I made it in 1985 or so, when I was around 16, from fabrics I found at various fabric shops around North West London.
My self-demand for getting things as accurate as possible was evident even then, and I found some pretty good matches for some of the elusive materials used to make the original.
I have always hung onto it, despite it not fitting me for many years, as I am always proud of how well it stands up, even today.
It was an absolute honour to have the chance late last year to wear an original screen-used complete costume (see left), thanks to the kind help of some friends of mine who own it, along with several other rare and unique costume pieces.
I can’t hide that I was ever so slightly exceedingly jealous! But the chance to wear it and get some great photos was a fantastic opportunity, and it made me want to have a wearable one for myself to my own high standards.
This will undoubtedly be a long-term project, as locating and matching all the fabrics I will need will take some time. I then have to develop my frock coat pattern, though I have been making a number of these recently, so I now have a very good understanding of how such patterns work.
The first thing I need to do is get the ball rolling on finding some of the fabrics needed. To get my mind around the task ahead I’ve broken it down into the fourteen key and essential fabrics used on the coat.
In descending order of proportion (followed by the lining), they are as follows:
1 Red Tartan
In theory its a fairly simple task to track down the clan this one comes from, but in practice with over 1,000 such designs, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.
I have, however, been given a bombshell of a clue which in some respects fast-tracks me to what I need, almost making the process almost irrelevant . . . stay tuned.
2 Purple Felt
3 Green Felt
4 Peach Wool
Previously I would have been a little nervous of doing this, but since dyeing the pillow ticking for the Six Trousers I made, as well as the fabric for my Blue Tennant Suit, it doesn’t seem quite as daunting as I would have thought.
5 Red Felt
6 Checked Collar
7 Yellow and 8 Pink Lapels
The Pink Lapel is a baby-pink velvet, which although I haven’t found a match as yet, once I start looking I don’t think it will be too hard to track down something that will work.
9 Woven Back
11 Pink Felt
12 Green Braid
13 Applique Strip
The way tv programmes are shot, you rarely see the back of the lead actor on screen, so views of the rear of the coat are few and far between. The same can be said for publicity stills! So there is little reference for what this curious strip on the back edge of the coat is made from.
I had always thought it was a form of tartan, but when I had the chance to look at it close-up, I found it was anything but.
It is a heavily woven material, with a form of fire motif pattern. It would be feasible to print this onto a lining material, but would not give the same depth of colour and vibrancy of the original.
If at all possible I would like to get this re-woven. I already have a lead where I might be able to get it done . . .
As I say, this will be a long-term project, but check back regularly as I work my way through the list of fabrics one by one.
The above illustrations were drawn by ^o^CORVUS^o^ from the Gallifrey Base forum. He posted the original images saying he wanted no credit, but I want to thank him for doing them and making them available for use, as they are proving very useful to quantify what needs to be done.
Thank you ^o^CORVUS^o^ !!!!