Vince Noir (Zooniverse Jacket) - The Mighty Boosh


London MCM Expo October 2008

Best Performance at London Expo October 2008 (Sunday)


I originally had planned to make Eilidh a Zooniverse jacket (and a matching one for me too) as a surprise present for her birthday in November, which was particularly appropriate since she was going to see the Boosh live show then. However, it turned out that there was to be a signing at Zavvi in Glasgow on the 13th September, so I got the bug to make the jackets then, with about a week’s notice. I still tried to keep it a secret from Eli, and although she was with me when I bought the pattern and fabric, miraculously she didn’t twig what I was up to!

The fabric is a lovely cotton drill. On researching the jackets (by going insane taking screenshots) I discovered that shirt patterns were the closest thing to them, McCall’s patterns were on sale, so I got 4518, which was very helpful and didn’t involve any difficult alterations.

I took care with the details, such as the correct double zips and the poppers on the cuffs. The breast pockets also have functioning snaps closures, and I learnt how to make welt pockets especially for this project. Overall I’m very pleased with the construction; I tried to make them as professional as I could, particularly since it’s normal clothing. All the seams are either French seams or raw edges are overlocked, and I did my best to neatly topstitch.

The basic jackets didn’t present any real problems; what was more challenging was all the stuff on Vince’s jacket and the Zooniverse patches. I’m pleased with the patches - I started by scanning in the image of one in the dvd booklet. However, the patch in that photo is worn, the colours were uneven and it was also at an angle, so a lot of tidying up was involved in Photoshop, and because I’m rubbish, also by printing it off, drawing on it by hand, then scanning it back in again… I got a decent image in the end though, and printed that off as a t-shirt transfer, ironed it on to fabric, which was then appliquéd to the sleeves by machine embroidering around the edges.

Vince’s skull patch was done similarly - using a blown-up screenshot as far as possible, then my own sketching to tidy it up. It was ironed on to felt for a more patch-like effect. Luckily, the Kiss Army patch was a far easier project - although I didn’t manage to buy one, I easily got a good image of one to make into a transfer.

The silver trim on the pockets is tricot lamé (it was a pain figuring out how to incorporate that into the welt pockets) and the “Noir” was cut out from the same fabric, and ironed on using Bondaweb. The other detail is simply studs on the shoulders, chains, safety pins, and the ring off a keychain hanging from the zip.

The badges were the things that annoyed me most. When I was little, I had a badge making kit. Do these exist for children today? No, not really. I only found a couple online in the end, for about £20, and they didn’t even make badges the right size 0_o I was not impressed. I nearly resorted to sticking my designs over existing badges, but managed something slightly better with t-shirt transfers ironed on to fabric, then stretched over self-cover buttons. It might have been a roundabout route, but I think it was the next best thing to real badges. The “pop” one was easy to create, and I scanned the photo from the book to get a clear of the Johnny Rotten one. Otherwise, I relied on screenshots cleaned up as best as I could.

We had an excellent time wearing these to the book launch, where the cast were awesome enough to sign the jackets for us!

For London Expo, we wore the jackets as part of full costumes. The rest of the outfit isn’t quite so exact, but I fairly closely followed the clothes from the episode “Bollo", because those were easiest to copy. I assembled the stripy top using two dirt cheap Primark t-shirts - one giving me the fabric to make long sleeves for the other one. I had to unpick the pockets on them, hem it, also sew on a new collar. Because I was entering the craftsmanship judging, I had to have made the majority of my costume, so I made the trousers from scratch. I used a strange sort of cotton drill which is a similar colour to theirs (although the actual colour of theirs is plain weird and seemed impossible to match). I recreated all the belt loops and the welt pocket at the back, and did a lot of hand stitching for neat, invisible finishes at the hems and waistband. Finally, I made the sweatband from a red sock, and iron-on rhinestones for the design. The belt and boots are from ebay, and the watch is Ashe's

The wig took a while to find. I was having a hard time finding anything with the right brown/blonde mix, but managed to find a few from the eBay seller wigs_us. They happened to have a Sepia punky wig in the right colour, which turned out to be perfect! The fluffy style worked nicely, but it still took a looong time to cut, layer and style it. I also did a small amount of custom colouring with a brown permanent marker to alter the highlights slightly.

PinkCharlieBear posted on 14 September, 2008 - 20:11
I love the jacket, it's just so perfect! And judging by your other Vince cosplay this version will look excellent too :D [And very awesome you got your coat signed too!] I look forward to seeing it expo time!

Uni posted on 11 November, 2008 - 23:09
LOL, you guys ROCK! Great cosplays! X3

25th August 2009

Friday 12th September

Completed the last welt pocket with evil silver trim, but that was a much easier process by now. Made waistbands, sewed on the buttons, I mean, badges, added lots of safety pins, and all that was left was overlocking remaining raw edges and general tidying up. DONE in time for the signing the next day!

25th August 2009

Thursday 11th September - continued

Got the skull and badge images printed off as transfers, duly ironed on and applied. The badges are on fabric, then stretched over those self-cover buttons. Next best thing to actual badges! The designs themselves aren’t exact since I simply didn’t have a clear enough image of them (other than the simple “pop” one) so I cleaned up screenshots as best as I could. I later scanned the image of the Johnny Rotten badge from the Boosh book to make a better badge. As an aside, when I was little, I had a badge making kit. Professional badge machines cost a small fortune, so I was keen to find a kids version, which would be perfect for the four badges I needed. But do they exist for children today? No, not really. I didn’t find any in any of the shops, and I only found a couple online in the end, for about £20, and they didn’t even make badges the right size 0_o I was not impressed. Hence buttons.

25th August 2009

Thursday 11th September

Back in Glasgow with my sewing machine, and armed with more thread, I finished up two more welt pockets, including one with the nasty silver trim. Figuring out how to incorporate the trim into the pocket took 4 attempts with trial pockets, I really had a hard time getting my head round it!

25th August 2009

Wednesday 10th September

Still in Edinburgh, so unable to do much without my sewing machine. I abused my parents’ printer to test out sizes for the badge designs and skull patch, separated some chains to the right length, ironed on rhinestones (since I failed at finding studs for the shoulders - I later did) and did some more hand sewing.

25th August 2009

Tuesday 9th September

Sewed on collars and facings, and started on the welt pockets, almost completing one before I ran out of thread (again, credit to google for allowing me to learn how to make a double welt pocket) I then went to Edinburgh to go to the dentist, but took jackets and stuff with me to work on non-sewing machine bits. I put in all the snaps (12 of them) with the assistance of my dad’s mole wrench, ironed on the “Noir” with Bondaweb and did some hand sewing on the collars.

25th August 2009

Monday 8th September - continued

With the patches appliquéd, I could then set in the sleeves, sew the sleeve plackets (after learning wtf they are and how to go about sewing them thanks to google) and put on the cuffs. That was a silly amount of work, made worse by the degree of accuracy I was going for. Copying real clothing has its advantages, but it also drives me nuts copying every seam and line of topstitching… Photo is from after I finished the jackets, but the point is cuffs and sleeve plackets!

25th August 2009

Monday 8th September

Unpicking time, redid backs of jackets with correct seams (why do they each have to have differently constructed jackets? In fact, I think every single Zooniverse employee has a slightly different jacket, which is weird) Also finished up Zooniverse patches, printed them off as t-shirt transfers, ironed them on and appliquéd the patches to the sleeves.

25th August 2009

Sunday 7th September

Serious sewing time. Front and back of both jackets assembled, zips in, and breast pockets all done (including that irritating silver lamé trim). Also finished rewatching series one, discovering in the process that I’d done the backs of the jackets wrong. Nothing significant, except if you’re me and can obsess over seams.

25th August 2009

Saturday 6th September

I did nothing on jackets other than attempt to win a Kiss Army patch on ebay. I was outbid, so stole the image from the auction to use as a t-shirt transfer instead. One advantage of copying real clothing is the fabrics and accessories can be commercially available! Sadly, that was the only item I identified for sale. Here are all the patches I made

25th August 2009

Friday 5th September

Let the sewing begin! Lots of cutting out of patterns, altering of patterns, cutting of fabrics, and successful assembly of the front and back of one jacket. Then out shopping for remaining jacket ingredients. (Why do these zips cost £6.45 each?!?!?! Probably because only John Lewis sold them… Meh, accuracy…)

25th August 2009

Thursday 4th September

I went to my local fabric shop to look for fabric and get a pattern in the McCalls sale. It should be noted that the pattern is actually for Hawaiian shirts. Encountered an Ashe, potentially foiling secretness of my mission, but proceeded to buy pattern and fabric in her presence anyway. Also discover signing is in fact on the 13th. Arrrrrrgh. Didn’t do much else other than start working on Zooniverse patches by scanning in the image of one in the dvd booklet. However, the patch in that photo is worn, the colours were uneven and it was also at an angle, so a lot of tidying up was involved in Photoshop, and because I’m rubbish, also by printing it off, drawing on it by hand, then scanning it back in again… Also took more screenshots, which can be an amusing exercise when you only need images of specific things - I kept trying to get views of the cuffs. I now have a vast collection of screenshots, and I’m not entirely sure what was going on in a lot of them.

25th August 2009

Wednesday 3rd September

Ashe told me of a Boosh signing, which she claimed was either on the 17th or 19th. I thought I would have plenty time to make the jackets. Commenced research (rewatching series one whilst hammering the screenshot button) and pattern hunting online.

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