Category Archives: Star Trek Mini-dress

Halloween Holodeck Party Costume Contest!

Startrek.com is hosting a costume contest on their Facebook page. If you like my homemade TOS dress (and tricorder bag), please “like” my photo. The one with the most ‘likes’ will be featured on the StarTrek.com homepage!

Pictures from the Star Trek Convention

My Star Trek uniform has had its debut! I went to the Star Trek Convention in Chicago this past Saturday with my husband, his sister, and two of our other friends. We had a blast hearing the actors speak, buying from the vendors, and talking to other Trekkies. And, of course, we passed out Treknobabble stickers.

Star Trek Dress

The full outfit!

At the last minute, I realized I needed a purse to carry around the convention, so I made a black purse to look like a tricorder case from the original series. I was pretty proud of it!

 

Couple

With my husband, the real Trekkie. πŸ™‚

In the end, I’m pretty happy with the dress. My husband’s shirt is store-bought, and I think my dress actually looks more like the “real thing” than his does. We met other people who’d made their own costumes, some of which were really elaborate, and I think if we go to another convention (as if we wouldn’t!), I’ll try to make the real pattern.

 

This dress was the whole reason I started sewing, and I’m so happy I did!

October Progress Report

You may recall that I had a master Plan for October (aka, get as much done as possible before November and NaNoWriMo.

There were six things on my to-make list. With the month 2/3 of the way done, let’s see how I’m doing.

1. Star Trek Dress. DONE.
Based on Simplicity 3835
I added the iron-on patch last night, so it actually looks like a uniform now. I also took in a the side seams a bit. I couldn’t probably take them in further, but I want to be able to sit in it. πŸ™‚Β  I’ll post pictures on Monday of the full get-up at the convention!

Looked like a red burlap sack. Is hopefully better now!

2. Gail dress. About 70% of the way done.
Gail from Burdastyle
I re-sewed the top of the bodice with a bigger seam, and I’m somewhat happier with the way the lace lays now, although it’s still a touch too big. I need to add the buttons and button loops and finish the lace (basically just pull out the rest of the toilet paper and trim down to the stitching. I may decided to re-do the hem, too, although hopefully I can just fix the few inches that flip out. I really need a serger to do a rolled hem…

Gail Dress

Original pic with the *very* loose bodice.

3. Madison dress. About 80% of the way done.
MadisonAF23 from Burdastyle
I really just need a hem on this. And there’s about a 1 centimeter hole along the side zipper line where the stitches didn’t quite catch the fabric. I *think* I can fix that without tearing out the zipper, but it may involve hand sewing. <Groan> The edges of the “sleeves” aren’t finished at all, but they’re also completely covered by the collar, so I may not bother with them. Frankly, I’m not entirely sure why there are sleeves. A full write-up of this dress, with pics, is coming soon.

 

Madison Dress

No pics of mine yet. Hopefully it looks something like this.

 

4. Bella pants. DONE.
Bella #6011 from Burdastyle
And I love them, even if they weren’t perfect. Darn you, Burdastyle reader(s), who rated them a three out of five. Actually, I didn’t really realize you could rate people’s individual takes on patterns when I posted mine, or I might not have. I know the pants are not sewn at a five level, but it’s difficult to see other people say that!Β  πŸ™‚Β  (I’m mostly kidding; I don’t expect to get rating of 5 out of 5 this early!)

 

Pants

Look how happy I am to be wearing pants! πŸ™‚

 

5. JJ blouse. Not started.
JJ #6009 from Burdastyle
I hope to cut fabric for this tonight. I have printed/taped/cut the pattern and washed the material, so I’m all ready for it. I’ve read the instructions and don’t totally understand them, so this could take a while.

 

JJ Blouse

No pic of mine yet since it doesn't exist. Will hopefully look like this!

 

6. Beignet skirt. DONE.
Beignet from Colette Patterns
Definitely my favorite and the project I am most proud of. A combination of a terrific pattern and great fabrics made this one a dream to sew.

 

Beignet

*Love* the Beignet!

So there you have it. I have one complete project to do and a couple to put finishing touches on, with ten days left. I think I planned for just about the perfect amount of sewing projects in October.

 

Although I don’t know how much sewing I’ll have time to do in November, I do have some post-October plans. I have my first two vintage patterns to sew, one from The Vintage Bag Lady on Etsy (Simplicity 7072, a dress) and one from the amazing and generous Petalrose (a suit). And I have fabric for both. I’m pretty excited about those! I also have denim for another pair of Bellas. Maybe I can sew these to a four rating. πŸ™‚ I also have some Slub Poly/Rayon Jersey Knit on its way to me for the 1 Piece Kimono Tee. We’ll see how that works without a serger. Finally, I found some gorgeous Micropoly Stretch Knit on sale at Fabric.com for under $2/yd, so that’s on its way too. I haven’t decided yet what to do with it.

I know December should be spent sewing gifts for other people, but I don’t know if I’m quite ready for that. It’s one thing for me to live with my mistakes; I don’t know if I can force them on other people. I’m thinking that for Christmas I may give everyone coupons redeemable for an item sewed by me and let them choose what they want. I can sew in January and February when I’m feeling more experienced, and they can get fun post-Christmas presents in the mail. Is that a cop-out?

The Star Trek Dress *this close* to complete

Cross-posted on our Star Trek Blog.

With a week and a half to spare, the Star Trek TOS minidress is nearly complete. And I’m halfway happy with it. (Have you noticed that I’m never very happy with my work; I think I’ve become my grandmother.)

For reference, the original dress looks something like this:

 

Uhura

Apparently Starfleet officers don't need pants.

 

There was a pattern I could have bought (for $20) that is based on the original design and is pretty close. They were out of stock when I was first looking, and frankly, the instructions said you should be an advanced sewer, which scared me. There’s a link on that pattern page that I didn’t notice the first time and that my husband found after I was done with the dress for a Star Trek Uniform Club. They give this pattern pretty good reviews, and they’ve made some nice versions:

 

Uhura dress

From the Star Trek Uniform Club

 

As much as I would like the real dress, I decided that a simplified version was fine, especially this early in my sewing career. After all, even the dress for sale on Amazon doesn’t really look like this.

 

 

Uhura dress

Amazon's suddenly *very* cheap Star Trek Dress. D'oh!

 

So I went with my old standby pattern, Simplicity 3835 with a few changes:

  1. Much longer (and slightly wider) sleeves than any of the views;
  2. A touch longer than View B (but shorter than View A);
  3. Gathering only at the shoulders;
  4. Totally different collar;
  5. Added lining.

And this is the result:

 

 

Looks like a red burlap sack.

 

It feels like it’s really baggy. It may look a little better once it’s ironed, and the cat hair is removed. And maybe the insignia patch, when added, will add some visual interest. My husband, the Trekkie, says it’s fine, but I’m not so sure. I suppose I could take it in on the sides, but it’s pretty short, so that might be a problem.

There are things I do like about this dress. It’s pretty comfortable with the lining(!) I added. It was my first time with lining, and I just basted it to the self fabric, and treated the two layers as one. It worked pretty well, but I hemmed the two layers separately in case they weren’t quite lined up. Since the dress is much too short to wear a slip, the lining comes in handy.

 

shoulder and collar

The collar sticks out too much in the back. Also seen here: sleeve gathers.

 

 

Back collar

Collar goes all the way around, so I have to slip my head in and out of it.

 

I like the way the collar looks from the front and out of the corner of my eye when I have it on. I didn’t used a pattern for the collar, just cut out a strip of black fabric and added super stiff interfacing. Unfortunately, I do not like the way the collar looks in the back. It just sticks out too far. On the plus side, I love how the collar goes all the way around, negating the need for a hook and eye. The zipper goes up just to the collar, so to get in and out, I have to unzip and stick my head in or out of the collar. It’s a little cumbersome but worth it for the look.

 

Collar

Collar folded down to see inside cheating stitches.

 

After the last Simplicity 3835 I did, I was worried about slip stitching the inside of the collar, since hand sewing takes me FOREVER. I cheated a bit on this one, and just stitched the collar to itself with the machine. It doesn’t fold in quite like it would with a slip stitch, but I saves myself several hours of work. And frankly, I don’t think it looks that much different on the outside. With the stiff interfacing, the inside seam probably won’t un-ravel in any case.

So, the final product is not perfect, but it’s probably good enough to wear to the convention. Soon!! I’ll post pics with the patch and black boots after the convention.

 

 

 

 

Unfinished Objects

For the first time in my brief sewing career, I have multiple unfinished projects hanging around.

The first is not only unfinished but abandoned. Sigh.

Paper Bag Skirt

It looks even worse in person.

You may recall how excited I was to make the Super Easy Paper Bag Waist Skirt. And I had a great idea: I would pull a Scarlett O’Hara and make it out of curtains! Actually, in this case, I would make it out of the bottom of curtains. We have curtains in lieu of doors on our bedrooms because, well, there were no doors when I bought the place (and I didn’t realize it until after I had signed the paperwork), and also because our kitties (who rule the place) prefer it that way. The curtains are much too long for the doorways, and I had just pinned them up to the right length before I knew how to sew. I thought if I just chopped off the bottom of one of the curtains, it would be perfect.

Casing

Inside of the casing.

In retrospect, it was a stupid idea, and I should have realized that as soon as I felt the curtain. I decided to make it anyway, just to see if I liked the style, but there was no joy in working with this very cheap fabric that had no drape at all. to add to the problems, I don’t know if I read the directions wrong or what, but my initial skirt was WAY too big. I kept moving the seams in further and further until I finally got them to something that seemed workable. I made the casing for the waist, but the fabric was so stiff that I was never happy with the fold of the casing.

The final straw came when I tried to put the elastic in the casing and got totally stuck. My leading safety pin came open and caught on the fabric. I fished out the elastic, but the safety pin was left behind. I’m not going back for it.

I may try the skirt style again someday, with better fabric (maybe the fabric I’ll have leftover after I cut for the JJ blouse). I still have the elastic ready to go.

My second unfinished object will be finished, likely this weekend. It’s my Star Trek dress (finally!).

Star Trek Dress

A glimpse into my bathroom. I mean, the Star Trek dress!

I’m reasonably happy with it so far. I had to lengthen the sleeves quite a bit from the Simplicity 3835 pattern, and I really should have made them even longer. I also made them wider. The wrists are now just barely wide enough to fit around the free arm of the sewing machine, but they seem a bit too wide to me. I will have to hem quite a bit off the bottom too. I lengthened it to be sure it was long enough, but as is it’s not the mini dress that it should be! And the dress is lined! My first lining. πŸ™‚

Back of Star Trek Dress

Zippers look more invisible when the color matches well!

Jadzia Daz

Mini-mini dress.

I left this dress purposely undone for the moment because I wanted to think about how to do the collar. The original Star Trek dress has a distinctive black collar. I’m using a raglan sleeve pattern because I’m comfortable with the pattern and know the size fits, but it’s not perfect for this dress and collar. I will need to gather the neckline somewhere. In the pictures you see here, the collar is held up with a binder clip. That’s not a very elegant solution! I think I’m going to try to keep the gathers on the sleeves and in the back to be less noticeable. I shouldn’t need to do too much gathering; the collar will remain somewhat loose. You can see above that the zipper goes all the way to the top of the red fabric. I didn’t want to have to deal with another hook and eye (it’s bad enough that I’ll have to hand-sew the inside of the collar!), and I figure the collar will be loose enough to get my head out even if the collar is sewn all the way shut.

My final unfinished project is this week’s

Frock by Friday

Love this series!

from Grosgrain. It’s exciting to do a sew-along when it’s actually happening! What I have so far:

Satin and Lace

Yes, it's the color-scheme from the original dress. I'm boring!

Okay, so I’m a day behind, and all I have done is the cutting of fabric (after the taping together and cutting of the pattern). I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to do the original Gail dress or the ModCloth version, so I hesitated on cutting (visit this Grosgrain post to see what I mean). I’ve finally decided to do the top like the original dress, but I’m adding the elastic waist of the ModCloth version. We’ll see how it turns out. I was worried about cutting and sewing these fabrics, but the cutting at least went okay.

The Plan for October

I can’t believe it’s October! September flew by. And now I can no longer say that I’ve been sewing less than a month. πŸ™‚ I plan to sew a LOT in October. I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November and will, in fact, be one of Chicago’s Municipal Liaisons (egads!), so it’s unlikely I’ll get to sew much at all in November. (I will be writing a novel about sewing, though…)

NaNoWriMo

One of the other very crazy things I do!

I am running rather low on notions and even on fabrics for the projects I want to do, so I drove (ICK!) to JoAnn Fabrics yesterday morning. That could be a whole post in itself, but suffice it to say I hate driving, and I find JoAnn to be totally overwhelming. In order to make the most of my trip, I decided to plan out my whole month of sewing. Plus, I’m a little hyper-organized like that. πŸ™‚

So, priority one is the Star Trek dress. The convention is in three weeks, and I don’t want to wait any longer in case I run into unexpected difficulties. I’ll be working on that Sunday. Since I’ve made the pattern before, it shouldn’t be too time-consuming, but it may take a second day at some point. I have all the materials, but my red fabric is really not the best.

Jadzia Daz

I'll have something that looks like this soon! (Hopefully)

Next week, I’m going to participate in a Frock by Friday, under the guidance of Kathleen at Grosgrain Fabulous. She’s leading everyone in the $4 Gail dress, from Burdastyle. I’m actually not that crazy about the dress, but I’m interested in learning about sewing with silk and lace, and how to do elastic waists, so I’m going to follow along. If you’re interested, she’s starting Monday. You can find the material suggestions here. My silkish material and lace look almost identical to this. I just didn’t find anything else I liked.

Gail Dress

I just don't see this as work-appropriate. We'll see. Photo from Burdastyle.

I loved the other option for Frock by Friday, the $5 Madison from Burdastyle. It’s looks so fantastically retro and actually work-appropriate. Kathleen says she’ll do this one for the November Frock by Friday, since it only lost by ONE VOTE. Unfortunately, with NaNoWriMo, I won’t be able to follow along in November. So I’m thinking about winging it on my own now. I won’t make it in satin, though. I wanted to find Mondo’s oversized purple houndstooth for the dress (and I did find some close matches), and I also couldn’t find black and white regular houndstooth (like the Penny Farthing used), so I went for a plain jewel tone, a bright teal, in cotton.

Madison Dress

So gorgeous. It's one of those dresses I'm almost afraid to try because it will be heart-breaking if it doesn't look this good. Photo from Burdastyle.

While I was spending money on Burda anyway, I picked up a pattern for PANTS, the $4 Bella! Pants always seem really difficult on Project Runway, but a lot of people on Burda have tried these, and they look really cute. I don’t really have high-waisted anything, so this will be interesting. I decided to go for a trouser, like pinkswizzlestick did, to good effect, instead of denim. As you may have noticed, I really prefer my projects to be work-appropriate, but also, the denim was more expensive. πŸ™‚

Bella pants

PANTS! Picture from Burdastyle.

I did manage to snag a free pattern on Burdastyle, too. I’m seeing a lot of taping in my future! The free pattern is the JJ Blouse. I think a button-down blouse sounds almost more intimidating than pants. I’ll most likely leave off the ruffle, at least on my first attempt, because it seems unnecessary. But if I can really make blouses I may not need Old Navy at all anymore!

JJ Blouse

How much do you want to bet I make this too big? PIcture from Burdastyle.

Finally, I do have one non-Burda/non-StarTrek thing to make: the Beignet skirt from Colette Patterns. I had been scared off by the price ($16! for one view!), but the reviews on Pattern Reviews are pretty positive, and Sewaholic’s version is so gorgeous! Supposedly, the directions are really easy to follow, but I did a quick read-through and was pretty confused. Maybe it will make more sense as I go through it? (I hope!) I actually had all of the materials I needed for this one, except brown thread. Sigh. Since I was in JoAnn anyway, I also bought buttons I liked better than the ones I had.

Beignet Skirt

I can't imagine wearing a white skirt, but it should be cute in another color! Picture from Colette Patterns.

So, what do you think? Is this an impossible agenda for October? Will I be tearing my hair out? Or will I be done by October 15? πŸ˜›

The StarΒ TrekΒ 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 Roddenberry.com. 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).