It’s Smaller on the Outside

(Or, Kitty makes a TARDIS-inspired corset)

As promised, here is the TARDIS corset, a la Felix & Kitty.

Felix and Kitty are newcomers to the Doctor Who phenomenon.  And Kitty is a newcomer to just about anything from the 20th century onwards, being a technophobe and general crank regarding all things Pop Culture.  But who doesn’t like the idea of a stark barking mad man in a box that can take you anywhere (and anywhen)?

There’s something about the dramatic blue-and-white-and-black lines of the TARDIS that immediately made Kitty think of corsets.  While a corset can’t transport you in space and time, at least it CAN make you smaller on the outside!

The Materials

First, you’ve got to have the right blue.  Murphy’s Law of Textiles says that the moment you start looking for a particular colour of fabric, it instantly vanishes from the universe, or at least the local fabric stores.  But Felix & Kitty’s usual flannel-backed satin in royal blue was close enough for now.

It’s a bit shiny for wood, so next time, Kitty might try a blue suede.  But it gives you the general idea of police box blue.

Next, the windows.  Any old plain white material might do, but where’s the fun in that?  Kitty has found that many character-inspired costume wearables have a tendency to look cartoonish or cheap; she thinks it’s partly due to overly graphic blocks of plain materials.  Subtly textured fabrics add depth and richness, which the brain subconsciously interprets as “real.”  So she went with this white check material with silver lines and dots.  It suggests windowpanes without being too literal about it, and adds lovely visual complexity.

Finally, the framework.  No, police boxes don’t have black trim running down their length, but this corset needed a strong vertical accent and a contrast colour to make the blue and white pop properly.  Good design sometimes means taking liberties.  Kitty chose this black velvet ribbon to add yet another layer of texture.

The Finished TARDIS corset

And here’s Amelia in the completed corset.  In the background, you see the Wall of 1001 Corsets, aka Felix & Kitty’s living room.

Kitty stuck with the usual front-laced closure, and she thinks it doesn’t interfere with the general TARDIS-ish quality of the corset.  But it could be made with a solid closed front if you didn’t mind needing minions to do up the back for you.  Or a busk, if you were willing to deal with the many fussy issues that accompanies a busk.  Or even a super-heavy-duty upholstery-weight zipper, which Kitty wouldn’t normally recommend, but which really does go well with this look (but only if you were willing to follow the rules regarding zipped corsets).

Kitty intends to make one for herself for the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, and maybe a few more in popular sizes if she can squeeze out the time.  These things are a labour of love – they’re very time-consuming to make!

This is because you can’t just slap on rectangles for the “windows” over the bust area; they need to navigate the 3-dimensional curve of the breast, so each window panel must be carefully cut and shaped differently for each cup size and shape.  Trust Kitty – if you just try the rectangle trick, you’ll look like you’re wearing placards stuck to your bosom.  She speaks with the voice of experience, having tried to cover her bountiful tracts of chest real estate with puny flat rectangles during her first attempt.  No, you don’t get to see that, unless you bribe her with puppies and kittens.

NEXT TIME: The trumpet skirt (is it worth developing, or should Kitty stick to pre-Edwardian designs?)

P.S.: If you think you might want one of these corsets for yourself, email us.  If you want one at CCEE, give Kitty as much notice as you can, because, as mentioned, these things take a bit of extra fiddling (no one wants windows that don’t fit right over the girls!). 

One thought on “It’s Smaller on the Outside

Leave a Reply