Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Frank and Sadie Doyle

On Sunday night one of my fantasies came to life!  I was able to dress my two favorite characters from The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Frank and Sadie Doyle.  The Thrilling Adventure Hour is an L.A. based stage show in the style of old timey radio.  It is also hosted as a weekly podcast on iTunes and The Nerdist Network I encourage you to check it out.  On September 30th, the Thrilling Adventure crew brought their show to Brooklyn for its triumphant New York debut.  And what a debut it was with two sold out shows!

A while back I got in contact with comedian Paul F. Tompkins to discuss the possibility about making him a swanky smoking jacket.  Mr. Tompkins, who plays Frank Doyle, who confessed that he was looking for just such a garment for The Thrilling Adventure Hour.  When I met with Mr. Tompkins I shamelessly asked if he wouldn’t mind sharing photos of a dress I had made with his acting partner Paget Brewster, the genius behind Sadie Doyle.  He agreed that it would look great for the part and generously forwarded the information along.  I was so excited a few days later when Miss Brewster wrote back to me saying she would love to wear the dress!  Could this have lined up any more perfectly?  I think not.

The dress was cut from a vintage 1959 dress pattern that I’ve had for a while.  My hands were free one day so I decided to sew it up just for the heck of it.  I had been beading it off and on for about a year whenever the mood struck me.  It fit Paget like a glove, and then that's when the beading went into overdrive.  I wanted to add as many beads as humanly possible before the show for maximum Sadie Doyle Glamour-y-ness.

Paul’s jacket is a new take on the classic smoking jacket made from beautiful green silk/wool blend with quilted satin lapels and cuffs.  Mr. Tompkins upped the ante on the jacket by requesting frog closures.  I did him one better and made them by hand out of the same fabric as the body.  BOO-YAH!  To make the jacket even more glamorous, I added beads to each intersection of the quilting.  As he moved on stage they glinted off the light perfectly.

The show was sheer perfection!  It was so much fun to see all the characters brought to life in person.  The Beyond Belief episode was “Vampire Weekend” which is one of my favorites!  When Frank and Sadie took the stage the crowd went nuts.  The two of them also looked amazing which never hurts.  I was so proud of how wonderfully everything came together. All the hard work paid off.

The icing on the cake was that both Paul and Paget were amazing to work with.  They were so humble and appreciative of my contribution to the show that evening.  I could not have asked for a better experience.  I look forward to working with these peeps again!  My wheels are already going on what I can make next for them to wear.

-Philip Estrada

Show photos are courtesy of @NotAnyonesGirl on Twitter - Great Shots!


  1. Philip, I was there at the Bell House that night and your designs helped make the Doyle's and their tale of vampire possession sparkle even more than the usually witty dialog. I envied both the dress and the jacket!

  2. The jacket and the dress are wonderful. Paget always wears vintage for the stage show here in L.A. and we look forward to what she'll wear each night. She's stunning and has amazing comic timing.

  3. Thank you so much! I'm glad you like my work.


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