Friday, 7 August 2015

Fabric Friday - Hide shirt

It’s Friday - so I’m back with another round of Fabric Friday.

I had forgotten I had this fabric when I was doing the original run of Fabric Fridays, so it got overlooked.

It’s about time I put things right and added to the collection.

Series 7b saw Matt Smith ’s wardrobe flourish from the relatively restrictive roster of a couple of tweed jackets, shirts and bow ties as worn at his series five debut to a plethora of shirts, bow ties and waistcoats.

Now he seemed to be wearing a new bow tie or shirt for every adventure, rarely wearing the same garment more than once.

One of the shirts that made a solo appearance was for the episode Hide.

This was the first adventure to be filmed that had Clara as the Doctor’s companion, and was the first time he wore his brand new cashmere frock coat.

The first shirt worn with it was hand-made using cloth sourced from a well known London fabric store.

The cut of the shirt was very similar to the series six shirts, with a tabbed collar.

The fabric came from McCulloch & Wallis in Dearing Street, which runs south off Oxford Street near the John Lewis department store.

Earlier this year they relocated to Poland Street on the north side of Soho, much closer to all the other fabric stores from where a lot of the cloth for Doctor Who is sourced.

It is a lightweight and very soft cotton fabric, with the design woven as opposed to printed.

Rewoven Donegal tweed - side-by-side

Last week on Fabric Friday I showed you the recently rewoven Donegal Tweed now on offer from Harrisons (the company who bought out W Bills).

I showed had although it was not totally perfect, I think it passed the distance test.

I mentioned that I was working on making a tweed jacket out of this new cloth, and would show you the results alongside my own jacket made from the screen-used fabric.

Well, true to my word here are some shots to show the two side-by-side.

The first thing I should mention is my jacket (on the left) is a chest 42, and the new jacket (on the right) is only a chest 35! So this is a like-for-like on the fabric only - the cut of the jackets will look a little different compared to each other.

The next Donegal I have to make will be a chest 44 - so from one end of the scale to the other.

Overall I think the reweave compares well, with the visual read of the fabric very close to the original.
The new fabric has a warmer shade to it, compared to the screen-used cloth, which is greener.

Getting closer, its only now the red flecks start to show up, but they are not to frequent for it to notice too dominantly.

You can’t get around that they are there, but frankly compared to a lot of other cloths I have sourced, this is by far the least intrusive available.

It’s nice to be making this jacket again, as I haven’t made one for several years.
The cut is a classic lounge jacket shape, and the cloth is a joy to work with.

I hope to be making more in the future.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Fabric Friday - Donegal tweed: REWEAVE!

This week I’m bringing back Fabric Friday!

First up is the reweaving of an old favourite.

Matt Smith’s main tweed jacket for his first season was made from a hand-woven Donegal fabric sourced at W Bills.

At the time there were two bolts of the cloth available, and both of these were used to make a number of jackets for use throughout series five.

The tweed had been woven sometime in 2007, so by the time it was used it was already a few years old.

Only 36 inches wide, the fabric quickly sold out once its notoriety as being a Doctor Who cloth became known, alongside the Shetland tweed which was used for A Christmas Carol onwards.

Unlike the Shetland tweed, which has since been rewoven no less than three times, the Donegal proved to be more troublesome.

Woven from only two colours of yarn (unlike the six used on the Shetland) finding a match for both was not as easy as it sounds. If one yarn is off, then half the design isn’t right.

When I returned to W Bills to discuss the restocking of the Donegal, I was shown some samples the weavers had produced using the available yarns. None were remotely acceptable, either being too light or too dark or simply combining to produce the wrong colour.

Ultimately W Bills gave up the quest to restock, so it fell by the wayside and has remained unavailable since.

However, once Harrisons took over W Bills, they were much more proactive at maintaining stocks of popular fabrics, and took on board the interest in the Shetland tweed, which has since been rewoven. This comes under the WEAVE 3 that I covered on a previous Fabric Friday.

I took the opportunity to talk to them about the Cashmere for Matt’s frock coat, which they researched but were unable to come up with a satisfactory result.

I also gave them a swatch of the original Donegal, and using that they have now produced a rewoven fabric, abet a close but not perfect match.
These images are directly scanned from fabric. They have then been colour-matched back to the material to give the best visual representation of the fabric.
First impressions is that the fabric is the best I have seen to date - and it is first impressions that count.

I have seen others which are close, but either use yarns that are far too thin or too thick or have an excessive number of nepps (the lumps on the yarn that give it character) in contrasting colours such as red, blue or green.

That said, this new cloth does have a few coloured nepps, but nowhere near as many as I have seen on alternative cloths.

The two yarns used are a very good match to the light coffee and dark chocolate colours in the original, though they are a little on the thick side.

I think the cloth passes the test for its overall appearance and feel, though at extreme close-up it maybe falls down a bit.

All this taken into account, I have investing in a length to see how it turns out as a jacket.

It’s nice to have the fabric available again after so many years of being out of stock.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Paul Smith shirts on eBay

Just to show they are still around if you look hard, a couple of Paul Smith series five shirts popped up on eBay recently.

After an initial listing at £145, they are both resisted with a BuyItNow of £125.

Burgundy Paul Smith PS Shirt
Size L (CHEST 42")

Item Description
Men’s Designer Scroll Stripes Shirt as Sported by Matt Smith in Dr Who
Item Brand
Paul Smith
Item Size
Label States: Large
21" from Armpit to Armpit, giving Chest Measurement of 42”
Slim Fit (Fitted Darts Sewn into Back)
34" Sleeve (Measured from Seam/Centre of Collar Base to End of Cuff)

Blue Paul Smith PS Shirt
Size L (CHEST 42")

Item Description
Men’s Designer Scroll Stripes Shirt as Sported by Matt Smith in Dr Who
Item Brand
Paul Smith
Item Size
Label States: Large
21" from Armpit to Armpit, giving Chest Measurement of 42”
Slim Fit (Fitted Darts Sewn into Back)
34" Sleeve (Measured from Seam/Centre of Collar Base to End of Cuff)

Plus, someone managed to pick up this XXL blue shirt for a snip!

Paul Smith Doctor Who Shirt

A rare original Paul Smith shirt in blue. Size is Xxl, but is slim fit so it fits a 44/46" chest fine.

Monday, 1 December 2014

How To Dress Like The Doctor -
NegaGinger YouTube channel

I recently had a request from reader for a pair of series five replica All Saints boots.
Ends up the buyer is an active VideoBlogger and has posted a number of How To Dress Like The Doctor videos on his YouTube Channel.

His latest reviews the boots! Hear what he has to say here, along with his previous videos, reposted with permission.

How To Dress Like The Doctor: Boots

How To Dress Like The Doctor

How To Dress Like The Doctor: Part 2

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Series six red braces - also ran

If you’re looking to do a series six costume, specifically as seen in The Angels Take Manhattan, then something one of my readers has sent me will be of interest to you.

The red braces worn with Matt’s G-Star RAW jeans are quite distinctive, with black leather ends to the straps on which the silver clips are attached.

The have a semi-circular flap of leather over the top of the attachment, which isn’t a common design feature.

Stacy Adams Clip On Braces Red
It would appear that Stacy Adams currently stock braces in the right colour with this design of clip.
For US$29.99 you can’t go wrong - and they are screen accurate!

Grab a set while you can!!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Custom Doctor Who codpieces

This had me in stitches this weekend - on so many levels.

I get people contacting me all the time to ask about Doctor Who costumes. Can I make them this.; how much is it for that. Some email me, others contact me through social media.

But today one came through on Google Hangout, which isn’t common. The upshot of their question was could they pop down the road to see me in Seattle Washington as they had heard about my Doctor Who costumes on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

Now, if you know a little about me you’d know I am UK based, living a little north of London and nowhere near Seattle.
The thing that did catch my ear was hearing about me on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. Had someone reviewed or name checked my work? Wow. If so I didn’t know about it and was keen to find out more.

I found their page on the net and it is a Saturday morning show on NPR Radio and WEBZ in Chicago.

On Saturday 20th September 2014 their guest was Rick Steves, a Seattle based (ah - that’s where the confusion comes from) travel journalist. As part of the show they run a comical quiz entitled Not My Job, where the guest has to answer questions about other people with similar names to their’s.
I had heard an edition where Scarlett Johansson was asked three questions about Gerry Anderson’s Captain Scarlet!

Rick was questioned about three Steve Ricks’s. One was a composer who makes mix-tapes to listen to while you’re stoned; another was a name check in a book called The Mammoth Book of Killers at Large; and yours truly!

I leave you to hear for yourself.
The fun can be found 5 minutes 50 seconds into in Not My Job: Travel Guru Rick Steves Gets Quizzed on Steve Ricks.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Day Of The Doctor shirts -
last call for screen accurate fabric!

Back in April I brought you the definitive ID on the shirt worn by Matt Smith in The Day Of The Doctor.

The shirt was sourced off-the-shelf from Budd Shirtmakers of Piccadilly Arcade in London.

This is the same establishment that has custom-made the white, long-collared shirts worn by Peter Capaldi.

I recently went back to visit them to see how things were going.

By all accounts the shirts have been flying off the shelves, both the Blue End On End shirt (as worn by Matt Smith) and and the white shirts with custom shaped collars (as worn by Peter Capaldi).

So much so the blue shirts are now running low on stock using the screen-accurate fabric.

Budds are currently looking to source a replacement fabric, but finding a 100% match for the blue has been proving difficult.

In the meantime only collar sizes 16, 16.5 and 17 are available - while stocks last!

Don’t forget, if you sign up to the Budd online newsletter you get a special discount code which will give you £20 off your first purchase.
Signup here, or on the Budd website For £20 Off your first Shirts

Personal Information

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Alternative 11th Doctor costume t-shirt

Back in 2011 Forbidden Planet started releasing a range of t-shirt based on The Doctor’s costumes.

They soon released all twelve Doctors, and have kept the idea alive by doing a few of the peripheral characters as well.

Now they are going back over a few of The Doctors, creating some of the alternative costume variations seen down the years.

You can now get the Eleventh Doctor’s alternative series five costume with the blue Paul Smith shirt and matching bow tie.
11th Doctor Costume (blue variant) costume t-shirt

As if that wasn’t enough, you can also dress in the series six blue shirt and braces variant as seen in Closing Time.
11th Doctor (Closing Time variant) costume t-shirt

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

All Saints layer boots on eBay

I spied a pair of genuine All Saint layer boots on eBay this week.

Although many pairs have changed hands down the years, they have been becoming increasingly thin on the ground.

Grab them while you can!

All Saints Layer Boots - size 9

*EXTREMELY RARE* pair of used ALL SAINTS SPITALFIELDS 'LAYER BOOTS' as worn by 11th Doctor Matt Smith during DOCTOR WHO Series 5 (2010).

More details can be found at the excellent Making My 11th Doctor Costume blog here:
Making My 11th Doctor Costume: Boots - All Saints

Once word got out that these were identified to be the very pair worn by the Doctor, they quickly sold out at All Saints and have been pretty much scarce on the secondary market since.

This pair are size UK 9 / EU 43. Please make sure you know your size and read my description carefully.

Note: the 'worn in' look is part of the style on the boot. However, these boots are getting on for five years old! Whilst every attempt to maintain them has been made, nevertheless there is some very slight cracking to the leather on the right boot and the soles are a bit worn. I have tried to take pictures which accurately reflect the wear on the boots. If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Thank you and good luck!

*Please be aware of your size as there are no returns accepted. Shoes are sold as-is. Thanks!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Day Of The Doctor bow tie -
The Tie Bar alternative

Someone on the forums has found a great looking alternative to The Day Of The Doctor polka dot bow tie.

In fact, the spacing of the dots is better than the official replica!

The tie is priced at US$15 and comes in a choice of pre or self-tied.

The Tie Bar
Satin Dot - Eggplant/White Bow Tie

For those who like the polka dot design, there is also a range of ties, bow ties and pocket squares all in the same matching fabric.

I’ve ordered myself one each of the self and pre-tied version, so I’ll show you what they are like when they arrive.

Monday, 2 June 2014

DWAS Myth Makers convention -
the Eleventh Doctor connection

This weekend I had a great day out today at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith - and the first chance to wear my full Day Of the Doctor costume since finishing my Regeneration Waistcoat.

The studios are part of the history and folklore of Doctor Who, having been where The Daleks invaded Earth in 1964, and a couple of years later where William Hartnell regenerated into Patrick Troughton.

In fact the iconic scene of Dalek emerging from the Thames was filmed only yards from the studios, by Hammersmith Bridge!

Sadly the studios, currently used for Weekend Kitchen, are due to be demolished later this year, leaving only a fraction of the site still standing.

The event was organised by DWAS - The Doctor Who Appreciation Society - and was a lot more low key compared to a majority of the glossy events that are staged these days.

Don’t get me wrong - I PREFERRED this to the glossy events as it was a lot more intimate, you you got see every part of the days events and damn it, they kept to their published timetable.

The spin on the day was the production side and how the behind the scenes events shaped what we saw on screen, with a heavy bias towards the classic rather than new series.

We kicked off with a one-on-one interview with Philip Hinchcliffe, who produced the first three years of Tom Baker’s era.

Philip’s interview was very insightful and interesting, as he had taken over from Barry Letts to launch the Tom Baker era.

Since Philip was only involved with the Fourth Doctor era, you can read more about his interview here:
The Fourth Doctor Connection

Next we had a double act in the form of Derrick Sherwin and Terrance Dicks, who had been consecutive script editors spanning the latter days of Patrick Troughton and the whole of the Jon Pertwee eras. Terrance also wrote for the Tom baker era too.

Since Derrick and Terrance was only involved with Doctor Who in the 1960s and 1970s, you can read more about his interview here:
The Fourth Doctor Connection

We then had a break to get the first of the autographs and photo opportunities.

I took along a River Song diary I now use for autographs, and found that there was 'no limit' on the number of items you could get signed, so long as it was within reason.
So I got Philip as well as visual effects expert Mike Tucker, composer Dominic Glynn, and script editor Andrew Cartmel.

I also grabbed a quick - and it was quick - photo op with firstly Graeme Harper, then with Terrance and Derrick together.

There was minimal queuing; the photo was printed in the time it took to pay for it; and they had emailed the digital copy I asked for within minutes (and it was the photo of me, not someone else!). The photo was frankly better quality than at many glossy events, including the official 50th celebration.

It was then back into the viewing theatre for the next one-on-one interview, with director Graeme Harper.

Graeme gave an absorbing interview about his time not only on the classic series, directing Peter Davision in Caves Of Androzani and Colin Baker in Revelation Of The Daleks, but also working on the new series where is helmed the return of the Cybermen in series two.

He contrasted the production methods between the two, and you quickly became aware of the way how the episodes were made shaped how they appeared on screen.

On classic Who they had minimal time in the studio where they recorded each episode “as live” with multiple cameras during a two-hour recording slot. To achieve this the actors rehearsed extensively and the production crew planned every single camera cut before going into the studio.

Today, there is a big tone meeting and read through after which two weeks are allowed for filming using a single camera with no prior rehearsal - everything happens on set under the watchful eye of the director.

As the director of the fan’s favourite episode (as announced in Doctor Who Magazine), Graeme was also the recipient of a DWAS award.

MIKE TUCKER interview
Next up was special effects guru Mike Tucker, who is one of a select few who has worked on both the classic and new series.

He reminisced about how as a young boy he watched Pebble Mill At One and saw a feature about the effects on Blake's Seven. Turning to his mum, he said 'I want to do that'. Suitably empowered, she wrote to the BBC and got her son an interview which led to a job in the BBC Visual Effects Department.

He talked at length about the different approaches between then and now on Doctor Who, explaining how productions were allocated by rote. This meant he did not know what he was working on week to week, but had the downside that sometimes staff who hated Doctor Who were assigned to it. He heard of staff who’s attitude was “if I do a bad job, hopefully they won't ask me again”. Which explains the sometimes patchy effects down the years.

The new series by contrast is entirely staffed by freelance workers who want to to their job to the best. Each have a limited task to perform, meaning they are more specialist in what they do.

The biggest surprise for me was the revelation that until Day Of The Doctor, ALL model work had been done on film. The use of digital cameras (necessary for the 3D work) meant results were more immediate giving the opportunity to move on or shoot alternative angles on a scene. It has also resulted in shots being edited into episodes the same day as filming.

Then it was time for another break, during which I got Terrance’s autograph on my photo with him; as well as Graeme's on his photo with me and in my River Song diary.

I also had the chance to get a new photo with Colin Baker, who admired my Matt Smith costume.

Colin seems to know me pretty well now, as he pipped up, “Here comes the tailor!” when I stepped up for the shot.

Back in the viewing theatre we were treated to a double act of Dominic Glynn and Andrew Cartmel who sparked well off each other.

Both had been relatively young when they worked on Doctor Who, and they had similar stories of unsolicited approaches to JNT to get their jobs.

Dominic and Andrew were not involved with Doctor Who until the 1980s, so you can read their interview here:
The Seventh Doctor Connection
The final interview of the day was with Colin Baker, who was on good form.

COLIN BAKER interview
He talked at length about his pre and post Doctor Who fame and looked back on his time with sometimes mixed emotions.

You can read about Colin’s interview here:
The Sixth Doctor Connection

With the main programme over, it just remained to get Nicholas Briggs to scribble in my River Song diary and for Colin to sign the photo I had with him, as well as two shots from meeting him in LA earlier this year at Gallifrey One.

This was the first DWAS event I have actually been to, and I must say it was very well planned and executed.