Saturday 26 April 2014

Regeneration waistcoat -
fabric AND buttons

Over on my Eleventh Doctor Blog I’ve been running a series entitled Fabric Friday where I have showcased the tweeds used to make The Doctor’s costumes.

The latest focused on a distinctive waistcoat first worn in The Day Of The Doctor, which he wore again during the regeneration scene at the end of The Time Of The Doctor. This then becomes part of Peter Capaldi’s first on-screen costume.

In my time researching and making costumes I’ve learnt sometimes you search for ages and get nowhere, or sometimes you get lucky and things just fall into place.

This fell into the latter.

I had been looking through the fabrics at W Bills, and after a hint of a clue from a friend I came across the material used to make Matt Smith’s waistcoat, as worn in The Day Of The Doctor.

I'm not just saying a next-best good alternative - I’m talking THE fabric used.

As usual it seems, not the cheapest of fabrics to buy, but it’s definitely the right stuff.

The costume would have been made early in 2013, and luckily there was still some of the material left, so I bought up the last of the end of the roll to make sure it goes to the right people.

Woven in pure wool, it has a very subtle Prince Of Wales style check in a midnight blue and deep magenta.

Now I’ve got the fabric, I need to start developing a pattern to make myself a replica of the waistcoat.

It needs to be a classic waistcoat, with a high buttoned laid-in notched collar; and four welted pockets.

I’ve got a number of vintage books where I will source a pattern.

I’m quite busy at the moment, so I’ll have to find some time to do a bit of pattern drafting.
Not had a chance to do that for a while.

But as if finding THE right fabric wasn’t enough - I have also found THE buttons!!

They are small, black, with a distinctive dotted white line encircling the four holes in the middle. They are a real coup to track down. Much better than having to make my own.

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Budd Shirtmakers - little bundle of joy

Now that the maker of Peter’s shirt has been revealed as Budd Shirtmakers of Piccadilly Arcade in London’s fashionable West End, I can share with you a few more gems about their work on Doctor Who.

For a long established and traditional company, they are refreshingly connected and have two highly active Twitter feeds.
The first is their general newsworthy feed.
Twitter @BuddShirtmakers

The other, which I find much more interesting, is written by their cutters who post day-to-day news from their workshop.
Twitter @CutterAtBudd

Looking back over their history there is a wonderful little preview of the Peter Capaldi shirt dated 6th September 2013.

CutterAtBudd: A shirt for a certain doctor
It shows Peter’s shirt, all cut and ready to be sewn, along with the card pattern used. You might recognise that collar shape on the top of the pile.

Funny to think that posting was just quietly sitting there, and no-one knew it existed!

Saturday 19 April 2014

Regeneration shirt - definitive ID

If you’ve been excited to find out the maker of Peter Capaldi’s white shirt, you’re in for another treat.

When I was talking to James MacAuslan, Budd Shirtmaker’s talented young cutter, you might have noticed there were two shirts on the counter.

The second is a stock blue shirt which I found out was THE shirt worn by Matt Smith in The Day Of The Doctor!

This was also worn during the close of The Time Of The Doctor, and is the shirt Peter wears once he’s become the Twelfth Doctor.

Yes, for once The Doctor was wearing a simple off the shelf shirt, I gather because Matt was always too busy to come in for a made-to-measure appointment.

It is Budd’s Blue End On End shirt, and is freely available to buy online at their website and costs £125. The days of The Doctor shopping at TopMan are long gone.

However, before you buy if you sign up to the Budd online newsletter you get a special discount code which will give you £20 off your first purchase.
Signup here, or on the Budd website For £20 Off your first Shirts

Personal Information

I will just mention that having seen the shirt in-hand, the colour on the website is not an accurate match. It is bluer and definitely the right shirt.

The shirt forms part of their current core range and is still available in all sizes, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting one.

It may well be just a blue shirt - but it is THE blue shirt!

Thursday 17 April 2014

The Capaldi look - definitive ID on the shirt

Today I can reveal the final missing piece of the Peter Capaldi costume has now been found - THE SHIRT!

As soon as The Doctor’s new look was revealed, fans were searching the internet high and low to identify all the component parts.
Despite the red herrings thrown out by the BBC, accurate brand names were attached everything - except the shirt.

The shirt is very plain, but yet very distinctive.

Being a plain white shirt it gives no visual clues, unlike Matt’s Paul Smith shirt which in 2010 was found within 24 hours.

But yet the collar is a shape that is not very typical in fashion at the moment, so should be something quiet easy to track down.

We are now over two months later and no positive identification has been made.

However, a chance meeting I had a couple of weeks back has given me a lead which has proved to not only be correct, but has turned up a number of other things as well. More on that later.

The maker of the shirt worn by Peter Capaldi is from Budd Shirtmakers in Piccadilly Arcade, just off Piccadilly itself in London’s fashionable West End.

There are a handful of these arcades off Piccadilly, the most famous of which is probably the Burlington Arcade. All are occupied with very traditional companies offering their own piece of British heritage.

Budd Shirtmakers themselves were established in 1910 and have a reputation for the quality of their shirts.

I recently went to see them and find out for myself if it was one of their shirts that Peter is wearing as The Doctor.

I spoke with Christopher Mundy who confirmed it was correct and he introduced me to James MacAuslan, the young cutter who patterned the shirt especially for Peter.

James is one of the youngest bespoke shirt cutters in London, and he explained how the shirt used their basic tailored-cut body, but made-to-measure to fit Peter Capaldi, using a very high quality fabric called Soyella.

The fabric is pure cotton, but at 170 threads per inch it is so fine and smooth it feels like silk to the touch.

The collar was adapted at the special request of Peter, who wanted a longer, more pointed shape.

He showed me the specially cut pattern piece from which the collar was made, as well as the bolt of Soyella fabric used to make the shirt.

We chatted at length about how fans could get their hands on a shirt in the right cut with the correct collar shape, and it emerged there were three tiers of purchase on offer - but be warned, this is for the serious cosplayer as prices reflect the quality of their shirt making.

Although the shirt was made-to-measure, it was cut to Budd’s standard tailored-fit pattern. Shirts are available pre-made in pure white cotton poplin to a range of sizes. These can then have their collars removed and replaced with one cut using the Capaldi collar shape.
A stock shirt in white cotton poplin is £125. 
Replacing the collar would be an additional £50
DISCOUNT CODE - I have negotiated with Budd a special reader’s discount on the Stock Shirt option. When ordering, quote CAPALDI and a £20 discount will be applied to the shirt.

This is a made-to-measure shirt, based on their tailored-fit pattern in the Soyella fabric, with the Capaldi collar.
The only catch is a minimum of three shirts must be ordered 
(all the same size) at a cost of £225 per shirt

The final option is the full Peter Capaldi route.
This gives you the option to have the shirt made in the screen-used Soyella fabric, cut to your own individual pattern with the Capaldi collar.
The catch here is a minimum of four shirts must be ordered 
(all the same size) at a cost of £295 per shirt

These shirts can only be ordered direct from Budd Shirtmakers by emailing them at
They will be happy to help. Please quote the above options when contacting them, and don’t forget your discount code CAPALDI if you order the Stock Shirt.

Budd in the USA

You will have read about the discovery of the Peter Capaldi shirts at bespoke London shirt makers, Budd.

I know a lot of my reader are in the United States, and if you wanted to go for the made-to-measure option it would make things a bit more challenging, being the other side of the pond.

Well, if you do want a bespoke shirt, with the Capaldi collar, I have some good news for you - Budd are coming to you!

In May 2014 two of their top cutters, including James MacAuslan who cut the special collar on Peter’s shirt, are visiting the United States to meet customers and taker orders and fittings.
Budd Shirtmakers - overseas visits
Their visits usually include New York, but for the first time they will also be visiting Los Angeles and San Francisco as well.

Here are the planned dates and venues where you can meet Budd Shirtmakers
Los Angeles

Monday 12th May: 9am - 1pm, 2pm - 6pm
Tuesday 13th May: 9am - 1pm, 2pm - 6pm
Wednesday 14th May: 9am - Noon

Beverly Wilshire Hotel
9500 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills
CA 90212, United States

Telephone: 310 275 5200
San Francisco

Thursday 15th May 9am - 1pm, 2pm - 6pm
Friday 16th May 8am - 11am

Intercontinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco
999 California St, San Francisco,
CA 94108, United States

Telephone: 415 392 3434
New York

Monday 19th May: 9am - 1pm, 2pm - 6pm
Tuesday 20th May: 9am - 1pm, 2pm - 6pm
Wednesday 21st May: 9am - 1pm, 2pm - 6pm
Thursday 22nd May: 9am - Noon

The Barclay Intercontinental Hotel
111 E. 48th Street, New York
NY 10017, United States

Telephone: 212 755 5900

If you would like to make an appointment during their visit, please contact Budd to arrange a convenient time and date. They may be reached by either telephone +44 (0)20 7493 0139 or email

Wednesday 9 April 2014

A big reveal

I can today announce that I have some great news that I shall be posting in the coming few days, so check back very soon to find out what it is.

Here is a little tease for you.