Costuming Missy from Doctor Who: Series 8

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What led to the decision to cosplay Missy from Doctor Who?  Was it wine, madness, or unrealistic expectations?  First of all, I didn’t know how to sew.  Up until that point, I hot glued or purchased every costume I had ever worn.  Missy’s psychotic Mary Poppins’ inspired Victorian/Edwardian coat and skirt isn’t something that can be purchased off the rack, nor would any imported knock-off suffice.  So I’m thinking it was mostly wine that inspired me to cosplay Missy, because I was hell bent on wearing that outfit with no idea how to make it happen.

 

Images: BBC and Doctor Who

 

Thankfully, I have a good friend who’s been sewing for 20+ years, and she offered to teach me.  I think at the time I was hoping she’d just make it for me (just take my money), but in retrospect I’m happy she didn’t.  In the course of eight months, she taught me how to select and read a pattern, purchase the proper fabric and notions, cut a pattern, cut the fabric, pin, sew, and finish with trim.  I had no problem with the accessories, so I’ve included the hat and parasol build as well, but I did those completely on my own.

 

Building the skirt and jacket

 

I kept the costume to as close to screen accuracy as my skill level and budget would allow with the following items:

Fabric – I purchased 10 yards heavy wool in eggplant color from fabric.com.  It is no longer sold on that website, but I wouldn’t recommend that heavy of fabric unless you live in Canada.  I wore mine to DragonCon in Atlanta in September and it was HOT.  I also purchased 1″ black braided gimp trim which I ran out of and can no longer find anywhere.  I had enough trim for the front and hem of the coat, but used a thinner black braided trim from Amazon (Black Gimp Braid Trim, 5/8″ X 10yd) around the collar, sleeves, and pockets.  I don’t think anyone noticed.  Most people assumed I was Mary Poppins anyway.
Patterns – For the walking skirt, I used the Butterick B5265 pattern and shortened it to show my ankles/boots.  For the jacket, I used the Simplicity 1732 pattern, view B with A sleeves.  I also made modifications to the shape of the collar and the front section to better match Missy.
Hat – I found a lovely black vintage straw boater hat from the 1940’s on Etsy.  I purchased new netting, flowers, olives, and cherries to give it new life.  I did find a hat pin made by another lady who cosplays Missy on Etsy and purchased that as well.

 

1940s straw boater hat and cameo

 

Modified and embellished hat

 

Cameo – Victorian style cameo brooch on Etsy.  I don’t think it was vintage or even a real cameo, because I bought it for less than $10!
Parasol – Black lace parasol on Amazon (Battenburg Lace Parasol), specifically one with a black handle.  I extended the tip and handle with dow rods and painted the extensions black as well.
Shoes – Simple Victorian low heel boots from Amazon (120 (9, Black) VIC-120 Granny Boot W Zipper), no modifications made.  They were actually quite comfortable!
Shirt/collar – I purchased a historical pink & white pin stripe shirt from Ladies Emporium and made no further modifications, other than adding a rounded white peter pan collar from ebay.
Contacts, makeup, and hair – I have brown eyes but wear prescription contacts, so I already owned blue contacts from other costumes.  My hair is mid-length and curly, so I purchased a long brown pony tail extension from Ulta, braided my hair into the extension at the base of my head, flipped it and pinned it up to make it look like an up-do, and pinned down the rest into curls at the top of my head.

 

Makeup and hair

 

Happy  costuming!

 

1 Comment

  1. Johanna says:

    Looks fantastic! And I always say that *anyone* can learn how to sew, given time and patience. I’m glad you learned a lot along the way. 🙂

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