Costume :Science Officer
Source :Star Trek: The Original Series
Progress :Complete
Worn At :London MCM Expo October 2010

Costume Photos

Set phasers to stun


It's all about the hair!





Promoted myself to Captain


Tricorder Bag




Costume Information

Cost : £100ish as some materials were bought for other things, like my dad's shirt!

This was an easy costume to research due to all the amazing resources out there! I mainly used and which have a great breakdown of the uniforms, advice on patterns, fabric sources, dye recipes etc. I also enjoyed browsing the references and articles on Finally, I made some use of and for screenshots.

There are heaps of uniform variations which made accuracy quite confusing to start with. I knew I wanted to do the spiral seams from series 2-3 on my dress, and conveniently the patterns available are in that style - I bought mine from Katarra 8 on eBay, along with braid and a patch. I eventually settled on velour for my fabric as in series 1-2 which I ordered from (I bought extra to make a shirt for my dad as well :P)

I was wary of the pattern having heard that the sizing was pretty small, so I used a size larger than I otherwise would have and made a mock-up in some spare cotton jersey. The mock-up went pretty well and showed that I’d picked the right size. It fitted well at the waist and was exactly the right length for me…which is good, but it didn’t allow anything much for hemming. Same for the sleeves. This really surprised me since I’m only 5”3, so if it’s almost too short for me, it’s guaranteed to be far too short for a lot of women. The other odd thing is the requirement for a 22” zip. I used a 12” one I already had 0_o. I did use a stretch fabric, but still, another 10” of zip seems excessive in any case - the seam isn’t even that long. The only real fit issue was again the sleeves, but at the shoulders/armscye. I made a few adjustments to the seams there. At least all these adjustments were simple, and I quickly transferred my alterations to my pattern pieces, noting the need to extend the hem and sleeves when I cut out the final pieces.

After all that preparation, when my velour arrived, I got it pre-washed, everything cut out, overlocked and assembled quickly without any problems. The hems were done by hand and the braid and insignia attached by hand too. I copied an existing pair of shorts to make a matching velour pair to go under my dress…which was essential, and accurate anyway.

I already had the boots, tights, tribbles and used my Cinderella wig for a beehive-ish updo style. My hair is fairly thin and fine, so I’d have no hope creating a decent updo with only my real hair. Before wearing the costume again at October Expo in 2012, I stalked ebay and found a communicator and a phaser (water pistol!) to add to my prop collection.

I also made a tricorder bag - I thought it would be a fun prop and useful bag for conventions at the same time. There's more detail in the journal section, but in short, I used black and silver leatherette with heavy sew-in interfacing, and black gabardine for the lining. The flap fastens with a magnetic snap, and I also chose to make the lower front panel a pocket. The designs on the front are padded out with wadding and topstitched down, there are also some studs inserted to mimic screws, and I made silver piping for the sides.


Avatar Image

Awesome costume, it really suits you!

by Leadmill on Tuesday, 2 November, 2010 - 22:53
Avatar Image

Angelphie I LOVE this. ^_^
Yeah I bought the same pattern and didn't realise it was US sizing until I put the whole dress together. @_@ (it wont even fit my niece like this!) So I will have to remake some of the pieces a lot bigger - hopefully I can rescue it.
I wanted to your fabric actually very streatchy? I noticed on my sleeves they are very close fitting and this makes it hard to bend at the elbow without straining the sleeves ..but I don't think my fabric has much streatch.

Anyway congrats hun, you look Fabulous! and I love how you styled the wig. All in all I think this looks perfect. I'd love to beam down to the same show with you some time.:)
btw my skant is the red version - so I'll probs end up dead at some point in the photoshoots, :P it has to be done.

by Ranma1-2 on Tuesday, 2 November, 2010 - 23:41
Avatar Image

Thanks so much!

The fabric has about the same amount of stretch as t-shirting. But I did also add an inch or so to the width of the sleeves since I thought they were a bit tight in my mock-up. Stupid pattern, but better than messing around with spiral seams myself!

If I didn't really want the blue version, I would have made a red one just so I could do Janice Rand's amazing hair :P As it is, I went along similar lines.

I definitely want to wear this again, it was comfy and fun, so I'm sure photos can happen sometime ^_^

by Angelphie on Wednesday, 3 November, 2010 - 09:29
Avatar Image

Ah, I will do the same and add extra seam allowance to the sleeves.

Oh I saw this pic of you when I was trawling through Expo pics -!/photo.php?pid=7088909&id=606148054

by Ranma1-2 on Wednesday, 3 November, 2010 - 17:02
Avatar Image

omg you look perfect! great suit hun, you've earnt a fan, hehe

by callmemilo on Monday, 8 November, 2010 - 04:43
Avatar Image

This is fantastic! And you're a blue shirt, so you're safe (unless you beam down in an early episode.... DON'T GO).
You look abseloutly amazing, seeing this has made me so happy 8D

by MadameLapin on Tuesday, 9 November, 2010 - 21:10
Avatar Image

YES! the world needs more star trek cotumes! excellent job :)

by Fishyfins on Tuesday, 9 November, 2010 - 21:45
Avatar Image

people dont realise how complex that mini dress is...and you really captured it perfectly!

by LittleMissMetamorph on Saturday, 20 November, 2010 - 01:41
Avatar Image

This is epic. I love how it looks on you. You've got it so spot on. I love the hair and the tricorder prop.

by Sephirayne on Monday, 3 January, 2011 - 10:10
Avatar Image

suits you...looks great

by SamanthaKaiba on Tuesday, 22 March, 2011 - 14:36
Avatar Image

Wow, you look stunning! And as ever amazing sewing skillz! : D

by Uni on Friday, 15 April, 2011 - 17:06
Avatar Image

This is awesomeeee!! :D Everything looks great!

by BabemRoze on Tuesday, 23 August, 2011 - 18:43
Avatar Image

Fantastic! <3 love this! great fit! great fabric and love the tricorder bag!

by Captain_Marvelous on Wednesday, 20 June, 2012 - 23:46
Avatar Image

Love the costume =D absoloutly fantastic!

by FullMetal-007 on Tuesday, 12 March, 2013 - 21:57

Shopping List

Pattern, braid and patch from Katarra8 on eBay£28.22Bought
Black gabardine for lining the bag - already had£0.00Bought
Tribbles - already had£0.00Bought
Wig - already had£0.00Bought
Tights - already had£0.00Bought
Wadding - for bag - already had£0.00Bought
Thread - blue, black, gold and silver - already had£0.00Bought
Zip - already had£0.00Bought
Silver studs for bag - already had£0.00Bought
Piping cord for bag from John Lewis£1.20Bought
Boots secondhand on eBay, originally from Clarks£15.06Bought
Magnetic snaps for tricorder bag and misc projects from£3.70Bought
50cm black & silver pleather for tricorder from ajayslocostfabrics on eBay£8.05Bought
50cm black ribbing for collar from fabfabric1 on eBay£3.30Bought
4 yards denim blue velour from Weir Dolls & Crafts£54.58Bought
50cm heavy sew-in interfacing for collar and bag from Remnant Kings£0.60Bought
Elastic for shorts waistband - already had£0.00Bought
Snap for collar closure - already had£0.00Bought


Tricorder Bag 6 (Posted 6th November 2010)

That was most of the work which needed done before the bag was sewn together and lined. I sewed the final side seam, and turned the bag the right way out. Turning it was not easy - probably the most sensible approach would be to insert interfacing between the lining and outer pieces after having turned the bag the right way out. I did intend to sew the base on before turning it, but the interfacing made it so stiff, it was easier to finish up the base by hand from the outside.

The flap had its silver trim sewn on and I also put in studs on the back. These bits could have been done earlier, but I thought it would be safer to check the exact positioning of these details once the bag was sewn together.

Next up was the lining. I sewed it all together like the outer bag, but unlike the leatherette, there were no problems with turning the lining the right way out! To attach the lining to the outer bag, I first sewed it into the flap section of the bag only. This was done by placing both pieces right sides together and sewing around the three edges of the flap, clipping the corners, and turning it the right way out. I found the flap needed pressed to get the lined edges neat, so left it under a heavy book for a day, which did the trick! I also put in the other half of the magnetic clasp at this stage after the pressing.

That left the remainder of the lining to finish up: the raw edges at the tops of the side pieces and the front piece. I folded the lining under and stitched in the ditch next to the piping on the sides and straight across the front panel, catching the leatherette and lining.

There’s probably a more sensible way to line and construct bags, but this worked out ok for my first attempt at bag-making!

Tricorder Bag 5 (Posted 5th November 2010)

I could then start sewing the bag pieces together, stopping sewing a half inch before the bottom and top of each side seam to leave seam allowance for attaching the base and lining later.

I finished up a few things while it was all still flat, inserting one half of the magnetic clasp and sewing the shoulder strap to the side pieces. I didn’t want to try turning a thin strap, so made it by folding a length of the leatherette in half, then tucking the edges in and topstitching it all. I put in some decorative studs to mimic screws at the on the sides where the straps are.

Tricorder Bag 4 (Posted 5th November 2010)

The side pieces had piping applied right round their edges. I sewed one length of piping right round each side piece of the bag, clipping the seam allowance at the corners. The join where the ends meet inevitably has a little bulk to it, so I made sure they ended up at the back and at a corner.

How to make and attach piping :
As leatherette isn’t woven, there’s no need to cut bias strips. I suppose a stretch pvc or metallic lycra would work well in place of non-stretch leatherette.

Tricorder Bag 3 (Posted 5th November 2010)

I then started work on the front panel with its pocket. The raised shapes were cut out and topstitched down over a small piece of wadding to pad them out a little. There’s only so much that can be done to imitate the moulding when working with fabric, but this was an easy element to do. I also sewed down pieces of silver leatherette for the handle shapes .

When the front pocket piece was done, I sewed its lining to it right sides together along the top edge, topstitched along the top, then attached it to the rest of the front panel by sewing along the sides and bottom edge.

Tricorder Bag 2 (Posted 5th November 2010)

With the leatherette, interfacing and lining cut out, I first attached the interfacing to each leatherette piece by machine basting around the edges. The photo shows all the exterior pieces.

Tricorder Bag 1 (Posted 5th November 2010)

I came across a couple of people online who’d made these, and thought it would be a fun prop/useful bag for conventions. I looked at screenshots for references and was great for close-up photos of the actual props

To start with, I figured out the approximate size and experimented with a paper mock-up until I thought I had the right dimensions and a plan for sewing it together which would work. Although I’d settled on measurements for all the main pieces, the designs for the front were just cut with some trial and error using rough templates to help. I found it helpful to fold my templates in half and cut out the fabric pieces on a fold to get them symmetrical.

I used:
- black leatherette for the majority of the exterior (just like the originals!)
- silver leatherette for the base (I don’t know why I care about accuracy that much) and it was also used for the piping and decoration. Turned out to be a good plan since being able to snip designs out of a non-fraying fabric was convenient.
- black and silver thread. The silver was machine embroidery thread I already had, but grey would be fine too.
- heavy sew-in interfacing (same as used for my dress collar) for backing each leatherette piece as well as on some areas of the lining. I chose to interface the base of the lining and the flap, but that's not essential.
- black gabardine for the lining, because I had it spare. Lots of other fabrics would work here.
- a magnetic snap for the closure
- piping cord
- wadding (batting) for padding out the designs on the front.
- four silver studs to mimic screws

Leatherette is also called pleather - it’s a leather-look pvc. Other fabrics could work for this bag, but ideally you’d want something non-fraying to create the front designs the way I did. Note that leatherette requires a particular approach when sewing. For example, when topstitching , you’ll need a Teflon foot or to use tearaway paper/talcum powder/some other technique of your choice. All pin/needle marks will show, so care is needed. I used sew-in interfacing since ironing risks the fabric melting, and used a heavy book when pressing was required.