29 november 2013

Silence in the Library!

I've been a Fan of Doctor Who for a while now, and when Fanbloomingtastic announced a sewalong I got genuinely excited. I loved how free the whole thing was: sew something Doctor Who-related, anything, by the 30th of November. At first I had a bit of a hard time coming up with an idea, since TARDIS dresses and female Doctor outfits have been done so many times before, and I wanted a garment that could be worn on its own without being obviously inspired by the show. So when I started looking at monsters in a less literal way, I remembered this:

One of the things that Doctor Who does well: making everyday things scary. It's easy to come up with big slimy creatures, but when you turn statues, water, mannequins or even shadows into a monster, the fear suddenly strikes closer to home!

I remembered something I saw in a video about a Dior collection being made, and loving the effect back then. An ombre design was created on a garment by layering pieces of black tulle in different sizes on top of the fabric. The final effect looked like a shadow, and I realised I wanted a Vashta Nerada party dress.

(For the readers not familiar with the show: Vashta Nerada are a swarm of microscopic being that feed on flesh. They look exactly like a shadow but when you pass through them they eat you to the bone. On Doctor Who, they appeared in the biggest library in the universe, prompting everyone to get the fuck out in a pretty creative way.)

So after loads of basting and hand-sewing, I present my flesh-eating party dress!

I drafted most of the bodice myself, changing a bodice block with darts to a princess-seamed one and adding rows of slanted tucks to the side panels (anyone interested in a tutorial on that?). I tried to mimic ribs with the tucks and clavicles and shoulder blades with the collar, while still remaining a bit subtle. The skirt is my trusted Chantilly skirt. I stitched all the panels together apart from the back seam, sketched the outlines for the tulle part in chalk and laid everything on top.

Here's a back view for a slightly better look at the collar and tucks. The tucks took some head-scratching to figure out and the finished pattern piece looks quite funny, but I love the effect!

Carnivorous shadows creeping up my skirt would probably leave me a skeleton, so I painted my face. And took a crowded train to get to the library. I got some stares and the paint was a bitch to wash off, but can I say WORTH IT?

That library is awesome by the way. It's in Antwerp, and this is one particularly old room called the Nottebohmzaal. Creaky floors and all.

The tights were a super cheap eBay find, and they arrived only just in time to wear them. They also don't really stay up, my kneecaps aren't situated halfway down my shins in real life, I swear!

Sadly enough, the ombre effect really doesn't photograph well. It's a lot more subtle in real life, like a gradient. I basted the pieces to the skirt and sewed them down using a very small prickstitch, starting at the bottom, so the largest layer covers all the smaller ones and there are no raw edges. After adding the tulle to one side of the skirt I realised the drape would be way off if I left it like that, so I interlined the rest of the skirt with leftover tulle. I should probably add a decent lining one day if I ever want to wear it for real, that stuff is SCRATCHY! And cheap. The hem is pretty stiff as well, but I don't think there's much I'll be able to do about that.

Creepy headshake picture because cool. And alphabet books.

I loved participating in this sewalong, and I love the dress I ended up with! Garments that are secretly inspired by things I love are my favourite thing, it feels like I'm wearing a fandom t-shirt only I can read. And I got to scare little kids in the process. Woohoo!

(Bonus points if you spotted the TARDIS in one of the shots before I mentioned it)

6 opmerkingen:

  1. I think that's one of the scariest episodes ever made! I would hate to come across creatures like these… But I would love to have your dress, it's perfect for this sew along… And I have to admit that I didn't even spot the TARDIS after you mentioned it… How dumb am I :) BTW If you want a Dr Who special for a podcast, the latest episode of Mosselen om half 2 is one :) Very funny, you should check it out :) (http://www.mosselen0130.be/site/)

    1. Thanks so much! And thanks for the podcast, I'll check it out soon! (not now, I'm knackered)

  2. Very cool. While I haven't watched the current Doctor Who, I neat to see people get into the lore of a series.
    Great job on the dress! I'd love to see how you did the pleats, and that Dior video was amazing...thanks for the link!

  3. I have never seen Dr. Who but your dress is amazing! I love the pleats on the back and the ombré effect. Well done!

  4. This is brilliant - love the back ribs - actually, love everything - including what has to be one of my fave DrWho episode arcs ever!! ;)