I am a huge fan of the BBC television series Dr. Who and my favorite Doctor is played by David Tennant in his 10th regeneration. There’s a big trend at the various costumed conventions for women to dress up as the TARDIS. Don’t get me wrong, I love the TARDIS, but I have two main objections for me personally. 1) The TARDIS at one point actually IS a woman and she looks nothing like her usual blue police box form and 2) I see red with rage when rude people think they’re funny by cracking jokes about ‘bigger on the inside’ with the implication that the girl is overweight or promiscuous. Naturally, I’d rather be the Doctor than a silly old box (awesome spaceship traveling through time and space). This project had been brewing in the back of my mind for several months. I was expecting to draft patterns for all the garment pieces- a fairly time consuming endeavor. Because of that, it wasn’t really in my queue for current projects. Until the Universe clubbed me over the head and said, “YOU WILL MAKE THIS NOW!”. I found this pattern from Simplicity that was very nearly what I had imagined for my Doctor. “Ok,” I said, “I’ll just buy this pattern and save it for later”. Then I thought I’d do a little browsing online for fabric availability and pricing. And found the perfect fabrics in the same online shop, on clearance. Yeah, wool suiting for $2.30 a yard! At this point it was 10 days before Denver Comic Con and the fabric was going to take about 5 days to get to me. Challenge accepted Universe!
I modified the neckline and added lapels and I extended the front panels so that I could make mine double breasted. I also did away with the ruffles at the cuffs and neckline. The coats pictured on the pattern envelope do not appear to be lined but the pattern directions call for lining. If you choose to work with this pattern, be forewarned, you will need to do a lot of pressing and top stitching that isn’t called for in the instructions if you want the opening edge of the coat to lay smoothly with lining!
Here you can see my in-progress picture where I’m checking fit before adding lining and sleeves.
Ultimately, I left my sleeves unlined and only lined the main body of the jacket. It would have been too constrictive to go over my shirt sleeves and WAY too warm for the Denver Comic Con convention where I planned to wear it. I LOVE that it has two big pockets. These worked perfectly to hold my sonic screwdriver, a small mirror, my red lipstick and some business cards.
Of course, I had to have the perfect footwear! I hunted around for ages because I really wanted some wedge sneakers to play up the feminine spin on the character of the Doctor. Normally I hate the things but for this one application they seemed perfect. Couldn’t find the color and details I wanted. I got close but they would have been shipping from Korea and would never make it in time. Found these oatmeal Chuck Taylor Converse shoes in Kohl’s online shop and got to use a coupon for ’em. My postman arrived early and… they’d sent me the wrong shoes! Instead of my Chucks I had these flowered leather flip flops in a size 5.5 (because Chucks have to be ordered 2 sizes smaller than you usually wear). Customer service came to my rescue and I received the correct shoes the day before the event! But I wasn’t stressed or anything. *ahem* Really.
Here you get a front and back view of the coat as things start really coming together. Haha, of course I never work on just one project at a time and my dress form is in high demand so that lump sticking out is a belly dance costume in the midst of repair.
Here’s a teaser picture of my pin striped bodice. I ended up with the perfect lining fabric in my stash for the bodice and the coat. I used the stitch-through, featherweight boning on the bodice just to give it a little more shape. The directions in the pattern tell you to stitch the boning to the outer fabric. I rebelled and stitched it to my lining so that I wouldn’t ruin the pin stripes. I wish that it had occurred to me to hand sew my decorative buttons before I attached the lining. As it was, I got to try to hand stitch on top of boning and it was a major pain.
And here’s how it all came together!
I obviously couldn’t spike my hair into mass chaos a la David. I wanted something big and showy and yet undeniably feminine. Pinup obsession to the rescue! I did some rolls and a tail for my hair and red RED lips along with my glasses that look remarkably similar to the ones David sports. I chose a super fancy tie knot- again, because I’m a girl and I should get to be fancy! A friend of mine in a crafting group made these great TARDIS earrings from Shrinky Dink (remember that stuff 80’s children?).
And just for fun (wait, wasn’t this all amazingly fun?!), here are some pictures from the Denver Comic Con with some of my new Whovian friends!
Alyssa Rose as the TARDIS, another adorable girl as the TARDIS (didn’t catch her name unfortunately) and Canyon Boak as a rather dashing 10th Doctor. We had so much fun nerding out over costume details. He actually had his suit and overcoat built for him to be screen accurate! Please note the matching shoes. *wink*