THE COUNTDOWN IS OVER!
Well, that’s a flat out big lie! Now, the final countdown begins for the day they’ll arrive in our warehouses! I will make sure to keep you up to date on all that good stuff as we go along. First, I’d like to start sharing the story of this creation in motion.
The AbbyShot crew were pumped to start setting up our booth at the Doctor Who Festival in London, England. On our way there, we had no choice but to walk by the section of the show where the costumes were being displayed. I’m not sure how many times we left our booth to sneek over to see when the red velvet coat was going to be displayed. Finally, a few ironed coats & displays later, we saw it! It was like seeing a rainbow except this time we found the end where the treasure was buried!
Seeing this coat in person was such a treat (as all of you who attended would know). Ray Holman was kind enough to take the time to show me his design book with all the secret information explaining the details of the coat! I made note of where to buy the fabric & trims and took as many pictures as I could without touching the coat, although I may have accidently touched the fabric and a button or two!! It was such an amazing show, especially for me, as I don’t usually get to meet all our fans! It was truly a pleasure to be able to meet all of you. At the time we were developing the Twelfth Doctor’s Coat, and it was SUPER fun showing you the fabrics. We even showed Ray to get his approval!
As usual, time flies when you’re having fun, and it was time to go back home to Canada. The very first thing we did was create our tech pack (basically, an engineered blue print, but for clothing) explaining every detail of the coat for our newly approved manufacturer. Next we ordered the fabric direct from the source and shipped it to our new manufacturer so that we can show them exactly what we are looking for in quality and color. While waiting for our first sample to be made, the hunt for just the right fabric began!
Finding just the right fabric is both painful & exciting at the same time because it is a waiting game...you never know how long it really is going to take to find it! Because we do replica clothing, it’s quite the challenge to find what we’re looking for. It’s hardly ever available on the market, in which case, the fabric is specially woven for us. The owner of the factory himself scoured the markets to get samples of different quality velvets. We went back and forth with the manufacturer for two months expressing how important the fabric is to us and our fans. After seeing a dozen or more samples, we finally narrowed it down to two luxurious velvets. We had two wonderful options in front of us except one cost a lot more than the other. Easy decision! To keep costs low, we chose the less expensive one because you really couldn’t feel the difference! YAY! We were ecstatic that we finally had the right fabric!
Next step? Getting the color JUST RIGHT!! The picture below showing Option A-D are color dip options laying on top of the original fabric. As you can clearly see, Option A was close, but not close enough! It took 3 lab dips to get it just right. It was well worth the wait, because you can see to the right that the original swatch compared to ours is spot on!
Funny side story. The fabric took so long to get right that once it was done, our manufacturer told us he drank a shot of tequila to celebrate! Ha! Wish I could’ve been there with him!
In order to make sure the lining was as close to the original as possible, we actually had a different manufacturer create it for us and they did an AMAZING job. We received what we thought was our final lining fabric sample, but instead, at first sight, the swatch didn’t match. We had already gone back and forth for a month perfecting the weave & color, so you can imagine our disappointment when we thought we had to go back to the drawing board once again! See how dedicated we are to you for getting it perfect for you guys?!! We were so disappointed because we were expecting THE FINAL swatch. When we had a second look, all we could do was laugh, because we’d been looking at the wrong side! When we turned it over we discovered that the back of the swatch was an awesome match (a.k.a. the right side)! Ha! Phew! We approved the fabric and they made the bulk for us, which took about 35 days. I think you can see why getting one of our coats to market can take some time!
We shipped the lining from that manufacturer to arrive to the velvet manufacturer (about 4,000km away)! It added some time on the project, but we know how important accuracy is to you, so we did it anyway!
PERFECTING THE DESIGN & FIT
While searching for the perfect fabric and color, many samples were made to improve the design & fit. We had some extra help from certain die hard fans (you know who you are and thank you!) in order help us with design accuracy. Below is the first sample we received and it really wasn’t too bad at all for a first sample!
After reviewing the pictures, and to save time, we sent comments back to make some immediate improvements to the design before shipping us the sample to fit. As you can see below, the shoulder seam shape had to be revised and the collar had to go back to the drawing board, among other details.
Receiving pictures of the first sample is like Christmas morning, you know your getting a gift but not sure what you’re going to get! It’s a tease because you want it in your hands so badly so you can feel the fabric, try it on and all that fun stuff! Oh well! We’ll have to wait for the 2nd sample in order to do that.
Whenever we receive a box from one of our manufacturers, we all stop what we’re doing and we have a “Box Opening Party”! Even though, the sample wasn’t red, we also fell in love with the green! We felt like Santa’s elves, perfecting each coat until we get the big red coat!
WHERE ARE WE WITH THE COAT NOW?
We are reviewing our most current sample, double checking measurements and making last improvements to make it as accurate as we can for you.
So far, we have the hardest and longest part completed:
What do we have left to do?
Many of you give us feedback which definitely help in improving products where we can. We've listened to your suggestions and have further fine-tuned the lining so that it is even closer to the original. You will also notice in our size chart that the sleeves will be made shorter (½ inch – 1 inch in length) depending on the size.
I am really looking forward to sharing more with you in the near future (as well as getting better at this blog thang!).
Until next time…Don’t be lasagna!
P.S. If you're interested in reserving your Twelfth Doctor's Red Velvet Coat, CLICK HERE!