Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Project 39: Tenth Birthday Star Trek Tunic

Today is our godson's tenth birthday, and he picked the theme of Star Trek for his party which will be happening this coming weekend. I'm already in the middle of several big sewing projects, but the guy's only going to be ten once, so I decided to make him a Star Trek original series uniform tunic. You know I'm big on honesty, right? They're the simplest design.

The first challenge was getting the fabric. All the command staff in the original series wore gold coloured tunics and that's not actually a very trendy hue just now. Lucky for me, my Google-Fu is strong. I found some ponte on that was the right colour, but 100% polyester. Ugh. Well, it's only really a costume and I couldn't find anything at all in a natural fibre.

Some weird colour thing happened.
The bedspread is the same one as in the photo above.
Next up the logo patch. I actually had one of those patches when I was his age. My sister Anne took me to a Star Trek event at the Seattle Center which was really great of her to do. Mom found a store-bought pull-over that was sort of like the original series tunics and sewed the patch on for me. I loved it. So, I knew that they existed and could be purchased. Again, Google led me exactly where I needed to go. You can get props, costume accessories, and even sewing patterns over at Not actually too spendy, either.

On to pattern drafting. I studied quite a few photos from the original series, and the tunics basically look like there's only one seam on one shoulder, but I wasn't up for that radical a piece of architecture, so I drafted a raglan sleeve tunic with a very high V neck. I have never made a raglan sleeve so I purchased a couple yards of some blue cotton jersey at Pacific Fabrics for a practice run. It turned out so well that I ordered the Lt. Spock version of the logo patch to complete it. My guy will have a spare tunic to lend to a friend for their away-team adventures. The little pucker that I got at the point of the V neck on the practice tunic was because I didn't clip all the way to the stay stitching at the apex of the V. Lesson learned!

The gold ponte is actually a really attractive colour and the polyester is at least easy to work with. Doesn't feel great against the skin, but he's ten. I don't think he'll care. I didn't spring for the replica gold braid for the rank markings on the sleeve. I think the rick-rack looks convincing enough as it is.

Last but not least, I thought he could use a prop of some kind. Gun-shaped toys aren't allowed in his world, so I wasn't sure if a replica phaser would be a problem. I erred on the side of caution and got him a communicator instead. It's pretty cool! It lights up, makes authentic sounds and even has some voice clips from the show. He was happily ordering landing parties to beam up and down when I left.

Birthday mission accomplished, I think. Now back to sewing for his Wiccaning ceremony later this month.

1 comment:

John Yohalem said...

I didn't realize they had rank markings on their sleeves! But I wasn't paying terribly close attention. Too, I watched the original series on a black & white TV. I'm old. So I didn't even realize for decades that the ordinary twerps who kept getting killed all wore red.