October 18, 2015

Captain John Hart Costume Project

Oneal is back with another costuming project for me. He is attending a Dr. Who theme wedding and wants to go as Captain John Hart from the spinoff “Torchwood.”

I asked, “Who?”

He said, “Yes.”

I asked again, “Captain Who?”

He said, “No, Dr. Who. Captain John Hart.”

Before I could open my mouth again, he showed me the online photos of Captain John Hart. He said that’s the jacket he wants to wear to the wedding. 

Captain John Hart of Torchwood

Oneal said he will look for a jacket of the same color and texture and I can just convert it. Add the braid and buttons accessories, and adjust the collar and sleeves.

Easy as pie. If he can bring me the jacket (so I won’t have to make one from scratch), I’ll do the required renovations.

The search for the jacket took a few weekend trips to where jackets are sold. Remotely, he consulted with me on the options he found.

Oneal searching for the right jacket.

One had black sleeves, one looked like salmon, one looked like eggplant. We agreed on the maroon corduroy. I could make it work.

Next was the search for the braid material, or technically, the soutache. And the brass buttons. After total fails at several sewing stores, he landed at Carolina’s where they had these fancy options:
Searching for the right soutache.

Since it was going to be a wedding anyway, we agreed to use the white one with the silver trim (but without glitter or crystals). Here’s our messaging about the soutache and buttons.

He ended up buying a whole roll of the soutache (60+ feet) and the store's entire stash of gold buttons (a dozen more than we needed).

With all the materials available, I went to work. Digging through the sewing accessories I hauled from the US, I determined that the best way to work with the soutache is with a sticky stabilizer and fusing tape. Keeping an eye on the reference photo, I estimated the size and shape of the area the soutache will cover and cut a paper pattern.

Materials for the Captain John Hart chest braid.

This part required a lot of patience but the result was remarkable!

Making the Captain John Hart chest braid.

The next step was to sew the soutache onto the jacket. Two straight lines for now, just to hold the panel in place. Final stitching will be done after the fitting.

Sewing the soutache onto the jacket.

Oneal went searching again, this time for dark blue corduroy material that I will use for the sleeves and collar. But his search was a bust, so I said, “How about I use a blue microfiber that I have in my fabric stash? I will show you.”

This was the jacket Oneal tried for a final fitting. Just a few buttons, and pins all over the place.

Captain John Hart jacket in pins.

The jacket passed the fitting.

Captain John Hart jacket project Before-and-After.

Achievement unlocked!

Here’s Oneal at the wedding, with his wife wearing the project in my next blog entry.

Oneal at the Dr. Who theme wedding as Captain John Hart.

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