Photo Friday:

Books:  This week has been about books and new beginnings. Another book arrived via post (What Matters in Jane Austen) to add to my research library. Then off to an antiquarian book sale for some goodies.

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My oldest books are now dated 1821- two volumes of translated Don Quixote.

Home: I've updated my hair - more purple - and finally started putting up displays for the first of our (six) lightsabres.

 

Doctor Who: Then off to a local comic and toy fare. I managed to get a Doctor Hoof! Back home and I've sewn on my patches for my 'Bill denim jacket'. Just waiting on one more patch to arrive for the front set.

  

Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Cry Wolf.

Warning: Possible spoilers ahead on Doctor Who episode, World Enough and Time.

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By the time you read this, some of you will probably already know the answers to questions posited. I won't have my answer until tonight.  Until then, here are some thoughts, tempered by several days of waiting...

Last week's episode of Doctor Who was a killer. Literally. We've known all season this is Peter Capaldi's last set of adventures as the Doctor. He will be sorely missed - a great actor, bringing complex layers to the part. But there was some doubt on the timing of Pearl Mackie's departure: would she leave at the end of the season, or continue as companion with the next, as yet un-named, Doctor? Kill Bill rumours circulated up til last Sunday. Then nothing.

Then came World Enough and Time. The episodes title is a line from the poem, To My Coy Mistress, by Andrew Marvell (1621–1678), full of death imagery. It has been alternatively considered a solemn poem of regret, an apparent epitaph for a loved one, or an ironic statement on seduction. - a possible epitaph for the Doctor, but is it for Bill as well?

At the end of the episode, it seems we are losing both. I say 'seem', because Moffat does not have a great track record when it comes to letting go, having resurrected Amy, Rory and Clara (multiple times).

Not since Adric (5th Doctor), has a character truly died (once), never to return. His death (whether you liked him or not) was even made more poignant by the first time we ever had a silent credit role, giving the viewer time to digest the sudden loss.

In World Enough and Time, the horror of Bill's fate is drawn out over the entire episode, unveiling the process of her fate via the conversion of others. For Bill it was ten years of waiting for the Doctor to save her - so when the moment came, we were shocked.

But moments that should have garnered the biggest feels - the camera lingering on the hole in Bill's chest, The Master's betrayal leading to Bill's conversion, and the close up of a tear in the converted Bill's eye behind her Cyberman mask - all lost most of their gravitas due to the many (many) cries of wolf by Moffat. These moments that should (and did intially) shock quickly dissolved into niggling thoughts of 'is this a dream sequence', 'how is he going to bring back the companion this time' and 'here we go again'.

 

The devices used for ramping up the creepy factor, such as the silent cries of pain by the Cybermen and the growing realisation Bill was facing a fate worse than death,  were brilliant.  Unfortunately all were wasted. Was it just another of Moffat's teases? Would he weedle out of it all again? Why should this be any different? I'd become inoculated against his shock tactics.

I spent the rest of the episode second-guessing Moffat's motives and not appreciating some great acting, clever one-liners and foreshadowing of events to come.

There were two options:

  1. Bill is dead. Not a preferred option, as I really liked Bill's character and consider her the best companion since Donna (and River).
  2. A Moffat miracle to return Bill to the (new) Doctor's side (possibly with mechanical heart?). And, while I don't want to lose Bill as a companion just yet, this is even more annoying than option #1, for the reasons stated above.

I should have loved this episode. It had the feel of old Doctor Who, with many  nods to The Tenth Planet, and presented the return of the Mondasian Cybermen. The Doctor's old nemesis - and friend - The Master, also returned - patiently waiting and savouring his final moment of victory over the Doctor. This was a return of the old Master: patient, calculating and pure evil.

But Moffat has does this all before. He's cried wolf so many times. When the moment finally arrived, Bill's moment seemed destined to go the way of Clara in Face The Raven.

I will miss Peter Capaldi's Doctor, and Bill Potts - if tonight proves me wrong - but I won't miss Moffat. I'm looking forward to a new showrunner and new stories to surprise us.

TARDIS Corset/Skirt Diary

It is done. After years (and years) of talking about it, I finally pulled my finger out and made it: my TARDIS corset. As many of you know, I am a big Doctor Who fan and have been regularly watching it since Jon Pertwee days (and irregularly before that). A few years back friend (and fellow writer), George Ivanoff unveiled his TARDIS jacket (made by his dear wife). I was a tad jealous. Now I have my own TARDIS corset (and skirt). And this is how I made it.
  1. Pin and cut out pattern on material, and also cut the corset pieces from cotton duck (two layers to sandwich the boning later). Sew the pieces together. (Left side blue pieces together/ left double layer of cotton duck together/ right side blue pieces together/ right double layer of cotton duck together. So you have four separate pieces at the end of this step.)
  2. Pin one side of material to duck layers (right sides together) and sew in the busk (this was an 8 inch one). Size will vary depending on how long the front of your corset is.
  3. Turn right way out. Add other side of busk. (You will need to use an awl to make holes in the material to push the 'lugs' through.)
  4. I added twill tape along the waist. This will help reduce the pull on the corset when laced up. Next I sewed the boning channels in the two layers of duck. A zipper foot is ideal for this. 
  5. Now for the pretty decoration. I made windows from white cotton and hand stitch ribbon to create window panes.
  6. I bought the police box sign from Fandom Fabric's etsy store. (You can also get versions from Spoonflower). I used HeatnBond Ultrahold (double sided iron-on - from Spotlight) to fuse the windows and police box sign to the material, then hand sewed each item in place.
  7. To make bias - cut 5cm wide strips on the diagonal of the material. Use iron and this neat little gadget to create the bias.
  8. The bias was pinned on the front edges - top and bottom - then machine-sewed, folded over to the back of the corset and hand stitched in place.
  9.  Mark up the lacing holes (approx 1.5 inches apart), with the two at the waist closer together to allow for the lacing loops.  I make the holes with an awl to minimise thread breakage, keeping maximum structural integrity. I use larger grommets. I wear my corsets at costume, steampunk events and conventions; the larger grommets have outlasted smaller versions (for me). I bought the grommets and tool from Farthingale's corset supplies.
  10. I needed 5m of corset lacing for this under the bust version. I use 8m for full length corsets. Tie a knot in the middle of the length, crimp on a metal aglet or handsew the ends to form one. The knot is at the centre (between two top eyelets). Lace to the bottom and tie off lacing. Pull a loop out at the two (closer) waist eyelets. These loops are used to pull the lacing tight, then is tied and tucked under the corset.
  11. The finished corset:
  12. For the skirt, I purchased one yard of 'Police Box' print from Spoonflower (ID:767279) There are many versions. I cut every second line of print (to allow enough fold over) and created a 'non-bias' strip using the bias making gadget.
  13. I pinned and sewed the strip along the bottom of the skirt (after hemming).
And here is the final outfit, complete with purple Docs - one happy Doctor Who fan!

 

[A big thanks to Lynne Cook (President Australian Costumers' Guild) who helped with the fitting of the toile for the pattern for this corset.]

photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle and ©2017 D Carlisle. All rights reserved.