Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Clockwork Droid Construction: Part 1

I've finally decided to go into some detail about my Clockwork Droid costume.  The reason I never did so before is because it was very complicated, it was almost all new for me (had to construct things I never had before), and because there is a LOT to it.  I'm not even really sure where to begin ...

I made this costume way back in 2009.  My husband wanted to be the Tenth Doctor for Halloween, and I couldn't figure out what character to be.  As you probably know by now, I like to do original costumes.  Also, my husband is terrified of clowns.  Of course, the answer was simple:  Clockwork Droid!  I wanted it to be a surprise, though, so I made the entire costume in secret.  My husband had no part of any of the original construction.

Today I think I'll just start with the start of the clothing construction.  For the vest and coat, I used a blue satin lining and a black stretch velvet for the outer layer.  The pants were only the velvet, no lining.  It should be wool or other heavy material, but I have a very high sensitivity to wool (we're talking a nasty rash), so I avoid wool at all costs.  The velvet actually has a nice weight to it, but if I were to make this again, I'd use something else.  It's too shiny!  Ah, well, live and learn!

The vest, coat, and pants were constructed using Butterick #3072.  I had to alter things quite a bit because it's a men's pattern, and also because the vest in the pattern was too long. 

Vest Lining

For the cuff of the coat, I used red velvet and two types of gold trim.  I believe that all of the gold trim came from JoAnn Fabrics.  Some of it came from the upholstery section.  The entire thing was then sewn together to make a cuff.

Both the vest and coat have buttons.  Gold buttons are insanely expensive, so I hiked over to my local craft store and purchased wooden half circles and some metallic Krylon spray paint.


The coat also has a TON of extra stuff.  There's trim all down the back, the back of the arms, and the pockets.  I did make pocket flaps, but no functioning pockets (there is a pocket sewn into the lining, but it makes the whole coat droop.  Boo.)

The sleeve has a funky patch on it, too.

For the shirt, I just bought a men's white shirt at the thrift store and added cuffs.  I made the cuffs out of white flowy material (I don't actually know what this material is, sorry - it's very light weight and kind of flutters in the breeze ... Ha.)  I believe what I did was serge the bottom and then gather the top.  I then sewed it to the underside of the shirt's cuff.

I apparently didn't take a ton of pictures during the midst of construction, so here are some more finished photos of the vest and coat.  If I could do it again (which I can't because I glued it down), I would use cording for the red trim on the coat instead of this red ribbon which I ended up using.  It's the one thing I hate about the coat, and if I could take the entire collar off and redo it, I would.  Unfortunately, I had to glue a lot of stuff to both the vest and the coat, otherwise, they wouldn't sit correctly.  Oy.  I did handstitch all of the trim on the back of the coat - it was a nightmare, and I've actually ripped it and restitched it a few times.  I've remade the vest twice now (it originally attached with hooks and eyes - it now zips up.  Also, it would kind of bubble out in the middle due to the long zipper, and I actually ended up stitching in two coffee stirrers while at Dragon*Con last year - it no longer bubbles.)  I've also made the pants three times, and even now they've got a safety pin in the back because they keep slipping down.


Vest Buttons/Trim
Coat Buttons/Trim
Coffee Stirrers to the Rescue!

Coat Back

Trim on Arms


Pants Trim - A plain satin ribbon

Keep checking back - I'll post more in a few days, including the many incarnations of the mask.

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