Thursday 30 December 2010

Ultimate Tennant Suit - time to get picky

As you may have read, I am about to make the Ultimate Tennant Suit, using half a dozen pairs of the original GAP trousers.

But before I can start any pattern cutting proper, I need to harvest the usable pieces of fabric from the trousers, so I can see what I have to work with.

To start with I tried unpicking the stitching of the legs, but quickly found that the seams are double-stitched for strength, so don’t come apart that easily. The edges of the fabric is also overlocked to stop the edges fraying, so even if I could remove all the stitching, it would leave the edges unusable as they will be peppered with holes.

I then found that by cutting the seams along the outside of the stitch-line, they easy come apart.

At the tops of the trousers there really is little point trying to rescue anything above the back pockets. There is nothing on the suit that I could make from fabric that small in size, so I cut across the tops of the leg as close to the pockets as I possibly can (see above).

I then do the same around the fronts between the fly and the side pockets (see left).

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.

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Ultimate Tennant Suit - doing it for real

This week I start work on the most fascinating, incredible and AWESOME project I have undertaken so far – making a Tennant Suit jacket.

Now, this wont’t be just any jacket – this will be the ULTIMATE jacket. Why? Well, because I am working from SIX PAIRS OF ORIGINAL GAP TROUSERS!

For those that don’t know, it was revealed in the pages of Doctor Who: The Inside Story, that the original brown suit had been inspired by a pair of trousers David Tennant took a shine to. There was no matching jacket to make it a suit, so Lousie Page bought as many pairs of the trousers as she could find and took them apart to then use to make a jacket!

You can read further about this in my entry, Revelation Of The Trousers.

What Lousie didn’t say was where the trousers had come from, but after a chance find in a charity shop, it was discovered that they had come from GAP!

Since then, three have been various attempts to match and re-weave the fabric used, however, what has never been tried is to get the right trousers and repeat the technique that had been employed to make the real deal – until now !

Wednesday 27 October 2010

The Mystery Of The Fourth Tie

Back in Feburary 2010, when the Bonhams Doctor Who Costume Auction took place, there was a great little lot consisting of four ties ‘worn by David Tennant’.
The episodes listed in the catalogue were New Earth (tie second from left); Age of Steel (incorrect); and Impossible Planet (again, incorrect).

The ties correct attribution were: (left to right) Utopia, New Earth, The Idiot’s Lantern, . . .  and a fourth tie.

I say, ‘fourth’ tie because it does not, to my knowledge, appear in any broadcast episode.
If it does, it is not worn by David Tennant.
There is a possibility it was either worn by another cast member, and wrongly labelled in the auction, or it was bought as part of the costume department’s shopping spree, but never used.

Wednesday 22 September 2010

RIP Soho Silks

I was on a buying trip to central London today, stocking up on much needed supplies - can't believe how many pairs of shoulder pads I've gone through lately!!

I first went to William Gees to get some fusible canvas (they really have the best prices) before heading into the West End. There I stopped off at MacCulloch and Wallis, then Kliens before dropping by Soho Silks.

Sunday 22 August 2010

Bad Wold - Bald Wolf - Bad Wolf

I was up in central London this week working at an advertising agency, and took a little time out over lunch one day to pop down to Oxford Street.
For those that don’t know the geography, Oxford Street is London’s premiere shopping thoroughfare, and has a number of large department stores within a short distance of each other.

Two that I go to regularly are Debenhams and John Lewis, the latter of which I went to first.
I was popping back to see if they had anymore of the nice purplely ties I got a while back (see the last tie in Tie Alternatives), but sadly no.

In the Bonhams Auction earlier this year there were some shirts David Tennant had worn (lot 47 - shirts from Tooth & Claw), one of which was labelled HIJKLMUVWXYZ, which is John Lewis’ own brand (the J and L are in bold, being the stores initials).
The shirt in question was from their collection that year and they no longer sell anything close enough to substitute it.

Sunday 8 August 2010

Tenth Doctor Ties - the alternatives

Following on from the Tie Index I’ve done this weekend, I thought I’d share a few other ties that I have found on my travels.

I am not saying that any of these ties are a perfect match to the screen used ones, but they are either similar or reminiscent of those worn by David Tennat as the Tenth Doctor.

In the absence of being able to obtain the ones used, this is intended as a guide to finding something acceptably similar.
Daniel Hechter From John Lewis
I bought this one because it is a genuine Daniel Hetcher tie, which, from my recollection of seeing Tie Two at first hand, uses exactly the same colour palette of chocolate brown, blue and cream.

It has a diagonal floral motif, reminding me of Tie Ten, the St George by Duffer tie.

A sorta two-in-one tie here!

Saturday 7 August 2010

Tenth Doctor Tie Index

I’ve noticed that there’s been a lot of buzz lately on the Doctor Who costume forums about the ties David Tennant wore throughout the stories he was in.

Following on from the Third Doctor Costume Indexes I did late in 2009, I thought I’d put my two-pennace in and do a tie index!

I’m limiting myself to the ties worn with the pinstripe suits, ignoring the bow ties worn with tuxedos (as in Voyage Of the Damned) or tweed suits (as in Human Nature).

A couple of surprises have come up by doing this detailed study: the tie commonly known as the “Time Lord” tie (tie Two in my index) is no where near worn as often as I thought; nor is the burgundy/mauve flora tie (tie Eight) is worn even less; the swirly tie (tie Four) which bridged the regeneration to Matt Smith popped up a few more times than I thought, partly because it features in both the Doctor-lite episodes of series two and three.

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Me And My Tennant Suit - Mitch

Today I have another entry in my occasional Me And My Tennnat Suit feature.
This time I have half of a very active husband and wife cosplay team.
Name: Mitch
Age: 42
Location: Southern California, USA
Favorite Doctor: The 9th or the 10th
Maker of my suits: LA’s garment district & Baron Boutique
Colour of suits: both brown

Mitch has (so far) gotten two brown Tennant suits: one in Summer of 2008; the second more recently in the Spring of 2010.

Sunday 25 April 2010

Guess. No, go on, Guess.

I was getting some stuff out of my wardrobe this week, and I came across something I had long forgotten about – a suit in a Tennant style.

There’s a little story behind how I acquired it and where it came from.

Until June of 2009 I was working at an advertising agency based in Chelsea Harbour in London (see right). It was a nice little job, working with a bunch of really nice people who made the day fun, and I was an Advertising and Pre-Press Manager, for which I created a niche for myself.
It all came to an end due to the credit-crunch when the agency’s clients shifted a lot of their advertising from print (my speciality) to online (scary stuff) and I found my role dwindling until the inevitable happened . .. .  never mind – let’s face it, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now to the extent I am if I was still in full-time employment. So don’t shed any tears: I’m in many respects happier now than I was at the nice advertising agency.

Tuesday 9 March 2010

Radio Times - Astrid costume

This week’s Radio Times marks the first item from the recent Bonhams Auction to appear in their tv Treasures feature.

The first item chosen is Kylie Manogue’s Astrid costume, which fetched £3,120.

It should be pointed out that the boots were found to be labeled “Stunt Double”, so there was an ounce of doubt that Kylie had actually worn this costume.

Didn’t deter the bidders though!
You can read the other tv Treasures items here:

including a Dalek, a Vervoid,
Jon Pertwee jacket & 1970s cover

Thursday 11 February 2010

Angel’s Retro Costume Sale

As the Doctor Who costume sale looms at Bonhams the end of the month, another sale took place at Angels this past weekend.

I read about it in a publicity article that appeared in The Metro in late January (see right - click to enlarge to read the full text).

It’s by no means in the same league, but with over 3,000 people attending the last similar sale, and over 25,000 items up for grabs – it’s not to be ignored.

Saturday 23 January 2010


Now, those who have followed my Suit and Coat blogs, will recognize the face of Guy, a young man who bears more than a passing resemblance to the great man himself, David Tennant.
I first met him on Hound Tor to see first hand his Baron Boutique Suit.
You can read all about that under Ten to the power of Two and Sontaran G3 Military Assessment Survey.
He also popped up in my occasional feature, Me And My Tennant Suit, at the end of which was the amazing photograph seen here.
It looked a bit more polished than the norm, and he told me it came from a professional photoshoot. Here in his own words, is the full story of how this and the rest of his fantastic photoshoot came about.
It all started when David Tennant returned to Doctor Who in series two. His hair was more spikey and gelled which looked very similar to mine. My girlfriend at the time noticed the resemblance and wanted me to grow my hair a bit longer as well as the side burns! When I did this my girlfriend and her friends kept saying how I looked like the doctor.

We had a few drinks one evening and my ex girlfriend sent a picture of myself to a look alike company on the web. They replied with a positive response which I was very shocked by! After this I started wearing a black suit with trainers to fancy dress parties trying to do my best to be the doctor! It worked fairly well but it wasn’t right!

Saturday 9 January 2010

I’ve been certified!

Something unexpected arrived in the post this week – a certificate from the college I have been attending, to mark the end of my first term.

I wasn’t expecting it, so it was all the more pleasant surprise when it arrived.

It’s been over twenty years since I was in any formal education, and I had forgotten the feeling of smug satisfaction you can get from the simplest achievement.

It’s not a degree. It’s not a diploma. It’s on the same level as Cycling Proficiency or 200 Metres Breast Stroke – but I’m proud of it – and it’s going on my wall!

Monday 4 January 2010

Me And My Tennant Suit - Guy

Last year I took a holiday down in the West Country, and took in a couple of Who-related trips to The Land’s End Exhibition and Hound Tor, the location used for The Sontaran Experiment.

I had been chatting to a Tennant Suit owner, Guy, who lives not too far from Hound Tor, so we arranged to meet there so he could show me his Baron’s Boutique suit.

I also asked him to contribute to my erratic feature, Me And My Tennant Suit. Here, at last, is what he had to say about his suit.

Favorite DoctorDavid Tennant
Maker of my suitBaron Boutique
Colour of suitBrown

Guy got his Baron Boutique suit in mid April 2009, but not after falling foul of the Chinese-made Honest Dragon suits. “The first one off of eBay was rubbish: bad material and baggy fit! A complete waste of money, but get what you pay for.”

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: