Tuesday 30 March 2010

Five Coat - Finished!

I have spent the past few month working hard on my Five Coat, and here at last is the finished coat!

I am pretty happy with the result, but now I step back and take some images of the coat, I am wondering if the lapels and collar are just a little wide at the notch point.
I may well go back and revise this, but only after a some thought as to how best to alter it.

Friday 26 March 2010

Five Coat - Hemming

Now I have lined the body of the coat and the sleeves, I can move onto the skirt part and finally finish it.

I have created a pattern for a narrow vertical strip to run the height of the skirt at the front. This, looking at publicity photographs, needs to be narrower than the lapel panel above it (see right).

This is cut and interfaced with the same fusible canvas as the lapels for structural stiffness. By interfacing this lining panel rather than the outer skirt, I will get the stability I need on the leading edge of the coat, but still retain the fluidity of the skirt on the outside of it.

I can then cut the lining panel for the skirt, less the width of the facing I have just cut. These are then sewn togther.

I trim the lower edge of the body lining so it is level, and then attach the skirt lining to it. I need to be very careful to alighen the horizontal waistline seams at the front edge of the coat.
Some adjustment was needed to make sure the facing panel hung vertically, as initially this pulled on the skirt causing unsightly folds down the front.

The back edge of the skirt lining is blended into the back of the coat as the outer skirt had been before.

The skirt is then ready to be hemmed, once a satisfactory length had been decided. Looking at the calico test I felt in hindsight that it was a tad short (see left), so I’ve learnt from that at added enough to make a better length.

Firstly I pin the length I want with the coat on my tailors dummy, folding the excess up and pinning it up in place. After checking it for fit I then firmly press the folded edge to define the hemline. Then using the seam guide I got for Christmas I can trim an even two inches all round.

I now lay the coat tails flat as possible on the floor, drawing the coat upwards to drag the lining as flat as I can. The lining it then trimmed to match the skirt.

The lining is then pinned to the skirt, inside out and through the open seam I have left. The edge lining is pulled around half an inch lower than the skirt so that when finished it hangs higher than the skirt, and thus out of sight.

I can then sew the hem together, starting at the hem length at the ends, but for the duration of the lining fabric, switching tracks to the edge of the two-inch seam allowance I have left. This defines the length at the corners, but leaves capacity for the rest.

I just then need to secure the hem’s seam allowance up so it does not gape. These days I would hand stitch this which is a more discreet way to secure it, but I have been finding the gaberdine to show these stitches through. Also I want the skirt to be a little stiffer around the hem, so I use a tailors cheat of WondaWeb instead! This is a strip of fusible glue which is pressed and steamed in place.

All I need to do now to complete the coat is sew the three vertical lines of piping on the fronts and back split. This conveniently seals up the open seam I left for access to the hem (see left).

Finally I’ll add the buttons and buttonholes and I should be done.

Check back REAL soon to see the results of my labours!

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Time Quest 2 - episode one

This entry is the fourth part of my write-up regarding the Time Quest 2 event held on the 12th to 14th March 2010.
The full story can be read across the following entries:

You can also read Bob Mitsch’s review of his trip:

Following two days of location tours round London, the Time Quest 2 weekend finally gets underway.

The weekends events kicked off with a two-handed stage talk with Janet Fielding and Paul McGann (see right) - not the most obvious pairing, but more on that soon.
Saldy Paul was stuck on traffic on the M25, so Janet was left to talk on her own for a while, and to struggle opening a bottle of mineral water whilst holding her mic AND talking!
She turns out to be quite a wit and more than capable of holding her own.

The door at the side then opened and a hesitant McGann appeared, man-bag in hand.

He sat down and hit the ground running with stories and annecdotes about his time as The Doctor and his career in general.
What soon transpired was that after giving up acting, Janet had become an agent and had Paul on her books when the casting call for Who came in. Her advise? Don’t take it!
When he did get it she went to Vancouver for the filming and had a ball!

Next on the agenda was a photocall with Paul McGann (see above - why is it HE looks like the nerdy convention goer and not me?). Having never attended these events it is all new to me, so I had no idea how they run these things. The queue was loooonnnng and I wondered how they’d get through every one, but it’s a military operation and they put you in with the star - shot taken - check camera - next! And you’re out. Most impressive!!

So from that queue it was straight onto the next one for the Tom Baker signing. Tom was signing in a room to himself, though the others shared a room elsewhere. This queue was equally, if not longer - and running at a fraction of the speed.

We slowly moved forward, but it was painful with every step. As we approached the room and could see in we found the queue then snaked three times like the inexerable approach to the front of a post office counter - and believe me, posting the number of Seven Hankies I sold recently, I’ve been in more than my share of those.

At the same time, in the other room, Peter Davison was signing, and since I am on a minor mission to get all five Doctors, I could not miss that.
A quick work with a steward confirmed I needed to dip out of this queue, get my Davison autograph, and return, my place having been held for me.

While getting my Davison sig, I took advantage of the chance to ask him about the trousers he wore.
I reminded him of the high-backed trousers with braces in Planet Of Fire, which he just about brought to the front of his mind. I then asked if the earlier version was also high-backed with button braces, which he confirmed they definately were. This was something I had wanted to find out for a long time.

Back in the Tom Baker queue, things had hardly moved forward, so no time wasted there.

I took advantage of the time standing in line to start writing the entry you are reading!
Meeting Tom again was fun. He’s well known for being mad as a box of frogs, and he never fails to deliver.
The first time I met him was around 1976, when he came to a local bookshop where I lived in Edgware, North West London. He was totally MY Doctor and my idol at the time, so I could not wait to meet him.
Now, my name is spelt s-t-e-v-e-n, which is the US spelling, having been named after Steve McQueen, who was very popular in 1966. With the UK spelling being StePHen, I used to get very annoyed when it was spelt wrong. So when asked ‘Who was this for?’ I replied ‘To Steven with a V’.
Tom then signed my Terror Of The Zygons Target novel (my fav story at the time) ‘To Steven with a V from Who with a Tom Baker’!

I still have that book, and would never part with it. (see right)

Next up I opted for the Janet Fielding photocall over the Sian Pattenden/Lucy Benjamin stage talk. Who are they I here you say? They were the two childen used as the young Tegan and Nyssa respectively in Mawdryn Undead.
A no-brainer choice, sorry, but since I had paid extra for a gold ticket, I did my photocalls with them right after.

It was around this time that I discovered a tiny room off the main reception where someone was holding a cosplay discussion and open forum. This obviously caught my eye – but what I wasn’t prepared for was it being Johanna Mead, who founded and moderates the dw_cosplay forum, on which I have regularly posted!
I have always admired her for having the get-up-and-go to run such a group, and the vision to keep it on track and the pleasant place it is to discuss and exchange views without fear of being shouted down or ridiculed. Not as easy a task as you might think!

It was great to chat to her, especially about her meeting Louise Page (our heroine) at the recent Gallifrey One event.

Joanne was wearing a natty little FemmeTen outfit, consisting of a short jacket (inspired by the coat) and a long brown dress which had a fine blue pinstripe. The outfit was rounded off by some unique high heals, in a converse style! Inspired!

After lunch it was the first group photocall with all the days available guests (see below).
What you can’t quite see in the photo is that Tom was carrying a shopping bag in his left hand – as if he was only passing through!

Thank heavens these queues are mercefully quick moving, cos right after that it was time to photocall with Tom Baker on his own (see below).

After two photo calls Tom then took to the stage and gave a very colourful and entertaining talk. He just rambled on about anything and everything, a highlight of which was a story of him kissing the jugular of over 100 sweaty women at a convention in America. You had to be there I think!

I then spent the rest of the afteroon getting signatures from Paul McGann, and the three ladies, Janet, Sian and Lucy.

I rounded off my day by ducking back into the stage talk, this time with the crew form Big Finish. It was interesting hearing their spin on what they do and how they making things happen.
The main panelist was Nicholas Briggs, who as we all know provides the voices for the new series Daleks and Cybermen.

I did get up to one last thing, but more of that in a later posting in the Tennant Coat blog . . . . it’s worth waiting for!

All in all it was a great first day – I thoroughly enjoyed myself and met up with some online friends I had not met face-to-face before.

Roll on day two!

Monday 15 March 2010

Resurrection Of The Locations

This entry is the fourth part of my write-up regarding the Time Quest 2 event held on the 12th to 14th March 2010.
The full story can be read across the following entries:

You can also read Bob Mitsch’s review of his trip:

Well, I’ve successfully retrieved Bob Mitsch from the baggage re-claim at Heathrow, and even before he checks onto his hotel we are already on a location trek across parts of London.

So, after depositing all his luggage at a left-luggage place at Kings Cross station, we set off on our journey.

We are aiming for Butlers Wharf near Tower Bridge, so it’s a question of what locations are en route.

First up is the old Smithfield Market (see right), outside which some scenes were shot for Invasion Of The Dinosaurs. It was on locations such as this that some wobbly dinosaur models were carelessly CSO’d on unstable backgrond plates.
Still, it seemed scary at the time.

From here we walk to St Martins La Grand, an unusually named street bordering on the City Of London. Although nothing was actually shot here, it’s the site of one of the few last remaining original Police Telephone Posts (see left).
When I conducted this tour I thought there were only two surviving Police Posts in London.
I have since discovered that there are a lot more.

You can read about all of them under Eleven TARDISES For Eleven Doctors
It is then a short walk to St Pauls Cathedral, outside which a fake Who exhibition was mounted for an episode of EastEnders.
It is also of course the location for the closing scenes of The Lazerus Experiment, though another cathedral doubled for St Pauls in the broadcast episode.
Tenative I know, but just round the corner is where the Cybermen famously marched down the St Peter’s steps. Sadly the steps were demolished to make way for the landfall of the north end of the Millennium bridge, which takes you over to the Tate Modern building.

Just down river from The Tate is The Globe Theatre, a real Who location, having been used extensively in The Shakespeare Code (see below).

We then take a little detour to visit some back streets of Waterloo where parts of the Dalek battle from Rememberance Of The Daleks was shot.
(Take a look at Rememberance Of The Locations for full details.)

We then get back on track and head direct to Butlers Wharf, where the exteriors for Reserrection Of The Daleks had been shot.

I have a particular fondness for this striking location, as I went to seek it out at the time of broadcast. I got to see it in all it's decaying glory just as it appeared on screen.
The 1980s was a hayday of screen appearances for the Wharf, having appeared in Plenty with Meryl Streep; Ellis Island with Richard Burton; Bleak House with Diana Rigg; Jamima Shore Investigates with Patricia Hodge; The Elephant Man with John Hurt; the BBC version of The Invisible Man; an episode of Hammer House Of Mystery And Suspense, but to name a lot.

On various occassions I managed to get on set while they were filming and met Peter Ustinov playing Hurcle Poiroit (see right) in Thirteen At Dinner (a tv adaptation of Lord Edgware Dies). Also in the cast was Peter Suchet, playing for this production Chief Inspector Japp, all long before he donned the detectives moustache, a part he STILL plays!

I also got to know the caretakers of the Wharf and wangled a chance to go inside and up onto the famous walkways that span the street.

Sadly the light was fading, so the shots I took were not very clear.
But to make up for that, here are some images I took in 1985 of the Wharf, when it still looked as it did in Resserecion Of The Daleks.

You can view a gallery of over 70 pictures
that I took in 1984-1985 here:
Butler’s Wharf - 1980s