Hot! The “Who Failed, Twice” Outfits

Question: can Tempest make costumes for two versions of the Doctor from British sci-fi drama Doctor Who in a week?

Answer: no.

I wouldn’t be posting this at all if it weren’t for my husband being the voice of reason telling me if I don’t post and show what I did make in a week, then when I’m not depressed in a few weeks time I’ll be sad that I gave up on Sew Weekly challenges so near to the end.

So here’s what I managed. And yes, I’m really sorry but I can’t face having my photo taken again. I think this is my 3rd bottom of cycle this year. That seems a lot to me but when I look back at my mental loopiness logs (no, they’re not really called that) it seems ‘normal’. Whatever that is. This one has exacerbated by some recent events but luckily I know that one day the sun will shine again (which seems a stupid thing to say when living in Arizona). Why my family put up with me I’ll never know.

Here’s how far I got on with the 3rd Doctor costume:

And here’s my inspiration, the great Jon Pertwee, my first and favourite Doctor:


What I did manage was:

  • Blue frilled tuxedo shirt sewn.
  • Matching fabric covered buttons made for shirt.
  • Velvet jacket (donated) adjusted to fit and tear under left sleeve repaired.
  • Burgundy bias tape made and added to lapels of jacket.
  • Same burgundy fabric used to sew big flouncy 70’s bow-tie.
  • Black crushed velvet skirt from charity shop 2 sizes too small, adapted to fit, with additional velvet panels.
  • Skirt lining adjusted to fit.
  • Some absolutely fascinating research into Michael Fish of Mr Fish, an incredible tailor in Swinging Sixties London who designed many of Pertwee’s velvet smoking jackets and ruffled shirts…and invented the kipper tie and designed for all the stars of the day including Bowie’s amazing velvet dress on the cover of The Man Who Sold The World.
These were the fun bits of the week.
What’s still to do:
  • Cuff ruffles need adding to sleeves.
  • Shirt still needs buttonholes making and buttons sewing on.
I’ve got some fab black suede cuban heeled zip up boots to wear with that black velvet skirt.
What I’m going to do in the new year:
  • Make a more stylised velvet jacket (if I’m femmeing up the Doctor, might as well go for it). Probably going to use Butterick 5392.
  • In my favourite story The Green Death, the Doctor wears a matching burgundy waistcoat/vest, I’ll probably use Easy Stitch & Save by McCall’s 6149 for this.
  • Also in these episodes he wears a red and green tartan inverness cape. I was planning to adapt my inverness cape I made for my Sherlock outfit for the Children’s Literature challenge, but the Doctor’s one is not only a different tartan/colours….but he also wears the cape section much lower on the arm and it’s sleeveless so the velvet smoking jacket sleeves and ruffled cuffs show….so I think if I’m going to do this properly, I’ll source a closer looking fabric and go for it.
So why did I fail twice?
Well, I was also making a costume for my husband as the 11th Doctor. Here’s how far I got on with that one:


What I got done:

  • Found a suitable jacket at a Goodwill store.
  • Sewed a thinner, longer, more 21st century bow-tie as per the 11th Doctor.
  • Found a suitable shirt.
  • Sewed a fez as per Elinor’s Crafts wonderful instructions.
What I still need to do:
  • Shorten the sleeves on the jacket.
  • Add thin burgundy ribbon in bands to the cuffs of the shirt as per the 11th Doctor’s first shirt. I notice they have a replica fabric for the shirt on Spoonflower too…..

And don’t worry, he will be wearing trousers. He has some black jeans we’ll turn up.

I’m not sure when he’ll wear this mind you as I’ve failed to get it finished in time for Halloween :(

Honestly not sure if I can keep going anymore. It’s all got a bit much. I love the sewing but hate having my photo taken when I’m in this self-loathing phase of my illness. I suppose it’s only aprons next weekly but the up-coming challenges aren’t getting me excited yet (yes my heart dived when I saw ‘black & white’). I feel bad that I don’t want to go on anymore but desperately don’t want to fail either. Perhaps if I can lift my mood next week I’ll differently.



Tempest Devyne is a Brit who loves rain. She was therefore exiled to the deserts of Arizona. She started tentatively sewing about 3 years ago to make her own burlesque costumes. She'd now like to make pretty clothes for herself that don't rely on velcro and poppers to stay on. She's self-taught with help from the internet and lots of books from the library.


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  1. You know what will happen if you’re just feeling too bad to participate one week?: We’ll understand. :) We ALL understand what it’s like, whether we suffer from the lows ourselves or not. If it’s not fun, don’t do it. If you want to keep your perfect record because you promised yourself, I’m sure you can always tag something with two week’s themes (I think I’m going to do that for the B&W and ’60s challenges because they overlap). BTW, is that you in the photos framed above your dress form? Oh la la.

    And I’m reminded again that I’m the big loser here who’s never seen even ONE episode of the Doctor!! I’m off to download…..

  2. Oh darling… You worked very hard…

  3. My dear you’ve done so well and come so far!!! I look forward every week to see what you will come up to….I am sure you will find the inspiration and motivation to continue. By not posting a challenge will never mean you fail, or you can not do it. sometimes other things in life come first! Too bad you couldn’t finish you were too close!! :(
    Best wishes for next challenge (sending you the best vibes possible!!!)

  4. Okay, first of all, that velvet jacket is AMAZING and the whole ensemble looks great. That is a lot of sewing for anyone to get done in a week. Second, Halloween comes every year and your love for Dr. Who will not wane, so you’ve got a jumpstart on both of your costumes for 2013. Thirdly, the black and white challenge doesn’t say “Exclusively” black and white. Why not do something that incorporates black and white by is not solely black and white? Last, I’m not sure if I missed it, but I’m not positive what your illness is. But if it is, as I suspect, bipolar disorder, get some good meds if you haven’t already. My mother was so much happier and more even when she found the right meds. You’re in my thoughts and prayers, Tempest. I know that it’s not something you can control. But I am comforted by the knowledge that God’s in control and will work things out for his good purposes, even using the bad things to do good in the long run. Your suffering may someday be helpful to someone else going through the same thing. I love your spirit–and God does too. :)

  5. Let’s see if I can remember everything I want to say:
    Your family “puts up” with you becuase you’re awesome and they love you. None of us is perfect and the fact that you know WHAT your issues are and deal with them the best you can puts you far ahead of many/most.
    WE LOVE YOU. If you don’t do a week or two we don’t care! We just want what’s best for you!! So if you dont do a challenge or dont’ take pics of yourself then that’s ok. We would MISS YOU VERY MUCH if you just drifted off.
    Your pieces are wonderful and yes, as Erin says, your love of Dr. Who isn’t going anywhere so just keep on truckin’. You didn’t/haven’t failed, you’re just not in the place you want to be. Some of the rest of us aren’t where we want to be either (that would be me…) but we do the best we can.
    Stay in touch my friend. I hope we see you next week but if not maybe the week after or the week after…

  6. You had things done and managed to post so that says major wins to me! You don’t have to be in the photos of every post if you don’t want to be. And at this point I don’t think any of us can say we failed at anything.

    I love both of your outfits. They are perfection!!

  7. Your husband was right – you had done so much, that ain’t no fail!

    I’m sure when you’re feeling better you will think of a million ways to rock the challenges that don’t inspire you – black shoes on white feet (and whatever-the-heck-you-want-colours in your outfit)? a t-shirt that says your only black is black humour? (because you definitely do that well!)

    (Having a week off is “allowed”, too – I’m in awe of all the contributors and I don’t know how anyone does weekly sewing more than twice a year!)

  8. Hang in there, Tempest. As you ca clearly see, not only does your family support you, but all you Sew Weekly friends do to. Stay in touch, photos or no photos. I’m sending you a big hug.

  9. Hi Tempest,
    I have no idea what to say, because I have been at the bottom of those cycles too and know that nothing much helps, but, I think that you are amazing for still posting this week. I am not a contributor this year because there is no way I can get a new thing sewn each week with my crazy life but secretly it is a little bit because of the photo. I hate photos of myself even when I am not at the bottom! So what if every now and then you post a picture that you are not in? You are an amazingly creative and talented seamstress. I love your contributions and they make me smile. You have a fabulous sense of huour, and your creations inspire me!

  10. Tempest you’ve done a magnificent job seriously step back and take a look, my god women not every week has to be so grand non of us expect it. We each have our own personal challenges and I guess it all comes down to time management in the end. You should be deeply proud of what you’ve achieved. Thinking of you and sending you the biggest and most grandest cyber hug ever.

  11. Love it! Though my favorite Dr. Who is number 10. Number 11: overrated! That’s right, I said it!

  12. Also, a thought on black and white– between black and white is the entire rainbow. I believe in liberal interpretations of the themes.

  13. I am really coveting that blue ruffled shirt, so I’m so glad you showed it to us! Sometimes life gets in the way, but look what you managed to do when it did! Congratulations … (By the way, John Pertwee in his yellow car is the Dr Who I remember too …)

  14. I don’t usually comment on SW posts, but these costumes look great so far and they’ll be amazing when they’re done!

    Also, for the black & white theme, would it help if you did it in some crazy black and white print? Or did it with rainbow acessories?
    Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  15. Oh ((hugs)). I’m sorry you are having such a hard time of it and feeling so dark. Sometimes it’s hard to believe because your posts bring so much light into our lives. Even if you didn’t get it finished, thank you for posting (and really, you did 5x as much as the rest of us!), and hopefully you’ll be back wanting to post and show off soon.

  16. Another way to think of black and white is to realize it has no gray areas. It’s distinct, not amorphous, not wishy-washy. So maybe that will spark some ideas.

    I’m sorry you don’t feel good. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Tincture of time is one of our best health remedies—and it has no side effects.

  17. My daughter adores Doctor Who and it’s awesome you’ve got two outfits (she went as Amy Pond).

    Another way to think of black and white is to realize it has no gray areas. It’s distinct, not amorphous, not wishy-washy. So maybe that will spark some ideas.

    I’m sorry you don’t feel good. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Tincture of time is one of our best health remedies—and it has no side effects.

  18. Mental illness sucks, I agree wholeheartedly. But knowing this will pass is a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. You did lovely work, and I covey your ruffled shirt! We’re all in your corner, girl. Hang in there, and know we are rooting for you. No matter what you choose to do for the remainder of the challenges, as long as it is the right choice for you, everyone here is going to support you.

  19. Hi Tempest! I love all the work you did and don’t consider either of them a fail. You did so much more than I have been able to accomplish in the last several weeks. You always remind me to keep it all in perspective. I don’t know if I could have made it this far without your encouragement.

    I know things get all cloudy sometimes and I admire you for pushing through and how honest you’ve been about it all. Hope this week is better-let us know if it isn’t. We’re all here for you!

  20. Oh Tempest, you’re being way too hard on yourself. I can’t believe you sewed all this within a week! There’s not much to add to the previous comment – I agree with all of them – we all love you to bits here and your family is lucky to have you even if you aren’t that “easycare”. You make up for this in so many other ways. And don’t force yourself to complete a challenge if you really hate it. Just look at me – if someone failed then it’s me – I participated in about 6 (8??) challenges this year. ;) Those outfits you made are amazing. You should be very proud of yourself.

  21. Thank you everyone (even those of you who mean well but don’t realise how offensive it can be to bring ‘God’ into the conversation without finding out someone’s beliefs or upbringing. Trust me, I don’t want or need your prayers). I will continue to battle. Thank you all. I couldn’t do this without you all.