|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 startrekuniforms.yuku.com and starfleet1701st.yuku.com 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 startrekpropauthority.com Finally, I made some use of trekcore.com and sttos.com 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 weirdollsandcrafts.com (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.
|Pattern, braid and patch from Katarra8 on eBay||£28.22||Bought|
|Black gabardine for lining the bag - already had||£0.00||Bought|
|Tribbles - already had||£0.00||Bought|
|Wig - already had||£0.00||Bought|
|Tights - already had||£0.00||Bought|
|Wadding - for bag - already had||£0.00||Bought|
|Thread - blue, black, gold and silver - already had||£0.00||Bought|
|Zip - already had||£0.00||Bought|
|Silver studs for bag - already had||£0.00||Bought|
|Piping cord for bag from John Lewis||£1.20||Bought|
|Boots secondhand on eBay, originally from Clarks||£15.06||Bought|
|Magnetic snaps for tricorder bag and misc projects from www.bag-clasps.co.uk||£3.70||Bought|
|50cm black & silver pleather for tricorder from ajayslocostfabrics on eBay||£8.05||Bought|
|50cm black ribbing for collar from fabfabric1 on eBay||£3.30||Bought|
|4 yards denim blue velour from Weir Dolls & Crafts||£54.58||Bought|
|50cm heavy sew-in interfacing for collar and bag from Remnant Kings||£0.60||Bought|
|Elastic for shorts waistband - already had||£0.00||Bought|
|Snap for collar closure - already had||£0.00||Bought|
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 : http://sewing.about.com/od/techniques/ss/cordingpiping.htm
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 startrekpropauthority.com 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.
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.