Once upon a time, there was this Doctor Who convention set at the end of August, in the UK. My husband and I were so looking forward to it. I spent countless hours working on our cosplays for the event. To the point of getting myself a pretty nasty RSI in my left wrist due to all that knitting and sewing in a short amount of time.
But it never happened.
To make a very long story short, it folded and got cancelled less than 24 hours before the start. We were already in the UK, on our way to the location, when we heard it was cancelled. I know, these things can happen, but this wasn’t due to unforeseen circumstances. Anyway, let’s say the organizers didn’t act professionally. And we were probably too gullible in believing they would pull it off.
But hey, this is a sewing blog, not a ranting blog, so let me show you what I worked on!
The hubby – Fourth Doctor
My inspiration was Tom Baker’s costume in the episode The Masque of Mandragora.
This was the most time-consuming cosplay I’ve ever worked on, just because of the scarf. All in all, at an average of 90 minutes of knitting per day, it took me about 6 weeks to complete it. I don’t knit fast. And I hate knitting anyway. But I’m happy I can cross “Knit a Fourth Doctor Scarf” off my bucket list.
The waistcoat was made using Simplicity 2895. Honestly, it’s not my favorite waistcoat pattern. I just couldn’t get the welted pockets to work — I really don’t know why, I’ve made plenty of welted pockets before. So the pockets on his waistcoat are fake ones. I find this very embarrassing, but after cutting the front twice (matching the plaid as best I could) I was running out of fabric and patience.
The trousers are Laughing Moon Mercantile #119. As with all LM patterns I’ve made so far, the detailing is exquisite but enormously time-consuming. But the final result is a pair of trousers that fit really well (I used the “portly fit”) and definitely look the part.
The frock coat was the double-breasted coat of Laughing Moon Mercantile #109, which I used before for my Eighth Doctor cosplay. This new version was even more time-consuming, as pressing the velveteen required a lot of patience. The fusible interfacing just wouldn’t stick properly. But I did manage to press the fabric without damaging it (ha!) using a press cloth, and even though the sleeves aren’t set in properly (doh!) I’m still pleased with the result. And my husband is happy, so who am I to complain?
Me – A steampunk female twist on the TV movie Eighth Doctor’s outfit
See, I was supposed to meet Paul McGann again at this convention-that-never-was. And I just didn’t want to meet him wearing the same cosplay as the previous occasion, by fear of being recognized and seen as a stalker 😆 And I just really needed an excuse to make Simplicity 2172. I fell in love with this pattern when it came out last year, but never had any occasions to make it. Until now.
I decided to make the coat and the bustier, and leave out the skirt out of sheer laziness, really. I didn’t want to spend hours pleating! I replaced it with McCall’s 6911. I thought the uneven hem was an interesting design element and I believed it would complement the coat nicely. I used heavyweight duchesse satin in silver grey, and I added green rick-rack around the hem. (Arrrgh, the hem is turned on this picture, I didn’t notice!)
The coat is made with bottle green cotton velveteen, the same type/weight as my husband’s frock coat. Having worked on his coat before, I knew how to handle velveteen when it comes to pressing and sewing, and I’m quite happy with the result. The flounces are made of a cheap polyester woven in off-white. I didn’t finish the edge with a narrow hem, instead I hemmed using my serger.
The bustier is made with the most expensive fabric of the outfit, luckily I only needed a yard. I bought it off Ebay, a beautiful gold/silver brocade. I finished the outfit with a mini tophat made using McCall’s 6975 (view F), that I decorated using some trim and bow I had on hand. It’s holding on my head thanks to 2 hair clips I tacked under the rim.
We still had the occasion to wear our outfits that weekend, despite the convention cancellation, as it coincided with the airing of the first episode of the new series and the new Doctor! We had tickets to see the episode at the cinema the Saturday evening, and we had a blast chatting with fellow Whovians and cosplayers!
Don’t we make the cutest geeky couple? ❤
All in all, it wasn’t a completely wasted weekend, but the aftertaste of the last-minute cancellation will last for a while.
And this was the story of The Convention That Never Was…