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