Tenth Doctor Suit

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#1 Thyamine on 5 years ago

So I have a suit that I wore as part of a costume, but it needs a lot of alterations which led me down the line of finding or making one that is much more specific to the Tennant suits. I was looking around and can't find anyone on here discussing it, unless I am completely blindly overlooking it.

There are the Magnoli suits of course, but it's a lot of money for a suit I won't be wearing in a normal work environment, so I'm thinking about custom making one. I also love to obsess, so learning new skills and doing it myself is always fun. I did find a pattern for a three button fitted suit that I think I can adapt into four buttons easily enough.

However I'm fairly new to it all in general, so I was hoping if anyone had any tips for jackets/suits in general, that perhaps they could share them. I'm looking at some basic sewing classes to get that out of the way, but obviously a jacket is a complicated item, so I was hoping to avoid any obvious gotchas that other people may have run into. And of course, it's better to connect with other Whovians who will understand. ;-)


#2 Thyamine on 5 years ago

For those who are not so adventurous, I've started collecting links for assistance in creating or assembling a suit. If you somehow haven't found these yourself, here they are. If I find more I'll add them in as well.

Magnoli Clothiers - Simply buy one

Magnoli Clothiers - Cloth to make one

Useful Information
[url]http://dw-cosplay.livejournal.com/702493.html[/url] (pictures and some links may no longer work)

Tie Information

#3 Kelley on 5 years ago

It depends on what you're looking to accomplish and what you'll be happy with.

A real suit takes 40+ hours to make. His suits are both pretty thin and drape-y so a bit less intense than they could be - but there's definitely still some amount of shaping especially in the shoulders. And to be really true to the suit you won't be able to use a pattern off-the-shelf or even really modify one, you'd need to draft it yourself to your own form and customise it so that it sits on you like on him (and remember that buttons are actually placed pretty specifically - and that's in relation to your anatomy and in turn the cut of the jacket, ideally).

I'm saying this because I don't think it's worth spending $60/y on fabric if you're NOT going to do all that (but it's your call).


It's okay to not do all that - I would just recommend doing something different about the fabric. There's probably already a graphic pattern on Spoonflower or you could fairly easily make one yourself too ! That would cut the cost of the fabric in half. Even using a discount "not-quite-right-but-pretty-close" fabric would be perfectly fine for a "first run" of something like this.

Your first tailoring project is probably not going to turn out that great - not to discourage you ! It can look PRETTY GOOD, but it's a LOT of all new skills that are very advanced, of course there's room to grow ! Savile Row suits wouldn't cost several thousand dollars if everyone could make one that well on their first try !

I'm just saying that it would be wise to use this as a project to "learn" with - or choose another project or two to "learn". You don't want to spend $300+ making this and then realise you've improved so much just by doing that, that you see so many things you should have done differently or neater !

I would recommend that if you want to give it a shot that you pick up some books from the library about tailoring. I read several before starting my own "first big projects". I haven't seen much on-line that really goes into the same detail from the very first steps all the way to the buttonholes in such a detailed way with so many illustrations. Try a local university's library if you can - they will most likely have something !

#4 Thyamine on 5 years ago

Thanks for the input first off.

And I agree. I'm seeing this as long term, not something to be done next week. =) I have a few classes at a local store I'm going to probably take because I do want it to be done right. And I 'know' how to sew, but actually taking a class is different.

I do plan on playing around with a few things at first, and I'm actually thinking I'll but something cheaper for the first go at it when I finally get there. I don't mind spending the money for quality/accurate material, but I don't trust myself to cut into expensive cloth like that for my first try.

#5 Kelley on 5 years ago

I feel like a class can be hit-or-miss. When I took one it was frustrating because it was covering things I already knew and I didn't really learn anything - in fact, it was mostly just gimped instruction for someone totally new and I was ready to move beyond that. I think 1:1 or so lessons with someone very skilled would be the best if you could find them - or a class suited to more advanced skills and techniques. I just think that if you're anything like where I was when I tried to take a class, you would get more out of something more focused and able to be tailored to your current skills than a generic completely-new-to-sewing kind of class.

And, honestly, it wouldn't have been a big loss if I never took that class at all.

It depends on where you are and what you think you still need to learn.

My biggest advice is to make sure that even on the "first try" run you have something suitable for the internal canvas. His suit isn't super stiff, but you'll still want something in there, and it will be a good place to practice some basic techniques that would apply if you, say, ever wanted to make the more structured suits/jackets of basically any of the other doctors except 9 !

#6 Thyamine on 5 years ago

I was thinking that about the class, but they are one night classes for $30. I figure if I pick up anything at all, it'll be helpful in the long run. Otherwise I'm just going to play around and get a feel of the sewing machine we have.

I was looking at suit material at a fabric store, and then at various other types to maybe play with in general. I did see someone remark that even the good material was a bit light and layering something underneath was helpful for getting the weight right.

#7 Kelley on 5 years ago

Here are some examples of what the inside of a suit might look like :


I'm not sure if anyone has specifics on his, but since it's made of weird-pants-material, I wouldn't be surprised if it had a very light canvas throughout the whole body, or most of it - something that would work for any weirdly-light fabric. :)

#8 Celestrina on 5 years ago

Nvmd, the link I posted was already given.

#9 supergeekgirl on 5 years ago

I made my suit. I also made some mistakes on it. Let me say right now that proper tailoring will take a LONG TIME. I did it because I wanted to learn, and my suit isn't quite right in the end anyway. If you want to learn tailoring, DO IT, but if you just want the suit, buy it. Don't make it to save money because you just plain won't. You'll spend tons of money on fabric and so much time sewing that it will not be worth it unless you enjoy sewing.

But please do look at those images carefully. Tailoring is not for the faint-hearted or impatient. I'm impatient, and that got me a suit with lots of problems that's still fairly wearable. And I spent about three months sewing every day on it.

#10 Pirogoeth05 on 5 years ago

I'm planning to make a suit myself, and I'm using Burda B8186 as a starting point. The suit is very similar in structure to Ten's. I figure with a mock-up or two I can get it figured out and fitting me properly before cutting into the real stuff (which I can't go buy more of because it's the original Magnoli fabric and the stuff they sell now is different and I am so paranoid that I'm going to mess it up that I'm going to draw the pinstripes on the muslin to make sure I do it right ).

#11 Kelley on 5 years ago

My biggest concern with a suit pattern is that it fits the wearer how it's supposed to. Watch out BIG TIME for way too huge armholes and the fit in the shoulders in general - these areas are critical.

Found someone's blog post about it so might as well link it. [URL="http://masculine-style.com/jacket-armholes/"]Here[/URL].

The person with the ballroom dance sleeves comment is a bit off as the difference there isn't about the HEIGHT of the armholes but the angle at which the sleeve meets the body - so just ignore that.

[URL="http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/medialibrary/s2/images/1024/s2_02_wal_06.jpg?size=1024&promo=/doctorwho/medialibrary/s2/images/main-promo/s2_02_wal_06.jpg&purpose=Computer wallpaper&summary=In the dog-house.&info=&tag_file_id=s2_02_wal_06"]Tennat's suit doesn't honestly look THAT well fit in that area[/URL], but it's decent. I think it's possible the fairly large shoulder pads are throwing it off when he moves like that. I think they compromised fit a bit in order to give him a more heroic set of proportions.

Which is another important note - getting the suit to fit you and getting it to look right might not be 100% the same thing. If someone who was making this also had Itty Bitty shoulders they'd want to do the same and bulk them out a bit (but being careful to still look natural) - and someone who was bulkier would want to totally alter the fit so that it made them look slimmer and more wiry - as much as possible.

It's up to the individual how picky they want to be and how much work they want to put in, just saying this for fun because it's my hobby.

Almost makes me want to make one if I wasn't already booked for costumes for the next two years. :P

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