Costuming, Doctor Who

The TARDIS Ballgown – Progress Report

I started this dress in early January, and held out til mid-February before I couldn’t keep it a secret anymore and posted it on Reddit. Yes, I am __queenofhearts on Reddit. Yes, I will provide proof if someone asks. I fell in love with Anne Louise Richards’ design months ago, and after receiving some birthday gift certificates to my favourite fabric store I decided I would challenge myself to making it.

This was my first experience making something completely pattern free that was more complicated than a petticoat. The embedded album below shows progress photos along with descriptions of the process.

As of right now, I’ve finished the petticoat (see the previous post), and the sewing has been completed. I may need to re-hem the dress now that I’ve added more crinoline to the petticoat, but I won’t know that until I’m able to get a friend to properly lace me into it. The last thing left to do is add the rhinestones to the skirt to create the stars and galaxy. I have around 3000 rhinestones for this purpose, and I’m just waiting for them to arrive in the mail. Once that’s done, I’ll be posting it on Reddit again after K takes some proper photos of me in it!

When I posted this dress on Reddit, I wasn’t expecting the response I got. I’ve had many messages and comments about making this dress to order. I have no intentions of doing that. I’m so sorry, to everyone who asked, but I just can’t. By the time I’m done adding the rhinestones I’ll have put in over 100 hours of labour into this dress. If I were to pay myself my province’s minimum wage just for that, I would be looking at $1000 in labour costs, plus the cost of fabric and embellishments. I don’t see anyone wanting to pay me over $1000 to make another dress like this (though if someone does by all means, let me know), so I don’t have any intentions of making another dress.

With that said, I have contemplating selling this TARDIS gown. I fully intend to wear it to FanExpo Vancouver on Saturday April 20th, but after that it’s up for grabs. I can’t promise I will sell it. I’ve put a lot of time, effort and money into this dress now. My plan is to suggest making an offer for the dress and it will go to the highest acceptable offer. I will have the dress cleaned and then ship it off. When I make the final post I’ll post the measurement range the dress will fit, and everyone can go from there.

In the meantime, here’s the photos again and look for more soon!

2 thoughts on “The TARDIS Ballgown – Progress Report”

  1. THIS IS AMAZING! My friend and I saw the picture on Pinterest and we fell in love with it. We can’t believe you actually made it! It’s amazing! Was is expensive to make?

    1. Thank you!! It definitely was not cheap. It started out as an inexpensive fun project just to see if I could do it, and morphed into probably the most expensive dress I’ve ever made. Satin is surprisingly not that expensive if you luck into it on sale, the netting/crinoline & the rhinestones were the killer. Even on sale, the stuff to make the skirt poofy cost as much as the satin. And of course as I went along I kept needing more things.. It CAN be done cheaper, but I’m quite the perfectionist and wanted to do every step myself. I could’ve used less fabric on the skirt, and bought a petticoat online instead of making one, and machine stitched the windows onto the corset to save time.. but I’m a ‘go big or go home’ kind of girl.

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