just buy for a new project. Luckily, I had 3 metric tonnes of black gabardine left from all the uniform trousers I've made, and the First Contact era uniforms (the grey shouldered ones) were made of gabardine!

I started out using the same pattern that I use to make the women's Monster Maroon jacket, McCall's M6170. I cut out all the outer pieces from scraps of black gabardine, and cut out the lining from some thin black taffeta that I found in The Stash. I also used the Monster Maroon tunic/shirt pattern from Roddenberry to cut out pieces for the divisional coloured shirt.

Yeah, I know you see it. The divisional shirt is definitely not great. But, the body of the uniform jacket was looking pretty good.

The next thing was to figure out where I wanted the grey shoulder yoke to come. I marked it off in pins and then unpinned the uniform pieces so I could make pattern pieces for the grey areas.

I cut out the yoke pieces in both the grey fabric, and in a layer of quilt batting, and pinned them down to the pieces that matched them.

Before I started quilting the yoke, I decided to add the front panel that you see on the Maroons onto the right side of the uniform front. Since I wasn't going to be in the command division, I decided to do the panel in divisional tan instead of white.

I stitched the front panel down, and then stitched the front and back jacket pieces together at the shoulders. Then, I started quilting.

Before reassembling the jacket pieces, I added the bias strips that finish the edges of the quilted yoke.  I wanted this to look really neat and clean, so I did it half with machine stitching, half with hand-sewing. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, too.  I also added the top stitching on the shoulder seam that the original First Contact uniforms had.  Then, I pinned the jacket pieces back together.

Soooo happy with how it's looking.  Before stopping work, I stitched all the jacket pieces together, and added the top stitching at the sleeve head.

So far, so good! I'm really, really pleased with how quickly and easily this uniform is coming together. Maybe I've just finally made enough Maroons that this style of uniform has become easy to put together. I still need to put together the lining, fix the divisional shirt, and make the divisional straps and shoulder strap for the uniform jacket. Oh, and the skirt. Haven't done anything on the skirt yet. But, I don't really need to have this uniform ready until the middle of May, so there's no rush.

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