Wednesday 27 August 2014

Capaldi waistcoat - pattern cutting

After seeing photos from the London filming for series eight, I was looking at making the wool waistcoat The Doctor now sports, but I didn’t specific plans as to when I’d do it.

A request from a client has progressed the project to completion quicker than anticipated!

It’s a fairly standard shape, with some key points that distinguish it from a off-the-peg garment.

The fabric used is a wool Melton in black - I have a hunch where that came from; it buttons relatively low, with a curved line to the shoulders; the buttons are quite large, for a waistcoat, and match those on his Crombie coat; it has two steeply angled pockets with a line of topstitch around there edges; the edge of the waistcoat also has topstitch.

Most of these are cosmetic points or purely style-line changes, so I am going to start from my Regeneration Waistcoat pattern which I know is a good fit.

This should make it a relatively simple exercise in style-line adaption to achieve a markedly different look.

First I traced off the structural lines to the pattern - those that define the fit. I’ve highlighted them on both patterns in red.

It needs to be a tad longer at the back, so the slope to the points at the front isn’t too acutely.

Looking at photos, the uppermost button is below the level of the scye (the lowest point of the underarm), so this gives me the a guide to where I need to be. From there it’s a gentle curve up to the shoulder.

Once I had established the lower button position, I could space out the five buttonholes using my handy guide tool!

Now the buttonholes are established I can work out the placement of the pockets. Their angle converge roughly with the fourth button down, so I can work out from this point to give me their angle.

The next job is to make a quick calico mock-up so I can check that the fit and the style-line changes have worked.

The fit on me was fine, but it is only once you put it up on a mannequin and take a photo or two you notice things that need a tweak or two.

The pockets are in the right place, but their angle could be improved.

They should run parallel to the bottom edge of the front, and since they don’t look right, it has highlight a change needed to the angle of the bottom edge, which needs to be a little flatter.

I think the curve from the top of the buttons to the shoulder could be a little flatter too.

With this fed back into the pattern, I can move forward with tracing off the pieces for cutting.

The fronts and backs are simple - just the full extent of the pattern with suitable seam allowances added on all sides. The back is lined with a matching shape, but the fronts need a little more work.

Check back very soon to see how things progress.


  1. I'm slightly distracted by missy's purple outfit. Any chance of close up of the trim? ;)
    Definitely something I can make with patterns I've got. I'm building up an edwardian wardrobe.

    1. There are high resolution official publicity still of her out there on the net. Do a little hunting and you'll find them.

  2. The waistcoat has made a rather interesting appearance into Peter's costume, it being used for most of the photoshoots leading up to the new series. What is interesting for me however is the publicity photo for Into the Dalek, which shows Capaldi in his waistcoat confronting the Dalek from the episode. It can only be presumed that this shoot was done after the episode was filmed, as for the sake of continuity from the first episode, which appears to roll on from Deep Breath with the appearance of the coffee the TARDIS bought at the end featuring in the episode, Capaldi is probably wearing the Cardigan in episode 2, not the waistcoat. So the question is now, when exactly will Capaldi start wearing this waistcoat in the series????

  3. Sorry, the TARDIS crew bought the coffee, not the TARDIS itself, and the second episode rolls on from Deep Breath. Sorry for confusion!!!

  4. I'd like to see pictures of the Deep Breath/Into The Dalek shoot that show how the cardigan fit before they switched it to the waistcoat.


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