TARDIS Light Fascinator / Headband

Many of you have taken a look at my TARDIS dress that I wore to DragonCon 2012 (see post here). I had so many compliments and really appreciate all the support. I was super excited with how the whole outfit came together- especially since I was under a time crunch and this was my first dress without a pattern.

Today, I’m going to share with you how I created my TARDIS fascinator. I have seen other TARDIS dresses in the past and when doing my research online, so I knew that I wanted to create a headpiece that would really complete the costume and make it instantly recognizable.

The headpiece is of course based off the light on the top of the actual TARDIS. I knew I wanted my headpiece to light up. Unfortunately, I did not have time to figure out how to make my headpiece make the noise as well, but I guess I have to leave room for some improvements in the future.

So here is my list of materials used:

  • Plastic water bottle
  • Florist Item (found at Michael’s in the florist section- not really sure what this was supposed to be but it made the perfect base for the top and bottom of the light)
  • Extra blue fabric from my dress
  • Blue pipe cleaners
  • Headband (covered in the same blue fabric from dress)
  • LED tea lights
  • Blue spray paint & RustOleum Frosted Glass spray paint

Step 1: I started by cutting the water bottle up into three parts. Cut the top off where it starts to curve up and discard the top with the mouthpiece and lid. Then cut the remaining bottle about half way up. Take the bottom half, turn it over, and fit it inside the top half. This should create a cylinder that is shorter than the original water bottle and open at only one end.

Step 2: Take apart the florist item- separating the triangular top from the circular base. You will need to discard the green florist sponge that comes inside (already done in pic) because it’s messy and disintegrates easily. Before you do, use it to cut a similar sized piece from harder florist foam as I did, or you could use Styrofoam. Then replace the original florist foam with this new piece.

Step 3: Set your tea light on top of your new foam piece in the center and draw a circle around the edge of the tea light onto the foam. Remove your tea light and cut out a shallow hole the size of the circle you drew to create a small hole for your tea light. Make sure to cut the hole smaller rather than larger so that your tea light will be secure. Then wedge your tea light into the hole of your foam.

Step 4: Time to spray paint! You will spray paint the plastic triangular top of the florist piece blue and the circular bottom blue. Make sure to spray the foam as well but take the tea light out- you don’t want a blue light! You will use the frosted glass spray paint to lightly dust the plastic bottle- it will need several light coats until you are happy with the outcome. You do not want it completely white because the light will not show through but you want it covered so that it is not clear.

Step 5: Once your pieces are all dry, start putting your light together. The top piece of your plastic bottle (the part with the open ends) will become your bottom piece and go into your foam. I used a pen to trace the outline of the bottle onto the foam, and then used a knife to cut a very thin circle into the foam. Put some glue into the foam circle and then wedge your bottle into the circle, holding it there a moment to allow the glue to dry. This will create half your light cylinder and it should be wedged tightly into the foam and glued there so it won’t move.

Then the “bottom” of the plastic bottle will become the top. Take the bottom of the bottle and place it securely inside the triangular blue plastic piece- wedging it tightly. Glue the piece in place into the triangular plastic top.

Step 6: Handily enough, the florist item I chose had 4 small holes around the edge. So I cut four lengths of blue pipe cleaners and bent each of them on one end, then I slipped them through these holes. Then I placed the other ends into the foam to secure.

EDIT: This didn’t work out great, the top got a bit “wibbly wobbly”. So I suggest something a bit more firm than pipe cleaners- perhaps use florist wire and just spraypaint it blue to match everything else.

Step 7: Once you have all your light pieces fit together, place it on top of your headband. Decide where you want it to go- I chose a bit to the side, but you could center it. Then you have two choices. 1) cover the base of your light in fabric and sew it to the bottom to the top of the headband. OR 2) Don’t bother with covering in fabric and use extra florist wire (spraypainted blue to camouflage) and wrap the base of the light tightly to the headband.

DragonCon-7

Whew! DONE!! Here is what mine looked like when done- you can see that it glows! It looks great at night.

Hope you enjoyed seeing my process. Try it yourself or let me know if you find another way! I would love to see some of your creations as well!

~The Girl

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Getting Started with a Costume

So, for my first post I thought I would share my current project. I am working on a TARDIS Dress fro Dragon*Con, the Atlanta SciFi/Fantasy, Anime, Comic….Geekery Galore Convention. This will be my third year at the convention and my first year creating a Dr. Who costume.

I debated what to make, a Dalek, Doctor Costume, possibly go as Amy Pond. But in the end I decided that a TARDIS would be both instantly recognizable and held the most inspiration for me. After scouring the internet for examples and inspirational pictures on which to base my design, I found this picture and the dress in the middle was perfect for me.

So this also happens to be my first time sewing a dress without a pattern. I am lucky enough to have a mannequin that is pretty much exactly my measurements. This is not a actual sewing dress form, but a mannequin I snagged from a high-end retail store where I used to work. They were going to throw it out (can you imagine!).

The Process

So I used a basic circle skirt for the bottom. I read and followed this great Circle Skirt How To from MADE. I found it necessary to alter the process slightly as my fabric was not wide enough to cut out the entire circle at once. Then I started  designing and cutting out the bodice for the dress, using a well fitting dress I already own as a sort of base for my pattern.

Of course, you are bound to run into problems. I actually found that my skirt ended up being WAY too big. Not really sure how that happened, but I just took out one of the four panels and ended up with a three panel circle skirt that fit.

Looking forward to sharing the finished product with you!

~The Girl