Thursday 26 October 2017

Donegal - limited supply vintage roll

While trawling the fabric shops of London’s Soho, I recently chanced upon a great find - a bolt of Donegal tweed in just the right colour to match matt’s series 5 jacket!

The original tweed had been sourced at W Bills, and was a hand-woven half-width cloth. There was two bolts in stock when I first went in, and these quickly sold out.
At the time I made enquiries about getting it rewoven, which was something W Bills was keen on doing, but the weavers could not reorder the same yarns, so their attempts were less than inspiring.

Later, when W Bills was sold to Harrisons, I had a meeting with them to discuss ongoing restocking of legacy Doctor Who cloths, and the Donegal was one of those we talked about.

Ultimately they produced a reweave, which overall was a visual match, but used a thicker yarn and had a notable red fleck which detracted from the simple duo-colour of the original.

The cloth I have stumbled across is woven from a yarn of a thickness between the screen-used and rewoven tweeds.

It has some very minor flecks, but in a light colour that do not distract too much from the overall look of the fabric.

I have made up a couple of jackets now in this new option, and it has proved very popular.

Personally I would recommend this cover over the current W Bill reweave, as it is closer to the original screen-used fabric.

I’ll make this new cloth the subject of a Fabric Friday very soon, so you can see a comparison between this and the two W Bill weaves.

If you are interested in a bespoke made Donegal jacket which stocks last, please mail me at 
and I can send you details.

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Bonhams 28th June 2017
Entertainmernt sale

There’s only one Doctor Who item for sale in this month’s Bonhams Entertainment auction, but it is something of a landmark.

Although this is being marketed principally as a Dalek that appeared in the Twelfth Doctor’s ear, it made it’s first appearance in a Matt Smith episode.

Lot 54
Doctor Who: A Black Dalek,
constructed to BBC "New Series" specification, appearing in the BBCtv Doctor Who Episodes "Asylum Of The Daleks" and "The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar", principally of wooden construction (with fibreglass, metal and plastic elements) in four sections comprising: (1) integrated base & skirt, (2) 'shoulder' section, (3) neck 'bin' with embrasure frame and (4) dome, painted matte black overall with details in gloss black, including: approx. 4in (10cm) trolley wheels attached to the wooden frame which underpins the skirt, gloss black hemispheres on matte black skirt (which includes internally a foam-padded bench seat for the operator and dual speakers for sound), gloss black slats on the matte black 'shoulder' section, a three-tier metal manipulator arm maximum extension 31 1/2 in (80cm) with rubber 'sucker' cap, a highly polished metal gun-stick and rods, neck bin of plastic matting painted black with black wooden embrasure, the black fibreglass dome featuring unique identification code (painted in white beneath the eye), metal and plastic eyestalk with translucent plastic rings and illuminating black eyeball, and transparent dome light fittings with bulbs and polished metal frames, approximately 63 in (160cm) high,
This Dalek was originally for charity display use, but subsequently appeared in "Asylum Of The Daleks" (TX 01/09/2012 on BBC-1) and "The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar" (TX 19/09/2015 & 26/09/2015 on BBC-1).

During the first of these episodes, the Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darville) were kidnapped by the Daleks and sent to their 'asylum' planet to head off a break-out of the unstable Daleks imprisoned there. It was there that the Doctor met the first of the manifold Clara Oswalds (Jenna Coleman) created during the events leading up to the series 50th Anniversary. In the latter episodes, the next Doctor (Peter Capaldi) - accompanied by Clara and "Missy" (Michelle Gomez) - was summoned to Skaro (the Daleks' home planet) for one last visit to their creator, Davros, who seemed to be on the brink of death. This proved to be a sophisticated ruse to enable Davros to drain the Doctor of his regenerative power, but was insufficient to fool him. As has happened on so many previous occasions, the Doctor turned the tables and defeated him.

Most recently, the Dalek appeared in the Cardiff Bay segment of the 2017 "Comic Relief" Television Appeal.

Intellectual property rights and Trade Marks of the BBC/Terry Nation Estate require that this screen-used item must be used for personal home display only; any and all commercial use is prohibited expressly.
Estimate £10,000 - 15,000
Sold for £ 18,750

Scaley waistcoat

Since getting some of the Scaley silk fabric used to make the series 7b waistcoat, I thought I’d have a go at making my own.

The cut is very simple, and have have a plethora of books to use as a basis.

My favourite dates from the early 20th century.

This book has so  any styles and designs of period waistcoats, I am almost spoilt for choice!

But amongst the designs is one for a waistcoat with three pockets, with a plain front just like Matt’s.

The pattern has full instructions on how to draw it up, and once I’ve done so, I can make the necessary style alterations to match what I’m after.

I’ll go into such more detail in a future posting, but for now here’s my finished waistcoat, ready for the convention season.

I’ve paired it here with my Hide Shirt, but I know it’s the wrong bow tie - it will have to do for now.

I tracked down the source of the original buttons used on Matt’s waistcoat, and as usual they aren’t just a simple off the shelf job - that would be too easy!

An early versions of this waistcoat as seen in The Rings Of Akhaten had plain black plastic buttons, but by the time it appears in Cold War, it has much nicer silk buttons.

These are hand-made from Russian braid, which although comes in a range of colours, doesn’t come in the right grade to make buttons this small.

I had to buy a special dyeable Russian braid which is thin enough; get that professionally dyed to the colour of my choice; before getting the buttons hand-made!

But I think it was worth the effort, as these buttons lift the finished result and make it something a bit special.

What do you think?

Friday 14 April 2017

Fabric Friday -
Scaley waistcoat

Without doubt one of the nicest, and enigmatic waistcoats Matt wore first appeared on screen in The Rings Of Akaban, though it debuted in the dedicated publicity photos for the previous episode The Bells Of St John, despite it not appearing in that adventure.
I know - confusing!

It has a wonderfully textured cloth in a fish-scale pattern; is in a colour that compliments the frock coat so elegantly; has cut a that is simple and stylish; and has more variants than you might think.

But its the cloth I’m focusing on today.

The fabric has evaded efforts to track it down since its first appearance in the Hide publicity photos that heralded the start of filming on series 7b.

However, through a chance conversation with fans at this year’s Gallifrey One convention, costume design Howard Bergen finally let slip where he got it from.

The fabric is silk and wool mix, and is a grey/mauve colour.

These images are directly scanned from the screen-accurate fabric.
I’ve colour-matched them to the material as best as possible, erring on the side of a bit brighter to show detail.

Here’s the fabric in close detail, showing up the scale pattern, and it’s slightly erratic weave.

The material itself was sourced from Hopkins Fabrics, a rather exclusive fabric merchants, who as a rule only sell direct to trade.

Called (appropriately) Scaley, it comes on a range of 13 colours - but its the Grey/Mauve that was used on Matt’s costume.
Hopkins Fabrics