Thursday 31 December 2009

Hat Bandana - new stocks available

I recently needed to get some swatch samples for an up-coming project, using the bamboo-cotton fabric that I had used to make the Seven Hatband hankies. While I had an order going through I thought it a good opportunity to get some more hankies made up.

I now have FIVE red hankies in-hand, hemmed and ready for immediate dispatch! (see below)

Anyone interested in buying one, should contact me or PayPal US$20 to, making sure you include your postal address.
(Global shipping is included in the $20 price.)

I will then confirm receipt of payment and dispatch.

I am also still working on the brown colourway version of the hanky, for use as part of a season twenty-six outfit.

Part of this order included a couple of provisional hankies in the brown (see right), though the colour needs to be a tad warmer they are pretty good, but I will be revising the colour and reordering them shortly.

In the meantime I do have TWO of the brown hankies immediate dispatch, for the same US$20 price.
Get in touch if you want one of these.
If you are interested in buying a Seven Hat Bandana, please get in touch by emailing me at

Saturday 19 December 2009

Happy Christmas to all my readers!

You may have noticed that I recently added some hit counters to my sites, and I have been amazed as to how many readers I have out there!
When I started out I was writing it mainly for myself and one or two friends who knew I was about to make a new, and possibly ultimate, Tennant Coat.
From there my blogs have grown, and I never really knew how many cosplay enthusiasts were bothering to look.

Well, now I know it is more than just a few, I want to thank you all for taking the time to follow what I have been up to this year, and hope you will continue to see where I go in 2010.

I have pretty much written the last entry for 2009 (don’t worry, I’ll be back in January fired-up with ideas!) so all that remains now is to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
I wish to especially thank a few people for
their support this past year: 

Ramie for showing faith in my work

Lisa for aiding the breakthrough with the GAP trousers

Timelord25 for his faith in me to make him a new Five Coat

Seth for his invaluable input and eye for detail, giving me something to live up to

Finally Primrodo for being a sounding board for ideas and direction, and for the use of the image of his TARDIS,
which appears above

Monday 14 December 2009

Bonhams costume sale -
16th December 2009

This coming week there is another auction at Bonhams in Knightsbridge of Film and Entertainment memorabilia.
Amongst the James Bond and Beatles items (and Laurence Oliver’s costume from Richard III) are a number of original Doctor Who costumes.

There is small batch of further items form the Angels costumes archives, containing a couple of Doctor Who lots.

The, after a number of film posters and other memorabilia, there are six more Doctor Who lots, though this time not directly from Angels.
Star items amongst them is a full Tetrap costume from Time and The Rani.
Also on sale is a set of rehearsal scripts form Robots Of Death, which went unsold at the Bonham’s Auction on 16th June 2009, so anther chance to grab them if you meant to bid last time around.

The viewing is Sunday 13th and Monday 14th June, so I went on Monday and took some more detailed pictures, particularly of the Tetrap costumes.

In the meantime, below is a full list of the items on offer, taken from the online catalogue so they can be seen all together and long after the listing on Bonhams will have been removed.

I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:
Here are just the lots relating to the Seventh Doctor era
Lot 164
Dr. Who: a complete Tetrap costume,
in moulded and painted foam latex covered in faux fur, net and tube wings and claws, on mannequin and stand, with certificate, approx. 108cm (78in) tall.

From the story, Time And The Rani, transmitted September 1987, this Tetrap is believed to be one of only two surviving complete examples of the monster.

Estimate: £4,000 - 4,500

Sunday 6 December 2009

Hat Bandana - detailed review

Having finished the first round of McCoy Bat Bandanas, I gathered some reviews and comments from my buyers, which you can read in the Customer Review entry.
Most were short comments and thanks, but by Nathan King stood out, being a more full review of the whole experience of buying the Hanky.
Here it is reproduced in full.
Steve Ricks Seven Hat Hanky
I recently ordered Steve Ricks’ Seven Hat Hanky, after reading his INTEREST THREAD on the forums.

Steve Ricks has a fantastic attention for detail.

On Thursday I received a stiff envelope – the kind you send photos in – the kind that has a resistance for bending in transit in the post. A high class envelope came in the mail with my address on it and a business card very snazzy =D.
Inside carefully folded in tissue paper was the Seven hat hanky – I tore through this tissue paper like a kid tears through his present wrappings on Christmas.

The material is light but strong. The pattern is expertly pieced together. It is a single side print handkerchief, but it works great for the costume. I compared the Bandanna to images of Sylvester McCoy on the BBC classic Doctor Who website and after experimenting with folding the Bandanna, discovered it matched with the original prop / hanky.

My costume needed the Seven Hat Hanky for that extra level of detail. Steve Ricks has expertly made a fine reproduction of the now out of print Smoker’s Handkerchief used back in 1987. Steve himself keeps you informed when your item ships out and keeps in touch to make sure your item arrives in a timely manner. (of course international mail takes longer  =P )

Attached to the hanky is a manufacturers label with the seal of Rassilon and washing instructions. I am quite pleased with my purchase. I am convinced that all well to do Time Lords make arrangements with Steve Ricks for their adventure apparel.

here are some preliminary photos:

some of you may remember my Lucky Seven costume

Above: cat approved!

Above: printed on fine cloth with stitched edges.

Left: great for cosplay!

Check this out – it really makes the costume!!
Compare with the link of my previous costume at the top!

Yes I look like a goof but it is clear that I'm having a good time. I may not have the right coat but it really completes the illusion! (Master beard not withstanding.)

Above: Measuring my hat so I can get a 5th Doctor hatband - steve has plans to make a 5th Doctor hat band I'm really looking forward to it.

This really is well made and a necessary addition to your Seventh Doctor Costume!!!
With thanks to Nathan for the fantastic review, and permission to reproduce it here with the pictures he took.
If you want to get on the next run of Seven Hat Banbana Hankies, drop me a line to

Monday 30 November 2009

Hat Bandana - how to wear it

I have been asked by a couple of people how to wear the Hat Bandana to be as screen-accurate as possible.

The best advise is to fold it in half (diagonally) so that you have a  large triangle (see below).

Then starting with the longest (diagonal) edge, roll it up (see below).

Finally tie the hanky around your hat with a reef knot (see below).

This should give a finished result looking like the picture (see left).

Having said that, I did have a email from one of my buyers who is a bit of an expert when it come to the McCoy costume.

Andy is the Founding Administrator of Prydon Academy, and here is his input into how the hanky had been used in the series back in 1989.

The hatband itself wasn’t actually a handkerchief, it was a large square scarf. It was about twice the size of a handkerchief, then they cut it in half, and used half for his hatband and half for the hanky in his lower coat pocket. I don’t know if Spoonflower can reproduce the fabric exactly, but it was woven from an extremely soft material, I want to say cotton, so it had a fully matte finish. Finally, being a scarf, it wasn’t edged like a handkerchief... the edges, I believe, were left without a seam, showing about 1/4" of unwoven thread on each side.

I know you mentioned there are limitations with Spoonflower, but hopefully this will help to get the most accurate copy they can produce.


This did give me a moment’s dilemma as to if I should make them strictly screen-accurate (ie. un-hemmed and cut in half!), or make it ‘as purchased’ by the BBC costume department, and leave it to owners to make the alterations if wanted.
Well it was only a moment, as I think it would perplex any buyer as to why I had butchered their hanky before I sent it to them!

Rest assured, I made and sent them out trimmed, hemmed and in one piece!

Saturday 28 November 2009

Hat Bandana - customer reviews

As the first batch of Hat Bandana Hankies start arriving at their new owners around the world, I have been getting a lot of positive comments about them.

Here is a selection.

The hanky is great. They look fabulous.

I also noticed in my post I had a sample of the Davison hat band.
It looks great.
The red looks good, and the fabric is fine.
George Chase - SeventhDoctorFan -
Well, my hankies arrived yesterday!
Can I say how cool it is that your mailing label has the Seal of Rassilon on it?

Anyway, they arrived and they look spectacular. Thank you for doing all the work on these and getting the project done for all the Seventh Doctor fans out there.

Anyway, once again, they look incredible and I can't wait to get mine affixed to my hat. Thank you once again for doing it, we'd never have had these if you hadn't taken on the project, and the fan community owes you a debt of thanks!
Andy - Founding Administrator - Prydon Academy
I thought I would let you know that I got my hankies today and I am very pleased.
Cecil McDonald
I wanted to let you know that my 7th doctors hankie arrived in the post on Friday and I was so excited to open the envelope to see how it looked.

May I just say thank you, this item is fantastic and looks amazing both as just a hankie and when it is put around my panama, I have shown it to several of my friends and they are all very impressed by it. You truly are a credit to costume replicaters around the world, I wish there were more people like you who took the time and effort to replicate such items to such a high quality.
Thank you again Steve
Edward Miller
The hankies are amazing. Very well done and a credit to you. I am eager to purchase your 5 & 6 trousers. Plus the 5th Dr Hatband swatch was lovely...looking forward to that too. Again, amazing results on the hanky and thanks for the prompt delivery.
Michael Davoren
I live in France so it is really hard for a Who fans, because of the lack of Doctor Who merchandise. Anything you want needs to be purchased via the internet. So for a fan who want to have all the Doctors costume, it’s nearly impossible – but now it’s possible. Thanks to our friend Steve, all Doctor Who fans can now have access to what was reserved for UK or America.
I wasn’t in Paris when the package arrive, but when a arrived in Paris, I put my luggage on my bed, and directly opened the package like a monkey with a packet of peanuts (or Banana for those who are allergic to peanuts), and when I saw the bandana perfectly reproduced, it was magical.
I can said that it’s a really, really, really good work! It’s like having the original in your hand – and for a French fan it’s practically “Le Saint Graal”! We’ve never have a Doctor Who exibition in Paris, so we never get to see the props from the series. Having the bandana gets me a little bit near the series.
Thanks again Steve, and I will certainly buy the brown one, and also other replicas.
Jonathan Webmaster -
Mine arrived today and I am very very happy thanks.
Ian Kubiak
Mine arrived today and it looks lovely. The colour has come out much better than the early pictures I saw, I take back all my comments.
Looks pretty damn accurate with the design finely spaced, the red is wonderful (as too is the 5th hat band sample) and the choice of fabric is what I expected any good handkerchief to be.
As for the blurry comment, it is a little but I guess thats a Spoonflower issue and nothing to do with Steve’s original artwork.
I love it. I look forward to adding it to a Seven hat one day or a Two jacket!
David Nagel
Hi Steve
I've had the hanky thank you and I am delighted with it.
Jonathan Miles
Steve’s hat bands are the most accurate 7th Doctor replica hat bands available. The effort Steve puts into the product is highly commendable and the price is very fair.
Mark Ferris - LinxTheSontaran
I just wanted to thank you so much for the great 7th Dr hanky I received through the post today. I am so impressed with the quality of the hanky, the packaging and the Rassalon contact card I just remain lost for words. Your talent is amazing and I would buy without question so many more of your pieces of work if my money was not so tied up in the boring stuff in life.
I just wanted you to know that having something that is so sentimental to me is a reminder of all that excitement I had when I was watching DW in the late 80s as a boy. For me it is like you grabed it out the Tv and sent it to me. Thank you for making fantasy reality.
Kind regards
Paul - timelordinhumanbody
If you want to get on the next run of Seven Hat Banbana Hankies, drop me a line to
With thank to everyone above for letting me use their quotes.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

A new blog - but not mine

There is a new blog on the block, and for once it’s not one of mine!

George Chase (see left), aka Seventh Doctor Fan on the forums, has started his own blog, tracking his thoughts and ideas for wider consumption.

George has been a follower of my blog for some time, especially, it goes without saying, my Seventh Doctor Costume Blog!

I’d like to think I inspired him into taking the plunge and starting the blog, though I am sure we all have it in us to write our inner thoughts and enjoy sharing them, not-so-secret diary style.

You can find his blog at:

Do take a look, and support you fellow fans!

Saturday 14 November 2009

Hat Bandana - the fabric arrives

This week I have been kept very busy!

The fabric for the Hat Bandanas arrived from Spoonflower, and it looks great! (see below)

I took the initiative by putting a keyline around each hanky, so I knew where to cut. This trimmed size allows for a hem allowance (see below).

The way the size of the hankies fit on the width of the Spoonflower fabric, there is a level of wasted material down the side. Rather than just throw it away, I thought I would make good use of it two-fold.
Firstly I wanted to test the design I am using for the upcoming Five Hatband, as this will be the same material I will use for that; and secondly I have designed and made labels to in the hem of the hankies, giving the maker’s seal and care instructions for washing the hanky (see below).

Hemming them is a fiddly thing to do, but once you get into the swing of it, and set off on the correct footing, it becomes second nature.
The key is making the corners as neat as possible, and avoid the most obvious thing to do, which would be to start at a corner. If you do this everything goes well until you get back to where you started and you find that you cannot fold the corner as neatly as the others.
The answer is to start halfway down one of the long sides, the approach and fold each corner in the same way, before ending back on a nice straight run where you can over stitch by a few stitches to lock everything together.

It’s then the long slog to sew the hems around all the hankies. But having an iMac on the desk next to were I do my cutting, means I can have iPlayer running and catch up on The Sarah Jane Adeventures to make the time pass a bit quicker!

It’s then not too long before I have got all 20 of the hankies hemmed and labeled ready for dispatch (see below).

If you are interested in buying a Seven Hat Bandana, please get in touch by emailing me at

Saturday 24 October 2009

Hat Bandana - test swatch

After waiting a few weeks, the 8 inch square swatch I ordered of the hanky before committing to the full run, has arrived – and I think it looks very good, considering.

I did just one corner of the hanky at full size so I could see how well the artwork was reproducing.

The colours are looking pretty good and the feel of the fabric I choose, (a 60% bamboo, 40% cotton mix) has a surprisingly loose, limp drape to it, making it not dissimilar to a real hanky or scarf of this type.

Spoonflower now offer a good range of fabric types and weights, ranging from this lightweight mix to a slightly heavier quilting weight; through to a heavyweight upholstery fabric; as well as a recently added knitted jersey material. They have also, from time to time, added special fabrics while stocks lasted, so it is always worth checking back on their site to see what is available.

The full size hanky is over half a metre square, so it is a little awkward getting them up on the Spoonflower fabric, given the width available. They fit two-up across the width, but leave a strip up the side of wasted fabric.
Rather than waste this, I had a little brainwave and have created for myself a fabric label to be sewn into the hankies giving my contact details and washing instructions. This saves me from going to the expense of having labels professionally made.

The only thing I can’t decide is if they should be white or red to blend in with the hankies so they are not too obtrusive. Luckily space permits me to print both and decide later.

I have also got lots of room to add in similar washing labels to go into the Five Trousers I have been getting commissions for recently.

So it’s now time to place the order and patiently wait for delivery of the fabric . . .
Just a reminder that this project would not be happening if it wasn’t for the web of Who fans who have contributed along the way.
TimeLord25 (aka Bob Mitsch) for setting the ball rolling on reproducing the hanky using Spoonflower.

Seventh Doctor Fan (aka George Chase) who own the screen-used hanky from Dragonfire. He gave us the accurate size for the hanky.

Cyber did the scans from a hanky belonging to his brother.

Doris Wildthyme was the first to identify the handkercheif’s style and circulated images of one he owned on the Doctor Who forum, though sadly they were never of high enough quality to use for this project.

The Five Doctors

No, the title of the posting is not a reference to the classic 20th Anniversary special from 1983, but to collectively the Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Tenth Doctors!


Well, I have been having a lot of fun recently, slowly expanding the costume pieces I do.
To start with, they all appeared together in the original Tennant Coat or Tennant Suit blogs, but I have since started building separate blogs to cover the costumes of each Doctor, so they are easier to find and digest.

So far I have added a special blog for the Fifth Doctor to cover the Five Trousers and Five Coat I have been working on.
I also added a blog for the Sixth Doctor, to pull out the information about making my Six Trousers.

This past week I have added the blog you are reading as I have been working on a replica of the Hanky that goes around his hat.

Now I am adding the Third Doctor to the portfolio! This is because I am starting working on making the Inverness Cape he is often seen wearing.
I am doing it as part of the college course I am currently on.

So start checking out my other blogs as I slowly add to them.

Sunday 18 October 2009

Seven Hat Bandana

I know I have started this dedicated blog, but I must admit that Seven cosplay is not entirely my thing as Sylvester McCoy was not my favorite Doctor (sorry Seven fans and sorry Sylvester!).

However, I had an interesting request from a friend in the US recently who was looking to make a replica of the handkerchief that is wrapped around The Doctor’s hat, bandana-style (see left).

One of the original screen-used props had come up on eBay and a friend of his had managed to grab it.
The screen-used hanky had apparently been bought by costume designer Ken Trew from a tobacconist shop in London, and as a result it had been referred to as a Smoker’s Handkerchief ever since.
If you put ‘Smoker’s Handkerchief’ into Google you only get links to a few unrelated sites plus, who were the first to describe it as such (see right).
I have no doubt that in 1987 it was regarded as a Smoker’s Handkerchief, but I have found that if you put in ‘Paisley Bandana’ into Google,you get pages and pages of links to very similar hankies, many shown being used in a similar way, but none with quite the same design as The Doctor’s.

Anyway, the ultimate idea was to reproduce The Doctor’s hanky using Spoonflower and offer them as a group buy option to fellow Seven fans.
Since having fun with Spoonflower has become a hobby of mine recently, I could certainly see the possibilities . . .

An identical hanky had been scanned, but it had to be done in sections, since it was too big to fit on a scanner in one piece. Below are the six main usable scans.

Click to enlarge

To see what I had to work with, I quickly cobbled the pieces together to find that they did not match up as well I would have hoped.
Being a thin, woven fabric, the hanky had skewed out of shape and not of the scanned sections were remotely square (see below).

Click to enlarge

I looked at distorting the sections to get them back to their original shape, but it proved too difficult, as though I could get each part to look okay in isolation, they failed to meet up when brought together.

A bit of lateral thinking was needed.

It dawned on me that the hanky’s pattern had rotational and mirror symmetry, so I only needed to accurate create a eighth of the design, which I could then repeat to create the full image (see right).

It was then simply a question of finding the best sections from which to make up the required eighth, making the task seem a lot more manageable.

As a guideline I drew a triangle to show the segment I needed to do.
I then straightened the edge boarder to match and skewed it so the mirror symmetry lined along the diagonal of the segment. Once I was satisfied I had the segment as perfect as I could get it I could start step-and-repeating it around the hanky.
I took the eighth (below top left) and reflected it to make a quarter (below top centre) and then repeated that around to complete the four sides (below to right).

Click to enlarge

Luckily for the centre of the hanky a separate scan, however this too was somewhat distorted.
After tying to clean it up, I found it best to simply repeat the process I did for the rest of the hanky and perfect a single quarter (above bottom left) and repeat that around to complete the rosette (above bottom centre).
This then finished the design.

All that remained to do was prepare it for useable artwork by extending the area of the hanky to allow for a seam allowance when cutting them down to size and hemming the edges to make them neat and tidy.

All in all fourteen layers were needed to restore the hanky back to a complete form (see right).

Finally, having made an image I could upload to Spoonflower, I needed to work out the most efficient way of printing them.
Spoonflower offers a number of options when printing fabric: 8 inch square swatches; quarter yards; then multiples of full yards up to five, plus an option for 25 yards.

Annoyingly the hanky is too large for a quarter yard, so a minimum of one yard is needed to fit at least one full hanky, though you can fit two up on a yard. This does, however, leave a large amount of wasted fabric so I found that doing three yards was the most efficient, as it was possible to get ten full hankies together on one run of fabric.

Before doing a full test run, I waited until I had an order to send to Spoonflower and included a 8 inch swatch of part of the hanky so I could check how the colours and print quality was holding up.

I am just waiting for the swatch to arrive any day now . . . .
This project would not be happening if it wasn’t for the web of Who fans who have contributed along the way.
TimeLord25 (aka Bob Mitsch) for setting the ball rolling on reproducing the hanky using Spoonflower.

Seventh Doctor Fan (aka George Chase) who own the screen-used hanky from Dragonfire. He gave us the accurate size for the hanky.

Cyber did the scans from a hanky belonging to his brother.

Doris Wildthyme was the first to identify the handkercheif’s style and circulated images of one he owned on the Doctor Who forum, though they were never of high enough quality to use for this project.

Welcome to the New Doctor

My blog has regenerated yet again and begins another new spin-off.
This time to cover the costume items relating to the Seven Doctor’s costume.

As usual, in here I will only cover any work I do relating to Seven so it is all kept in one place.

This will then keep the Tennant Coat and Tennant Suit blogs concentrating on what they were intended for - all things Tennant!

As my repertoire expands I will bring other blogs online to cover those costumes.

Watch this space . . .

Friday 12 June 2009

Bonhams costume sale - 16th June 2009

This coming week there is an auction at Bonhams in Knightsbridge of Film and Entertainment memorabilia.

Amongst the James Bond and Beatles items (and Christopher Lee’s original cape from his first Dracula film) are a number of original Doctor Who costumes, some dating right back to the very first season in 1964.
Also on sale are three Doctor costumes; one from Jon Pertwee’s last series; Jon Pertwee’s jacket when he appeared in the Children In Need special, Dimensions In Time; and a near complete Colin Baker outfit (sadly missing the coat).

This is an opportunity I can’t miss, if not to bid, but to at least go along to the viewing and take a closer look, and maybe some decent photos.

Ironically I have just done a replica (to a slightly different pattern) of the Six trousers, so now I will get the chance to check out my work against the real thing close-up. I will take a swatch of the fabric I used and compare it.

The viewing is Sunday 14th and Monday 15th June, so I will go on Monday and take some more detailed pictures, particularly of the Doctor costumes.
In the meantime, below is a full list of the items on offer, taken from the online catalogue so they can be seen all together and long after the listing on Bonhams will have been removed.

I have separated the items by Doctor era, and you can see the rest of the items here:
Here are just the lots relating to the Seventh Doctor era
Lot 17
Ken Dodd as Tollmaster from Delta And The Bannermen, featuring Sylvester McCoy as The Doctor, first broadcast November 1987.
A tuxedo jacket, of pink velvet, heavily embroidered with silvered thread having lilac satin collar, and pink silk effect lining.
Estimate: £200 - 300
Sold for £288

Lot 18
Belinda Mayne as Delta from Dr Who - Delta And The Bannermen, featuring Sylvester McCoy as The Doctor, first broadcast November 1987.
A 1950's style dress, of white colour with green polka dots, having v-neck with net underskirt.
A dress of this type can clearly be seen during the scene between Delta and Chimeron Princess.

Estimate: £200 - 300
Sold for