Halloween Costume: Operation TARDIS Dress

My Tardis Costume and a Tardis

My Tardis Costume and a Tardis with the Tenth Doctor.

Usually my Halloween costumes come in two varieties:

  1. “What’s in my closet that might work?” or
  2. “I’ve thought about this far enough in advance that I ordered it online.”

This year, I actually decided to change things up a bit and actually put together a costume.  Given my Doctor Who obsession for the last year or so (Late in the game, I know – I mourned over the 10th Doctor, does that make up for it?), I contemplated just being a girl version of Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor.  I had a tweed-ish jacket in my closet and I just needed a bow tie, but that didn’t seem quite challenging enough.

While I was at Comic-Con 2012, I saw a number of girls wearing cute Tardis dresses, one even had a tote bag as a purse with the “Pull to Open” sign.  So fast forward to September/October and I thought I’d try my hand at making a fashionable Tardis costume.

Below are more photos and how I ended up finding and making the pieces of my costume:

The Inspiration and the Essentials: It wasn’t until I headed out on an impromptu Thrift Shopping adventure with my friends Mallorie and Madison that the inspiration for my own Tardis costume was found.  It makes sense that this happened with Mallorie and Madison, of course, because this out was actually our “two years later” reunion.  Two years ago we met having almost gotten into a fight with some girls at a She & Him concert (Yes.  A She & Him concert.  See 2nd note on Elbowing: Concert Etiquette).  So naturally, this reunion was destined for adventure.  After stopping by one of our favorite restaurants – Veggie Grill – we proceeded on a whirlwind trip to a number of thrift stores where I found the base of my costume: black belt, blue shirt dress, and blue purse.

The Challenge – Fascinator Hat: Later, I was contemplating how I was going to figure out the top of the Tardis box, so I decided in true British fashion that I wanted to make some kind of fascinator-like hat with a light.  If I wanted something challenging, this was it.  It was part physics and part art.

With no real game plan laid out, I ended up purchasing two sheets of felt and thread online.  I was trying to find a light  light and eventually came across one that was fairly light – except that it required 3 AA batteries (not light).  So I brought out a square piece of corkboard I had, a glue gun…and velcro.  You know it’s a serious proejct when you have to bring out the glue gun and the velcro.  Essentially my hat comprised of the following:

  1. Two square pieces of felt were hot glued to the corkboard and then sewn close together.
  2. The base of the light rests on the top of  the felt square using adhesive-backed velcro (so that I can pull it off and on to change the battery) and the string of lights are held down with craft wire.
  3. The “dome area” that houses the light was in-laid with craft wire to give it stability and flexibility and wire was then wrapped underneath the velcro-ed light to keep it in place.
  4. Beneath the square of the hat is a piece of hot glued felt where a wide plastic headband can be tucked in through the middle.
  5. There is no way to wear this hat without making sure your head is held high – but you’re a Tardis, how can it not be held high?

The “Police Box” Belt aka Never Underestimate the Power of Electrical Tape: With a set of electrical tape from the bargain store, I cut out the letters, using transparent scotch tape to guide how the letters would be laid out on the belt.  ”B”, “C”, and “O” were the most challenging.

“Pull to Open” Purse: This seemed easy, but this was also kind of a challenge.  I initially thought I’d use some kind of iron transfer onto fabric, but that didn’t seem worth the trouble.  Much of this project was also trying to make sure I could actually use these objects outside of the costume (…except for maybe the hat :)).  I had to figure out what kind of paper I could put on my purse and I didn’t want a glossy sign either.  I also had to make this sign on Photoshop. So after some printer trial-and-error, I ended up printing the sign on a thicker stock of copy paper and then taping it onto a piece of photo paper.  The photo paper was then affixed to the back of the purse.  Again – never underestimate the power of electrical tape!

Shoes: For anyone wondering about my shoes, pictured are my favorite Poetic Licence shoes called A Girls Dream.  I have them in both black/blue and red.

So there you have it, my first real major costume project.  Unfortunately on my Halloween weekend outing I did not encounter any Doctor Who fans,  but I did have this fun exchange:

Woman: Can I make a call?
Me: Oh – I’m a time machine actually.
Woman: Oh.  Cool. Can you take me back to when before I had kids?

-cct