Inside the recycled prom dress-turned-TARDIS

January 29 | Guest post by Jax

You may have seen this TARDIS dress gone viral, but did you know it was the brainchild of Offbeat BrideturnedHomie, Jax for her friend Sasha!? Here's the story behind the dress…

Photo by Nenita Hiller
Photo by Nenita Hiller

My best friend Sasha HATED her prom dress. She had been pushed to go to prom by her friend and after a visit to David's Bridal she ended up with the blue dress that her mother liked instead of the red dress that she had wanted.

Years later, I was trying to find a dress for Sasha to use as the base of a Victorian Steampunk costume, and she brought up her old prom dress, which sounded like it'd be perfect. The dress arrived at my house and then came to live in my husband's closet until the day when Sasha decided she wanted to be a DALEK.

I told Sasha I would help her with whatever she wanted but when she did realize the dress was already blue, she could just be a TARDIS. Her face lit up.

This was definitely possible.

So while staring at the dress and its original design we realized it had all this extra fabric just crossing over her front. She split the seam and removed the brooch to reveal what would become the inside of the TARDIS.

Screen shot 2013-01-29 at 10.18.47 AM

Windows were constructed from ribbon, felt, and ironing hem tape. The Pull to Open sign was a dark t-shirt transfer. The interior was a drop cloth from Home Depot, laundered and washed with a light gold color. My husband, Andy, drew the interior and coached Sasha on how to color it in with a paint by number technique. When the painting was done and dry, Sasha transfused it into the dress with the edges hemmed.

DSC02685A few accessories like The Who British Flag Chuck Taylors and a key necklace, a Police Box choker and a light up tiara to mimic the top of the TARDIS, she was a complete princess.

We took the dress to Boston's SciFi Fantasy convention Arisia and were overwhelmed by the response to the dress. People loved the dress with the "door" closed but as soon as she opened the "door" their jaws dropped. After the convention we found an image by photographer Nenita Hiller on Tumblr. It had already been seen by thousands of people on Tumblr before heading to io9.com and eventually BBC America.

Now she loves her prom dress. Who wouldn't?

Jax as ? and ? as the TARDIS.
Jax and Sasha at Arisia.

If you have a dress from your prom or a bridesmaid dress just sitting in your closet, taking up space, consider donating it or transforming it into something that will make you happy. Just consider the base color and go crazy. You are only limited by your imagination and the cord on your glue gun.

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  1. This gorgeous dress going viral has made me SO EFFING HOMESICK, as I moved to England this past fall after nearly six years of living in Somerville, and was kind of mopey earlier this month knowing I would be missing my first Arisia in years. I even told people that weekend about all the crazy awesome Doctor Who shenanigans I've seen take place in prior years.

    Congrats on an amazing job, and woot for Arisia! 😀

    3 agree
  2. Its amazing! and so cool to read the story behind it, my sister and I have been drowling over this on pinterest for days!

    5 agree
  3. I wore that same dress in a wedding 2 years ago. I hated it so much… more fabric than a girl knows what to do with! But now I'm seeing some great potential in that random expanse of yardage.

  4. And Offbeat Home&Life is where we get the story. This is why I love the Empire!

    14 agree
  5. WOW I am so impressed (especially by the art on the "inside"!). Plus I am in love with Dr. Who. Imagination rules!

    2 agree
  6. ok, guys: i dont know what this means. i dont know who doctor who is, or what a tardis is, or any of it… can i get a brief synopsis/explanation? i need to start to understand all these references to doctor who and this dress just tears it! i need to know to understand this cool dress.

  7. I was at this con! That dress was awesomesauce! There were a lot of amazing costumes, including a K9! I love Arisia, last year there was a Stormtrooper cake that was fairly popular on reddit and such.

    1 agrees
    • I think one of my favorite Arisia costumes was a pair of extremely well done, really bad ass, scary Predator get ups a few years ago, first year at the newest hotel. I just about died laughing when I saw them flumoxed by the escalators because their feet and gear were a little too big to just step on. Have you seen the life size Dalek roaming around?

      • I did! Apparently one of the parties managed to rig up an air conditioner unit and dressed it up like a portal too.

        1 agrees
  8. How awesome is this? When I saw this over on Geekologie, I thought, wow – that seems like something the Offbeat crowd would enjoy. Seems I was more than correct! Ha ha!

    Awesome job!

    1 agrees
  9. Love the dress, love the accessories even more. I have a tardis dress and just didn't know what shoes to wear (british flag chuck taylors, duh!!) and what kind of headpiece. I LOVE IT!!

  10. I showed this to my boyfriend a while ago! So awesome! I love the internet for showing me things like this.

    1 agrees
  11. Have y' all considered submitting this for the World of Wearable Art show in new Zealand??? Something quite similar won a few years back and I have participated in it as a designer twice now!! Highly recommended.

  12. Any link to a picture of the original dress? I'ld love to see the transformation. I saw her at Arisia and was thrilled by her dress

    1 agrees
  13. This dress is BRILLIANT!!!! And Sasha, you look absolutely stunning in it!

    1 agrees
  14. I love Arisia!!! 3years and counting. My husband has been going since he was an infant. There are always so many cool costumes there. I saw this girl all over the con in this dress and never knew it had the Tardis inside until I saw the pictures online. LOVE IT!

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