Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kelly's Star Trek Dress

Cross-posted on my other blog: Kelly Learns to Sew

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

Looks like a red burlap sack.

More photos available on Flickr.

The backstory from my other blog is that I just started sewing a little over a month ago, and the whole reason I wanted to learn to sew was to be able to sew my own Star Trek dress!

For reference, the original dress looks something like this:

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 Matthew 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:

From the Star Trek Costume, er, 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 the original.

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.

The end result 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. Matthew 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.

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

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 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.

1 comment:

  1. Great Job!

    Live long and prosper \\//,
    FCAPT Gary Barclay Chief Security Officer USS Endeavour @ http://www.ussendeavour.net
    Starbase 06 CO @ http://sb06.starfleet-command.com
    Starfleet Command Q1 Deputy Chief Of Public Affairs @ http://www.starfleet-command.com