Jago and Litefoot visit the Doctor Who Experience

I’m more than happy to admit that I love Jago and Litefoot with all of my little geek heart. For the uninitiated, Mr Henry Gordon Jago, a theatre impresario, and Professor George Litefoot, a police pathologist, are the eponymous Victorian heroes of an audio drama series from Big Finish. They started life as characters in the Talons of Weng-Chiang, a Tom Baker Doctor Who story, and were revived by Big Finish 30 years later.


“Mammy, why you taking photos of a dress when you could be feeding me my hams?”

I like to literally wear my fandoms but how are you supposed to do this when no appropriate merchandise exists? You just have to make your own, don’t you?

I spent some time mulling over the idea of getting some custom-printed Jago and Litefoot fabric but I couldn’t come up with an appropriate design. Mainly because I can’t actually draw or design. Luckily I came across some fantastic artwork on Instagram by Johanna Jetsonen, a talented artist and a fellow lover of those two intrepid investigators of infernal incidents.I got in touch with Johanna who kindly gave me permission to use one of her creations as the basis for my fabric.

I uploaded the image to Contrado, played with the settings and ordered my fabric. I didn’t find Contrado particularly user-friendly and ended up with less fabric than I’d intended. Next time I think I’ll try another company.


Jago and Litefoot’s fabric counterparts meet the Ood!

One plus point for Contrado is the huge range of fabric options available. I ordered a bundle of swatches and they’re so much fun to paw through. The colour has faded slightly on the fabric but it has stood up pretty well to quite a few tumbles in the washing machine.

As the fabric was much more expensive than I would normally go for, I had to pair it with Simplicity 2444. I wasn’t going to trust an untried or awkward pattern with my precious! As I ended up with less than 2m of fabric, I also had to get creative. Which is my way of explaining why the back bodice, the binding on the armholes and the random band on the skirt are all in a plain blue fabric.

I think it matches fairly well. It was the best match I could find in my local fabric shop and I was far too impatient to look for something online.

My only complaints with this dress are that, even with the blue band, it’s shorter than I would like and the bodice is also a bit tight. Not sure how I managed that one but I suspect it may have shrunk a tiny bit when washed. I did prewash it but maybe I should have washed a couple of times before cutting.

I made the dress months ago and have wanted to blog about it for ages…I just had my usual problem of needing photographs of it. An opportunity arose last week when my baby brother visited and, as is our yearly tradition, we went to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay? Where better to get photographs of my Jago and Litefoot dress?


Jago and Litefoot encounter the TARDIS, not for the first time

One of the excellent things about living in Cardiff is having the Doctor Who Experience practically on your doorstep. Well, not my doorstep. It’s more like a 30-minute walk and a 5-minute train journey from my doorstep. Still counts though. They ask you not to ruin the Experience part for others with spoilers so I won’t say much about it except to say that anything involving Peter Capaldi rocks.

As baby brother insists on going to the Doctor Who Experience when he visits every year, I like that they always update the exhibition part with props, costumes and monsters from the latest series. My favourites of these newest exhibits include the painted TARDIS tribute to Clara, Paternoster Gang costumes, and the Doctor’s punk rock outfit.


Fabulous steampunk details on Jenny’s costume


If only recreating this wasn’t completely beyond my skills


Still swooning at this stunning River Song outfit


I’m still waiting for the day when a stranger recognises Jago and Litefoot on my dress. It didn’t happen at the Doctor Who Experience so it may never happen. Oh well. The important thing is that I can leave the house liberally covered in Victorian gentlemen and some Ood. And not many people can claim that. One day my brother will claim it though. He’s now demanded a Jago and Litefoot shirt and I can’t exactly refuse given that he’s the one who introduced me to the gentlemen in the first place.

Supreme sewist of stylish sartorial specimens, that’s me.

Indescribable eldritch horror

I do love me some Lovecraft. Yes, the man was a racist dick but I’m going to go all lit crit on this one and claim Roland Barthes’ death of author as my defence. ‘Ol Howard Phillips did indeed have some nasty points of view but damn did he also write some good stories. So let’s just separate out the two for now and talk about sewing.

That’s right, all I want to do is write about a nice dress that I made. Apparently I need to do this through the prism of horror fiction and French literary theory and that, kids, is why I’ll never make it as a sewing blogger.

It’s all down to this fabulous Cotton & Steel fabric. I know it’s an octopus but anything with tentacles makes my mind go straight to ‘Lovecraftian eldritch horror’ and that, kids, is why I’ll never make it in the real world either.


Look at those eldritch tentacles and their derpy little faces!

To cut a long story short, I bought 2 metres of the fabric and I made a dress. Not only that but I also took photos of said dress for the purpose of writing about it. Wonders will never cease.

The pattern is my old faithful Simplicity 2444. Fitting is my downfall when it comes to sewing. Construction is easy enough to figure out as you go along but it’s a lot trickier to figure out fitting just from books and online tutorials. I’ve made enough versions of this pattern though that I’m mostly comfortable with how they turn out.


How is one supposed to stand for these things? And keep one’s eyes open at the same time? It’s impossible.

I thought I was at least. Until I saw these damn photos and that hard-to-miss bodice wrinkle. That has kind of thrown me, to be honest. I can be far too self-critical for my good but it’s easy enough to ignore sewing imperfections when all I’m doing is briefly glancing in the mirror. Photos are a different matter though.

For now I’m going to try not to let this get me down. So it isn’t perfect, screw it. It’s not like I’m competing with anyone. I still took a flat piece of fabric and turned it into a wearable tentacle-covered garment. Hurrah for me.


The face of a woman who just wants to go back inside and drink tea 

I don’t make many changes to the pattern, other than taking out some fabric on both front and back necklines to prevent them gaping. And I tend to go with a pleated skirt rather than gathered because a) I suspect pleating adds less bulk around my waist and b) I seriously hate gathering fabric.

This dress is all about the fabric though. I do love it so despite the fact that it freaks my mother out. It’s apparently ignited some sort of latent fear of tentacles in her. Note to self: do not take dress to Ireland next month.

I’m going to end with one of my favourite book covers. I already own several Lovecraft volumes but couldn’t resist picking this Penguin deluxe edition up last year purely for the cover.


Fancy Victorian Cthulhu with his little monocle