So, I beagn watching Star Trek the Next Generation because of a guest who would be coming to a convention near us. I had watched it on and off throughout the years, whenever it was playing on Syfy, but I had never seen it from start to finish. The character I immediately related to was Dr. Crusher. It wasn’t obvious at first, but her line in “The Host,” brought me to tears. Like, it was an ok episode and all but she said; “Perhaps it is a Human failing, but we are not accustomed to these kinds of changes. … Perhaps, someday, our ability to love won’t be so limited.” I was sobbing (like ugly crying sobbing.) When @skyberry13 came in and found me reduced to a puddle on the couch she looked from the screen to me in confusion. She is not a big Star Trek fan, despite loving science and she somehow finds it boring. Well, I sure cured that.
Anyway, we decided to cosplay Dr. Beverly Crusher and Wesley Crusher from Star Trek the Next Generation for Santa Fe Comic Con, which we would be able to wear at conventions like Star Fest Denver, where we had seen all alien races and Starfleet uniforms walking around. It was immediately obvious through a Google and Pintrest search that this would not be as easy as we originally thought. Next Generation is apparently not a popular series, at least not enough for their version of Starfleet uniforms to be very popular costumes. Upon further investigation it was easy to see why. @skyberry13‘s response to this was: “Do you hate me?” It is a phrase becoming increasingly popular in our cosplay interactions because for some reason we are drawn to the most difficult characters to create costumes for. The off-center and oddly geometric colored patterns on the Star Trek Next Generation costume were nearly impossible to replicate to perfection. There is only one existing vendor selling a pattern for these uniforms on the internet and their reviews were not inspiring of confidence.
@skyberry13 resolved to Frankenstein her own pattern from a YaYa Han bodysuit pattern we already owned (which comes in Plus Sizes!). We ended up cutting out two versions of the bodice in black and in red. We then measured the back and made adjustments with a ruler for the red accents, designing our own cutout. We then inverted that line for the back to reflect an opposite pattern. Using these templates we cut the red and black versions accordingly. The sleeves were measured halfway up the arm to be in line with the center line.
The collar was modified from a mandarin collar pattern that we had used for our The Legend of Korra cosplays, but it ended up not being tight enough. I would suggest creating your own and play around with it if you have the fabric.
The pattern was another YaYaHan pattern. This one was a labcoat pattern with some adjustments on the collar. To @skyberry13‘s great frustration, Dr. Crusher wears different medical coats throughout the show. We finally decided on one without a collar, that just cuts off in the middle.
Comm Badges & Officer Pins
As for props, Santa Fe Comic Con, as referenced in (The End of Conventions as We Know Them), does not allow weapons so phasers and even the medical tricorder were out of the question. I did not want to chance making something that we would not be able to take in. You know how dangerous cardboard can be! Anyway, all that I got to do (aside from helping @skyberry13 by cutting out all the pattern pieces) was craft communicator badges and their command pins.
I tried all of the cardboard/business card tutorials available by Star Trek fans online, but none of them had the look I was going for. It is an iconic emblem and, if the uniforms did not call to attention what we were cosplaying, the symbol would. So, after much trial and error I returned to my childhood pastime: Shrinky Dinks. Why are cosplayers around the world not always using Shrinky Dinks? For someone who does not have a 3D printer this is just as easy! You draw your shape, cut it out, pop it in the oven and Voila! I did do some detailing with my dremel before spray painting (no need for coating by the way, this is hard plastic and holds up well to spray paint). Then I adhered both pieces together, attached a pin back to the comm badges and earring backs to the command pins all with E6000.
With varying rates of success, here is a sneak peak of how our uniforms turned out: