Monday 20 April 2020

Kezzie's Clara Cosplay

My good blogging friend Kezzie wanted a blouse like Clara's. I looked this up - and discovered this "The orange Shalex Eye Blouse is the rarest of all Clara items. It literally does not exist. There is a wine red version of this exact shirt around, but ... I know only three cosplayers who own it. Then there is a wine red dress with the same pattern available, but guess what – it’s as rare as the shirt version...The chances of finding this one are very, very slim. During my two years of collecting Clara items, I’ve seen two wine red alts sell and no more" 
Clever Kezzie managed to find the red dress. Could I turn it into the shirt? Eek!
The dress has a lowish round neck, and a zip. The shirt has a collar, button band, patch pockets, epaulettes and rolled up sleeves.
My first move was to find a collar pattern in my pattern drawer, and make a practice 'toile' in scrap cotton. The pattern was borrowed in the 1980s from Janet - who has been married for 30 years, and retired last year! I have now sent it back to her with grovelling apologies.**
The collar had to be in two pieces [because of the zip] and each piece needed front back, and a two sided collar band.
That took quite a lot of material. There was no way that it would be possible to make a collar with an open neck.I cut as carefully as I could, but the short was then only 21" long. I'd have liked to have made it longer- Kezzie is tall! 
I managed to cut two rectangles for pocket shams, and two pocket flaps. I pinned these on to the blouse - I wasn't sure if Kezzie would actually want them - and anyway, placement of breast pockets is difficult- its best if you put on the garment and work out where they look best.

One tiny piece left - I decided to send that back to Kezzie. There really wasn't enough for epaulettes. I made a false button band by top stitching two tiny pleats down the front.
And I used some of the left over lining fabric to add a band round the hips, making to top a good inch longer. Kezzie should be able to tuck it in at the waist.
The fabric was horrid to work with, very slippy and prone to fraying. I rolled the sleeves and tacked them, to keep them in place. And I finished the bottom edge of the collar with binding, and handstitched it in place- Kezzie can easily remove it if she wishes and just have the round neck.

Finished shirt. You can just see the loosely pinned pockets. I do hope Kezzie likes it. She sent me a beautiful dress in exchange for doing the sewing, which is really kind of her. [Thank you K] It was a wonderful lockdown challenge.
**Janet was in India in January and bought some fabric back - she said she was wondering if I still had the pattern!


  1. It looks amazing Ang! Thank you so much! I'm amazed you did it so quickly!!! I thought it would take ages and you'd have lots of other things to do first.
    I KNEW the material would be an awful pest to cut- it just had that look of "I will fray and be really slippery!" to it. I really am grateful that you were able to do this for me!

    I hope that the dress does fit (I wanted to send you the dress anyway, but as I was searching through my cosplay box for something, I remembered the dress/shirt and thought I'd cheekily kill two birds with one stone- or at least send two dresses with one parcel!). Thank you so much!xx

  2. The dress is beautiful (see Here and fits really well. I love it. It was only after I agreed to do the Clara dress/shirt I realised how very rare it is!

    1. Oooh, I am SOOOOOO delighted to see it fits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hurrah!!!
      Yes,it really is super rare! I couldn't believe my luck when I found the lovely red dress version on eBay (£17 I think it cost me- considering someone else paid £210 for the red wine shirt version on Depop last year, I thought I had a bargain!)

  3. Replies
    1. Clara Oswald was a character in Dr Who, accompanying Dr's 11 & 12(Matt Smith & Peter Capaldi) She was in the series for 5 years, and played by the actress Jenna Coleman (who played Young Victoria)

    2. That explains it, thanks. Not a Dr Who fan.


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