The Mathematics of Doctor Who’s Fez

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The 11th Doctor

My oldest is a huge Doctor Who fan. She has seen all of the episodes from the last couple of seasons and quite a few of the previous ones. When Halloween started getting close she wanted to be Doctor Who, more specifically the 11th Doctor. We went to various thrift stores and department stores and outfitted her with his trade marked suspenders, tweed jacket and bow tie but the one additional think she insisted on was a fez, because to quote the Doctor “I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool

My husband and daughter went to several Halloween shops and even went to the address of a hat shop listed on Google, which turned out to be someone’s home, looking for a fez with no luck. So at 10pm on Halloween eve we started making one.

I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear this but there are very few patterns for fezzes on the internet. I did manage to find one great site with a fantastic, mathematical approach to making the Doctor’s Fez over at Elinor’s Crafts. Elinor saved the day! Her instructions are great and more importantly the creation of the for a Halloween costume turned into a mini math lesson.

In order to create this fez we needed create a cone with the top cut off or a frustum as Elinor stated. To do this we needed to draw a very large cone on a very large piece of paper (which at 10pm on a Sunday we didn’t have). We improvised and taped together some sheets of newspaper and wrapping paper.

Drawing an arc with string.

The full instructions are on Elinor’s Crafts but in short we needed to draw two lines at a 36 degree angle to each other, for this we needed a protractor, again something we didn’t have, so I printed one! (Yes you can print anything on the internet). We drew our lines and then we had to strike two arcs at different distances based on the size of her head. For this, since we didn’t have a gigantic compass, I showed her how you could use string and a pin to make an arc.

Doctor Who fez pattern on freezer paper

Once we had the pattern on the wrapping paper portion of our cobbled together giant sheet of paper we transferred it to freezer paper and ironed it onto our felt. I was then able to mark the pattern on the fabric and sew it all together following Elinor’s instructions.

The Doctor's Fez

By midnight, a mere two hours and one math lesson later we had a fantastic Doctor Who fez all ready for Halloween.

 

Jennifer

Jennifer is a busy working mother of two who, along with her husband, has chosen to unschool her children. She currently blogs about her experience with the challenges and fun of unschooling along with her love of crafting and cooking at HarmonicMama.com.

6 thoughts on “The Mathematics of Doctor Who’s Fez

  • November 4 at 11:44 am
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    How wonderful, I have been a big Doctor Who fan since back in the 80’s when PBS was playing Tom Baker repeats, now I love watching it with my kids. My son had to have a Fez as well, he asked for it for last Christmas LOL. I love that you made one, the Doctor Who costume looks great!

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    • November 4 at 10:38 pm
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      My husband got them into it and I’m slowly coming around. I have plans to make him a scarf from the 6th season.

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  • November 4 at 10:36 pm
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    I love how math-learning can happen organically in a well-rounded life! Your daughter looks great.

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  • November 4 at 11:56 pm
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    My daughter got a sonic screw driver for her birthday. She’s 28. I should make her the dang fez, too. This is what we get for having Think Geek families.

    Reply
  • January 10 at 4:53 pm
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    I am just so delighted that I was able to help! 🙂 Sorry for arriving late to the party, as it were, but it’s taken me this long to find your post.

    Reply

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