Wednesday 22 December 2010

Bonhams auction -
15th December 2010 - results

The Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Sale was last week, and the scant three Doctor Who items all sold.

The Peter Davison items, a Script from Ressurrection Of The Daleks and a Sea Devil Costume from Warriors Of The Deep both sold, the latter for £2,280 nearly double its estimate of £800 to £1,200.

The solitary Jon Pertwee item went for pretty much on the money, selling for £3,240 having an estimate of £3,000 to £4,000.

I went along to the viewing to see for myself what it was all about and check it over.

Friday 17 December 2010

Merry Christmas to all my readers!

I can’t believe a year has flown by since I last wished everyone a Happy Christmas.

Looking back though, a lot has happened and I’ve completed or started a number of amazing projects.

From updating my Tennant Coat; making a Five Coat or two; starting a replica Tennant suit jacket using original GAP Trousers; making a couple of Inverness Capes (must get round to writing that up!); as well as some smaller item such as Five Hatbands, Six Cravats and Seven Hankies.
However, I think the most exciting has been starting work on a replica Six Frock Coat, which I am so looking forward to getting done next year.

I hope you’ll join me in the following months as it starts to come together.

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Bonhams auction - 15th December 2010

Bonhams December Film and Entertainment Memorabilia sale is upon us soon, and again there are a few Doctor Who items on offer - and a few is all it is!

There are only three items, one of which, a jacket worn by Jon Pertwee, wasn't even screen used.
It feels like the left overs from a car boot sale - very disappointing.

Anyway, the jacket is listed below.

I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:
Here are just the lots relating to the Third Doctor era
Lot 101
Dr. Who: a black velvet jacket worn by Jon Pertwee,
with braid to lapels and cuffs, single button to front, labelled Austin Reed, the right sleeve inscribed inside by Jon Pertwee in silver pen, To Dewey My very own! Worn for ''The Doc'' back in '69!!, also with some other very indistinct writing, believed by Pertwee when signing the jacket at a convention in February 1991

Estimate: £3,000 - 4,000
Sold for £3,240

Monday 11 October 2010

Black Silk Cravat

Since I am making myself an Inverness Cape, I thought it only proper to make myself a black silk cravat to go with it.

Looking at the ones Jon Pertwee wore, I can see the pattern is near identical to the one I use for my Six Cravats  (see left), so I am going to use this as my starting point.

I have looked around for some silk to use, and have chosen some Sapphire Satin. This is thicker than lining fabric, and it has a nice sheen to it  (see below).

First thing I need to do is draw a block for it. This will be the finished cut size of the cravat, and for the moment, all I need is one end.

The science of Who

I was having a little rummage around the net today, and came across some pictures that sparked a memory for me, long since hidden away.

Many, many years ago – 1972 to be precise, there was an exhibition of props and costumes at the Science Museum in London.
I don’t know for a fact, but I would have said this was quite possibly the first ever large public exhibition of Doctor Who props staged.

Now, I have particular memory of this because it was also the first time ever I got to see any of the monsters and props up-close, having only ever seen them on the tv.
I had a recollection that it was to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the programme (in 1973) but I guess my mind has good fuzzed since then.

From what I recall, the entrance to the exhibition was through the TARDIS doors, and you then went on a winding path through the exhibition, seeing Daleks, Sea Devils, Draconians and the like as you went (see left).

I can remember seeing the TARDIS console, which was awesome to view at close quarters (see right).

One thing I did see, but never understood, was something relating to the effect on The Daemons. It was a foot cubed glass box, inside which was a miniature UNIT jeep, and something that showed how the heat barrier effect was achieved. I couldn’t work it out at the time, and looking back still can’t!

Saturday 9 October 2010

Inverness Cape -
construction is in the detail

Work has progressed really well with my Inverness Cape, and I now have all the individual parts made, ready for assembly.

The cape is made from essentially three pieces which are mirrored for left and right.

They are:
Front panels – with armhole allowance and outer pockets (see above, left)
Back panels – with bottom third split back (see above, right)
Wings – with faced leading edge (see right)

Friday 8 October 2010

Post Office Tower destroyed by aliens!

Well, not actually destroyed as such, or even remotely damaged – but I just had to share these pictures with you.

click picture to enlarge

I was working in the West End today and was walking towards where the Post Office Tower (known these days as the BT Tower, but I prefer the original name) is. It was shrouded in mist and the upper half was totally obscured.
I had to take a quick picture.

As it happened, at lunchtime I passed the exact same spot, and had to take another AFTER pic.
Don’t know how I managed it, but there’s a taxi on the same spot in the road in both pics!
For those who don’t rememeber,
the (at the time recently finished) Post Office Tower appeared in the 1966 William Hartnell story The War Machines.

When Bob Mitsch was in London we took it in as part of our tour, though I didn’t post a picture in the write-up,
Remembrance Of The Locations.

Friday 1 October 2010

Inverness Cape - A fresh start

Well, I admitted defeat on my first attempt at making my Inverness Cape, having tried to make it from some wholly unsuitable fabric. These things happen from time to time.

It did throw my confidence and flow in getting it done though, so it’s been a good ten months before I’ve picked it up again.

My plan now is to make one of the other, and more commonly seen Inverness Capes worn by Jon Pertwee (see left).

This time round I am using a much better set of fabrics: a black gaberdine; and a red satin lining (see right) and I’m fired up to get it done – and done right!

Wednesday 22 September 2010

The Inverness Cape Of Doom

The following entry is another one I wrote back in late November last year when I was making my planned Inverness Cape.
I didn't quite get around to finishing and posting it, and it has hung around ever since!

By the end of this posting you’ll understand just why I didn’t complete writing it . . .
Now that I’ve cut the pattern for the Inverness Cape, and done a couple of rounds of calico tests, I can finally start work on a wearable version.

It just so happens I have some chocolate brown moleskin kicking around, left over from a project that didn’t come off (I bought it before discovering the Malabar fabric with the intention of making my then MkII Tennant Coat from it).

The plan is to use it to make the brown version seen in Carnival Of Monsters  (see right) and Frontier In Space.

It has a burnt orange lining, so this is essential all I need to buy to make it happen.

For once luck is on my side, and within the first couple of Soho shops I look in I find just the right colour and shade of lining I need.

Tuesday 21 September 2010

Inverness Cape - cutting the pattern

The following entry is one I wrote back in early November last year when I was cutting the pattern on the cape.
I didn't quite get around to finishing and posting it, and it has hung around ever since!

I'm a little shocked that it was almost a year ago,
but here goes.
Now I have cut what is known as a Block for the Inverness Cape, (see right) I now need to work it up into a usable pattern.

This is relatively easy to do, with the right tools, and a bit of careful thought.

The pattern is made by laying a sheet of tracing pattern paper over the block and tracing out and thus separating each of the three main shapes.
The block is drawn to the net size, that is to say the finished sewn size, so does not take into account seam allowances, which I need to add.

First I have traced the back panel (see left).

I do this using a special tool I have been introduced to at my college course: a seam grader. This is (a rather expensive) piece of plastic, which has two straight edges at right angles, and some French curve shapes opposite, including some internal ones (see below). These can be used to shape the curved lines needed for the pattern, such as around the collar, quickly and easily.

Saturday 18 September 2010

Inverness Resurrection

I’ve been somewhat tied up over the past few weeks clearing a backlog of commissions for a variety of jobs and clients. As a result some of the pet projects I had been working on over the months have taken a bit of a backseat.

Anyway, when I am preparing each job I do, I have a cargo box in which I keep all the relevant fabrics; sundries such as buttons, zips and interfacings; and pattern samples. In clearing out some of the completed boxes I came across one which had ended up literally at the bottom of the pile right at the back - its label read INVERNESS CAPE.

That made me a little annoyed with myself, as I had already cut the block for it, and worked up a practical pattern. I had also gotten it to the first toile stage, though I hadn't had the chance to write that up and post it in this blog.

Well, it’s about time I did - and took it to the next stage of actually making the thing, since I had already sourced the fabrics I wanted to use as well as the correct frog fastening and lining.

Check back soon as I’ll finally get this project kick-started and back on the tailor’s mannequin!

Monday 31 May 2010

Bonhams auction - 23rd June 2010

When I was at the last Bonhams auction, one of the auctioneers made mention of a further sale in June, where Doctor Who items would be available.

I think I was expecting another full-on sale of ex-BBC items, but what it appears to be is a general Memorabilia sale, with a hand full of Who related lots.

There are seventeen items in total, and you need to real carefully what they are. The repeated use of the phrase “built for exhibition purposes” is a bit disappointing.

I’ll go to the viewing, but I can’t see myself bidding on anything.

As usual I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:
Here are just the lots relating to the Third Doctor era
Lot No: 133
Doctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure (Stage Play), 1989
A Zog costume, the headpiece, hands and feet of moulded foam latex, with plastic eyes, the body heavily applied with faux fur fabric, on mannequin and base, height 62 inches

Estimate: £200 - 300
Sold for £660

Lot 136
A replica Exillion helmet
Created for exhibition purposes, cast from the original screen used piece, of moulded and painted foam latex, height 11 inches

Estimate: £60 - 80
Sold for £264

Lot 138
A miniature Tardis model
Created for exhibition purposes, of painted board, with plastic paper-backed windows, and plastic casing to light, having internal electrical workings (plug removed), height 5ft, width 15 inches

Estimate: £300 - 400

Lot 139
The 'Longleat' Tardis console
Created for exhibition purposes, of wood and plastic, with internal electrical workings and lighting, the control panel in sectional pieces, with plastic buttons, with electrical pulley for central mechanism, length approximately 70 inches, width approximately 60 inches, height 58 inches

Estimate: £350 - 450
Sold for £900

Monday 1 March 2010

Radio Times - tv treasures - The Clangers

This week’s Radio Times has a small, tentatively Who-link feature under its TV Treasures thread.

It shows a metal armature from an original puppet Clanger.

Tuesday 9 February 2010

Bonhams costume sales - previous auctions

In the upcoming sale of classic and new series costumes and props at Bonhams, there is sadly only one item from Jon Pertwee’s era up for sale.
This got me thinking, and I looked back over past auctions and found a couple more items worth sharing.

Lot 10
John Pertwee as Dr. Who, 1970-1974
A complete outfit and sonic screwdriver, comprising: black cape coat, of wool, with plastic buttons to front, satin lined having large pockets inside, labelled "Angels & Bermans", together with a black watered silk cravat, a burgundy velvet jacket, with black watered silk effect edging and cuff detail, with wooden and plastic buttons with metal thread with black wool lining labelled inside "A. Grofs, KEIL-G" and a "sonic screwdriver" of silver painted aluminium with red, white and black edged buttons.

This costume was used for exhibition and promotional purposes and did not feature in the television series.
Jon Pertwee took The Doctor in a different direction from the "Cosmic Hobo" and decided to portray a Dandy, but with a difference. He was a master of Venusian Karate and became the James Bond version of the Doctor with his marvellous gadgets and quick wit. Instead of the hairy coat or Victorian tailcoats he opted for deep purple velvet jackets, cape and scalloped shirtfronts.
Costume by Christine Rawlins.

Sold for £9,600

Thursday 4 February 2010

Bonhams costume sale - 24th February 2010

In a few of weeks time there is another costume sale at Bonhams in Knightsbridge, this time selling off a vast number of items which have featured in the various exhibitions that have been held around the country.

Since I covered the previous auctions at Bonhams on the 16th June 2009 and 16th December 2009, I felt I should do the same for this, but because there are SO many items on offer, I have split them up by Doctor.

Wednesday 13 January 2010

Radio Times - Dr Who mini-features

This is just a little mini entry in the blog - nothing too special, but something that may crop up again from time to time.

The Radio Times, the BBC’s tv listings magazine in the UK, runs occasional little articles under the titles ON THIS DAY and TV’S TREASURES (sometimes LOST Treasures).
One This Day is a daily feature showing a back issue of the Radio Times from years gone by and highlights a programme that was screened on today’s date, that also took the cover for that week.

On the 2nd of January 2010, the cover was for a Doctor Who episode from 1971, marking the first appearance of The Master (see below).

Sunday 3 January 2010


This week marks the start of a new era: Matt Smith as The Doctor.

It also heralds the start of another unintended project of mine – on as you may come to read, I had no desire to begin.

At first glance, the new Doctor’s costume is somewhat arid of reproducible, unique items, so though I find it interesting (but not to my taste) I could see little I to indulge my sewing skills on.

But as time progresses, the off-the-peg costume he wears has become increasingly difficult to track down, and I have been approached by a number of cosplayers asking if I would be looking to replicate the shirt he wears.

My first thoughts were that it was out of my capabilities, having never made a shirt before.
But I hadn’t made trousers before making my Five and Six Trousers, so maybe I just need to learn.

As a coincidence, the set-learning part of my recent college course covered shirt-making, showing me it was actually a little easier than I thought.

So, I’m up for the challenge . . .

You can start to follow my progress on my new blog: