If you saw my last post, you’ll know that I’ve been putting a lot of time and energy into putting together a few screen accurate Twelfth Doctor cosplays. Though initially unimpressed, through Peter Capaldi’s incredible performances, the look has grown on me.
As someone who doesn’t make a ton of money, I’ve become extremely adept at eBaying and bargaining for the expensive pieces, because I’ve been struck with the screen accuracy sickness. For the most part, it’s a fine plan, because a lot of the pieces are/were retailed and are purchasable (the All Saints Mode Merino hoodie, for example). For the rest, I can usually put aside the money from a Tom Baker Scarf or two to offset the cost.
But today I find myself in a conundrum. In my The Girl Who Died cosplay, I find myself, for the first time, in wearing a near 100% production made, screen accurate cosplay. No pieces are alts or replicas, with the exception of the Loake boots (which will be replaced with the correct Doc Marten Afflecks in time) and the ring. The shirt I bought from House of Fraser before they sold out, the hoodie from All Saints in ink, the trousers straight from Mendoza, made by the guy who made them for Capaldi from the actual bolt of fabric. The only thing that couldn’t have been stolen from the back of the wardrobe van is the ring, which will also be replaced when I have that money to throw down.
And that’s my hope when a cosplay I want to do seems really simple. I want to make sure that every detail is clinched in tight, so that when people see me, they’re struck by the cosplay – it’s like the character has walked out of the screen instead of like a guy dressing up to resemble the character.
Which brings me to the elephant in the room:
What am I going to do about the coat?
Originally mistaken for a Crombie, the coat was made in-house by the BBC in a classic, three-button style in navy wool with a red/navy irridescent lining (though the lining changes to a plain burgundy lining for S9). It’s probably the one truly iconic piece he wears, aside from the horrid Paul Smith Jumper, and is a wonderfully simple, understated garment.
That said, I don’t understand how so many places offering replicas have gotten it so wrong. I understand wanting to keep costs down and sacrificing details of fabric quality and weaving custom linings, but of what’s available (and as we wait for Abbyshot to throw their hat in the ring), I’ve been disappointed with the cuts and qualities of the factory-produced replicas – none of them can stand up to an otherwise fully screen accurate cosplay. So I’ve decided that the only way to do this is to go with a custom, bespoke or made-to-measure garment from a true tailor.
The rub of it is, a top quality tailor using top quality materials is always reflected in the price. While high cost doesn’t scare me, I simply don’t make enough money to just commission a coat willy-nilly. I’ve been agonizing for a while now on how to fund this most important piece of cosplay in time for Gallifrey One this coming year, without simply running a GoFundMe. I think I’ve found the perfect solution:
I happen to be a huge fan of both minimalist and tactile art. After brainstorming for weeks, I realized that creating these fabric representations of our favorite doctors was one of the best ways to do this! The greatest part is that I can use them to pass on the one thing I’d been truly wanting to get my hands on since the beginning – a swatch of the S8 lining. This is way more interesting than just cutting up fabric swatches and mailing them around – this is a conversation piece to decorate your cosplay display case with, or frame on your wall!
The card itself is 4.25″ x 6.375″ and features a coat silhouette, patterned and hand constructed by yours truly. The “shirt” is a white cotton poplin, and the blue and black fabrics are wool costume felts. They have not been color matched but are a good approximation of the real wools. I know that the real waistcoat is actually a dark navy wool and not black, but the options for off-the-rack wool felts are extremely limited, and this was the best option for contrast purposes.
The lining has been provided by Steve Ricks. He was generous enough to donate offcuts of his lining reweave for my project, and the fabric is truly beautiful. The weave is 100% silk and is a damn good match to the genuine one.
The real buttons used on Capaldi’s coats and waistcoat are readily available from plenty of shops that sell haberdashery… in the UK. Not only that, but they are genuine horn buttons that are a painful £2 PER BUTTON for the ligne used on the front of the coat. Because they’re so expensive and I’ll need so many for this project, I decided to foray into unknown territory… and resin cast my own!
The project has been easy but frustrating. Resin casting is a lot of trial and error and these buttons are a little tricky due to their shape and size (see photo above). Even so, I’ve managed to get some damn good casts made! Pretty soon I’ll also be selling full sets of SA resin casts (stay tuned for that!) but for now, I am using my resin casts on my cards to showcase the screen accurate button without breaking my own bank.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to help out a local cosplayer AND get something awesome in return, this is your opportunity!
If you would like to donate to the project, please feel free to PayPal me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to support me by purchasing one of my cards, read on!
What you get:
A beautiful display card featuring a sample of the SA buttons and TWO swatches of SA lining, representing our beloved Peter Capaldi.
These exclusive cards are available on Etsy and eBay for $38 (shipped domestic), but if you order through my website, you can get them for for $32 (shipped domestic, $36 shipped International) AND the first 60 cards made will also be hand-numbered.
Each card is hand constructed by yours truly, which means that they are all unique pieces and quality-controlled by myself.
This is the perfect gift for you or for the Capaldi fanatic in your life (brace yourselves – Christmas is coming!).
If these are successful, I have plans to adventure into other Doctors and eventually run them as a set. But Who might be next? Allons-y and we’ll see!
I cannot contain my excitement to be both creating these cards and completing what is going to become my new main cosplay. Every sold card goes directly into helping me afford the beautiful cherry on top of this wonderful cosplay.
If you’re interested, please contact me or donate at