Saturday 31 December 2011

12-days - day six

Day Six
Since it is day SIX of my Twelve Regenerations Of Christmas, I have something SIXTH Doctor related, and hopefully raise a smile.

Over the past year Forbidden Planet have been releasing a series of exclusive t-shirts depicting the Doctor’s costumes through the years.

Some are better than others, and there has been particular criticism of the Colin Baker shirt, which in reality doesn’t look much like the publicity image. But never mind.
I’ve just been watch the Christmas edition of Come Dine With Me, which is a celebrity special. Amongst the ‘celebrities’ is none other than Colin Baker himself, and for part of the episode he was interviewed wearing one of the Sixth Doctor t-shirts!!

How’s that for celebrity endorsement!

Friday 30 December 2011

Thursday 29 December 2011

12-days – day four

Day Four
It’s day FOUR of my Twelve Regenerations Of Christmas, so I’d like to share a personal FOURTH Doctor memento with you, dating from my 1970s childhood as a Doctor Who fan.

It’s a snapshot between the end of the Jon Pertwee’s Doctor and the start of Tom Baker’s rein – but for me it encapsulated and defines my memories of the time and transports me back there in a flash.

In the mid 1970s I started keeping a scrapbook in which I stuck any Doctor Who photos (often taken from the Radio Times) or related memorabilia I found that interested me.

I eventually spanned three books, with a recurring theme of the two waves of in-packet giveaways from Weetabix in 1975 and 1976, as well as by Typhoo Tea, also in 1976.

Wednesday 28 December 2011

12-days – day three

Day Three
Day Three of my Twelve Regenerations Of Christmas, and I have a flashback to the early days of New Who Exhibitions.

As I write, The Doctor Who Experience is still at Olympia, prior to moving next spring to its permanent purpose-built home in Cardiff Bay.

What we have now is a slick, well planned interactive show and substantial costume display, touching the whole history of the series.

But spare a thought for the early days of the exhibitions where things were on a more low key note.

I went to the first ever New Series exhibition, which was held over the summer of 2005 on Brighton Pier.

All of the displays were static, bar a spinning TARDIS with the lead’s costumes; and a single Dalek which moved its head, flashed its lights and barked some orders. It all seemed very exciting!

Tuesday 27 December 2011

12-days – day two

Day Two
Day Two of my Twelve Regenerations Of Christmas, and I have a quirky Matt Smith costume for you.

This year’s BBC pre-Christmas trailer had a variety of personalities celebrating the festive season together, all wearing the garish knitted jumpers your Grand Mother insist on buying you for Xmas!

One shot shows Matt and Karen play a form of Twister with a Cyberman.

The jumper Matt wears may look like a one-off (and probably should have been!), but you can buy one for yourself!

They are available form The Christmas Jumper Shop.

Monday 26 December 2011

12-days – day one

Day One
Today I’m launching my Twelve Regenerations Of Christmas. Between now and Twelfth Night I’ve got a series of special little treats for you.

Some have never been seen before – some are things you may have missed – others are from my archive.
The final day will be something very special. But more of that later.

To kick things off here is one of the eCards I have sent to some of my clients this festive season.  Enjoy!

Monday 19 December 2011

Happy Christmas to all my readers!

Wow - another year has flown past - and what a year it’s been!

Photo by Scott Sebring
It started back in January with a once in a lifetime opportunity when I made the Ultimate Tennant Suit. To have the chance to put into practice the actual way the suit was made was an amazing experience. The timing was perfect, as I had a couple of months before started learning traditional hand-tailoring techniques, which I put to great use in making the suit.
Photo by Scott Sebring
I had to follow the suit, and with three days notice ended up going to Gallifrey One in LA!
There I met up with a number of my online friends and many of my readers who had no idea I was going. I also had the privilege of arranging a group photograph with four of my Tennant Coat clients, which was the highlight of the trip.

By the end of April news broke that THE Series Six Shetland Tweed fabric had been found, as well as the Series Five Donegal.

It was like the Tennant Suit all over again: making an iconic jacket in the exact fabric. I was lucky to find the correct buttons and elbow patches to finish it off.

In August the culmination of many month work came to fruition when I took delivery of  my rewoven Tennant Coat lining. I had been searching for years to find a suitable alternative, but finally took the plunge and commissioned my own recreation of it.

The past few months of the year have been taken up with making a popular new garment in my repertoire - the Green Greatcoat.

I spent a while carefully researching the pattern, fabric and construction until I got it just right.

Then in late November I attended Chicago TARDIS, where I entered the masquerade competition wearing a test version of the Colin Baker Six Frock Coat. I won Best In Show: Workmanship for my tailoring – for which I am very proud.

This was one of three coats I had made, the other two were for the wedding of some close friends which is due to take place just before Christmas.

Looking back it has been an exciting year, with more projects than I could have thought to have taken on.

And as the year comes to a close, an even more exciting development is breaking.

More on that in the New Year, but trust me, it’s gonna be worth the wait . . .

Thursday 15 December 2011

Bonhams auction - 15th December 2011
viewing and results

Today was the Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia sale, where some 39 Doctor Who items went under the hammer.
All bar two were from the new series, with a vast majority from Tennant’s era.

But the main point of note were the first ever items of Matt Smith era items to come up at a Bonhams auction, after the spectacular sale of Matt’s Doctor costume on eBay in aid of Children In Need.

This will be interesting.

Sunday 11 December 2011

Series Six - accessories

While I was at Chicago TARDIS I worn my on-off Captain Rory Williams outfit, complete with eye-patch (see right).

There were a number of Madame Kovarians around (see left), and I was asked a number of times where I got my eye-drive! Most had made their own from papier mâché, but mine was cast in latex.

I had bought mine through a member of the dw_cosplay community, and I thought it a good opportunity to trumpet his work, plus a few others I have bought things from recently.
Eye Drive
The seller on dw_cosplay makes two versions basic versions.

Version 1 - Doctor
Based on Matt Smith’s look, with the double bump in the middle

Version 2 - Generic
Based more on the Madame Kavarian, which has a smoother, flatter inner edge.

Each comes in a choice of finish.

The top row is black in colour and the bottom row is Shimmer on the left and Gunmetal on the right.

The seller recommends using spirt gum to attach the eye drive, but I’m not confident with that, so I used toupee tape! It’s easy to use and very sticky. Believe me, standard double sided tape doesn’t cut it.

The price is £15 each or 4 for £50.

P&P is free in the UK and £2 overseas. His paypal address is - Just make sure to add an address and which version / colour you want.

Friday 9 December 2011

Dressing the Doctor - Mini Who

Recently I have had a number of emails from parents trying to find costumes for their Matt Smith obsessed children!

Although I can make jackets to order, producing a scaled version suitable for an eight or nine year old presents its own unique issues. The work involved in adjusting the pattern means the any saving on using less fabric is wiped out.
The actual construction part of making it is then exactly the same: it still has two sleeves; collar and lapels; breast, flapped and inside pockets; hand-stitched elbow patches – so there is no saving in time there.

As a result my price has to be the same as a full sized adult jacket.

Undoubtedly the BEST Matt Smith fan of a young age was Jack, who I featured last year. His superb costume was topped of with a great tweed jacket, which was a dead ringer for the season Five Donegal. He’s a very lucky boy.

So what are the alternatives?
The simple answer I would give is eBay!

Doing a simple search for Doctor Who Costume, I found a surprising number of tweed jackets or complete costumes in children’s sizes.

Here’s my opinion on what’s on offer, and the price range you can expect to pay.

Monday 5 December 2011

Utah shirt

Well, I’ve been rumbled.

Now I’m back from Chicago TARDIS, a number of people have been on to me, asking about a shirt I wore for part of my many costume changes.

It’s a copy of the shirt first seen in The Impossible Astronaut during the Utah scenes.

I made it just in time to wear at Chicago, so only now do I have time to show it off.

Earlier this year I had the luck to get access to an original, screen-worn shirt, so have been able to crack the puzzling details that make this shirt unique.

The pattern is cut to a classic dress shirt design, just like the real thing, and I have perfected the unusual tabbed collar (see left), and distinctive mitred cuffs (see below).

I have matched the design of the fabric using Spoonflower, so after a few tests, I got it pretty much spot on.

If you want to order a
Matt Smith Utah shirt,
please drop me an email at 
and I can send you full details.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Captain Rory Williams

Now I’m back from Chicago TARDIS, I have had a number of messages from readers who have picked up on a couple of the costumes I premiered at the weekend.

One was my Captain Rory Williams SWAT team soldier from The Wedding Of River Song.

Now, Rory isn’t my favourite character, and this blog is designed to cover the costumes worn by Matt Smith as The Doctor, and that’s how it’s gonna stay.

But on this occasion, with a convention coming up, an eagle-eyed cosplay community member identifying the ENTIRE costume, I had to – just for one – stray off target.

As I say I don’t much care for Rory, but for The Wedding Of River Song he was seen as Captain Williams, head of the defence team at Area 52.

This is the one and only Rory costume I think will ever do!

You can read the original dw_cosplay posting here:

Captain Williams - Entire Costume Identified
Here is my breakdown, and where I got my parts and how much I paid for them.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Chicago TARDIS - Sunday
The Day Of The Daleks

Following the excitement of last night and winning the Masquerade award for Best In Show: Workmanship, I kick my day off by going to the Sunday Brunch with the guests. This was a ticket only affair and I luckily picked up entry to it earlier in the weekend.

It was an interesting exercise in the different approaches the UK and US take to breakfast. I would never have fruit and fried food on the same plate; the bacon is sliced real thin, making it very brittle; the presentation of the pastries are very sickly-sweet – but hey – when in Roman!

The guests entered the room, and dispersed to tables to sit with everyone.

I have to say I didn’t enjoy the brunch at all. The company on my table, although nice, insisted on taking American politics throughout; we didn’t get a guest; and it cost $50 for a self-service, when I had been paying $20 for table-service previously. I didn’t stick around – I’d rather be off costume spotting.

In the lobby I found some UNIT guys, both old and new keeping everyone in check.

I had a particular interest in these military SWAT uniforms – but more on that soon . . .

I do love the diversity of costumes that are worn at this event. They are not limited to the New-Who, with a lot of Classic-Who on show.

I found a group straight out of The Hand Of Fear, as well as a great Seven and Ace.

The attendance of Peter Davison naturally encouraged the Five cosplayers, and I found a number of Adrics, Tegans, Nissas and Fives, both male and femme!

Saturday 26 November 2011

Chicago TARDIS - Saturday
Day Of The Award

After chatting away to the small hours with friends last night, I’m up again bright and early to discover the news that although Sarah Sutton was forced to drop out due to a family illness, filling her place at short notice is Matthew Waterhouse!

Knowing what Janet is like, I feel a little sorry for Matthew, though also some respect, cos it’s gonna be like lamb to the slaughter!!
I started my day off in my series five Donegal tweed and blue Paul Smith shirt (see right). Personally I prefer the look of the Shetland tweed, but have been finding the Donegal a comfortable fit.

Heading back down in the lobby area I caught up with Kevin again, who was now in his second costume of the weekend, his Satan Pit spacesuit.

He bought the suit from SpaceToys, who supplied the originals to Louise Page for use in the series, but found, as Louise had before him, that it required substantial reworking before it was wearable as it was quite shabbily made.

To complete the outfit, he tracked down the correct gloves, climbing harness and boots.

Friday 25 November 2011

Chicago TARDIS - Friday

Having landed safely and on time yesterday afternoon, I am now refreshed after being awake for 25-hours straight and ready for what the convention has to throw at me.
After a hearty breakfast of poached eggs, I spent some time catching up on blogging from the hotel lobby.

I really like wearing the Shetland tweed these days, so to start the day off I wore it with my Utah shirt (see right).

Slowly the hotel came to life, with more attendees, fezzes and stetsons evident.

There were some great improvised costumes around, and I especially liked a group who were doing the Fifth Doctor TARDIS crew (see below).

There is a lot of new-Who cosplay (see below), so it’s refreshing to see some classic series costumes for a change, and even more so if they are worn by younger fans, proving the older episodes haven’t lost any of their appeal.

Chicago TARDIS is nowhere near as big as Gallifrey One, with only around 800 people due to come this weekend.
It is, however, well organised and put together with the experience of the fans in mind.

This morning I went through the process of getting my photocall with the principle guests: Janet Fielding, Andrew Hayden-Smith and Peter Davison.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Chicago TARDIS - Thursday evening

This evening things unofficially kicked off with a complimentary meal for the reserve ticket holders, attended by the guests that had arrived by that time.

I have brought along over six costume changes for the weekend, and I plan to rotate them as often as possible. Each time I do I’ll let you know what I'm wearing!

For the meet and greet, I decided to wear my series five Donegal tweed jacket and blue Paul Smith shirt (see right). It’s comfortable and I only got to finished it off in the last week, so this is my chance to wear it for the first time proper.

There was a warm round of applause as Peter Davison and Janet Fielding came in, followed by Nicholas, Andrew and others.

They were very cordial and made the point of table-hopping around the room to meet and greet everyone there.

Janet was complaining about her Thanksgiving Dinner, which included sweet potato cooked with marshmallow. Peter on the other hand had a glass of wine, which was agreeing with him . . .

I had a good chat to a number of fellow attendees who had been coming to the event for several years. It had been a while since Janet had come over, so I filled them in my my experiences of her style and patter.

Like me, they are looking forward to the weekend’s events.