Eighth Doctor costume – Part I

I promised I would give more details about my costume — here is Part I: the shirt, the pants and the ascot, and a quick look at my accessories.

Here is again my original inspiration:

The shirt

This shirt was a last minute decision. I was planning on entering the cosplay competition of the Antwerp Convention with my costume, and the shirt I was planning to wear, a simple fitted shirt I had in my wardrobe, just didn’t resemble the original shirt enough for my taste. My shirt was white with a round collar, his shirt was more off-white/beige with pointed collar. Not that I was hoping to win the competition anyway, but if I was going to have my costume referenced to the original for judging, I might as well do my best to make it as identical as possible, right?

On Easter Monday, I was off to the only “fabric store” I knew would sell unbleached cotton on this bank holiday – IKEA! I use the shirt from Simplicity 2895. It’s a men’s pattern, I made a size 38, the smallest size. My chest measurements were 37 in, and the shirt is extremely roomy, but for the purpose of this costume, it fit the bill. I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern. I’ve avoided making shirts with collars and cuffs for YEARS (well, more like a decade…) because I remembered how difficult it was, but this pattern was quite easy to follow and it gave me my shirt-making groove back! Which is a good thing, because my next cosplay projects also involve making a shirt…

Before you ask about the result of the cosplay competition: no, I didn’t participate after all. The competition was happening at the same time as a panel discussion that I found much more important. It doesn’t mean I will never enter this costume in a competition in the future though — who knows? 😉

The Pants

I didn’t have a fabric in my stash that matched the color of the original outfit, but I still managed to find a suitable fabric that would at least match the color scheme. I used a very simple pattern I had in my stash, Butterick 5391, view E (bootcut leg). I whipped up those pants in a couple of hours, including cutting time. Very fast, very easy. However, I must say the fit is horrendous: the hips are way too wide, and the crotch line is hanging much too low. Only the waistband is sitting properly and fits really nicely. I didn’t make any adjustments to the fit around the hips because I was aiming at loose-fitting trousers anyway. But if I were to use this pattern again, I would probably go down a size or two around the hips, but keep the original size 16 at the waist.

The ascot

I didn’t have any pattern to make the cravat/ascot, but as it’s often the case, the Internet was my friend. I found a blog post with instructions on how to make a Neo- Victorian/Steampunk-style cravat/ascot and decided to give it a go. I used plain navy blue satin with standard fusible interfacing. I followed the instructions of the blogger in general, but I made mine slightly shorter, I though 60 inches was quite long for the size of my neck! On top of that, I didn’t have enough fabric. I actually can’t remember my final measurements, but it was closer to 40 inches. I’m quite pleased with the result, maybe I will leave out the interfacing next time, as it was a bit stiff to be worn in a lesser-than-neat way like the original outfit. You can see the result in the 2nd picture: the bad treatment made it quite wrinkly!

My accessories

I didn’t have the time, nor the materials, nor really the ability to make Edwardian/WWI-style leather leggings (I will one day, though, watch me!), so I went for a pair of lace-up boots that matched the color scheme I was going after, and my budget. On the plus side: they are super comfortable, super funky, and I can’t wait to wear them next winter!

The belt was the recycling of an old belt from when I was 130 pounds heavier. I cut the excess length at the back and stitched the edges back together. No one can see it, and it worked perfectly.

I then found an 8th Doctor sonic screwdriver on Amazon (his sonic screwdriver is not easy to find!), and a pretty fob watch on eBay. It’s all in the details, really…

That’s it for now, folks! In my next post, I’ll take a closer look at the waistcoat! 😀



  1. Jeanne. says:

    Grande imagination, je te félicite.

  2. Hi! I just saw you linked to me. What kind of interfacing did you use? I use the tricot (knit) kind, which stabilizes it but leaves it still fairly soft. Lots of other kinds make it too stiff or crinkly. The long length (and, of course, it doesn’t have to be that long) is so that when a person wraps it around the neck then ties it sort of like halfway of a modern necktie, there is still enough on the ends to tuck into the vest. Your costume looks great!!!

    • mcfdekker says:

      Thanks a lot for your input! I used the softest, lightest interfacing I had, but it was still too stiff I guess. Thanks for the suggestion of knit interfacing – I do have some in my stash and I’ll use this for the next cravat I make!

      • It also depends on what fabric you use in the first place. Duppioni silk tends to have a lot of body. The blue silk I used in a more recent post is floppy and worked OK with the same interfacing. 🙂

  3. Its great to read about you creating an 8th doctor costume. My one was a mix of the TVM and big finish styles. My trouble is always sourcing the coat. And the right colour/type of fabric.
    I think your cosplay looks super authentic.

    • mcfdekker says:

      Thanks a lot! There’s not enough Eighth Doctor love out there 😉 And I think Eight has the nicest outfits of them all, from the TV movie to the recent BF Dark Eyes. But I might be biased…

      It’s true that finding the right fabric is so difficult. And the right pattern too. Sometimes you have to draw the line, otherwise you can end up paying a fortune!

      Would love to follow the making of your outfit!

      • He’s my fave doctor. I’m hoping to sign up for photo and autograph at london film and comic con. Hence why I’m making a new version of my 8th doctor outfit. I’m definately thinking I need to change my skirt to the tan colour you used for your trousers and then I may buy some calico for the jacket but dye it the dark green colour I want. I just can’t stand sewing velvet. 😮

      • mcfdekker says:

        OMG you’re going too? 😀 I booked a photo op with him on Saturday and I’m definitely getting his autograph. I’m actually going to the Shadow Proc in August too, and I’ll just meet him again. My fantasy is to wear my cosplay for the photo op at LFCC…

        I’m going to sew velvet for my husband’s 4th Doctor coat and I’m already freaking a little. Well, it’s velveteen. Not velvet. It’s a tad easier to work with, but not much.

        Hey, we should definitely meet somewhere at LFCC haha

  4. That would be so cool we should definately meet up.
    I think there’s a girl trying to get all the doctor who cosplays together for a photo at one point on saturday. (http://showmastersonline.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=81942&page=6)
    I’m going with my cousin who’s cosplaying 4th doctor. His mum knitted him the scarf.

    • mcfdekker says:

      I’m currently busy knitting the scarf. I think I managed about 40cm in 1 week. At this rate… I should be done on time. And hopefully I’ll finish my husband’s entire outfit on time as well 😉

      I joined the FB event for the picture, as a reminder. Hopefully it won’t be at the same time as McGann’s photoshoot!

      • I crocheted myself a osgood length scarf a few months back. Kitting takes me far too long. lol!
        It could be funny if we end up in the same queue for the mcgann photoshoot.


  1. […] and there’s one accessory I forgot to mention in my previous post: my replica Eighth Doctor TARDIS […]

  2. […] the Eighth Doctor, my inspiration for my first ever cosplay. (I detailed how I made my costume in this post, this post, and this post.) The location was the London Film & Comic Con, my first ever comic […]

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