Confession: I LOVE this episode. Billie is hilarious when she’s playing Cassandra inhabiting Rose’s body, Tennant is adorable and just stretching his legs as the new Tenth Doctor, and you have The Face of Boe and all the cat nun nurses. I love it. “It’s like living inside a bouncy castle!” So I’ve been wanting to do this cosplay since the beginning, with the added bonus that it can be worn without a JACKET unlike most of the Rose cosplays, and I needed a warmer-weather option, living in New Orleans.
Part 1: The Episode
Part 2: Sources of Info & Inspiration
This outfit is pretty easy; the only real difficult item to find is the DIESEL shirt, which is basically made of unobtainium. I think there are, maybe, four Rose cosplayers who own the real thing? Of course one of them is the amazing Jessica who runs Bad Wolf Closet, and her posts are the first stop for any Rose costume you want to put together, she’s got the best collection of IDed Rose items out there.
I also found some good photos on the LiveJournal TARDIS Wardrobe pages. These gave me a great place to start. More shirt reference photos I found, from folks who have been lucky enough to score their own ACTUAL DIESEL top (links to their pages/images embedded):
Part 3: Piecing it Together
- DIESEL Blue & Purple “inside out” top
- Black TopShop Trousers
- Atmosphere Blue/Purple Ruched Track Jacket
- Black Shoes (SA are Hobbs Boots)
The TopShop trousers weren’t too difficult to find on eBay, though I went through 2 pairs before I found a pair that was in great condition and git me properly. I snagged a NEW with tags pair on eBay UK for $38.60 including shipping. You can really use any pair of black pants with the same shape if you’re not going for strict SA, but these have a fun button/flap detail by the waist that’s distinctive, and they are COMFORTABLE. Stretchy and awesome.
The Atmosphere track jacket was harder; it’s pretty rare to find one in the SA color, which is a tricky blend of blue and purple, but it’s not super hard to find them in ALT colors and re-dye them yourself. I had trouble getting the blue/purple blend right, and it’s still not as bright as I would like, but it’s serviceable for sure, particularly considering that most of the time in this costume you’re not wearing the jacket anyway – just like the episode. I got my jacket in a dusty blue color (so the zipper was a close match) for $14.40 on eBay, which was an incredible price, since it included shipping. I probably spent about $20 on color stripper and the proper dye to change the color of this jacket.
The screen accurate Hobbs boots are really cool, but I decided to get ALTs for a few reasons: 1) I had heard that they don’t fit gals with bigger calves, which I DEFINITELY have, 2) you never actually see the full boots, which are knee-high, as she’s always wearing them under pants, and 3) they cost more than I was willing to pay (once you consider shipping from the UK), given #1 and #2. ALTs are super easy to find. They’re basically a variation on the classic Chelsea-style boot. I found a pair by Gianni Bini on eBay in my size for $23.95 including shipping, and they’re perfect.
The DIESEL shirt is by FAR the most difficult item for this cosplay. I decided early on that I wanted a replica, knowing how other DIESEL items have fit me, I figured it would be basically impossible to get the SA shirt in a size that would fit my chest. I found a lovely replica by Naomi Gibbs of WhistleBait on eBay, for $55.36. However, when I received it I discovered that it was WAY too short on me. Probably not a fault in the shirt itself, but in how it would fit me (as I suspected) regardless.
Soooo… I decided I needed to try and make my own. And by that, I mean enlist the help of friends who are way better at this
kind of thing. My friend Miss Bettie Cadaver, who made my Gamora jumpsuit, was my first choice! She was super busy during the holidays/Mardi Gras season, which was when I was working on this (planning to debut at Wizard World NOLA in January 2016), so we split up some of the work. She found a fabric, I purchased the materials and dyed the fabric, she made the pattern, ensured the fit, and put the whole thing together, and I did some finishing details like add the last patches on the top part, attach the buttons, and fuse the front together. The decision to fuse the front together was inspired by the WhistleBait version, b/c it goes on as a pullover instead of a button-up, and it doesn’t do that annoying pulling thing between the buttons that ALL you larger-busted ladies know about. I did the dyes based on RIT color info from Bad Wolf Closet, but I did have a lot of trouble. The fabric just wasn’t taking the dye as well as I wanted, everything was coming out too muted, not enough brightness or deepness to the colors – especially the most blue portion on the sleeves and the panel on the front. I’m learning more about fabric and dying very slowly, and we have some ideas for how to adjust the process to improve the accuracy of the colors, but overall the shirt was pretty damn great. This is photo of it before it was completely finished. I spent around $40 on RIT dyes (but was able to use some of them for the jacket as well), plus around $10 for the buttons and $20 for the raw fabric. These are estimates b/c I can’t find my receipts at the moment – I’ll update with more precision when I’ve weeded through my paperwork more closely.
Note: All costs include shipping & tax. Total Cost for this Costume = $127 (approximate)
Part 4: The Final Look
Part 5: Epilogue
I love this outfit! It’s so comfy!
I wore it for the first time at WizardWorld ComicCon New Orleans the second weekend of January this year, and it was great for being inside all day and NOT having to wear a coat! And even though the colors aren’t perfect, it was completely recognizable as Rose and I got a lot of compliments. I even had a chance to pose with The Face of Boe and a couple of the cat nurses (friends of mine in the Krewe du Who), which was awesome! To be fair, The Face of Boe lives in my garage. If you haven’t seen him, check out his Facebook page.
In summary, this outfit is great. Everything worked really well. Miss Bettie Cadaver and I are planning to redo the shirt, simply to get more accuracy on the colors. I think we need to switch to another fabric or do some kind of pre-treatment on it somehow to get it to take the dye more deeply. I’m no expert so I’ll be asking questions at the fabric store and scouring the Interwebs looking for tips. I’ll be sure to update when we’ve improved the process!