Friday 27 September 2013

All Saints layer boots - pair on eBay

Just to show these things do still happen, there was a pair of AllSaints layer boots on eBay this week, though despite their 99p starting price, it looks like someone did an off-listing deal.

Mens All Saints boots.
Size 10

Have been worn but still good condition.
They naturally have that worn look which most Allsaints boots do

RRP £130

Thursday 5 September 2013

Cashmere Frock Coat -
adding a corduroy collar to a found coat

Finding an exact copy of the Cashmere Frock Coat worn in series 7b is a near impossible task.

The cut of the coat may look pretty standard, but it is to an old fashioned pattern, so try as you might you won’t find a match on any typical high street anytime soon.

Don’t get me started on the fabric used, as you really won’t find anything that comes close to matching its weave and look.

That said a number of canny cosplayers have found three-quarter length smart coats which block out the shape and style of the Frock Coat pretty well. They aren’t 100% right, but once worn with a bow tie and waistcoat and brandishing a sonic - the effect comes together!

But the one thing they rarely have is a purple corduroy collar. If they do come with a contrasting collar it is often black and nearly always velvet.

A good friend of mine has sent me one such coat and has asked me to revamp the collar with some appropriately coloured corduroy fabric I have left over from making my own screen accurate coat.

As you can see, this coat has a black velvet collar, over which I am going to wrap my purple corduroy fabric.

Applying this is actually very easy - so long as you know what you’re doing.
Here is how I did it, pulling in some of my hand tailoring skills to give it a professional finish but using surprisingly simple techniques.

All it involves is CUTTING, a bit of MACHINE STITCHING and then a little HAND STITCHING to finish it off.

First we need to work out how much cloth to cut.
Lay the collar out flat and measure the length, adding 2 inches for either end.
Then measure the height, adding an inch above and a good 2 inches below.

I then cut this in corduroy - 20 x 6 inches in this case, making sure the lines in the fabric run parallel the shortest edges.

Next I lay the corduroy right sides up and position the collar right sides up also with the edge of the collar close to the edge of the fabric.
A coat collar often has a gentle curve to the edge. Don’t worry about this - just lay the collar flat.
I pin the collar points, and the space between. Notice the pins are at right-angles to the collar edge.

I then sew along the collar, roughly 1cm from the edge, following any curve or shape it may have.
I start on the corduroy, catch the collar, then overshoot and finish on the corduroy the other end. This helps anchor the stitching and will not show.
With the pins at the angle they were, I was able to sew without removing them and avoided the machine needle breaking if it were to hit the pins.

I then return to my cutting mat and trim the excess corduroy along the length of the collar. It’s best to leave as much fabric beyond the collar points for now. it can always be trimmed later.

Next I need to press the fabric around the collar to bind the edge.

First with the collar right side up, I flap the corduroy underneath away form the collar, pulling it tight along the stitched edge and firmly press. I am pressing from this side so the pile of the fabric doesn’t get crushed.

Then I flip the collar over and wrap the corduroy back around the collar edge, binding it. This needs to be folded nice and tight then pressed firmly. Again, I am pressing from the back to protect the public side of the fabric.

Now, this coat has a line of machine stitching along the roll line of the collar. You can see it about an inch up on the black velvet.

I am going to use this to my distinct advantage as you will see later, but first I must establish the edge of the gorge - the join between the collar and lapel leading away from the notch.

I fold the corner over to match the angle of the velvet, then cut away the excess to give me approx a 1cm seam allowance to fold under.
I do this at both ends and pin along the machined roll line, keeping the fabric flat and tight form the already sewn edge of the collar.

On the underside of the collar I can see the original line of stitching, so I sew along this, overshooting a bit at each end. I will then unpick the stitching back to the exact edge of the corduroy and tie the ends off neatly. This is easier than trying to second guess where the fabric is on the underside of the work.

That’s the last of the machine stitching needed to do the collar, and what you should have is the corduory bound around the long edge of the collar; the fabric attached along the machined roll line; the edges folded under along the gorge and caught by the machine roll line stitch; and rough fabric along the bottom edge with two points at the collar ends.

All of the rest of the collar is now hand stitched, but it is really simple to do.

First I trim the excess along the bottom to give me a 1cm seam allowance which I turn under to match the neckline of the existing collar. I pin it in place.

This is were sewing the roll line pays off.

The public face of the collar has already been secured top and bottom and I am now only tethering the one inch or so along the neckline.

I now hand stitch the corduroy to the coat around the neck line, from notch to notch.

This is the most time consuming part of the job - but once you get going it doesn’t take too long really. You don’t need to make the stitches too close together, say around 3-5mm apart is fine.
The corduroy can be quite forgiving and you should find your stitches disappear into the pile of the fabric.

Now the simplest and cleverest part of the job. I always like how easy this is when I am tailoring a jacket.

With the collar face down, fold the excess which forms a sort of tab around the front edge of the collar and press very firmly.

Cut away the tab, leaving a 1 inch flap.
Inside the tab trim away any excess of folding to stop bulking.

Then carefully stitch the tab down to the under collar (usually a felt fabric) making sure you do not come through to the front.

One final press of the whole collar FROM THE REVERSE SIDE - don’t go pressing the corduroy or you could ruin it - and you are all done!

Hopefully you have found this quite a simple change to make, but a very effective end result.

Compared to how it looked before, it makes all the difference to cheap coat for the budget cosplayer.

Just so you can see, here is before and after.
If you gave this a go I’d love to hear how you got on and see your end result.
Drop me an email to 
to share your experiences.

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Donegal discovery

I’m on a bit of a roll - no pun intended.

After securing the very last piece of the Cashmere from the season 7b Frock Coat (see left), I have now managed to track down a piece of genuine Donegal tweed a-la the series five jacket.

The original tweed jackets worn in series five were cut from two rolls of half-width hand woven Donegal tweed from W Bills in London and sold for around £40 a metre.

Once the supply had been exhausted, the weavers tried to match the fabric, but could not source the original yarn.
Since there are only two colours in the weave it meant the finished result would have been wildly out, so no attempt has been made to recreate this fabric.

What I have found pre-dates the original weave and uses the correct colours, abet a different dyeing batch, but it is essentially exactly the same stuff.
Just like the screen used, this is half-width and hand woven - so a top quality fabric!

I have a good dozen metres, so enough to make three jackets (4 metres is needed for an average jacket up to chest 44 or so).

I am happy to sell this by the metre or as made up jackets, just like the Donegal I made a couple of years back (see right).
If you are interested in a the Donegal fabric by the metre or as a made-up bespoke jacket, please mail me at 
and I can send you details.

Sunday 1 September 2013

ORIGINAL 11th Doctor items on eBay

Aside from the Ray Holman presentation costume design just over a month ago, there hasn’t really been many original Eleventh Doctor era items on eBay worth talking about.

However, there is one VERY nice and unique item for sale, with proceeds going to a good cause.

I’m left thinking Journey Of Impossible Things....

Doctor Who Series 5
Production Designer’s Personal Note-Book

The personal note-book used by TRISTAN PEATFIELD, who was Production Designer on Series 5 of Doctor Who (2010), between the departure of Ed Thomas and the arrival of Michael Pickwoad.

A 14cm x 21cm black covered "Guildhall" notebook, it contains notes on a number of productions on which Tristan worked (most of which I cannot identify), including at least 13 pages dedicated to Doctor Who and in particular to the episode The Lodger.

This includes text, designs and drawings in pencil by Tristan and his colleague Peter McKinstry, the best of which is probably the original design for the "Lodger TARDIS" console and "Amy Pond, TARDIS Pilot" (see photos).

This is an absolutely unique, one-off, used on-set item, which I am selling on behalf of Tristan for the benefit of The Isabella Peatfield Memorial Fund, which raises money for children's projects in Sri Lanka. Tristan's daughter Isabella died in the country on Boxing Day 2004, the youngest British victim of the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Nightmare In Silver
Hedewicks Map
This is a map of "Hedgewicks World Of Adventure" which featured in Doctor Who series 7B episode 7 "Nightmare In Silver" written by Neil Gaimen, this episode starred Matt Smith (The Doctor) Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara Oswald) Warwick Davis (Porridge) Tazmin Outhwaite (Captain Alice) this highly detailed map was used to show which areas of the theme park would be safe if there were to be a Cyberman attack, its features "Natty Longshoes Comical Castle" which is the castle Clara, Captain Alice and other members of the punishment platoon were based while Cybermen attacked.

This is a beautiful map which is highly detailed and would be perfect for any Doctor Who fan, this map also features a detailed drawing of "Spacey Zoomer Ride" which was the ride that Angie and Arty (Clara's children she was looking after) rode on.

This map beautifully illustrates every corner of the theme park and would be perfect for anyone who loves Doctor Who.