Saturday 31 October 2009

Costume changes - season ten

Well, it’s The Doctor’s birthday – but are Trine-E and Zu-Zana gonna be impressed with his birthday suit . . .
Season Ten
The Three Doctors
The season kicks off with a mix of some old and new.

He wears the rust-red velvet smoking jacket (see below, top row) with a notched collar, black cord piping, with a triple frog-fastening that first appeared in The Curse Of Peladon the season before; a button-fronted frilly shirt, with large collar; for the first time a black velvet bow tie; and for a quick outdoor excursion, a new black Inverness Cape, this time lined with a sky blue silk (see below, bottom row).

Thursday 29 October 2009

Costume changes - season nine

After Trine-E and Zu-Zana got The Doctor wearing a little colour last season, let’s see if this year he can take those rules to a new high and show some style at last!

Season Nine
Day Of The Daleks
The Doctor starts off the season with his maroon smoking jacket with a rolled collar, black cord piping and double frog-fastening; gone is the zip-fronted shirt to be replaced by a button-fronted shirt of a similar style, with an enormous collar; no cravat; the purple-lined black Inverness Cape also gets an outing.

The new DVD release contains a fully restored version of the story, and you can see some nice detail on the shirt, which has covered buttons and loops to fasten it (see right).

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Costume changes - season eight

Trine-E and Zu-Zana are back to take us through Jon Pertwee’s second year as The Doctor.

Let’s see if he’s taken the advise to bring some more colour into his wardrobe, or has he just slipped back into those same old familiar black rags . . .
Season Eight
Terror Of The Autons
The Doctor opens the story wearing black trousers; a maroon velvet smoking jacket with a rolled collar, black cord piping and double frog-fastening; and an unusual zip-fronted white frilly shirt with no cravat. (see right, and below bottom left). For early exterior scenes he wear a new black Inverness Cape, this time lined in purple silk, with frog-fastening.

This new costume is short-lived, however, as halfway through episode one he reverts to the same velvet smoking jacket and Inverness Cape from his first season, though retaining the new zip-fronted shirt, with no cravat.

Some minor work had been done on the Inverness Cape, adding four frog-fastenings down the front.

The latest DVD release has a new restored image, and it is possible to see that the fabric of his shirt has a satin self-strip (see right).

The lining for the new Inverness Cape is distinctive as it goes right to the edge of the lapels (see above top right), making it very promenant compared to one used the previous season, which has black facings for the lapel (see above bottom left)
The size of the collar on the shirt seem to vary from scene to scene: from 1970s large (see above top left) to looking like blood-hound ears! (see above bottom left)
This shows there was more than one of the new design shirt used.

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Costume changes - season seven

Before fabric cutting on my Inverness Cape, I thought I’d take a little look at the costumes worn by Jon Pertwee in his time as The Doctor.

I had been watching a number of his later episodes and noticed he seemed to wear a different smoking jacket or Inverness Cape for each story. I had also noted that for his earlier stories he wore the same thing for every adventure.

So when and how did this transition happen?

Who better to get in to take a look? Trine-E and Zu-Zana obviously!

Yes Doctor – you may hide – but they will find you!

Season Seven
Spearhead From Space
Jon Pertwee’s costume is established in episode one as being stolen from a surgeon at the hospital.
He wears black trousers; white button-fronted frilly shirt with conservative sized lapels; black silk cravat; midnight blue rolled-collar smoking jacket with a single frog-fastening, a handkerchief in the breast pocket; and a red silk lined, button-fronted black Inverness Cape; plus occasionally a black fedora hat.

Saturday 24 October 2009

Inverness Cape - cutting the block

This week I started work on a new Who costume – the Inverness cape worn by the Third Doctor (see below).

I am doing this as part of my college coursework (a tailoring course at West Herts college, in Hemel Hempstead). I picked it for two main reasons: firstly it has a nice, simple design with no tailoring (ie body fitting) so I don’t need to worry about making it fit too perfectly; secondly it has a few key design points I want to brush up on with my tutor, namely collars, back-splits and hemming with a silk lining.
I am already pretty proficient in all of the above by working it out for myself, but I am sure I could be doing many of these things better with the focus and direction the course will take me in.
I also want to learn skills at pattern cutting, as my recent Five Coat suffered from a lack of experience during the early stages.

The Inverness Cape came to my attention after finding a Cutter’s guide for it on the internet (see left) with instructions on how to draw up the design for it.

It is essentially made in three main pattern pieces: a half-back; a front panel; and the cape sleeve, all of which are mirrored to form the cull garment. On top of that I need to design my own collar (with my college tutor) and set a couple of outer welted pockets, which I am adapt at doing now. It then just needs lining.

The early weeks of my course have taught me a methodology to working up a pattern ready for making up.
  1. Firstly draw the pattern up at quarter-scale to ensure your measurements come together correctly and to become familiar with the order of how it is drawn.
  2. Cut and make-up a quarter-scale paper mock-up to start to understand how things work.
  3. Then work it up in full scale, now that you are confident of how to do it. this is done to the finished net size of the pattern, ie without seam allowances.
  4. Trace over the pattern pieces, to separate them out
  5. Add seam allowances using a grading guide to make even adjustments to the pattern ready for making up.
  6. Cut the pattern out and then cut it in calico.
  7. Make a ‘twill’, which is the first test that it fits and comes together correctly. If all is good .....
  8. Make the finished garment using all the knowledge learnt along the way of things to look out.
Today I plan to get a good couple of points into the list.

The Five Doctors

No, the title of the posting is not a reference to the classic 20th Anniversary special from 1983, but to collectively the Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Tenth Doctors!


Well, I have been having a lot of fun recently, slowly expanding the costume pieces I do.
To start with, they all appeared together in the original Tennant Coat or Tennant Suit blogs, but I have since started building separate blogs to cover the costumes of each Doctor, so they are easier to find and digest.

So far I have added the blog you are reading to cover the Five Trousers and Five Coat I have been working on.
I also added a blog for the Sixth Doctor, to pull out the information about making my Six Trousers.

This past week I have added the Seventh Doctor blog as I have been working on a replica of the Hanky that goes around his hat (see left).

Now I am adding this Third Doctor blog to the portfolio! This is because I am starting working on making the Inverness Cape he is often seen wearing.
I am doing it as part of the college course I am currently on.

So start checking out my other blogs as I slowly add to them.

Thursday 8 October 2009

Back to the Academy

I am so pleased I have finally cracked all the problems I was having with the calico test of the Five Coat.
Having said that, it has been a long journey and for a while I was going round in circles making slower progress than I would have liked – and using more calico and pattern paper than was reasonable.
I need to do something about this, and it needs a little thinking outside of the (police) box, so to speak.

My solution? Well, I have given it some thought and I think although I can pick up new skills quickly by study professionally made garments, because I am self-taught, there are probably short-cuts and simple tricks I could use if I had some structured training.

I have looked around and found that a local college network runs courses in dressmaking and tailoring to a variety of skill levels. It is not long before courses start and enrolment is very soon, so I a few weeks back I made some enquires and got myself along to West Herts College in Hemel Hempsted to sign up.

Because I have worked in my own little bubble with no contact with others, I truly do not know my skill level.
I am certainly above the ‘beginners’ level, but am I ‘intermediate’ or “advanced’? Which would I get the most from? I don’t want to be on a course that teaches me how to thread a needle; likewise I don’t want to be lost trying to learn couture fashion with corsetry as a speciality!

As it turned out, both the beginners and intermediate courses were full, and had been for some time as they are constantly over subscribed to, leaving me just the advanced as an option. After telling the tutor about the commissions I had been taking on recently, she was perfectly happy to accept me for the course and thought the others would have been too basic for me anyway, which is sorta good to hear.