October 18, 2015

TARDIS Bridesmaid Gown

Regina came to me a few months ago with a challenge. She will be a bridesmaid at a Dr. Who theme wedding and she needs help creating her attire: a deep-blue long gown with a white Victorian-inspired bolero. Essentially, she wanted to be a TARDIS incarnated as a bridesmaid. Challenge accepted.

She gave me this photo reference for the gown.

Bridesmaid gown reference photo.

The bride had given Regina the material for her dress; I would sew her gown from scratch. She wanted to look for the white blouse that I can just renovate into the bolero she imagines, so she went all around town until she found a long-sleeved ruffled piece.

Fabric and blouse.

Incorporating Regina’s ideas with the online images of Victorian boleros, I mocked-up this design for her approval.

Mock-up of bolero design.

With all elements agreed on, I went to work. Figuring out the bias skirt for her gown was a bit tricky because even after I did all the math, my pattern still came out wrong. Luckily, there was enough material to absorb the standard 10% error margin.

Same goes with the bolero. Good thing I had enough white voile in my fabric stash to cover for the wrap-around and wrist ruffles.

For this project, I had to fire up my serger machine for the ruffles and edge overlocks. It was an essential tool for the ruffling and the hemming of the spandex gown.

Cutting the bias skirt from pattern.

Ruffles. Ruffles. More ruffles.

Here’s the gown and bolero ready for the fitting. [Another vital tool in use here is the adjustable body form. I set it to Regina’s measurements. I won’t be able to complete these sewing projects without it. So yes, I need an adjustable male body form.]

Final fitting.

The biggest challenge for me was the pair of “window” patches on the bolero. Because I had given up my embroidery machine in a previous life, I had to figure out how to make it using either my regular sewing machine (the zigzag feature) or the serger (the rolled hem feature). I used up so much thread and practice cloth but finally succeeded in zigzagging the window panes and hand-sewing them onto the blouse.

TARDIS window panels for the bridesmaid gown.

To complete Regina’s TARDIS persona, I made these jewelry accessories for her: the pilot light earrings (come back for a blog post on how I did those), the "police box" bangle, and the door sign pendant necklace. She liked them.

TARDIS pilot light earrings.

TARDIS door sign pendant and POLICE BOX sign bracelet.

And here is our gorgeous bridesmaid at the church... 

Regina the TARDIS.

... and at the wedding reception (with her doppelganger). Achievement unlocked.

Regina, the TARDIS, with TARDIS, the gift.

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