(left-to-right, Sissy as Lwaxana Troi, "China Beach" star Richard Picardo, and Trixie as Deanna Troi). The end of July witnessed a whirlwind of activity in the Cats and Catts house. Trixie was preparing for the 40th annual Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas. That meant all hands on deck as we created two Deanna Troi costume dresses. We enlisted the help of a friend, L Spice, who gave hours of dress-making work: pattern planning, fabric selection, cutting and basting, difficult decorative top-stitching, and general guidance. Trixie helped, too, and tolerated our weak efforts at delivering sewing instructions ("I mean, what part of 'Trim a 5/8" seam allowance around the interfacing for piece M and -- with the fuzzy part of the interfacing against the wrong side of pieces M and N -- baste the right side of piece J to the wrong side of piece M at the notched edge' don't you understand?"). L Spice's two dogs oversaw our efforts and made sure that food wasn't dropped carelessly on the sewing room floor. For better or worse, I took over for the final weeks. I attached the bodice to the skirt and the arms to the bodice, slip-stitched the hem, put in zippers on the arms and back, and did multiple fittings over multiple days. Trixie sewed the hook-and-eye closures the night before her flight and I was hand-sewing and machine-sewing mere hours before her scheduled departure time.
On August 7th, Trixie and her sister (dressed as Deanna's mother, Lwaxana) were part of breaking a world record for the greatest number of people head-to-toe in Star Trek costumes. In fact, the sister act was selected to sit in the front row for the record-breaking! All of the kitties were excited to hear the news, except for Riley (he was chasing an imaginary bug).
We created a second dress for Troi's fantasy incarnation on the Holodeck. I'm not a Star Trek fan, so I thought it was unusual to create a dress stemming from a six-minute sequence featured in a single episode, but Trixie reported that fans readily recognized the Goddess of Empathy. As usual, the cats provided invaluable assistance transforming this dream into a reality. There's no pattern for the Goddess of Empathy dress, so I used a Grecian Goddess costume dress as a starting point. Lan Lan (above) made sure that the pattern didn't blow away.
Selena Sabine helped by pointing out different design elements that needed attention. This photograph shows Bean telling us to give extra care to the belt and waistline. She liked to oversee every step and always stayed inches from the sewing action even during her nap time.
Putting in a zipper can be one of the more daunting tasks for amateur dressmakers and you have the right kitty consulting you. Riley has demonstrated his quantitative skills before, so it makes sense that he would be in charge of checking the calibration of the measuring tape with his claws. He also sniffed the zipper to make sure it didn't need additional grooming and batted at the scissors to test for sharpness.
So what was Griffin doing this whole time? The usual Griffin routine: napping, begging for treats, and roughhousing with Riley. This time, though, Griffin's laziness was entirely forgivable. As today's photo montage suggests, the other cats provided more than enough help.