First off, don’t be an idiot like me and decide to make the costume at the last possible second. While I ordered the boots, gloves and goggles a few weeks before, I didn’t actually decide to make the costume for the convention I was going until the day before.



– I’m all rumpled because I walked through Hannah to get to the con. I was never so happy to be wearing those boots.
– I still need to swap out my gloves, but I’ll get to that later.
– The wig is eating my head, but it was the only blonde wig I had on hand and the rain/wind didn’t do much for it either.
– I need to rip out the pocket and put in a new one with a proper Caduceus.
– I need to take up the hem by an inch or so and tighten the collar a bit.
– I need to properly finish my seams. Right now they’re kinda crap, but no one was flipping my hems.

Step One – I remember that there is a Villains’ Ball at this convention and decide to go for the costume after all. Fortunately I had bought the pattern (Simplicity 5386) and some decent cotton twill at Wal-Mart the week before. My accessories STILL haven’t arrived, but since I’m wearing the costume for fun, I can deal with a few pieces not-so-accurate picked up at the local hardware store.

To alter the pattern, I pinned the back yolk and back piece on the fabric fold to create a solid back piece. (Remember to account ~1″ for the seam allowances that you no longer need)

For the front, the pattern has 2 pieces for each side. I simply put together the two pieces (Again, if you use this pattern, remember to adjust your pattern for the now uneeded seam allowances) on the fold to produce the top panel (this was the only part I lined, so I needed 2 of the top panel). The under panel the front side piece plus a little extra so it went all the way to the neck line.

I ended up removing almost 3′ from the bottom of the pattern and the silly thing was still too long when completed. Then again, I’m tiny.

The neck, I just made a little longer to allow for the alight wrap and followed the pattern for the sleeves as is. The only thing I added was the little gathering belt in the back.

Step Two – Just as I sit down at my machine after pinning, the valet service slips a package slip under my door. I run down and my boots are here, hurray!

The sewing was fairly easy, but I took a short-cut on the sleeves in the interest of time. Instead of setting the sleeves in properly, I sewed the shoulder seems of the front and pack together. Then, instead of sewing up the side seams and the seam in the sleeve, I pinned the unfinished sleeve in and did that seam. Then I did the bottom sleeve seam and the side seam of the coat as one long seam. (If you have no idea WTF I’m talking about, you can read the technique here) Much easier than doing it the right way and no one ever notices unless you’re being judged on craftmanship.

Because I was rushing, I also didn’t do my button holes. I have an automatic buttonhole stitch on my sewing machine, but it takes forever to get the settings right. Instead I put in regular sew-in velcro and sewed the buttons over the top of the fabric. Honestly, no one noticed, but I’ll probably do it right before my next convention.

At this point, it was 2pm and I got another package slip, which I knew had to be the gloves and goggles. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it until after 4:30 because the valet was closed, so I decided to head out the local Wal-Mart for some paint for the goggles.

Step Three While at Wal-Mart I decided I needed a ray gun or the Wonderflonium case. I couldn’t find a good case, so I grabbed a nerf dart gun with the intention of spraying it silver.

I managed to spray paint the gun (while dodging apartment security), then picked up my packages. The goggles were the standard green PVC, but the asshole eBay seller had switched out the gloves for these hideous grey things. With no time to get new gloves, I attempted to spray paint them white, which failed miserably because a) they were fabric-ish and b) it was windy as all hell (Hannah was coming, after all).

I knew I couldn’t spray the goggles, so I took them back up to my apartment, popped out the plastic bits and sanded the body down with fine grit. Then I did them with a thick coat of matte Mod Podge. While waiting for it to dry, I sanded the logo off of my boots. The goggles then got a coat of grey acrylic paint and a coat of gunmetal silver. While that dried, I cut out my coat pocket, pinned it and then puff painted on my Caduceus.

When the goggles were good and dry, I went over them with aluminum colored acrylic with a very coarse, stiff brush. While that dried, I prepared my buttons for the extra vent and glued them on.

Then came the wig of doom. It was a mullet, but it was the only thing I had. So I grabbed my razor and just started hacking away.

At this point it was pretty late, so I just finished up my coat sleeves and did the back details.

To do the pleats in the back, I took another little shortcut. I ironed, then stay-stiched the pleats in and then sewed the belt to the back of the coat with the buttons already attached. Again, no one will notice unless they’re staring at your butt really hard.

I crashed at 10PM because I knew I had some work to do in the morning.

Step Four
First thing, I put the goggles back together and gave it a little glue to keep the edge from sliping.

Then I sewed on my pocket, double checked the fit of my coat, and then got into the rest of my clothes.

As a last step, I decided to make some Dr. Horrible campaign buttons, because I didn’t have enough work to do that morning. At least the other people enjoyed them.

And that’s the story of my somewhat accurate, 24 hour costume.

2 thoughts on “The 24 Hour Dr. Horrible Costume

  1. Nathan says:

    i just got the pattern for the coat and i need to paint the goggles and rubber boots. (because i don’t have enough money to buy fancy white boots) what paint should i use to get decent looking boots, will i need to get more fabric than the pattern says?
    and one last thing, do you have any more photos of the costume?

  2. lestopath says:

    You are truly remarkable- I cant wait to finish this-my 21 year old son asked for this costume last week and i had no clue where to start for the lab coat-

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