Saturday, 1 October 2016


Before we start, let me explain. Not so long ago I blogged about my experiences at Dragon*Con 2016, and everything that led up to it, and the costumes I wore.

This post will be about those Star Trek costumes - what, how, and where.

To start: I had decided on a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine uniform. More specifically, a Bajoran Militia uniform as worn by Major Kira during season 2 of the show. Luckily for me, the Prop Store had one on their website, so I could see clear photos for reference. Every version of DS9, on VHS, DVD or Netflix, is very poor quality - plus the fact Major Kira didn’t exactly stop to pose for close-up shots so that we could see the intricate details of her uniform.

This beauty is a perfect storm of this sewing pattern, bought on eBay (there are others around - Etsy has some identical ones) and the lovely Karen over at Arena Costumes. Knowing nothing about sewing other than fixing the occasional hem, I decided the only way to get a wearable costume was to enlist specialist help. Karen was communicative, informative, and got straight on with the job. Magic.

I bought my own boots after scouring Amazon and the literally the world for something that had a bit of a heel, but was also large enough and brown or dark red enough to look like it went with the uniform. In the end I went with some ‘brown buckle strap ankle boots’ from New Look for about £25. I’m normally a 7 or 7.5 UK, so I went for a size 8 just in case. I was glad I did - it meant I could wear a pair of thick cotton sport socks with them. During the 12-16 hours walking round con hotels and crossing through the heat of Atlanta summer, it was so good to have absorbent, cushioned socks on!

Earring. Bajorans are famous for their earrings, and I couldn’t go without one. I already had a cuff and chain earring from another con (but didn’t end up wearing it). I got it originally from Etsy. Just go to any art site and type in ‘chain earring’ or ‘cuff earring’ and see what comes up. A lot of places also have them listed as Bajoran earrings, which makes everyone’s lives easier. Alternatively you can buy a base chain and the clip-on or pierced end, and then build your own using bits from your local Hobbycraft or equivalent.

Nose. Crikey blimey Charlie - the nose. If Bajorans are famous for their earrings, then their noses are legendary. You can buy prosthetic stick-ons quite cheaply on Tinternet - the problem is covering them in make-up to match your own skin tone, and then blending the edges in so you can’t see it’s an addition to your face. This was the part that I totally failed at. One, the nose I ordered from Etsy was for no discernible reason stuck at the Royal Mail sorting office for 3 weeks, so it didn’t actually arrive before I left, and two, when I did manage to buy a replacement in the vendor’s hall at Dragon*Con, I had no sticky stuff. Eyelash glue did not work, and to be honest, I was done with it. I put it on the list of things to be better at next time, and abandoned the nose entirely.

The second costume I wanted was a NEM/DS9 uniform. The problem with this one is that if you try to buy one of these Star Trek: Nemesis or DS9 uniforms, they’re for men - as in, jacket and trousers. Humpf, is all I can say. Well, I can say a lot more on the subject but I’ll keep that for another post. So again, I turned to Tinternet and it did not let me down. Bad Wolf Costumes are amazing. They make very very in-depth and involved PDFs of how ST uniforms are made up, from both scrutinising blu ray stills of the movies or series, and actually checking real props. The results are fantastic - if you could find the right fabric, you’d literally make uniforms good enough to use in filming. Their sewing patterns are a gods-send - as well as being reasonably-priced, and they ship outside of the States. Yay! Once I had the PDF, the sewing pattern and a few suggestions, I bundled it all up and sent it off to Karen at Arena Costumes. She did not disappoint.She made the jumpsuit itself and the teal coloured bodysuit underneath. There are quite a few choices for that one as in design, so I chose the ‘hero’ collar and opted for no sleeves. I’m glad I did! It took me a little while to get used to the collar, as normally I wear either v-necked t-shirts or wide open collars, but once I got it zipped up I was really happy with it.

Shoes were easy - I routinely wear 2 inch heels on what would otherwise be black Chelsea boots. I had a brilliant pair that I’d been wearing 5 days a week at work for about 3 months, and they were so comfortable I knew walking around the con (roughly 25,000 steps a day!) would not be a problem.

My sister had already bought me an iPad sized messenger bag back from Destination Star Trek in London a few years back, so I used that as my carrier for all things. It also meant I could attach my entry pass to it so it wouldn’t make holes in the spandex mix fabric of my uniform. Sorted!

That’s pretty much it. I wore each uniform for 2 days each (didn’t want to push it for longer than that without a washing machine) and had no problems with them - other than trying to reach the zip at the back of the Bajoran one! I think I was the only Bajoran militia at the entire con - but if I’m wrong and I didn’t see you - let me know.

I think that’s all for now. Peach and lube, people, peach and lube.

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