"Missy - Magician's Familiar / Witch's Apprentice" Costume Breakdown

Please note: This breakdown deals specifically with Missy's S9 rig, which is different from her purple rig of S8. If you're looking to re-create Missy's rig from Dark Water / Death In Heaven, go here.

Looking for images? Visit my MF/WA Pinterest Board - many images and some suggestions for fabric and accessories.


- Similar to but not the same as the S8 rig. The most significant differences are the trimming of the jacket (and now the skirt), a change to the jacket sleeve, the cameo brooch is different and she's ditched the hat.

About the color of the suit: The fabric seems like a brighter shade of purple this time around, although please be careful when reviewing photos online, as color balances can vary wildly. There's a set of photos published by the Daily Mail that I'm quite certain are over-saturated and over-exposed, resulting in a purple that looks quite different from other pictures out there. The costume in those photos seems much brighter, almost violet, as compared to other sources. Always look at a range of pictures - on several devices, if possible - when making decisions about color. I would pay good money (um, relative to what I have) for a picture of either of Missy's rigs with a grey-scale card held up beside it. Then we could get a good idea of the 'real' color...

The Jacket

- The fabric is wool melton, which is WARM and EXPENSIVE. Gaberdine is a much cheaper alternative, imho. But spend the money on wool - don't cheap out with polyester as it won't look nearly as good (voice of experience).

- The fit is little looser than the S8 jacket - but only below the waist. Presumably this is to allow easier movement. The jacket remains very closely fitted above the waist. (For pattern drafters: I added only 1" ease to my bodice block instead of the usual 2" for a jacket, nor did I drop the armscye - also contra to usual jacket drafting practices. I did that last time and I feel the jacket was too loose in both areas.)

- Large vertical dart in front, but a princess seam in back. Again.

- Unlike S8, this jacket has a center back seam.

- There is a back vent to the jacket.

- NEW: I've been forced to revise my opinion of the jacket's compnonent's. I now believe it's based off a standard “three piece jacket” style, which actually makes things easier, whether you're looking to adapt a commercial pattern to fit, or drafting from scratch.

- The pockets are probably functional, but I've not yet seen them in use.

- The opening for the pocket fits in between the front dart and the seam for the side panel. The braid outlining the pockets' opening seems to match the trim on the collar/outer edges of the jacket. It runs slightly over the front dart, but stops at the side seam.

- Once again, the sleeves are fitted closely, but this time, the sleeve has vented cuff. The cuff is functional (not closed with hidden snaps). If you zoom in on this picture and look closely, you can see the buttonholes on the cuff - one of which is buttoned. I strongly suspect this is a one-part sleeve with a cuff attached to it, the seam hidden beneath the lace trim on the sleeve.

- The sleeve cuffs have three buttons each, and it looks like they match the buttons on the jacket front.

- The sleeve cuff is embellished with trim very similar to what was on the jacket in S8. Suspicously so. Looks like it's 5/8” or 3/4” wide.

- The sleeve cap is raised, to create the “pouf” at the shoulders.

- Below the waist, the jacket flares out - more than it did in S8 - to allow easier movement and room for the skirt and petticoat.

- On the S8 jacket, the front buttons were not functional and the jacket was closed with hidden snaps. I wouldn't be surprised if the same were true, again.

- There are five buttons on the jacket front. So that means the jacket uses eleven buttons, total.

- The buttons look like glass. In S8, they looked like antique mourning buttons but, this time around, they look more like something modern but in a similar style. Use “Czech glass buttons” as your search term. If anyone has an up-close image of the newer buttons, please let me know!

- The trim on the jacket is much plainer than S8. It looks almost like plain bias tape, but heavier weight than the stuff you buy at the store. In close-ups of the jacket, you can see where it was folded under itself to turn the corners on the collar. I'm looking at cotton twill tape and some other possibilities. I'm not certain, but it looks like the trim is applied as an edge binding - it wraps around the edge of the jacket.

The Blouse

- Not much change from S8, imho. Many of the notes below are recycled from that breakdown. If it ain't broke...

- Fitted shirt - not too baggy as that would just be uncomfortable under the jacket.

- I have done my best to reproduce the pattern of the S8 shirt, and you can buy yardage for it here. You can read more about how I came to the design on that page. UPDATE: Looking at more (better) photos, I think the blouse fabric is different and now it's a plain tan/white stripe. That'll make life easier for a lot of us.

- The shirt does not have detached plackets (strips of fabric for the buttons and buttonholes which are cut separately and sewn onto the body of the garment). Instead, the center front is extended, folded under and stitched down.

- The front yoke of the blouse is cut on the bias – which is a fancy way of saying that the stripes are diagonal to the verticals on the body of the shirt. This is the case ONLY for the front yoke.

- In S8, the back yoke of the shirt is cut on the grain and comes to a point at the center. Yet to see confirmation of how the S9 shirt is cut.

- The “gather ratio” on the bodice part of the blouse is around 1.5 to 1 and probably not more than 2:1. Make a “gather gauge” with your fabric to determine what works best for you.

- The buttons are probably ½” across. Two holes, not four.

- The collar is a Peter Pan type with a 1” stand. It’s probably a detachable collar, judging by the center front closure. (Update: I'm more and more convinced that the S9 shirt features a fully detachable collar)

- The collar does NOT meet at the top center front. There is enough of a “spread” so that the brooch is not obscured.

- The collar is white, not off-white.

- The sleeve is cut wide enough to require gathering into the cuff.

- The cuff fabric matches the blouse body.

- The stripes on the cuff run perpendicular to the sleeve opening (not parallel).

- In S8, the shirt's cuff was very long (compared to modern shirts). It's 24 or 25 dark stripes "long" (what do you mean, I'm obsessive?). It reached nearly halfway up the actor's forearm. I'm seeking set photos of the shirt in S9 without the jacket over it, but haven't found any yet.

The Skirt

- Again, similar to S8, but not quite.

- Although styled after a “walking skirt” of the Edwardian period, it's a simple gored-panel skirt. As I have yet to see any shots of the ensemble without the jacket, I can't make a guess as to how much fabric is eased into the waist.

- There are four panels to the skirt: front, two sides, back. Presumably there is a zipper in one of those seams, hidden under the pleats. The side panels seem a bit fuller than they were in S8, I think - again, probably to allow better freedom of movement.

- This skirt is longer than S8's version, imho. Cut it to a half-inch above your ankles. (Don't forget to allow for the fullness of your petticoats when calculating your skirt length.)

- There is at least one petticoat beneath the skirt (you can see it in some set photos).

- There are pleats about 1" deep on the front AND the back of the skirt. They don't seem to "line up" with the darts of the jacket as closely as the S8 rig did, so I wouldn't stay up at night worrying about that (phew!).

The right-front pleat (as you wear the skirt) is decorated with some braided trim that looks suspiciously like the silk braid that decorated the S8 jacket. Suspiciously so.

The Boots

- Almost knee-high Victorian-style boots - there are some pictures on my Pinterest board where Michelle Gomez has hiked her skirts up to climb some stairs, so we finally get a good view of them! Black leather. It's not clear if they're the same boots from S8.

- The heel is somewhat more built-up than the “kitten” heel you see on some costume boots. Somewhat like a "Louis" heel, but shoes aren't my strong point.

Other Accessories

- The brooch has changed. No longer is it a late 19th-century antique. It's a right-facing (as you look at it) female figure on an amber/light brown background. Good-enough look-alikes are all over Etsy and eBay.

- Missy is wearing a Vortex Manipulator. I suspect they re-used a prop built for John Barrowman, because it looks HUGE on Michelle Gomez (she's five-foot-three and probably not more than 105lbs, soaking wet). You could buy the to-scale Rubbertoe Replica (very expensive) or pick up the kids' toy version, which is smaller, but also much cheaper.

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