DS9/First Contact Captain’s Vest

This uniform was first seen on Capt. Picard in Star Trek: First Contact, as was worn as a captain’s variant of the standard uniform. This vest can be worn with or without the captain’s variant jacket (standard uniform is a jump suit). This variant was also seen on Capt. Sisko aboard Deep Space Nine.

Fabric and other materials:

  • The black is a cotton/polyester blend, the gray is wool, and the binding is some kind of suiting material (not sure what it is, but it is a medium weight fabric).
  • I quilted the gray part of the vest with a lightweight anti-pill fleece.
  • I lined the vest with black lining fabric, probably a polyester.
  • I created the patterns for the vest from $1/yd unbleached cotton muslin.
  • I used a black 16” lightweight coil separating zipper.


After staring at screenshots and making notes and sketches, the first thing I did was make the pattern for the black vest. To do this, I pinned the front and back pieces of a tailored dress shirt to my test fabric, allowing room to add front and back darts myself. I pinned these new pieces of fabric together and made sure it fit me. Then I used these to cut out the black fabric.

To measure placement for the gray portion, I found that the very front of the neckline (where the zipper stops) starts where the gray yoke of the First Contact uniform would stop, which is right about at the start of the underarm. Then the gray extends for about the same vertical distance of what the yoke would be in the jacket (from the neckline to where the yoke would meet the black fabric). For me, this was 4 inches.

I then marked this distance on the black vest, drawing a horizontal line 4” from the horizontal front of the neckline. To make the pattern for the gray, I cut out pieces using the vest pattern pieces and then pinned them to the vest, aligning them with the line I drew.

Once these pieces were set, I used them to cut the gray wool and the fleece I would use for batting.
Then I drew vertical lines on the gray wool pieces at 3/4” intervals using a quilting ruler. I machine stitched these lines with the fleece in gray thread, then pinned them to the vest.

The next step was cutting out the bias strips from the other gray fabric. I used a quilting ruler designed for cutting binding, which was 2.5” wide and about 29” long (an incredibly helpful tool!).

For attaching the binding along the bottom edge of the gray portion, the process was a little complicated. It involved 1) attaching the bias strip to the quilted part 1/4” from its edge, with the edge of the bias strip aligned with the edge of the quilted piece, 2) folding the whole thing over and attaching the bias strip to the black fabric, leaving a tiny bit of space for it to wrap around the thickness of the quilting, and 3) folding the piece up into place again, securing it to the vest, and topstitching right along the edge of the binding.

After doing this for front and back, I stitched the side seams and shoulders together.

The next step was making the lining, which I did with the pattern pieces for the vest. Fairly straightforward, and just pinned inside the vest.

Then I went back to screenshots of the vest and made careful adjustments to the armholes. The original pieces I had cut were too wide, so I measured and marked each side in pencil and trimmed it down in small increments until I thought it looked right. Once this shape was right, I ran two lines of topstitching parallel to the shoulder seams and 1/4” from the seam on each side. Now the armholes were ready for bias tape.

I attached the binding to the armhole with the same first step as I did with the other binding: bias strip aligned with the edge of the quilted piece, attached 1/4” from the edge. I then turned the other edge of the bias strip under, folded the binding under the vest, and finished with nearly-invisible topstitching along the edge of the binding.

I repeated the above process with the neckline, although the front-most part of the neckline took some hand-stitching to get the corners to fold right.

The process with the zipper-edge was similar, although I made sure to fold under the top and bottom edges of the binding here.

I folded this over and topstiched it in place just along the gray piece. Then I pinned the zipper in place along the gray, hand-basted it in place, and finished it with topstitching in gray thread. For the rest of the zipper, I switched to black thread and did the same. Unless you’re really stellar at installing zippers (which I’m not), I recommend always sewing it in place by hand first.

The last thing I did was trim the bottom edge and finish the hem, and it was ready for comic con. All in all, the materials cost me about $45, and I spent about a week making it.

*Article completed 03/20/2013. -Capt. Kenney*