May 10, 2012, 9:29 PM - Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
City of Death was the first episode of classic Who I watched, and I loved this coat right away. At the time I couldn't even sew and nobody was offering replicas, so I didn't give it too much thought. When the Doctor Who Experience opened in London, there were instantly tons of really high res photos of the coat on display, and that got me thinking about it again. Well, for the last view months, this coat has moved up on my to-do list, and I officially started back in March when I finally found a fabric I liked for the body. It has a different weave, but from all of the various pictures I've seen and screen grabs, it seems to me like it matches the color of the original tweed really well. The important thing is that in person it looks brown, but lights up in photos to sort of an oatmeal color, sometimes very desaturated. Then I picked up some brown velvet from Jo-Anne for the collar and tracked down some screen accurate bias trim. The weave is possibly a bit larger than the original and it might be a little darker than the real stuff, but that could just be because of fading over time. Just yesterday I completed my fabric collection by picking up some lining fabric, also from Jo-Anne. This stuff really takes the cake for color changing. I took a ton of pictures under different lighting and it turned gold, green, grey, pink. Basically every color. In person though, it's a slightly golden brown. It matches the shell fabric pretty well. I do worry though that it will appear too gold in pictures. Anyhow, here are some pics of my fabrics.
Incandescent with flash:
Fluorescent with flash:
And the only picture I got where the lining looks remotely like it does in person:
I'll try to get a daylight picture soon. Most of the time I spend awake when the sun's up I'm at my day job or trying to run errands when businesses are open. The buttons are proving difficult to find. They actually share some traits with the buttons from Sherlock's coat in the new BBC series. My current plan is to sculpt the correct shape on top of one of the close-enough Sherlock buttons I picked up and mold it.
I'm pretty sure the original buttons were real leather, but there's only so much that can be done.
I've been sewing for a few years now, but over the last few months my skills have really started to ramp up dramatically thanks to some much appreciated lessons and advice from a very talented friend. I also just picked up this book that was recommended by Darth_Mule:
I'm about 1/3 through it, and so far it hasn't taught me much that I hadn't already learned, but it's pretty informative. It's also kind of comically dated though, having been published in 1988. Apparently that was the year when all women dressed in men's jackets.
Lastly, I'll be modifying the Laughing Moon #109 double breasted frock coat pattern, as it's pretty near perfect. Just needs some small modifications.
This first post is pretty much just a teaser. I won't be working on my buttons for a little while still, and the actual coat build won't start until I finish another one I'm working on in my free time, which is quite limited right now. I've actually wanted to post about that coat, but since it isn't technically a costume I didn't have a forum, so to speak. I may hijack my own thread for that build until it's complete, then resume the frock build.
Last edited by Risu; Jun 20, 2012 at 12:53 AM.
May 12, 2012, 6:35 AM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat
Looking forward to seeing how this project goes!
May 12, 2012, 11:04 AM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat
very awesome so far, City of Death was also my first episode and have loved the S17 look ever since, I had my frock done by Magnoli, it truly is a fun coat to wear, looking forward to your progress
May 12, 2012, 1:27 PM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat
Oh Tom Baker, there will never be a true Dr. Who as you again.
Can't wait to see the finished coat.
May 12, 2012, 1:41 PM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat
Quoted for truth! On both counts.
May 19, 2012, 2:24 AM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat
OK, I said I might hijack my own thread, so here it is. This is the coat build that I'm working on currently. It's inspired in different ways by the coat Matt Smith wore during his touring during S5, Sherlock's coat, Jack Harkness' coat, Eccleston's coat, and a tiny bit by Tennant's coat. When I originally drew up the design I thought it looked really cool, but I had actually incorporated so many details into the design it looked ridiculous. When I finally started making it a year later I cleaned it up and made it more realistic. I've already learned quite a few lessons from the build. Some of these pictures date back to January.
Here's the first mock up, made of cotton canvas.
The second mockup, made of leftover space suit. This one had complete lapels and was made primarily to test collar roll.
I used collar canvas attached to the under collar.
With decorative stitching.
One of the front pockets of the coat, still haven't attached them yet.
And lastly a couple pad stitching photos. I did this a little wrong, but I don't think it'll have too much of an effect on the overall appearance.
May 20, 2012, 6:22 AM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat
I'd say you should, perhaps: Make the lapels bigger, try making the bottom of the "skirt" bigger, so it flows in a more "majestic manner". And maybe also add some vertical hand-warming pockets.
May 20, 2012, 6:28 AM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat
For someone who only started sowing recently it looks like you have come a remarkably long way.
I look forward to seeing how this progresses.
May 20, 2012, 5:11 PM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat
Harold, the skirt of the orange coat was expanded out. It flares quite a bit, about as much as a frock coat. As for the lapels, I didn't want to make massive lapels and I wanted it to breach high, both personal choices. The collar could be a bit smaller, but I had already cut the pieces when I realized that and I don't have enough fabric to make new ones. I did just finish my tailoring book yesterday though, and I'm considering taking my collar apart and starting over by cutting it down. Probably the hardest mod to make to a coat.
In light of your comments I have to say that I'm NOT trying to make Smith's green coat. The coat is my own design cobbled together from a few different sources that I like. I'm not a fan of the giant lapels on Smith's green coat and I'm undecided on hand warmers.
May 25, 2012, 6:07 PM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat
Took me a while to get around to it, but here's that daylight picture.
And a few yards of something I picked up for a friend yesterday.
Jun 20, 2012, 1:00 AM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
No progress on the coat as of yet, but I have been searching for buttons pretty actively. Nothing even close exists anywhere in the LA area. It looks like I might have to go back to my sculpting plan. Or maybe I'll 3D render them, print one, and cast them. I think that would be easier for me than clay.
I also decided that since I'm going all out and making the rest of the costume as perfect as I can (within budgetary reason, I'm not spending 200 pounds per meter for perfect fabric, and the only other person that has sourced some won't share it) then I probably shouldn't use a season 12 scarf. I had wanted to learn how to knit anyway, so tonight I picked up some needles and using some leftover yarn from my Jack Sparrow build, I learned how to knit.
The yarn for the season 17 scarf is going to cost me $54, but I really love the colors and I think I'll be very happy with it. I'm going to make a few more practice pieces to perfect my tension and learn how to change colors, and then I'll pick up my yarn and begin the probably 6 month journey to knit the 18 foot long scarf.
Jun 20, 2012, 12:13 PM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
$54 is a LOT less than $314 per meter.
Jun 20, 2012, 5:45 PM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
Different articles actually. My coat fabric cost me $39 for 3 yards as opposed to that $314 per meter. The yarn for the scarf was $54, which compares to I think up to about $100 for the most expensive yarn option.
Jul 18, 2012, 5:12 PM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
As it turns out, the bulky acrylic yarn I was practicing with is a million times easier to knit with than the worsted wool. After repeated attempts to knit sample pieces with the stuff I just can't get decent tension, I drop at least one stitch per row, and I keep splitting the yarn, which totally messes everything up. I've decided that I'm not knitting the thing myself, but I haven't decided which way to go yet. Bonnie's scarves are nearly flawless, but the price might be a problem and her color transitions aren't as clean as I'd like. I'm seriously considering cuteorkill's scarf on Etsy, the price is a little better and his accuracy is right up there with Bonnie's, plus he does the "invisible" color transitions.
In the meantime I've picked up some white linen for the shirt and I've also tracked down this excellent plaid wool blend for the trousers. At $20 per yard it's pricey for the fiber type, but it's so close to the original weave I don't think I'll find anything better for less money.
Jul 28, 2012, 10:10 PM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
Order one from Tara, she does the best.
Jul 28, 2012, 11:30 PM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
I have a personal scarf from Tara and while I do like it I would argue your point. After I decided not to make it myself I was shopping around with a few of the more notable scarf makers and a couple other less well known options, but in the end I went with a coworker who agreed to knit it in trade for some very easy leather work.
Jul 29, 2012, 7:42 PM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
Cool, but what about the badges on the coat? They'll be a time vampire.
Jul 29, 2012, 7:57 PM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
At the moment I don't have any specific badge plans.
Aug 3, 2012, 1:04 PM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
cant wait to see it finished
Oct 6, 2012, 11:19 PM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
I've posted some of this elsewhere in the last few days, and just now remembered I have a build thread for this costume.
I'm lucky to have a very good friend who hordes buttons, and it turns out she had this gem buried in her collection:
I'll be molding it and experimenting with brown resin pigment over the next week to try to perfect that real aged leather look.
I've also found a better linen/cotton blend trouser fabric and finished my belt. The picture makes it look black, but it's dark brown. The fabric is also a little dark and it has pairs of orange stripes instead of individual ones, but I think it's a worthwhile compromise considering the stripes go both ways and read so much more clearly than those on the wool blend fabric. In order to match the original buckle on Tom's belt, I had to remove the prong, flatten the center bar, drill a hole, and mount a brass collar stud through it. The thin metal of the buckle is bound to give sometime, so I expect it to break while I wear it. I plan to make the pants fit without a belt so I can just buckle it loose so there isn't any strain on it.
My plan is to finish the costume (well, the coat, and get the scarf from my coworker) in time for an event on November 8th. I have close enough shirt, pants, and waistcoat on hand, but will attempt to make the accurate ones in time, although I don't think the waistcoat will quite fit in that window, I hope to at least make the pants. I also haven't cut my hair in a couple months, and if I continue to let it grow for another it will achieve Baker status. I'm unsure if I'll go through with that plan though, as I hate having my hair this long.
Oct 12, 2012, 11:49 PM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
Button progress. The mold is made and I'm testing pigment ratios to get the color right. The original button is on the bottom.
Oct 13, 2012, 12:18 AM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
What about painting the brown color into the mold and then casting in a lighter tanish color resin for a more aged and less uniform look without having to paint it after molding which could potentially rub off over time...
Oct 13, 2012, 12:38 AM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
I'd love to do that and I was actually planning to ask how to do it next time I go into Reynolds for resin. Is it just the pigment liquid that you paint into the mold, or is there a power like aluminum powder that has to be used?
Jan 3, 2013, 3:13 AM - Re: Doctor Who - Tom Baker's S17 Frock Coat/Costume
So this month is going to be absolutely insane. Apart from continuous production of River diaries and a couple of ongoing runs, I have a ton of work to do in time for Gallifrey One here in LA. In the next 40 days I have to make:
Tom Baker frock coat
Tom Baker waistcoat (using Manofsteel25's screen printed velvet)
Tom Baker shirt
Tom Baker pants
Matt Smith Donegal tweed jacket (S5)
Matt Smith Topman jeans (S5)
Cut an XL Paul Smith shirt (S5) down to my size
Matt Smith S6/7 striped shirt
Matt Smith blue bow tie (from my run)
Matt Smith Shetland tweed jacket (S6/7)
Oswin Oswald belt for my GF
Mirror device from the Van Gogh episode
I've decided to start this ridiculous challenge with Tom Baker's shirt. I picked up shirt interfacing and white weaver's cloth today, which I think is the fabric his shirt was made from. I'm currently cutting the pattern for the shirt, then I just have to make a couple of modifications and I can sew the shirt in a few hours. A couple more edits and I can finish the two Matt Smith shirts.
My coworker who is knitting the scarf for me has fallen way behind schedule (it was supposed to be done for Halloween). She's now about 65% done with the it, and assures me it will be done by the end of this month. I'll try to stay on top of posting pictures of my progress, and I'll be starting a thread for my Smith costumes as well.
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