Home | Advocacy | Alternate | Anime | Celebs | Cons | Exploration | FAQs | For Sale | Models | Museums | News | Props | Rocketspotting | SF Clubs | SF Media | SF Movies | SF TV | Threads
Costumes & Uniforms
Science-Fiction & Space Hub

Sure, Sci-fi and space fashion may change with time, but the style is always in!

  Have you ever visited a convention, a movie premiere or luck out at Halloween to see some great costumes and wonder about how it was done?  Where do they get the time and materials?  Enter the Cosmo Talior for men who also seeks tips from the Cosmo Seamstress(es) to aid the ladies.  For the newbies, please read below about the basics for making uniforms and costumes.  For the intermediate level and on up, there are also links to see for yourself.  Some of the links end up containing both props and costumes for ways to assist you with conservation of clicking energy.  Contact the Cosmo Tailor to post your ideas or if you like to interrogate someone to the point of mental exhaustion. 
    Read below for the Cosmo Tailor's hints from the general to the specific space program or science-fiction than included anime, film, and tv . 

Cosmo Tailor's Originals

Here is the list of Science-fiction uniform replicas:

* 2001: A Space Odyssey, Astronaut Coverall
* Battle Star Galactica (Re-imagined), Duty Uniform
* Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Duty Uniform and Duty Leisure Uniform
* Star Blazers/Space Cruiser Yamato: Cosmo Tiger Pilot and Section/Division Officer, Gunnery
* Star Wars Episode I, Naboo Fighter Pilot & Jedi Knight
* Star Wars Episode VI, Endor Han Solo & A-Wing Pliot

Here is the list of space exploration uniform replicas:

* 1968-70, Apollo Program, USA
* 1973-75, Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz Test Program, USA
* 1980s Space Transportation System (STS) Jacket/Pants, USA

Start With the Basics

Simple starter questions:

*Want to learn something different and useful?

*Tired of saying to yourself, "Gee, it would be sweet to dress up like that for a little while?"

*Most important of all, are you on a budget, have the time and a patience for artwork?

Thanks for reading along, because you ought to be ready to make a uniform--others may just say these are costumes. In reality, its more like uniform and native costume replicas.

Let's go over the basics you will need to help your cause:

1) Really requires patience and time to make it happen! Beginners, please give yourself a good learning curve since some replicas are more challenging than others to produce!

2) Small needle scissors or other thread cutting device

3) Pins and a tight closed box to avoid spilling them all over the dang place. A lady friend uses a magnetic dish to hold larger quilting pins in place.

4) Cheapie/dollar store gift tissue paper to cut out patterns as needed

5) Fabric scissors

6) Get yourself organized! Please use a plastic file box to store patterns or an accountant flexible file case.

7) A three-tier plastic drawer set sold in Big Lots or other bargain retaillers to help store pins, sewing needles, etc.

8) Sewing machine needles of 11, 14 or 16--buy plenty because you will take losses and they wear out over time...

9) Lots of bobbins to hold different thread colors

10) Finally, steady access to a functional sewing machine (sorry for the knock on your mechanized friends HAL!).
11) A bobbin winder is very good for getting thread on a bobbin and reduces wear on a sewing machine motor.

Sure, the start up costs may seem steep, but it pays for itself over the long term. If you want a real professional costume/uniform, prepare yourself for a fair yet steep price like $200+ for Classic Battle Star: Galactica(BSG) Colonial Warrior or $15 for a Star Trek: First Contact Turtleneck. At the very least, $15 will get you the fabric(depends on your size and the sale price) plus thread for the top of your choice. Another example, is to try and time it just right at the small stores and/or the Big Two National Fabric (BTNF) chains. Speaking of the BTNF, consider getting on the mailing list to Hancock Fabrics and/or JoAnn's to take advantage of the 30-40% off coupons to apply on fabric purchases. If you time the sales right, you could even stock up on thread, needles, bobbins, velcro and other items.
Another online fabric supplier that also carries 18 different shades of Velcro/hook and loop is Seattle Fabrics. Seattle Fabrics even has Nylon Cordura fabric that can be made into bags and possibly the STS astronaut pumpkin orange ascent/descent flight suit.

Versatile men's patterns:

1) Green Pepper Black Butte Jumpsuit Pattern (male is #F786)
Mad hyper props to Obi-Wan's Jedi Night Academy for this brilliant suggestion. The pattern can be used for the following:

*Astronaut coveralls(NASA astronaut, Soviet/Russian Cosmonaut, 2001, 2010, even Planet of the Apes--pre-Tarzan-style loincloth sequence, )
*Naboo Space Flying Corps(Star Wars, Ep I)
*Jedi Night Luke Skywalker(Star Wars, Ep VI)
*A-Wing or B-Wing Fighter Pilot (Star Wars, Ep VI)
*Seaquest UEO uniform
*Starship Troopers Federal Fleet Officer
*Wing Commander Fighter Pilot, Earth Confederation
*The Visitor Military Force (V miniseries)
*Starfleet Troops in black with the chest stripe as seen in a Dominion War episode, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

2) Men's Coveralls Pattern, 3389 from Kwik Sew. A good alternative to the Black Butte Jumpsuit pattern, because Kwik Sew's pattern is designed for the medium to heavy weight fabrics. 

* Viper or Raptor Colonial Fleet Pilot (Re-imagined BSG)

3) Civil War Uniform Pattern #7274 sold by Simplicity. Assists in making a shirt for Han Solo(Star Wars Ep V-VI), the Gennai (Stargate: Atlantis), Imperial Officer(Star Wars IV-VI), Wing Commander movie, and the Colonial Fleet duty uniform and /or dress uniform from Battle Star: Galactica (BSG Reimagined).  Some modificans are in order for making a replica of the Stafleet uniform worn by the USS Kelvin crew, circa 2230s from Star Trek XI/Zero/2009.

3) Cargo pants and vest pattern--Butterick #6843. Good help for the basic pants pattern that could be used for a mix and match with Han Solo, Bespin Luke Skywalker pants(Star Wars, Ep V), the re-imagined BSG, Babylon 5 or anything else. Yes, feel free to adapt this one for Colonial Fleet Marines from Aliens--if you can get the right camoflauge pattern! The vest pattern can be used for Han Solo and Chrichton's Peacekeeper uniform from Farscape.

4) Turtleneck pattern: you may need this for a Sandman(Logan's Run), Earth Defense Force uniform and the Star Force uniform as seen in Star Blazers/Space Cruiser Yamato. It even comes in handy for Star Trek's Original Series episodes of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and "The Cage." The most daring person can modify this one into a Colonial Warrior Officer (Classic BSG) top... Speaking from experience: don't be afraid to use the male/female equivalent to get the job done!

5) McCall's # 3789. The shirt pattern could be modified for the Star Trek: Motion Picture short or long-sleeve duty uniform. Another use for the pattern is the modification to make a Han Solo shirt as seen in Star Wars, Episode IV.

Handy Unisex patterns:

* Medical Labcoat and medical professional uniform, McCall's #9123. Great for the Han Solo Endor Assault Trenchocat(Star Wars, Ep VI), the Naboo Pilot Flight coat(Star Wars, Ep I), Peacekeeper coat(Farcsape)Firefly/Serenity crew and it can be modified for the Earth Defense Force uniform from Star Blazers/Space Cruiser Yamato. Yeah, I suppose it could be converted to serve as a trenchcoat or the leather jacket for the Dr. Who fan. Remember: the extra-long Tom Baker-era colorful scarf, is not included!

*Cargo Shorts & Zip-leg pants, Green Pepper F833. A possible unisex application, although it has waist-size measurements that seems to be more in lines with males...Based on US space program photos from the Apollo-Skylab and STS missions, the astronuats wore the zip leg pants. Please make these pants without the belt loops nor the zipper legs at the bottom. Another potentially helpful application of this pattern is towards the US astronaut flightsuits that have zippers near the bottom of each of the front legs.

Pardon my ignoring the ladies out there. If any women would like to e-mail any helpful space/sci-fi costume/uniform suggestions to some schmo at argo176@yahoo.com, please feel welcome to do so at anytime.

Good luck to you and yours for all the sewing projects.

Accessorize your stuff on the cheap
     Why be content to buy a t-shirt or just wait around until somebody else comes up with something from your favorite show?  If you, or someone you know can make an entire uniform replica, then modifying an ordinary item into something spacial for one or two or several things is relatively easy.*  For the common ball cap, the maximum patch size ought to be 3.5 inches (8.75 cm) and properly centered on the front of the ball cap.  Add in your choice of a national flag at maximum length of 1 1/2 in. x 1 in. width (4 cm x 2.8 cm) near the bottom of the left side to go with a space agency or a specific mission/program.  Or, center a national flag on the back of the ball cap.  As for a t-shirt, or a polo shirt, anything up to 4 inches still looks great alligned around the chest area. 
    Astronauts that flew on the Space Transportation System (STS) missions--commonly known as the Space Shuttle--during the early to mid 1980s wore a deep navy blue polo shirt with the white rectangular NASA patch and the mission patch below it.  Follow-on STS flights alternated between embroidered mission patches and/or a space shuttle name on a polo or a rugby stripe shirt that is long or short-sleeved. 

Flight Suit or Coverall Alteration
As for coveralls or flight suits, several military surplus sites offer flight suits that may be converted for use by Star Wars, Stargate, Starship Troopers fans. 
  • Black polyester/cotton blend:  Star Wars Imperial TIE Fighter pilot
  • Black nomex:  Starship Troopers Federation Fleet flight officer
  • Olive green polyester/cotton blend:  Stargate US Air Force pilots
  • Orange polyester/cotton blend:  Star Wars Rebel Alliance X-Wing pilot
For someone interested in modifying Nomex or cotton twill coveralls, check out the link from G & L Clothing on the For Sale web page on this site.  Blue could pass for a CWU-73P Nomex flight suits worn by Space Shuttle pilots from Test Approach days or publicity pics...Good luck with modifications, since the fabric is tough to come by, the white NASA stiched plate matches the fabric and then there are all those zippers and pockets...Better news for Star Wars fans who want to portray Nien Nunb (red), A-Wing Pilot (spruce green) or B-Wing Pilot (red) because Safety Supply America has your color.  Only one slight obstacle for a user would be two brass gripper buttons to challenge an open collar look.  Also, compare to what is available at Red Hat Automotive Workwear for orange coveralls. 
    Of course, observe military regulations (regs) to make a Stargate US Air Force uniform appear more realistic, such as http://usmilitary.about.com/od/afreg/l/blafi362903.htm.  US Navy flight suit link (Independence Day, Top Gun) is   http://www.npc.navy.mil/CommandSupport/USNavyUniforms/UniformRegulations/
An astronaut flight suit usually has a US flag patch with gold trim on the left shoulder, a name plate on the left side at chest level, mission patch on the right side at chest level and a NASA vector patch on the right shoulder.

Maybe Daddy/Mommy Needs a New Pair of Shoes?

Pardon the old gambler's expression. but shoes are also part of a costume and/or uniform.  For instance, people would wear sneakers of black tennis shoes with Star Fleet (Star Trek) uniform or a US Astronaut flight suit.   So, here is friendly advice to complete the look:
  • Basic Black boots--For folks on a budget, a versatile pair of boots to use with Original Star Trek series Star Fleet uniform or Star Wars series Jedi Knights, Han Solo/smuggler, TIE Fighter pilot plus Imperial Officer use 12" East German military surplus black leather boots.  One online vendor, Sportsmans Guide sells a used pair at $24.95 and use find.com or amazon.com to help your mission.  Next step, try black riding boots and hope for a deal.
  • Combat boots--An essential part of flightsuits for astronauts, Top Gun (you know you want do this 1980s kids), and Stargate.  Basic black leather combat boots will work just fine with astronaut flight suits and olive or sage green.  Shop around for used or new and use plenty of polish plus patience for a shine.   If someome selects a khaki or tan flight suit, it is best to use a pair of desert suede boots with require no polishing!  

Pattern Placements
Sometimes, one may have to combine patterns together to make a project come together.  Examples are listed below.
Star Trek
* Starfleet Officer Dress Uniform:  For men, combine the Civil War officer tunic pattern for the tunic length and the Star Trek:  Next Generation 3rd-7th Season Duty Uniform for sleeves, collar and shoulders. 

Gosh dang it, this is serious spacial fun!
Last Updated on 9 July 2011