The Star Trek Mini-Dress

The impetus for this whole sewing adventure was the Star Trek Original Series mini-dress. As I mentioned in a previous post, I want to wear the dress to the Star Trek Convention that is being held in Chicago in later October. However impractical the dress might be for actually working on a starship, it’s pretty hot.

Janice Rand

Yeoman Janice Rand, who really wanted Kirk to look at her legs

Jadzia Daz

This is actually Dax from an episode of DS9. (Yes, I'm a nerd!)

There are a few things to note about the dress:

  1. It’s really short. The women of TOS all wore cheerleading briefs (or something similar), and there were definitely shots where you could see them. I will be lengthening the dress some for my purposes.
  2. The red is very red.
  3. The gold braid at the end of the sleeves designates rank. I’ll probably be a yeoman so that I can just leave it off.
  4. There’s an off-center split in the skirt. I’m not sure exactly how the dress fastened together. Some Trek outfits have zippers under the arms; this may be more of a wrap dress. I’m going to leave out the split and go with a basic mini-dress.
  5. There’s an insignia. I need to find a patch for this.
  6. The black collar seems to stand straight up. I’m going to need to use interfacing or something for this. Please let me know if you have suggestions.

TOS Dress Schematics

Did I mention I'm a nerd?

The above diagram gives a better sense of the dimensions. Did I already say that it’s REALLY short?

T-shirt Dress

Waaaaay too tight. And the sleeeves aren't long enough.

For some reason, I don’t want to just buy the dress on Amazon (for $43 plus shipping). There’s also video online that shows an easy way to make this dress, starting with a red long-sleeved t-shirt. It may be simpler (although it still involves sewing), but I don’t like the way it looks.

Finally, there is an official pattern, sold on For $20! If you ask me, that’s a bit pricey for a pattern I will likely use only once. At that point, I might as well just buy the dress on Amazon.

Simplicity 3835

The old standby.

So, my plan instead is to start with the trusty Simplicity 3835, which I will be purchasing for my second sewing class anyway. This time I will be using View B, the super-short mini-dress. I’ll need to make a few changes:

  1. The little tie thingies on the sleeves will need to go, and the sleeves will need to be lengthened.
  2. The collar will need to be re-shaped and done in black. I don’t know exactly how I’ll make the collar stand up. If I can’t figure it out, I’m okay with a flat collar.
  3. I’ll need to add the insignia.

And I think that should be about it. It won’t look exactly like the Original Series dresses, but I think it will be close enough, especially since the Amazon dress doesn’t look exactly right either. In the end, will it be cheaper than $43 plus shipping? No, especially if you count the classes! The raw materials (fabric, thread, zipper, pattern, insignia, etc) may end up being slightly cheaper than the store-bought. The point, though, is that I will be learning a new skill at the same time. And, in theory, the dress will fit me better (we’ll see).


5 responses to “The Star Trek Mini-Dress

  1. I will totally buy you the pattern. I’ll order it when I order the TOS movies jacket pattern. 🙂

  2. The ebay description of this pattern has me totally frightened:

    This pattern is not for the novice costume maker, it requires at least some expertise in making clothes or costumes. The pattern is not like those you would find in a fabric store. The pattern was made and instructions are written for someone with some sewing experience. It was created by William (Bill) Ware Theiss (Costume Designer Star Trek & the 1st season of Next Generation) from his original patterns used in the original series. If you are a novice costume maker or Seamstress/Tailor you will need assistance. It is sold as it was made and not stated to be anything else than a paper pattern with three pages of instructions written by Mr Theiss in the early 1970’s. It is not sold as a collectible only as a pattern to make a costume from. The Patter includes 5 different sizes and Due to the patterns sizes some pages need to be assembled.

    So, I appreciate the thought, but it might be better to save the $20. 🙂 A jacket sounds really complicated!

  3. I am really grateful to the holder of this site who
    has shared this wonderful article at at this time.

  4. Robert S Moulds

    I’d love it if my employer offered mini dresses as the new uniform they are just so cute. Of course i’d wear matching bikini panties and the go go boots though I’d rather bare my silky smooth legs than wear pantyhose unless they are sheer skin tone. Gotta love those sexy dresses.

  5. In the TOS episode “Shore Leave” you can see in screen captures that one of the female characters is only wearing tights with no cheer-leading briefs.

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