I put this fun project together for a friend just before Halloween one year. She’d been interested in doing an Orion Slave Girl but found the modern incarnations too showy. I did some research and found some good photo examples of early Star Trek Orion Slave Girls online. Based off of these–and after consulting with my friend–I sketched out a design and searched for a simple dress pattern to work off of.
This dress is meant to look like it was made from some unknown alien reptile. The material we used was a very soft one with a great print found in a section of remnant decorator fabrics at the now defunct Hancock Fabrics. The primary alteration of the pattern I started with was the addition of one long side that would look somewhat like a skinned alligator tail. To accomplish this, I simply left extra material on one side of the dress when cutting it out. I also did this in other places as the material allowed. The dress was then fitted and tailored to her body, leaving uneven edges at the bottom.
The scutes were cut freehand from scrap of the leftover dress material. These were stuffed with a thick, semi rigid poly fill and pinned into the long side seam of the dress to get stitched in. I simply sewed this seam by machine like normal as the poly fill compresses really well and went more smoothly than expected underneath the sewing foot. Though I was prepared to do additional hand stitching to make sure the scutes stuck straight out from the seam, but they ended up doing this naturally.
The last thing to do on this costume was tatter the bottom edge of the dress. I did this with a very sharp pair of scissors while the dress was being worn. It was completed with a combination of cutting and tearing the fabric. This dress was a big hit at costume parties, and I loved that it is essentially a one-piece costume (if you don’t count all the green body paint she wore with this each time).