Sunday 22 December 2013

A tie at the Eleventh Hour -
finding a tie maker

So far I’ve gone through the process of making a vector-based trace of the Christian Lacroix tie and had it embroidered into suitable dark chocolate brown fabric.

Now I need to make them up into ties.

I have absolutely no experience on making ties, and the thick embroidery isn’t likely to make it easy, so I’m gonna find a proper professional company to do the work.

Through some fabric weaving contacts I’ve been given the details of a company that will fit the bill.
They do massive runs of thousands of ties for major high street names - and on the other end of the scale will hand make ties in short runs with minimum quantity.

I’ve called and spoke to their boss, outlining what I wanted to do, and it is something he would be more than happy to take on.

I’ve arranged to go down to visit their workshop after the new year and personally brief the job over. I’m keen to get a little insight into the tie making process.

Chatting to the boss I quickly realised that the Doctor Who connection was piquing his interest and a number of staff are excited to see what I will be bringing along to show them.
It seemed this will be one job everyone wants to be involved with!

I found out that although the 10,000 run jobs are where they make their money, the little one off commissions are what made their day-to-day production that bit more interesting and enjoyable.

For now the fabric is sitting in my room, and every time it catches my eye it makes me smile.
I can’t wait for thew new year and to see the ties taking shape.

Tuesday 17 December 2013

A tie at the Eleventh Hour - the design

After seeing two of the original ties from The Eleventh Hour at the Doctor Who Celebration, I’ve been inspired to have a go at making my own, as close to the real deal as possible.

The ties were copies of the original Christian Lacroix tie worn by the Tenth Doctor.

The blue swirly pattern, which is part of a woven pattern on the original, was recreated by embroidering the design onto brown silk fabric and then making it into a tie.

I’m lucky in that I have an actual Christian Lacroix tie, abet in a alternative colourway. Nevertheless, the design is the same size and weave, so I can use it as gospel to match to.

The first thing I did was to scan the tie in using my desktop scanner.
This had to be done in sections, which I stitched together in Photoshop.

I also needed to scan the reverse of the tie so I could catch the sections of the design that wrap around to the back.

Once this was assembled into a single file I then imported it into Illustrator where I could trace the edges of the design to make a vector based file my embroider could use.

It took a bit of jigging around for the embroider to make it work, but finally she broke if down into manageable sized sections to stitch which once joined together create the full design.

I also needed to provide the embroider with a lay down to show how to place the artwork on the fabric.

I used a section of fabric to plan it out, and cut some paper so they laid diagonally across the width of the material.
I laid my Lacroix tie in place and traced around its shape.

Next I put the tie under the paper and traced the design to show how it fits in place.

I then passed this to the embroider to help her place the design on the diagonal and with enough space around it to cut the finished tie.

We didn’t know how well it would work or how hard it would be to make the fabric up into ties, so we sewed half a dozen to give me some spares in case of problems.

Here’s the finished embroidered fabric ready to be made into ties.
I’m very pleased with the result, and it’s made my Christmas getting it done so well.

Check back and see how things progress.

Tuesday 10 December 2013

The Doctor’s Double Albert chain

I’ve had a number of emails recently asking about the double Albert fob chain worn in The Snowmen and the subsequent episodes making up the latter half of series seven.

It has two chain loops, with a T-bar in the middle, from which hangs a medallion.

In The Snowmen it is silver; and for the episodes that follow it is a gilt colour.

It didn’t take me too long to track one down - on eBay - and here is the link to the seller I got it from. They seem to hold decent stock as it has been available for almost a year now.

Double Albert Bronze Tone Pocket Watch Fob Chain

The chain comes in a bronze metal, which for me gives a more antiqued look.

There is an option to not have it boxed, saving yourself a little money too.

The medallion is a metal shield - but this is easily changed by your local jeweller who can swap it for a suitable round medallion.

The costume from The Snowmen was on display at the 50th Anniversary Celebration, and it gave me a good chance to get a close-up look at the chain and medallion.

To my surprise it depicts a boxing match!

Does anyone know where this comes from?

Saturday 7 December 2013

Mrs Bowties are cool!

There was a time (i.e. series five) when Matt Smith seemed to have a limited wardrobe of bow ties in just burgundy and navy blue.

Series six brought in some new variants and by series seven he sported a different bow tie for each episode!

The more recent ones are unique in their style, so finding anything that remotely matches is near impossible.

A little while ago I highlighted a range from Mrs Bowtie, a UK based seller of handmade ties.

They have just added SIX new ties to their Doctor Who tribute range, each available self or pre-tied.

I have been sent a set to review, and shall give my individual views on them over the next few days, but to kick off, here is a preview of what is on offer.

50th Anniversary

The Aztec Key

Blue & Purple Bark

Burgundy Weave

Copper Burn

Impossible Astronaut