April 9, 2018

11th Doctor velvet waistcoat pattern, pre-order discount!

My (Bad Wolf Costumes) 11th Doctor velvet waistcoat pattern is now available for pre-order, at a 10% discount!


It was meticulously drafted to be as faithful to the originals as possible and includes men's sizes 34-52. 

The pattern is printed on large-format paper and includes a copy of text-only instructions.
11th Doctor velvet waistcoat sewing pattern

Here are some examples of my personal waistcoat that I made with this sewing pattern:
11th Doctor velvet waistcoat sewing pattern
11th Doctor velvet waistcoat sewing pattern
11th Doctor velvet waistcoat sewing pattern
11th Doctor velvet waistcoat sewing pattern


And here are a few photos with the "Snowmen" bow tie and a "Nightmare in Silver"-esque dress shirt:
11th Doctor velvet waistcoat sewing pattern
11th Doctor velvet waistcoat sewing pattern
11th Doctor velvet waistcoat sewing pattern


This pattern will begin shipping on Monday, April 23, but you can pre-order it at a 10% discount here:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/606260237/11th-doctor-velvet-waistcoat-sewing

A free sewing tutorial (intended for use with this pattern) is coming soon, so stay tuned!


April 2, 2018

Dyeing the Magnoli Tenth Doctor Brown Suit Fabric Closer to the Original GAP Colors

As you may be aware, Magnoli Clothiers recently updated their 10th Doctor brown suit ("time suit") replica fabric, tightening the stripe spacing slightly to be more analogous to that of the original GAP trousers fabric.

http://www.magnoliclothiers.com/time-cotton-by-the-yard-p-382.html
However, while the stripe spacing was a welcome improvement, the colors of the updated fabric are now too light in comparison to the original GAP fabric. The older colors were actually a bit closer, although it was a bit too dark.


Here's a three-way comparison (in various lighting scenarios) between Magnoli's older brown fabric (top), the newer brown fabric (bottom), and a swatch of original GAP trousers fabric in the middle, in various lighting situations.

Magnoli 10th Doctor/GAP fabrics comparison (2018)
Magnoli 10th Doctor/GAP fabrics comparison (2018)
Magnoli 10th Doctor/GAP fabrics comparison (2018)
Magnoli 10th Doctor/GAP fabrics comparison (2018)


While it's easy to observe the improved stripe spacing, here's a color comparison between just the updated replica and original GAP fabrics:

Magnoli 10th Doctor/GAP fabrics comparison (2018)
Outdoors, sunlight
Magnoli 10th Doctor/GAP fabrics comparison (2018)
Outdoors, shade
Magnoli 10th Doctor/GAP fabrics comparison (2018)
Indoors, with flash
Magnoli 10th Doctor/GAP fabrics comparison (2018)
Indoors, no flash


It's still decent replica fabric (and the best option I know of currently on the market), but as you can see, the color fidelity leaves something to be desired ... 

That said, if it were too dark, we'd be screwed, but fortunately (in our case), the fabric is too light, meaning that it can be dyed darker, and closer to the original GAP colors!


So I decided to go to work, launching another series of dye experiments in an attempt to shift the updated Magnoli fabric closer to the GAP colors. It might not look it, but it's really almost there, already; it only needs a little nudge!
10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiments with Magnoli fabric

NOTE: The fabric-dyeing techniques I use, I learned from my friend Michael Cowart, whose experience in this field far outweighs my own, and from a fantastic book entitled Synthetic Dyes for Natural Fibers by Linda Knutson, which he recommended to me and I now recommend to you, if you're interested in "properly" dyeing fabric! 

Synthetic Dyes for Natural Fibers by Linda Knutson

Being 100% cotton, the Magnoli fabric requires fiber-reactive dye, and my first strategy was to hit it with a "primary" (single-pigment) dye, both for the sake of simplicity and maximum amount of control over the end result.

I started with Dharma Trading Company's PR23 "Cerulean," doing three initial tests to get an idea of how much blue might be required to darken the fabric. Obviously, not much! 

(The following photos were all photographed outdoors on a sunny day, unless otherwise noted.)

10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric
10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric
10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric

Clearly, the cerulean darkened the brown base just like I was hoping it would, but I wasn't going to achieve a good match using only blue, so I decided to hit it with a little bit of red to see what would happen - Dharma's PR13 "Fuchsia Red" (again, a "primary"/single-pigment dye). 

Obviously, even a very small amount was overkill!

10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric
10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric


Well, unfortunately neither blue or red would get me there on their own, but both rounds of initial tests had provided me with valuable information; it seemed a combination of the two colors might yield some better results, so I performed a brief series of tests, experimenting with the proportions.

10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric
10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric
10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric
10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric


As you can see, now I was starting to really get somewhere! 

But unfortunately, even a combination of blue and red didn't seem enough to really bring the Magnoli fabric as close to the original GAP colors as I'd have liked; I'd have to bust out the big guns with a triple-color custom mix by adding a little yellow - Dharma's PR1 "Lemon Yellow" (again, a "primary"/single-pigment dye).

Believing the latter experiment to be the closest, I scaled back the red a bit and injected a bit of yellow instead.

10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric


Already, things were looking better! But it needed a bit more ...

10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric


... and a bit more ...

10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric


I liked this particular formula, but as you can see, as I "diluted" the blue with red and especially yellow, the results grew less and less dark. 

Even bumping the depth-of-shade up to 0.3% was a noticeable improvement.

10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric


Now here's where things started to get a bit more nebulous and problematic. 

The original GAP trousers fabric is obviously brown and blue, but more specifically, the brown is kind of a greenish brown, and the blue pinstripes have just a tinge of lavender to them. 

At this point in my dye experiments, I felt the brown base needed a bit more yellow to produce that greenish (GAP) brown, so I injected a bit more yellow into the mix.

10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric
10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric


As you can see, adding more yellow to the mix resulted in a damn good color-match between the browns, but it had the "side effect" of turning the blue pinstripes too green! 

So, I scaled the yellow back a bit and increased the red in an attempt to give those pinstripes that lavender tinge I mentioned before.

10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric


Obviously, that was overkill, but I hadn't much wiggle room in any direction before I was back to where I'd left off before, so I tried again at a higher depth-of-shade.

10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric


I was pretty sure I had a winner, but I did one more test at a slightly higher depth-of-shade, just to be sure.

10th Doctor brown suit fabric dye experiment with Magnoli fabric


Yep, too much.



So, backing up to the penultimate test, I'm comfortable calling it a winner! 

It's not perfect, but it's really, really close to the original GAP trousers' colors. 

The brown base should be a bit greener (re: more yellow), but as you saw above, hitting it with more yellow turned the pinstripes too green. 

On the other hand, the stripes should have a slightly more of a lavender "tinge" to them (re: more red), but hitting it with more red steered that brown base away from the greenish zone. 

I believe this formula to be the best compromise between the two colors, and the closest balanced match of both. (In other words, we could achieve one color or the other, but not both; this way, both may not be quite perfect, but they're as close as I can manage without knocking the other too far off course.) 

That said, it's really, really close. And I do mean close.

Dyeing Magnoli 10th Doctor brown fabric to original GAP colors
Dyeing Magnoli 10th Doctor brown fabric to original GAP colors


Here are a couple indoor color comparisons, with flash.

Dyeing Magnoli 10th Doctor brown fabric to original GAP colors
Dyeing Magnoli 10th Doctor brown fabric to original GAP colors


And here are a couple direct comparisons between my dyed fabric and the original GAP swatch:

Dyeing Magnoli 10th Doctor brown fabric to original GAP colors
Outdoors, no flash
Dyeing Magnoli 10th Doctor brown fabric to original GAP colors
Indoors, with flash

Frankly, in normal interior lighting, the two are almost indistinguishable!

Dyeing Magnoli 10th Doctor brown fabric to original GAP colors


So that's the dye formula I recommend! 

All of those dyes, as well as other necessary supplies (synthrapol and soda ash fixative) can be ordered on Dharma's web site: 


I hope you found this helpful, and if you give it a shot, I'd love to hear about it!

Between this and my previous blog post about matching the GAP trousers waistband fabric, you should be all set for a kickass replica suit!

Stay tuned here on the blog (or, better yet, subscribe to my "Costume Guide" e-mail newsletter) for more regarding 10th Doctor suit projects, as well as upcoming 11th Doctor waistcoat patterns and sewing tutorials!


March 19, 2018

11th Doctor "scales" waistcoat tutorial PDF added!

My 11th Doctor "anniversary" waistcoat tutorial is now available as a free PDF download!

I've added a download link to the 11th Doctor "scales" waistcoat tutorial contents, but you can also view/download the PDF via the direct link below:

11th Doctor "scales" waistcoat tutorial PDF


(Note that because of the file size, you might not be able to view the PDF online; it may only work as a download.)

Sewing tutorials for the other two waistcoats are coming soon! Subscribe to my "Costume Guide" e-mail newsletter for updates!


March 12, 2018

11th Doctor "scales" waistcoat tutorial added!

My new 11th Doctor "scales" waistcoat sewing tutorial is now available here on the blog!

Check it out here, or simply click the "11th Doctor" tab above and select that waistcoat!

This free sewing tutorial includes:

  • A detailed list of everything you need to make your own "scales" waistcoat
  • Step-by-step instructions with HD photos and diagrams
  • Fitting tips

Although intended for use with my (Bad Wolf Costumes) waistcoat pattern, I also included some suggestions for drafting your own.
This tutorial will be available as a free downloadable PDF soon, and the other two waistcoats are hot on its heels!

Subscribe to my "Costume Guide" e-mail newsletter" and be the first to hear about new sewing patterns, tutorials, videos, etc., plus save 10% on all Bad Wolf Costumes sewing patterns and pattern bundles!

March 5, 2018

11th Doctor "scales" waistcoat pattern, now shipping!

My (Bad Wolf Costumes) 11th Doctor "scales" waistcoat pattern is now shipping! Thank you, everyone who pre-ordered!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/580957918/11th-doctor-scales-waistcoat-sewing

Free sewing tutorial (intended for use with this pattern) is coming soon, so stay tuned and subscribe to my "Costume Guide" e-mail newsletter for updates!


11th Doctor "scales" waistcoat sewing pattern