I never learn.
Remember I had this great fabric?
Well, I got my pattern out and got ready to start cutting. As I’m laying it out, I realize the skirt is cut on the bias. Which wouldn’t be a problem if this pattern were multidirectional, but all my little booze friends are facing the same way. So basically, that pattern isn’t going to work unless I want the pattern to look like this on most of the skirt:
My drinks are all spilling.
I can’t just rotate the skirt and cut on-grain, either. The material isn’t wide enough. I’d have to frankenpattern a whole new skirt and if I’m going to do that why use this pattern at all?
Then I thought, you know what all those tropical cocktails should be on? A retro Hawaiian sarong dress.
I thought that was going to be an easy pattern but … let’s say that actual retro patterns for that are so expensive I could hire someone to make it for me. But then I remembered I had Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing. And she has the perfect pattern:
Except, of course, this material is rayon. And that’s why I say I never learn. It’s probably too flimsy for this structured dress. I have some contrasting Kona cotton for the band, and I’ll probably line the bodice at least to give it some oomph.
Incidentally, this dress also has a boned bodice and a shirred back. Neither of those details appear in my imagination-picture of my dress, so I’m going to be doing some fiddling. There’s another dress that uses the same top which is neither boned nor shirred, so it might work out.
I’ve got most of the muslin cut out but I haven’t got quite enough left to finish the skirt. I’ll have to dig up another old sheet or make another run back to the fabric store.
Star Trek Dress construction
Okay! Time for some photos of my dress construction. As I said in my earlier post, I took the basic shape of the dress from an Old Navy knit dress I had that fits really well.
I want to point out here that I have had exactly one class in pattern draping. 20+ years ago in college. This dress looks way more complicated than it actually is. If you have a dress form and even a tiny bit of experience in draping (and obviously some basic sewing skills), you can make this dress from scratch and not pay $20 for the pattern.
I folded it in half and cut one piece on the fold for the back of my muslin. For screen accuracy, the diagonal seams and off-center slit should also go across the back of the dress, but I did it as a solid piece because lazy.
Then I made a left and right side front panel, extending each one past the center front of the dress. The right side stayed as a solid piece, and the panels of the left front overlap it. The left panel I cut into three pieces to get the diagonal seams. Naturally, I forgot to take a picture of the completed muslin once I got the pieces the right size.
Here’s the front pieces laid out. From right to left counterclockwise I have: the sleeve/top panel, the center panel, the bottom panel, and the right front.
The left side panel pieces put together.
Front panels overlapped and attached to the back. The dressform was so helpful for taking the sides in, because my original draft was just huge. Every time I cut a muslin or a pattern piece, I was adding a little more seam allowance. By the time I put the actual dress together it was a good two sizes bigger than me, and I could have put both arms in either sleeve.
Here’s a closeup of the “spiral” seams coming together at the front. I think I really nailed that bit.
Pockets. The future should have freaking pockets. They messed up the line of the skirt a little, but it was so convenient to actually be able to carry my phone and stuff without sticking it all in my bra.
The collar is some remnant polyester with a little stretch. I interfaced it so it would stand up a bit.
After I attached the collar, though, I realized the line of the collar tapers toward the shoulders of the dress. I rolled it down a little and hand-sewed it to make it narrower at the top and back. Then I hand-sewed the patch and the rickrack on (it was an iron-on patch, but the glue didn’t stick the first time I tried to iron it to my older Trek dress).
The dress is rather longer than an accurate replica would be. Those dresses were the real miniskirts of the 60’s and barely cover one’s butt. Even with briefs I am really not comfortable in a skirt that short. Mine comes to mid-thigh. I could probably take it up a smidgen more and still be comfortable.
Speaking of comfortable - this outfit is possibly THE most comfortable outfit I’ve ever made. The material is either a thick stretch jersey or a light ponte knit. I wasn’t too hot (it’s reaaaallly warm in the con), and I wasn’t totally freezing outside (it was raining, of course).
I’m considering making a legitimate everyday dress out of this pattern now, because I like the spiral seams so much.
Oh yeah. One last thing. My “oh my god I am super excited” face … is legitimately terrifying.
I look like I’m about to take a bite out of Nichelle Nichols.
All finished just in time for Emerald City Comicon tomorrow. If I don’t get to meet Nichelle Nichols I might cry.
Gah I am so behind on this and I just realized I have no rickrack for the sleeve braid. Back to the store.
Star Trek Original Series Dress
Emerald City Comicon is only a few short weeks away. Nichelle Nichols, aka Lt. Nyota Uhura is going to be doing a photo op, and I want one.
I’ve seen reviews of the original series official dress pattern, and everyone pretty much agrees that it’s awful and needs a ton of adjustment. So I decided to save myself the money on the pattern and just try drafting it myself. I haven’t draped a pattern since college, but I have Agatha now to help me out.
The iconic Trek dress has a “spiral” pattern to the seams. It actually zipped up above the off-center front slit, and had two other panels coming to a point under the dip of the collar.
It’s a little hard to make out the seams there, but you can definitely see one crossing the bustline.
For starters, I found this online:
That gives me a vague idea of what some of the pattern pieces might look like. It also tells me that the sleeves are not set-in to the armhole but cut as one piece with the side panel.
I started off with a knit dress that fits me very well as a jumping-off point for pattern pieces:
I traced that onto my muslin (an old sheet). I decided that I’m only going to do the “spiral” seams for the front of the dress, and put the zipper in at a side seam, both for time reasons and less give-Jenny-a-headache reasons.
Here’s a progress shot of one of my my front panel adjustments:
The middle piece is too narrow in proportion on this version, still needs adjustment. Also I need more muslin. Ran out of old sheets.
I just made the most embarrassingly sexual noise at my monitor.
I can’t believe I spent 30 years in Southern California and approximately 20 Disneyland trips and never once went to Dapper Day.