- Posted August 16, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Dragon*Con costumes and more
Whovian with Big Dreams of a Big Dress
A costumer finally makes a costume that's been on her list for quite some time - one of Reinette's (Madame de Pompadour) historical gowns from Doctor Who episode, The Girl in the Fireplace.
My name is Christine (I usually go by Tiney) and I've been a costumer for more than five years. To be honest, I haven't been keeping track of the years and I've been attending comic book/sci-fi conventions for longer than that.
I have a very long list of costumes I want to make and maybe I would catch up if I didn't keep adding more and more. One costume that's been on my list for quite some time is a gown worn by Reinette (played by Sophia Myles) in the popular Doctor Who episode, The Girl in the Fireplace. It's one of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who.
I have mulled over this costume for a long time. I make the majority of my costumes but I had never done a historical dress and I wanted it to be relatively historically accurate. Could I do it? Then the cost of such a costume would be somewhat high just because of the amount of fabric it would require. The main thing that kept me back is I'm Asian. Madame de Pompadour is so very not - she's very French and Sophia Myles is so very blonde. Not that I always stick to Asian characters or costumes, but the idea of a blonde me seemed odd. Let's not even get into the racial issues and the racists in the community, etc.
The Girl in the Fireplace was first broadcast in the UK on May 6, 2006. Six years later and I'm finally making the dress. I've actually had the fabric for at least a year now and it sat in my sewing room for a year before I cut into it.
What pushed me to finally make the dress is my husband and my friends. My husband isn't much of a costumer - he'll costume if I make him, but it's really not his thing. He was the one who first introduced me to conventions so many years ago though. He's pretty much my Doctor. He actually is a doctor, a PhD, go figure. We've been on many adventures together and he looks somewhat similar to David Tennant, so two years ago we got him a Tenth Doctor suit. So I had my Doctor even before I set out to make my dress. Like I said, this has been in the works for a long time.
Then there are my friends. I have a pack of costuming friends. We do group costumes together sometimes and we coach each other and we cry together over hard projects. This year for Dragon*Con, we are doing a group of historical ladies - specifically ladies of the 18th century. That meant I needed to get my dress done and I had no excuses. I have the fabric, I have my Doctor, and I have my group of friends to tell me to just do it. As for the Asian/Not Blonde thing. Well, that's what wigs are for and I'll be styling my own wig too.
At this time, I'm almost done. 12 yards of fabric later and the dress is done. I've been working on it off and on for the past few months. This also includes the historically accurate underwear i.e. the corset and pocket hoops. What's left are the shoes, wig, and jewelry. The shoes are almost done, I've been decorating them to match the dress and I need to add bows. The jewelry isn't overly complicated and I've made jewelry before, it's just a matter of getitng it done. Styling the wig will be a first for me so wish me luck on that.
The time for Dragon*Con is coming up real fast and there's still a lot of preparation to be done. I think it'll all work out. Good luck to everyone and see you all there!