Item: Custom-Made Medieval Dress
Appearance: Robot of Sherwood
Combined With: Kurt Geiger Selina Shoes, Topshop Embossed Section Headband, Topshop Mixed Finger Midi Rings, Topshop Mixed Stud Outlaw Wing Earrings.
As you already know, I occasionally like to make things myself and I figured that this dress would be a relatively easy thing to do before getting started on the Deep Breath dress one day. Even if you’re only a beginner, this dress is most definitely doable.
For the pattern, I used Simplicity 1137 which is a nice, easy pattern with which you can recreate the look of the RoS dress even though it’s not entirely SA. For example, the lacing in the front of my dress is only for looks but not actually functional. If you want yours to be functional, the easy solution is to cut the front bit in two. I also took some freedom with the sleeves because the pattern provides either Clara’s long, loose, open sleeves or the tight ones. You can take both from this pattern and simply layer them and, dear God, that was by far the most complicated bit of the entire dress because I couldn’t figure out for ages how to layer them properly so everything is the right way around and where it should be XD Clara’s sleeves are lined with silver, so you need to cut the lower part of the sleeves twice, once for the outer fabric and once for the silver part.
Now, Clara’s dress is made out of an amazing fabric that has marvellous details on her skirt and I knew that I would never be able to a) find and b) afford this fabric, so once again, I went for the cheapest option: panne velvet. If you can afford real, red velvet, DO IT. It looks a lot better and isn’t quite as messy to work with as panne velvet, but since my budget was limited, it was the £2 panne velvet for me. I got all of my supplies from the same German online craft shop, but I’m sure there are international alternatives that I don’t really know about. One day, when I earn a lot of money, I will most likely make this dress again out of real velvet because it’s such a gorgeous cosplay piece and many cosplayers have done an amazing job on their dresses. For me, I mainly wanted it to be cheap and easy to do because I’m still in the learning process when it comes to sewing.
If you’re a complete newbie to sewing, I think this dress could be a good first piece to try and see if that hobby is something for you. The pattern is simple and easy to understand and panne velvet is one of the cheapest fabrics you can find out there, so there’s not much you can lose by attempting this wonderful item from Clara’s wardrobe. My very first sewing object was the Bellatrix dress from the 5th Harry Potter movie and that was a lot more complicated than this one.
When you buy the eyelets, make sure you buy the high-quality ones. I bought the cheapest I could find and ended up using some I had left over from previous projects after not being able to get the others to hold. I was hammering on them for hours and nothing happened and then I gave up and searched for some old ones. That is why my dress doesn’t have more eyelets than the one Clara wears.
Let me give you a quick overview:
Material Costs: 67,36 Euros
Time: approx. 12 hours
You can add another £7 or so for the pattern, but I already had that because I used it to make a Sansa Stark dress.
As you can see, the cheapest option with panne velvet doesn’t have to be expensive at all. In fact, the most expensive part of this dress wasn’t the fabric but all the other details like edging and cord. If you’re willing to spend more, you can get a more screen accurate dress, but if you’re on a budget and just want a cosplay that Whovians will most definitely recognize, this is it.
And I can’t stress enough that even if you’re absolutely new to sewing, this is a good piece to start with. It’s a simple pattern and panne velvet is so cheap that you can easily order enough to make two dresses (panne velvet is roughly £2/metre) in case the first one doesn’t look like you expected it to.
This is my result: