After a morning of working on my suit, -click here to read about it- I made a start of the calico test for the coat. I started (as I usually do) with the back.
Although for my current coat (the Mk III) I pretty much had the design nailed, there was a subtly about the back split I had not got quite right.
I had originally noticed it in episode or two and tried to do an interpretation of what I could see, but only once I got close-up with the coat at Earl’s Court did I fully understand.
Basically, the back split has the option of buttoning up, with four buttons, the top one of which is always done up. I had seen the buttons in a couple of scenes where the back of The Doctor's coat had billowed out.
Before Earl’s Court I did not understand how they worked, so I just added a token row of buttons to the then Mk II coat, seen here.
I had long seen that the folds of the vent continued down to the hemline, but had these pleats butting up to each other rather than overlapping, so the buttons had no practical application - they had no buttonholes to join with.
This was because I had been miss-footed (yet again) by Honest Dragon, who had made their coat back out of a single piece of folded fabric. This SEEMS the obvious thing to do, but below the vent it restricts the ability to have more fabric to construct the pleats.
Luckily for the Mk III I had made it in two halves and had made the vent the deepest ever, so I was able to work out how to put it right, and did a 'quick fix' to the Mk III so at least the mechanics of it were correct.
The picture here shows the Mk III quick fix - compare it to the picture of the real coat at the top of this entry.
This is how the real coat works: the right hand pleat goes beyond the halfway seam and laps under the left side pleat. It has four buttons, equally spaced along its height. The left side pleat then has a strip of material on its inside which is attached and intervals. Between these intervals are button holes to correspond withe the buttons on the right pleat.