Eleventh Doctor Velvet Waistcoat Tutorial – Required Materials


  • Dark purple velvet = 1 yard

For the waistcoat in this tutorial, I custom-dyed my velvet.

Specifically, I used the white silk/rayon velvet from Dharma Trading Company:

To achieve the dark, dark purple color, I first acid-dyed it with Dharma’s “True Black” to darken the silk fibers.

I then dyed the velvet purple using Dharma’s fiber-reactive Procion #161, “Power Berry.”

However, if you prefer a warmer purple, I suggest using #115 “Eggplant.”

  • Purple linen = 1 yard

If you’ve read my velvet waistcoat analysis, you may recall that the back of the waistcoat was allegedly purple linen.

Greg Hammond (aka “thedoctorswardrobe”) found a beautiful purple linen that photographs as purple-ish gray, just like the original looked in the show.

He currently offers waistcoat-sized panels of this linen in his Etsy shop:

  • Black lightweight cotton = 1 yard

If you’ve read my velvet waistcoat analysis, you may also recall that the waistcoat was allegedly lined with a lightweight cotton.

It could have been white, unbleached/natural, ivory, light gray, or possibly even light blue … the choice is yours.

Since the original lining color is currently unknown – at least to me – I suggest simply using black.

11th Doctor velvet waistcoat sewing tutorial - Doctor Who Costume Guide
8x02 “The Time of the Doctor”

Side note – strange as it might seem to some today, in his excellent book The Victorian Tailor: An Introduction to Period Tailoring, Jason Maclochlainn did twice mention cotton linings as being common in period waistcoats.

The book offers fascinating insight into period tailoring practices, so if you’re interested, I’d definitely recommend it as both an enjoyable and informative read.

  • Lightweight hair canvas = 1 yard

I recommend either of the following lightweight hair canvases for this waistcoat:

Fashion Sewing Supply “Pro-Tailor Classic SEW-in Hair Cloth/Interfacing”

Black & Sons T15-DD “Lightweight Hymo”

  • Cotton flannel = 1 yard (optional)

Dharma’s velvet is fairly thin and lightweight, so I like to use a neat trick I learned from Kenneth King’s wonderful book, Cool Couture, and underline (“flat-line”) the velvet with cotton flannel. This gives it a bit more body, and a more luxurious feel in-hand.

Any color (or print) should work fine, but I like to just use solid black flannel.

If you’re satisfied with your velvet’s weight, opacity, and/or drape, feel free to omit this step.

  • Black pocketing = ¼ yard

I recommend either of the following pocketings for this waistcoat:

Black & Sons T41 “Silesia Cotton Pocketing”

Pocketing fabric - Doctor Who Costume Guide

Black & Sons T401 “Deluxe Polyester/Cotton Pocketing”

Pocketing fabric - Doctor Who Costume Guide

Alternatively, some black lightweight cotton, such as muslin or quilting cotton, should work fine.

  • Black ⅜” trim = 7 yards (for the largest size)

If you’ve read my velvet waistcoat analysis, you may recall that its decorative trim was unique.

After a considerable amount of hunting, I managed to find some trim that looks spot-on to the original, and I’ve made it available by-the-yard on Etsy.

This same trim is also used on the “Snowmen” frock coat.

If you’re making that costume ensemble, 12 yards should be enough trim for both garments in most sizes.


  • 1 spool of black thread

The custom-dyed purple velvet I mentioned is so dark that it should really be sewn with black thread, as should the black trim and lining.

Black thread
  • 1 spool of purple thread

11th Doctor "scales" waistcoat sewing tutorial - Doctor Who Costume Guide
  • Cotton basting thread

I use and recommend #40 basting thread, from Wawak Sewing Supplies:

Cotton basting thread - Doctor Who Costume Guide
  • Six ⅝” black passementerie buttons OR ½” gold “perfume” buttons

The total diameter of the passementerie buttons should be no larger than ⅝”.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, passementerie buttons of the appropriate size are very difficult to find, in any color.

A few years ago, I did manage to procure a small supply of these buttons before they seemed to disappear entirely, and I’ve made sets of them available on Etsy:

Should my supply eventually sell out, the only other option I’m currently aware of is the brown buttons from Magnoli Clothiers (see right), which can be painted black with Jacquard Dyne-Na-Flow.

If you prefer the gold “perfume” buttons as originally seen in “The Snowmen,” replica buttons are available from “Time and Space Replicas” on Etsy:

  • Vest buckle

Daniel Pawlik also currently offers vest buckles like those used on the original waistcoats, again via his Etsy shop:

Otherwise a standard vest buckle will work fine (see right).

Vest buckles
  • Piping/zipper/edging foot

Zipper feet combined
  • Walking/quilting foot (recommended)

(This technically isn’t a requirement, but it makes some parts of the construction process MUCH easier.)

Walking foot - Doctor Who Costume Guide
  • Pinking shears (recommended)

(Again – technically not a requirement, but I like to cut certain edges and areas with these to minimize impressions being visible on the outside of the waistcoat.)

Pinking shears
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