While she’s not exactly the Rose Tyler we’ve come to know and love, I was still excited to put together Billie Piper’s costume for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, “The Day of the Doctor”. I’ve heard her referred to as “The Moment” and “Bad Wolf”, so we’ll call her that. This costume was a departure from anything I’d done before, so it was a challenge, and the distressed elements added a DIY component that was new to me. Challenge ACCEPTED!
Part 1: The Episode
Part 2: Sources of Info & Inspiration
— Of course, Jessica over at Bad Wolf Closet has become my go-to source for all things DW cosplay. She hands-down has the most comprehensive list of IDed (and un-IDed) pieces for nearly every character from the DW reboot, and she’s an amazing Rose cosplayer herself. She’s also a fantastic resource for alts and DIY options, especially when it comes to Rose. So I started with her post on Bad Wolf.
— I decided the key pieces would be the boots, the vest, and the overdress. Those things needed to be fairly accurate, while the others could be a bit less so and you’d still “get it”. One of the hardest things about this costume is how distressed it is, and matching ALL of the various beige/tan/whiteish colors of the pieces.
Part 3: Piecing it Together
- Lace/crochet overdress (distressed)
- Tied underdress (distressed)
- (Faux) suede vest
- Slouchy buckled/strapped boots
- Black opaque tights (distressed)
- Accessories (bracelets, ring, and “hair things”)
- Arm warmers
- Contact Lenses (optional)
The first piece I acquired was the vest. I honestly hadn’t started looking for pieces for this costume yet, as my budget for costuming was limited last year (and still is). But when looking through eBay for some other things I found a vest at a good price that seemed like it would be a good approximation [link now expired], so I scooped it up for $28.79 including shipping.
So it was only later that I started really looking for more pieces. I scored a pair of slouchy buckled boots from Zappos on sale ($84.99), the Steve Madden “Brewzzer” in Stone Leather. They’re not available on Zappos anymore in that color, but here are some places you can find the style, so you can check eBay for the right color if you want them: Overstock, Heels.com, and Amazon. The thing I really like about these boots is that they have this weird kind of adjustability I’ve never seen in shoes before – it’s like they have flexible wire along the edges, so when you fold them down, they stay where you put them. But you can also straighten them back up and they stay up instead of flopping back down. Very cool. I like these boots a lot and have worn them in “real life” too.
I took a trip to the Red White & Blue thrift store and was able to find a sweater (for the arm warmers), and a long button-down shirt that was the best I thought I would be able to find to approximate the overdress. It was a great trip because I also found two “Tenth Doctor” style ties for my husband (blue & brown), and a pair of khaki shorts for my Jayne Cobb Crossplay (it’s nearing completion now!). I’m missing the receipt from this trip but I am sure the sweater wasn’t more than $3.00, and the shirt was around $5.00. So let’s estimate $10.00 total for those. If I recover the receipt in my Pile O’ Costume Stuff I will update with actual numbers.
The ring, bracelet, and hair things were all from eBay.
- Gold ring, leaf design ($8.61), still available, but currently at $15.99. (see photo)
- Multiwrap bracelet ($2.44), still available. (see photo)
- Brown leather snap bracelet ($0.36): no longer available.
- Wooden prayer bead bracelet ($2.84): no longer available.
- St. Christopher charm ($0.99): no longer available.
- Tibetan Silver Charms, 20 pieces ($3.51), currently available. This one was actually kind of a waste, as I didn’t get a lot of great charms besides the one I ended up using for this costume. I’m planning to resell these or maybe make some simple wine charms out of them…
I had an older pair of opaque black tights that already had some damage to them, so I decided to cut holes in them rather than buy a new pair.
The underdress was also an eBay find [link now expired], for $17.94. This one I just took a seam ripper and a small pair of scissors to, making some small rips along the edges and holes here and there, a couple at a time, constantly looking at reference photos from the episode as a guide to size an placement. I wasn’t going for EXACT location and size, but a general idea of the look of the thing. Distressing the lace/crocheted looking “overdress” (shirt) I found was a bit more challenging. It was much whiter than it should be, so the first thing I did was to give it a tea bath, generally following Jessica’s instructions from the Rose Tyler Costuming & Collecting FB page. I used more tea than what she called for, to get a bit of a darker color (just my preference). I also found some good tips on distressing costumes on this page.
Here are some in-progress photos of the distressing process during the tea bath on my first “overdress”. I let it swim around in there for a while on low heat, stirring all the while, then let it drip dry in my shower so I could get an idea of what it would look like when dry beforehand. I actually didn’t send it through the wash afterward, because I was afraid to wash the color out. Now that I’ve worn it a couple of times and washed it, it needs another tea bath, as its lightened up significantly in the laundry!
Note: All costs include shipping & tax. Total Cost for this Costume = $160.47 (approximate)
Part 4: The Final Look
I debuted this one at Time Fest II, hosted by Krewe du Who in summer 2014. Photos with my buddy Some Metry Guy, who cosplays as The War Doctor to my Bad Wolf. 🙂
Part 5: Epilogue
So the first iteration of the outfit worked out ok, but it DEFINITELY needed some improvements. My hair was actually too short to make it look right the first time, but on the fly there wasn’t much I could do about that, and I refuse to buy a wig for any of my Rose costumes when my hair will do just fine for basically ANY of her costumes, depending on the length. I’m stubborn that way. Other than that… on my short list of things to change after the debut of this costume:
- The Tights. They were a NO GO. They just RAN all over the place, they didn’t really have holes in them, they had streaks and it was ridiculous. There was no way to re-use them, I would’ve had to redo them each time, which is a waste of time and money, and they just didn’t look right.
- The Arm Warmers. The sweater I bought for my arm-warmers was basically falling apart once it was cut, there was nothing holding it together anymore, it sagged horribly up near my elbows, it was a mess. I was trying to hold it together with safety pins by the end of the day. Plus it wasn’t really the right color anyway, it ended up being too dark, and I wasn’t satisfied with how my arms looked. I needed a replacement for those.
- The “Dress”. My overdress needs some adjustments. I should actually sew or pin the top part together instead of having it open-necked, so it looks more like the actual dress. Unfortunately, since the shirt itself wasn’t meant to be worn that way, it’s uncomfortable when I pin it up, so I have resisted that so far.
Part 6: Update!
I made a few upgrades to the costume after the first run, and re-wore it to the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus Parade for 2015, walking with my beloved Krewe du Who. Again I met up with my buddy Some Metry Guy, who dresses as The War Doctor regularly, which makes for some great photo ops. He had built a GIANT version of The Moment box, on wheels so it could roll in the parade, and it was gorgeous.
Before the parade, I bought some decent black leggings for around $10.00 (I can’t find the receipt at the moment) at Target, and cut those up to replace the tights I hated the first time I wore this costume. I am happy to report that these worked WAY better and will be re-wearable, since they even washed well despite the dozens of holes cut in them.
I also replaced my old crappy arm warmers with some actual arm warmers. I didn’t want to deal with another cut up sweater falling apart on me, so I strayed from a more SA look and just bought some fingerless arm warmer gloves on Amazon. I got them for $10.99, and gave them a tea bath to darken them up a bit. I actually LOVE them. They are cozy and comfortable, which is great since our parade is usually in February every year. Speaking of cozy and comfortable, I bought some nice thick socks for $15.99 on Amazon to wear under my leggings (I wore them under so you couldn’t see them), to keep my feet comfy and warm on the long parade route.
I also wanted to up the awesome factor and give myself the “Bad Wolf” yellow glowing eyes. The problem? I wear glasses most of the time, and I usually wear contacts with my cosplays. So in order to see properly for the parade I would need prescription colored contacts, not an easy feat. I found some that worked for me at VampFangs.com, the Angelic Yellow FX lenses, which cost me $76.85 including prescription and shipping. Not cheap, but I can wear them over and over if I take care of them.
Since then, I have splurged on the SA AllSaints Myrine dress I found on eBay in my size. It cost me $129.27, and I haven’t finished tea-bathing or distressing it yet, but will post updated pictures when I’m done. With these changes, taking OFF the original costs of the “dress”, arm sweater warmers, but not including the socks (since they are optional), here’s the updated total cost, including the SA dress and the contact lenses:
Note: All costs include shipping & tax. Total Cost for this Costume = $377.58 (approximate)