Costume | My Blog | Rose Tyler | Sewing | The Idiot's Lantern

Revival of the Idiot’s Lantern Dress

March 29, 2013



A few days ago, I tried on my beloved Rose Tyler-Idiot’s Lantern dress and much to my dismay, it didn’t fit me anymore. It makes me livid that I worked so hard on my dress, hand sewing each sequin onto the bodice individually, and now it doesn’t fit me anymore. In case anyone is wondering why the dress doesn’t fit me anymore, it’s quite simple: I grew taller. This is very unusual for a female my age to have a growth spurt, but it’s not unusual for my family. When I began making the dress, I thought I was done growing. Unfortunately, I was wrong and in the year after I finished making the dress I grew approximately three inches taller. Originally I thought I could rescue the bodice by adding fabric, but after working on it for a few hours, I gave up and decided I needed to completely re-do the bodice.

I decided to take this chance to make the bodice more comfortable and fit me the way I originally wanted it to fit. Although the first bodice was beautiful to look at, it felt very uncomfortable, tight, and wasn’t long enough to fit my torso correctly. (My torso was longer than the torsos the pattern was made for)

After pouring through my sewing patterns, I found New Look 6457 in my stash and quickly set to work modifying it to fit my torso’s new, longer length along with adding extra fabric onto the bottom so in case I grow even more I don’t have to remake the whole entire bodice again.

I used view A for the front panels and view E for the back panels. Here’s what the bodice looks like without the skirt on it….

The front….

Front of the new bodice without the skirt
Front of the new bodice without the skirt

And the back….

Back of new bodice without the skirt
Back of new bodice without the skirt

The satin I used for the new bodice is different than the type I used for version 1 of the dress. The new satin is thicker than the old satin, probably because the new satin is from a different fabric store than the old satin, probably meaning they came from different distributors/fabric makers. The new satin matches the old satin’s color and since I had it already sitting around in my sewing stash, it was cheaper than going to the same fabric store and buying the same old fabric. ;)

After taking the pictures above, I took the skirt off version 1 of the dress and sewed it to the bottom of the new bodice. There wasn’t anything wrong with the skirt of the dress, so I decided to re-use the skirt for version 2 of the dress.

This is what the old skirt and new bodice look like sewn together….

Dress with the skirt sewn onto the bodice

Currently, I’m working on taking in the sides and adjusting the bodice so it will fit me the way I always wanted it to. The dress does feel better and more comfortable than version 1. As for sewing sequins onto the bodice, I’m not going to hand sew each sequin onto the bodice individually like I did to version 1. Instead, I plan on using sequin trim that comes by the yard. I will probably be hand sewing the sequin trim on by hand (My sewing machine is acting very strangely so I’d rather be safe than sorry), but it won’t be so tedious as sewing each individual sequin.

And what about version 1’s bodice? I’ll still keep it, even though I’m not sure what I’ll eventually do with it. I know I do not want to sell it on a completed dress, but I won’t leave out finishing the bodice as some sort of a top, adding a skirt, and putting the whole entire outfit on my dress form. I’m still very proud of the work I did on the bodice, even though I only got to wear it once. So, I’d like to keep it as a way of encouraging myself when I feel very frazzled creatively. Maybe one day I’ll meet someone who will want the bodice, and will fit it far better than I can? Who knows! XD