Repurposing Costumes – My River Song “Melody Malone” Dress

This is the last of the Gallifrey One posts.  For this costume I actually did very little work, but was able to re-use something I had made previously.

River Song as Melody Malone, Doctor Who, "The Angels Take Manhattan."  Copyright BBC TV.

River Song as Melody Malone, Doctor Who, “The Angels Take Manhattan.” Copyright BBC TV.

I’ll be honest.  I REALLY didn’t want to make another outfit for this con.  I knew that it was unlikely that I would have a lot of other places to wear a lot of Doctor Who outfits, and so I tried to find something that I could reuse for the masquerade.  Originally I had planned to wear my #4 knitted bustle outfit, but after Glynnis decided to do #5 as 18th century, I thought about doing a companion instead, to round out the different variety of outfits.  It was Arte who suggested I do a River Song costume.  I had previously redone my 1906 dress from Costume Con into an 1890’s dress and decided that might work.

 

First incarnation of the dress, 1906 style.  Note my "Free Mr. Bates" button.

First incarnation of the dress, 1906 style. Note my “Free Mr. Bates” button.

Then I lost 30 lbs. and the dress looked crappy to begin with, so I did a new bodice, in velvet:

Second incarnation of the dress, 1890's style, with Steampunk hair.

Second incarnation of the dress, 1890’s style, with Steampunk hair.

Arte suggested I do the “Melody Malone” version of River Song from “The Angels Take Manhattan” episode of Doctor Who, because she has a sparkly beaded black dress in it:

Sparkly beaded black dress.  "The Angels Take Manhattan," Doctor Who.  Copyright BBC TV

Sparkly beaded black dress. “The Angels Take Manhattan,” Doctor Who. Copyright BBC TV

I figured with my sparkly skirt and beaded bodice it was a close-enough interpretation of the Melody Malone dress.  (Although later on someone did ask me if I was dressed as The Master…)

However, I did need to add in some of the accessory pieces to get the whole image across.  First was the fedora, which I was able to borrow from my friend Jess.  Second was the trench coat.

I considered going to a thrift store and purchasing one when I noticed that we had one in our front hall closet that I couldn’t remember ever seeing my husband wear.  Turns out it used to be my father in law’s coat, and my husband is a different size than his father, so he said I could have it.  A 25 year old Pierre Cardin trench coat.

First thing I did was cut off the bottom.

Hat and capelet complete.

Hat and capelet complete.

I pinned the lining to the jacket and cut it at capelet length.  Then I opened the sleeve seams and sewed them to the sides.  I stitched the lining and the outer fabric together at the bottom, serged them, and folded them up and stitched down a hem.  I left the capelet angled at the bottom because I liked the way it looked, and it fit better on the shoulder.

Back view!

Back view!

Then I ironed on a huge pair of lips (River Song is known for her lipstick) and wrote “Hello Sweetie!” (her trademark saying) in Sharpie.

Close-up!

Close-up!

The Sharpie was not dark enough to be seen from the stage, but the lips were, and people laughed when they saw them.  I wore the outfit out onto stage, took off the hat and capelet and draped it over my shoulder as I walked, so people could see the dress.  The whole effect worked well, and people “got” who I was supposed to be.

I will probably go over the writing with a darker marker at some point, but otherwise I am happy with the capelet and the outfit.  It turned out so well with such little effort that I am considering making more capelets out of jackets, but perhaps with better finishing techniques…

It works well for a chilly Weeping Angel too!

It works well for a chilly Weeping Angel too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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