TARDIS Cosplay: Skirts and Shrug and a lot of bias binding

Well hello there!

So continuing on from last time, it’s time to get sewing! I started off with the easier parts first which were the skirts.

A simple case of sewing the panels together, putting in elastic and finishing it off with a hem? Hahaha, not quite so simple.

Ok the sewing of the panels were. Piece all the panels together at the sides, matching the notches, sew them up with about 5/8″ seam allowance and press all the seams open. You end up with huge skirts.

 

The channel for the elastic is where it gets interesting as you have to iron down the top of the skirts by about an inch and then turn the edge under by about 3/8″. It looks easy, but unless you’re as clumsy as me, be prepared for some toasty fingertips. It can also be a bit frustrating trying to press down a tiny slither of fabric, so thank goodness for pins (but don’t use plastic-headed pins unless you want a nice melted spotty effect). Once you got this pinned in place, sew the channel in with a top stitch making sure that annoying little slither of fabric stays under. Also make sure you leave a gap where you stitch otherwise how else are you gonna get that elastic in.

About that elastic. Don’t believe what it says on the packet. I double checked the length I had with my own waist and found I would just be able to use it all for the two skirts, however further on, there is a top that requires elastic too. So double check the elastic length before you buy it. I ended up cutting this length in half and threaded it through the channel using the old safety pin trick. Then sew the ends of the elastic toghther, stick it all in and just seal the channel up with a quick stitch on the machine.

Now the title mentions a lot of bias binding. You can see how big the panel pieces are for the skirts. I’ve nothing really against bias binding, it looks neat when it’s finished. it’s a lot of sewing and pinning. I pinned the bias binding on the inside edge of the bottom of the skirt, with one side open and against the edge. When pinning the bias binding, I folded down the ends to so no rough edge was exposed. Then I stitched around in between the edge and the crease of the fold of the binding. Double check after this to make sure you’ve caught the fabric underneath, you don’t really want holes in your cosplay. The binding was folded over the edge and top stitched outside the skirt to finish them off. Two pieces down already!

So next up I worked on the shrug. Despite there being a huge hood, it’s not as difficult as it looks. Firstly the darts, which are small folds that are stitched in place in a piece of fabric. What would’ve been a good idea was to actually mark these out when I was cutting out the pattern. So I did this with tailors chalk and pins and a ruler and hey presto, darts! I pinned along the line, matching up both ends and stitched along this (it’s best to tack this in place, especially if you are new to sewing). Do this for both the blue outer fabric and the black lining and press the seams towards the centre.

I then stiched the front pieces to the shoulder and the side, pressing the seams open and again for both the blue and black versions. To connect the lining to the outer piece, I had to sew more, yes you guessed it, bias binding, this time around the armholes. Similar technique to before, just slightly more fiddly with it being an armhole.

For the hood, again make sure you mark everything on the piece when it’s still attached to the pattern… it really helps when you’ve got to work with pleats. First things first, sew the two pieces of the hood together, for both lining and outer fabrics. It doesn’t tell you to with the instructions for this pattern, but I pressed the seam open for this (as carefully as I could!) because I didn’t want the seams to stand up on my head when wearing it. Not that it’s seen but I wanted the fabric to lay flat.

With the lining on the inside and everything right way round, I then folded and tacked the pleats in. This was tricky as marks for the pleats were on the wrong side, inside the inside of the hood so to speak. And yes it was tacked as the seam would eventually have bias binding pinned to it and I didn’t want to deal with a hedgehog for a hood.

Funnily enough, the next step was to add bias binding around the front edge of the hood. I didn’t need to worry about folding the ends of the binding over this time as it would be caught inside the final application of binding for the shrug. I pinned the hood in place onto the shrug, working from the centre back to the front and everything was stitched in place and finished with a long run of bias binding. Last thing to do was remove the tacking.

So that’s half of the pieces made for the cosplay already, with a corset and a bustle left to tackle. I can see why the pattern said 9 packages of bias binding now, good job I bought a roll. Think this project is going to give me bias binding nightmares though!

Pudding xxx

P.S. is it blue and black or white and gold? (blame my phone, I have no idea how it managed to change colour when I took the picture!)

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The TARDIS: Cutting out

So with every costume or cosplay, you start out with cutting out fabric. Little did I realise how much I would need to cut out.

The pattern, which is Simplicity 1095, was given to me by a good friend of mine for my birthday (thank you Gemma!) and it’s taken a long while to get round to. But there’s no time like the present, however wibbly-wobbly it may be.

As with other patterns from Simplicity and the like, I found the measurements and sizes unforgiving. While my bust and hip measurements put me at a size 12 (not too bad, I’m usually 10/12), my waist of 32″ said I’m size 18! It was then that I realized the pattern was American, so although a little bit more forgiving, it did make me question those tubes of Pringles……

Onto the fabric. I tried to get a close a blue of fabric for the main body of the TARDIS as possible. I found this polycotton in my local fabric shop, a suitable shade and a very reasonable price, which helps when you’ve got a great big skirt to make out of it, let alone the rest of the outfit. In fact, most of the outfit is either cotton or a polycotton due to costs, but it will prove itself in the Californian summer weather… hopefully.

I started off with the blue first as it was the most amount of fabric (8 metres to be precise, it took up the length of my living room) and took up the whole evening ironing and laying out.

 

I did my best to fit the pattern pieces onto the fabric with resourcefulness. If I was to have leftover fabric, I wanted it to at least prove useful for future endeavours. Anyhow, I found that I strayed away from the layout that the pattern provided, because whilst it was a useful guide, it meant I ended up with odd bits that would have just gone to waste. No less, once all the blue pieces were done, I did have roughly a couple metres leftover which will go into a project of some sort.

 

The same proces can be said for the other fabrics and pattern pieces. The black fabric is about 2.3 metres, the canvas for the corset is 1 metre and the white for the bustle and windows for the TARDIS is 1.2 metres. My advice for this section of the cosplay mostly is this. With the canvas fabric, as you will be needing a couple layers, be prepared for vigourous hand exercises. And wear a thimble! Guess who learnt this the hard way….

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Also, just remember that if you decide not to follow the layout the pattern gives exactly to save on fabric, just remember the grain lines. On each pattern piece is a straight arrow, found in the centre. This is a guideline for the pattern to be laid onto the fabric, following the grain of the fabric. If you’re unsure about the grain of the fabric, using a tape measure, you can line the grainline on the pattern with the edge of the fabric.

Oh and there’s the fold. Don’t forget to put the right pieces on the fold line. The skirt panels are an example, they double in size because of this and will save on sewing more panels together.

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For the haberdashery, I had to purchase thread (obviously!), about 8 metres of 1/4″ wide boning (it said 7 and 3/4 yards, which does sound a lot, but I wanted to be safe than sorry. Also this is rigilene boning as it’s what was available and it’s more affordable than steel), 8 metres of lacing for the corset, 1.3 metres of elastic, 2 packs of brass eyelets and just over a metre of bondaweb (this is a paper like material used for sticking fabric together).

Now the thing about the bias binding… the pattern said 9 pkgs…. I’m guessing this is “packages” but here in the UK, I had never heard of this before. It’s normally something I purchase in lengths off a roll…. So I bought a whole roll. Like I said before, better safe than sorry.

So now that everything is purchased and cut out (and knowing my luck I’ll have forgotten something), I better get a move on!

Pudding xxx