Just an ordinary bloke with a bit of spare time

Sixth Doctor It was a coat of many colours... I have long been a fan of Colin Baker's portrayal of the 6th Doctor despite the seemingly general idea that this was a low point in the fortunes of Doctor Who and remember thinking at the time what a wonderful outfit he had chosen. This was just before I discovered 'fandom' and the written in stone rules that organised fandom seemed to obey. One of these rules is that the multi colour outfit was a huge mistake and killed the show. I don't think it did, and watch any of the news reports or interviews from the time and much interest was shown in the outfit. The effect it had on the physics of television at the time was not a good move as the brightness of the colours meant everything had to be designed much more garishly than normal which gave the era a cheap feel. I had also long wanted a Baker coat but the sheer complicated nature had put me off even attempting it, even sourcing the numerous colours and patterns seemed a daunting task, so I filed it under 'wishful thinking' but circumstances of a personal nature meant that at a time when I needed something to take my mind off of real life my Wife suggested making the 6th Doctor's coat and the rest, as they say, is history.
I studied many photos of the coat and drew quite a few detailed plans of where the various coloured panels go in relation to one another and once again Steve Rick's blog was invaluable. Armed with a list of the materiel I wanted if not a detailed set of plans I hotfooted it to the Chester branch of Aberkan and spent a fruitless hour investigating their stock. The main bulk of the coat is a red tartan that is quite distinctive and without that there really wasn't any point in trying to do the thing. I had pretty much given up on finding anything similar when I spotted a pile of fleece in a corner and even though fleece is horrible to work with I thought 'why not' and delved in, onlty to find at the bottom a quantity of an almost perfect red tartan. I bought the lot and armed with this find then went through the list trying to gather the rest. I found almost all I wanted bar the green tartan on the back of the coat so went with a green version of the red main body colour. Not perfect but almost. With a large bag of cloth in many colours I looked for a pattern that might be suitable but the closest was my old Simplicity frockcoat that I had used for the Davison coat. I laid out the panels and then cut exact replacements in brown paper. These were then cut into the segments for the different colours as they don't follow the normal panel lines of a frockcoat. It took a long while to get it all to work and even the pockets had to be totally done from scratch as they are sloped down the lower side rather than at waist level. Then came trying to work out just how those lapels worked. The 6th coat has unique lapels that run right down the front of the coat and has no buttons or fastening of any kind. To say these bloody lapels gave me grief is an understatement, they are pigs to do and get looking right and even now I'm not 100 percent happy with them.
My original idea was to make the coat and sew the lapels on as separate pieces but after finishing the coat the first time I undid almost all of it and rethought it out and made them integral to the build, If I was to remake the coat, which I will do one day, I would do it totally differently to how I originally did it. The construction of the coat body was similar to a normal frockcoat but everything required a long thinking period to get to grips with it, from the pockets to the fitting of the panels nothing was simple and the making of it did indeed take me out of the troubles in real life. The body was eventually finished and I attached the original lapels that I had made from velour, which I have to say is a bloody horrible materiel to work with. The lapels fold round back onto themselves and after many refittings I got them to do this, after a fashion, and thought the coat finished. I did an impromptu photo session in the garden and was generally happy with the hang of the coat but those lapels gnawed at me, they were just not right. I decided to redo them but this time in felt which I thought would be easier to work with than the hated velour, and indeed it was. I had a face slap moment when I suddenly realised just how the lapels attached to the real coat and armed with this redid them totally, almost taking the coat back to it's component parts doing so. The result is closer to the look I wanted but still, I look and see that it isn't totally right. Damn. I took the opportunity to lengthen the sleeves as they were originally a wee bit short. The cuffs on the original were made from dyed pillow ticking, just like the trousers but I couldn't find any of the correct stripe so I made my own sewing the black stripes in place. It was a simple matter to remove these large cuffs and place them further down the sleeve. The coat is now about 70 percent to where I would be happy with it but it's as far as this version will go without ruining it completely. I then moved onto the trousers which I made from some yellow and black striped materiel that suggested the look of the originals. I used my frontier pants pattern as the originals are very high waisted which do make anyone look overweight. I like the trousers and they could be used as a more winter friendly version of the 5th Doctor's trousers as well. I need to make the 6th highly colourful waistcoat and a gingham trimmed shirt but like everything about this costume it's never as simple as that and I feel this will be a very long term affair.
Having a deadline of wanting the 6th outfit finished in full for the Wales Comic Con 2012 event, where I wanted to do a 'regenerating' Doctor theme, starting as No.4, then turning into No.5 and finally unveiling No.6, meant I had to knuckle down and actually do some work on the coat etc. I needed a waistcoat of suitably outlandish colour, spats, tie/cravat and hopefully a wig so trooped down to Aberkhan and sorted out some suitable materiel for the waistcoat, choosing a loud red gingham as I wanted something not too hot to wear under the thick coat and also found perfect spotted materiel for the cravat.
I used my trusty old Western vest pattern for the waistcoat and used the spotted cravat materiel for the back and lining.
I managed to find some really nice teddy bear buttons for less than the cost of a magazine at Aberkhan so used these for the waistcoat.
The spats I made from  my own pattern to fit my work boots and used some offcuts from the orange panel of the coat.
I sprayed an old dog chain red for the watch chain and also painted a cat badge to match one used on the program
For the shirt I was going to use my 5th Doctor shirt as you really wouldn't see much under the rest of the outfit. I purchased a couple of cheap wigs on Ebay but on the day didn't use them as, to be frank, they were crap and really uncomfortable to wear.
The con went really well, and the smooth regenerations (in the gents) went well and was interesting to see people's reactions as one Doctor went in and another came out