Doctor Who Fandom Skirt and Dress

What happens when a Doctor Who fan finds out that her local Joann Fabric and Crafts have Doctor Who fabrics?

She goes and buys some of course!

Not only did I buy fabric, so did a bunch of my friends in the hopes of making clothing items. T.A.R.D.I.S. and Daleks and flannels, oh my!  I bought two yards of the repeating T.A.R.D.I.S. print and 4 yards of the exploding/Van Gogh T.A.R.D.I.S. print. As much of a not fan of the Daleks as I am, I am almost tempted to go back and get that fabric to make a skirt out of.

I turned the repeating T.A.R.D.I.S. print into an A-line skirt. I made it in half a day, a week before attending Triad Anime Con where I wore it on Sunday. It’s a comfortable skirt since both the fabric and the lining are cotton based. It’s not something I can wear to work because the print is…well…see for yourself.

imageIt’s a bold print, one which I can only wear on my days off from work or to cons – and also only with solid colored tops. But I really liked the cut of the skirt so I will probably make another in a more work appropriate print. (By the way, the pattern is Simplicity 1717, style B curvy.) Because I am apparently curvier than Simplicity thinks curvy women are, I had to add two extra darts in the back to fit the waist properly.

One of my friends, Angela, bought the exploding/Van Gogh T.A.R.D.I.S. fabric and made a fabulous dress out of it. This, naturally, made me want to make a dress of my own once I had acquired the same fabric. It took a while to decide – with the input of friends – which pattern to use. I ended up deciding on Simplicity 1755, dress A but with the skirt length of dress B. I used the T.A.R.D.I.S. fabric for the main dress, a navy stretch sateen cotton for the collar and removable belt, and a navy polyester lining in the bodice. Except for the DW fabric, everything else used to make this dress came from my hoard (yay for using up scraps!).

IMG_7974 FixedAs with the skirt, I had to make a few adjustments, mostly to the top. I had to shorten the top at the neck edges by a total of about 2 inches. Then I took in the sides about 1 inch under each arm; I cheated and made “pleats” under the arms so I could maintain the blouse-iness of the top while closing the arm openings to a more comfortable level. I don’t always like exposing that much of my arms so I will probably wear a cardigan with this (perfect excuse to buy the Her Universe Tardis or Union Jack cardigans I have been lusting over).

The skirt on this dress is MASSIVE. It has all these pleats in the front so it didn’t look as large until I laid it on the floor in the midst of sewing; it’s makes a half circle skirt…with pleats. The above photo shows the dress with a petticoat underneath; you can get a sense of how full the skirt is. Without the petticoat it’s still pretty impressive.

Best part is the dress skirt has pockets strategically hidden by pleats. I love skirts and dresses (anything really) with pockets. Even if I don’t put anything in them, inevitably my hands will find my way into pockets. The print is attention grabbing and a different sort of boldness from the skirt. I think there might be certain days I could wear this to work, at least I’ll find a way.

P.S. Notice how the photography of my skirt is different from my dress? I recently purchased some soft box lighting equipment off eBay for my photography lessons. I practiced with them for the first time to photograph the dress. What a difference controlled lighting can make! I am hoping to make it a habit to photograph new projects using the equipment. Hopefully soon I can get a set-up and backdrop so you guys don’t have to see the blah off-white paint of my walls.

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Building A Peggy Carter Wardrobe

In my Going Vintage post, I mentioned that one of my current role models is Agent Peggy Carter played by the lovely and talented Hayley Atwell. One of the things I absolutely love about Peggy is her sense of style. Since I’ve been attempting to go more vintage in my wardrobe, what better way to get inspiration than to start with Peggy.

So I have plans to make her iconic blue suit but I am having difficulty finding the appropriate blue color fabric in the right texture. I also have plans to make some of her Captain America uniforms but some of the pieces do not exactly translate to a teacher’s wardrobe. Since I love many of her pieces from Marvel’s Agent Carter, it just made sense to reproduce similar pieces.

A lot of Peggy’s pieces were either actual vintage pieces or custom made for the show. Other than the shoes and make up, there’s no way I’m going to be able to acquire screen accurate pieces. So the challenge would be to make them as close as possible. Challenge accepted!

One of the pieces I really love is her blue and red dress she wears midway through the first episode.

ZLu5UhcThis is one of my favorite pieces from the series and probably the closest to what I currently have in my wardrobe. I am fairly certain the original was made is a polyester type fabric but I plan to make mine in scuba knit for stretchability.

Next are her two suit jackets from the finale episode, Valediction. One is a dark blue plaid with an equally dark blue belt…

agentcaWhile the second is a dark blue stripe with a brighter toned blue belt.

agent-carter-finale_article_story_largeThe two outfits seem to use the same dark blue pants and shoes but the jackets, shirts, and belts change. They looked so similar with shirts having similar collar structures that I originally thought they were the same outfit. I’m more partial to the blue plaid one so that’s the jacket I’m likely to make first.

Speaking of plaid jackets, her red plaid jacket from the end of Time and Tide is just gorgeous and eye catching.

peggy carter in red plaid blazerThe costume designers of the show have stated that her skirt here is brown, but I think a dark navy would be more appropriate and work just as well.

Her green wrap dress coat from the Iron Ceiling is also a favorite.

1536x2048The skirt has a nice swing to it. I think this is one of the few non-red, white, and blue outfits Peggy wears but I still love it. Wrap dresses work for almost any body type, especially my pear shaped figure.

There is of course her vintage blue and pink dress from the interview at the Griffith scene.

agent-carterThis is going to be an interesting challenge getting those pink stripes to line up.

Of course Peggy also has a number of silk shirts. I can think of at least five different styles she wears, most of them made of silk. Silk is expensive these days so I will probably use it only sparingly, making most of the shirts out of polyester, shirting, or poplin. The upside of making so many shirts is I will have plenty to wear for work.

agent-carter-pilot-hayley-atwell_article_story_largeLast but not least is the red dress from the bar scene in Captain America.

ca003I have no idea when this dress will be worn but it’s nonetheless beautiful and I want it.

My plan is to have at least two of these outfits, the blue suit with red fedora, and one of Peggy’s uniforms done by the end of the year. Since I’ve already made a pair of blue pants, modified a red fedora, and have all but a uniform jacket done, I think I am well on the way there. 🙂

Next thing I need to do is get comfortable wearing a red lip and make up. =/

Frozen Fleece Vests

I decided I needed more layering pieces for winter this year. I also decided I wanted the pieces to be made of fleece. The pieces also needed to be something I could take and wear with me to a NYC trip this year and a Disney World trip next year. So of course it had to be Disney themed. And what more appropriate winter theme than Frozen?

Frozen themed fleece is difficult to come by. I tried getting some from Joann Fabrics online but they sent me an email that they had sold out. Some places online such as Etsy had different fleece, but the sellers were asking more than retail. Hancock Fabrics, however, came through. They had about four different kinds of fleece when I visited. I ended up getting the last of their Elsa themed fleece (1.25 yards) and 2 yards of their Anna themed fleece. I used Simplicity 1499 for both vests.

Elsa’s fleece is big and bold because of the print so I don’t wear it out in the open as often despite how much I love Elsa. Usually it’s just used as a layering piece. The fleece is plush and warm. It’s single layered except for the collar and zips up the front. There are pockets but they are kind of small and do little more than warm my hands.

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Anna’s fleece is hands down my favorite. The print is cute but more subtle, and very berry pink (not bright or pastel pink, which looks awful on me). The front folds over and is a total of four layers of fleece so it’s SUPER warm and cozy. The original pattern called for a collar and zipper, but I replaced those with a hood. I am currently looking for a button or clasp for those times I want to close the front.

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I completed both of these a week and a half ago and wore the Anna vest to the Carolina Renaissance Festival, and to a later trip to the local Disney Store. This morning I went to Joann Fabrics to get supplies for my Anna winter cosplay when I find two more Frozen fleece patterns. Knowing buying both would be too crazy, I bought the Sisters Forever purple fleece and made a second hooded vest.

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I love all of the vests, but I have had the most fun wearing Anna’s fleece; it got so much attention when I wore it. People love the style of it; some, when they realize the print, love it even more. First time I wore it to the local Disney Store I had a cast member freak out over it. She demanded to know where I bought it and was a mixture of surprised and disappointed when I said I made it. I told her I made it because there was a decided lack of adult themed Frozen items, to which she nodded and proceeded to steer me towards all the adult items they had.

Despite buying exactly what I needed, I have about half a yard of each print left over. I turned the Sisters Forever remanent into a pillow case; considering making a double sided body pillow out of the other. And I’m hoping I don’t find anymore prints otherwise I will be in some trouble.

Secondhand?

I’m just going to put this out there…

I do not buy or sell anything secondhand.

Many people will think I am being a vain snob when I say that – there are perfectly good items out there at good prices secondhand – but that’s just my nature.  I donate gently worn clothes all the time, I give items to friends all the time, but I never sell anything secondhand.  I also do not buy items secondhand.  It’s just the way I grew up.

I take good care of my things, but I can also be a bit hard on them too.  When I buy things – I mean really take the time to consider the purchase – I keep things for a good long while.  I know I am going to keep something when I waffle back and forth on the logistics of buying something, put it back, don’t think about it for a while, and then suddenly it pops into my head and I buy it.

I also get really reluctant to sell anything because most times I took a long time (and maybe a lot of money) to acquire it.  I also never know what to sell things for.  I don’t believe in selling a screen accurate item for high prices because “it’s rare and everyone is doing it.”  That’s total BS to me.  The original purchase price is never as high as how jacked up the prices can be.

The only times I bought items secondhand was for my Amy cosplays.  The Noa Noa dress was never worn, and the Topshop shirt was only worn once.  I found them both for extremely decent prices and couldn’t pass them up.  I’d never sell them because since I acquired them they have both been damaged (not noticeable but still damaged) and I love them both.

Point is, I have nothing against secondhand; I just don’t do it.  So I apologize for anyone who might be considering purchasing any of my screen accurate items.  They are mine until I give them up for donation or they fall apart on me…most likely the former.

Archer of the Diabolical Kind

A while ago, Peneloping posted about her Archer shirt. I went to investigate and discovered the pattern is by Grainline Studios. Needing a plaid shirt of my own, I purchased the pattern and set out to turn some red and black flannel into an Archer of my own.

Unfortunately the flannel was AWFUL to work with. It mucked up my iron on the low setting and kept shifting in the cutting process. I decided to scrap the project and turned the remnant into a makeshift draft guard for our front door. Still wanting an Archer, I figured a plain shirt might be easier and more versatile.

But then an idea struck me. I was completely enamored with the painter’s smock Jamie Moriarty (played by the lovely Natalie Dormer) wore in the opening of the Elementary episode “The Diabolical Kind.”

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Not much is shown about the shirt except that there is a zipper in the back, it has a mandarin collar, and is long (almost to the knees).  The sleeves are rolled/pulled up so no telling if there are cuffs or what kind, and she wears it unbuttoned with plain buttons.  Nothing overly special about the shirt, but I adore the zipper in the back. I had to have it.

A trip down to my local fabric shop had me purchasing some plain white stretch poplin and a gold metal zipper. I knew I didn’t want the long length of the shirt so I kept the length of the size 2 Archer. I also knew that my personal style meant the cuffs would be rolled up 99% of the time so I wasn’t too concerned if I messed them up. Luckily Grainline gives wonderful instructions with its pattern so figuring out the cuffs and the plackets was easy.

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I made a few modifications to the back to accommodate the zipper (omitting the pleat and adding 1/2″ to the yoke to fit the zipper, and omitted the main collar piece. The shirt took me about 6 hours, start to finish. It came out lovely, very simple in the front but then the zipper pops in the back.

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The zipper is fully functional, but is more decorative than useful as it does nothing but open a gagging hole in the back.

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I intended this project to be a more “inspired” than “replica” since I have no intention of cosplaying Jamie Moriarty. I wanted this to be a usable piece in my wardrobe with an interesting detail. If someone recognizes it, great but at least I know what inspired the shirt.

I find I really enjoy Grainline’s patterns.  I want to try their Moss skirt pattern since I have an awful time finding such skirts to fit my hourglass shape. Plus, I found a wonderful black on black embossed corduroy in my search for the poplin I really want to work with.

Next, however, I think will be a copy cat of a Modcloth dress, again inspired my Peneloping’s version. 🙂

Swirls and Twirls

There was this one day I was in the fabric store. I can’t remember what I went to buy, but as I was walking the aisles of fabric bolts I came across this beautiful black and silver reversible brocade.

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It was calling to me, but it was expensive so I resisted buying it for a few weeks. Eventually I broke down and purchased 1.5 yards not knowing what I was going to do with it. I had the notion to turn it into a skirt but didn’t know what kind.

The pattern is quite intricate so the skirt had to be simple. Nothing with pleats or anything fancy. I ended up deciding to turn it into a circle skirt. After searching the web and viewing various tutorials on how to make a circle skirt without a pattern, I decided to give it a try.

It took about two hours and just a little bit of fudging but I got it right.

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It’s nice and swishing and has a beautiful drape. It is a little fancier than most fabrics or clothes I wear but I think it would be able to spruce up otherwise plain outfits.

I didn’t photograph the back but I used an exposed metal zipper as a closure.

The brocade is the perfect weight for cool weather, and the color is ideal for fall and winter.  It’s just a tad too cold right now to wear it (at least until I find some warm leggings to wear with tights).

And thus my first circle skirt of the year is complete. If I never get around to making another, at least I filled another of my New Year’s crafting resolutions. 🙂

April Rhodes Staple Dress

I bought some stretch fabric last week with the intent of making a floral shirt and two maxi skirts. The two stretch jersey fabrics for my maxi skirts ended up creating a mess on freshly swept floors and not cooperating with me at all; I ended up throwing all 4 yards of scraps into the trash.  I hadn’t touched my floral jersey and set it aside, still intending to make my shirt but not wanting to deal with jersey fabric.

For the record, I prefer woven fabrics.

I asked my mother her opinion on the fabric and whether or not it would make a good shirt or a skirt.  She immediately came back with “It could work for both…or a dress.”

A dress?  Why didn’t I think of that?

Immediately thought of April Rhodes’ Staple Dress which I had been drooling over for weeks.  I bought the pattern, printed and taped it together; I had the fabric and the serger.  The only thing I didn’t have was elastic thread but I have 1/4″ elastic which April says works as a substitute with zig-zag stitching.  It took about 3 hours on and off to finish.  Since I was working with stretch fabric, I didn’t make the bias tape but twice folded over the edges and zig-zag stitched.  I also opted for the high-low hem since that is my current obsession with skirts and dresses.

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After completing the dress, I highly recommend springing for elastic thread and doing shirring on the waist.  The elastic doesn’t make quite an impression gathered, and my zig-zag stitch kept catching the edges (I set it at the widest stitch and it still was smaller in width than the elastic).

I will definitely be making this dress again in a variety of fabrics.  It’s a very simple pattern and so versatile.