I love Doctor Who, and my daughter and I have made a ritual out of watching it together on the nights her father works late. When Halloween came around this year I asked if I could try to make her a Doctor Who costume she would actually want to wear. Perhaps thinking that her mom wasn’t up to the challenge, she agreed to let me have a go.
I knew that whatever I created needed to be cute and girly so it had to be a dress. I created a couple of sketches first, and after getting consensus from her, I went about creating my design.
I lucked out at the fabric store and found the perfect Tardis blue for a dress, and I picked up a pattern for a basic dress for a little girl with a twirly skirt. I also decided that the girly Tardis needed some sparkle so I picked up a glitter tulle as well.
I first made the dress according to the pattern. Then I measured and split the bodice of the dress into two portions to create the windows. I used a remnant white fabric behind the glitter tulle to create the squares for the windows, and then I used seam binding tape to create the look of the window frames.
I knew how I wanted the black part of the Tardis to look on the dress, and so I created a basic tube of fabric, ironed it flat and pinned it on the dress so that it draped just enough around her arms so that she could move.
The next step managed to be the easiest and the hardest part of the whole thing. I was super happy with the direction the costume was moving in, and was striving for total perfection. Well, you know how that goes. I used iron on transfer fabric for both the sign on the front of the Tardis and the Police Public Call Box text that goes around the top. The sign was super easy and it looked great. The iron transfer for darker fabrics – just plain harder to use. I couldn’t get it to print correctly, and then I couldn’t get it to peel off correctly – and I was down to the wire. The costume dance at her school was the next night. This needed to work, but I was too upset to concentrate on making it work.
Thank goodness for my family! My husband stepped up and helped me peel the paper off, and when I was concerned that I messed everything up by not centering it correctly, my daughter gave me a big hug and told me it was perfect. She also made me a sign (inspired by a motivational speaker that tours elementary schools) that said. “never give up, encourage others, do your best” which I have hanging up at work now. See, she really is bigger on the inside.
After all that, it was left was to figure out how to make the light on the top of the Tardis. Using an old black headband, a square of glitter foam board, an empty tupperware container, and blue bias tape we created a cute fascinator for her. I used the same fabric as I had used to create the windows and just eyeballed where to glue the bias tape. We glued the bottom of the tupperware container to the headband, and then we were able to put a light inside the top and screw it onto the headband to complete the look.
We decided to make a special Trick or Treat bag for her to go with the costume, and my daughter helped me design it. We used the last of that super frustrating iron on transfer paper and we loved the overall results.
Reactions ranged from the “aww… you’re a police call box” from the Doctor Who uninitiated, to huge fan reaction from our fellow Whoovians. My favorites were reactions from other kids including a loud whoop from across the street by a kid who came running over to talk to me and and my daughter about who our favorite Doctor was and why the 9th Doctor was the absolute best, and a fifth grader at the costume dance who had made her own Doctor Who inspired costume who loved learning about how I made the Tardis dress.
This ranks in the top of all the costumes I have made for her – hope you like!