Friday, 15 November 2019

SYOA LfH: Introduction BTS

Hopefully you're all excited about your upcoming trip to Hogwarts as part of the Stitch Your Own Adventure.

As you know, the Chapters will be released every 2  months starting in January 2020. The month in between I'll be giving you a glimpse behind the scenes. I'll be showing you some of the reference photos, some stats and thoughts on the choices/options, initial design sketches, times my test stitching team wanted to kill me...

It would also be good to feature some photos of what your outcome is so far. so, please feel free to email them to scunningham85 -at-

There is also a facebook group to discuss all thing SYOA, which you can join HERE

Behind the Scenes: Introduction

First off... did you all notice anything significant about the date and time that the introduction was released? September 1st.... at 11am...

I couldn't resist.

It took me a while to come up with the idea of the Stitch Your Own Adventure. I knew that I specifically wanted to do a Harry Potter SAL. I came up with three other ideas before hitting on this one. One of them I might still use, and I had even gotten to the point of researching them and starting to sketch stuff out for them. But mainly, I knew that Harry Potter fans take personal ownership of this fandom, and I wanted a SAL that would embrace that. Which is when the SYOA idea struck.

For the record, to my friends, this was the time when the intervention should have happened.

The frame for this was initially going to be a lot more... basic.
You can tell just how old it was given that I drew it out on Stitch Sketch on ipad, so it would have been before I got the macstitch program. I think we're talking circa Feb/March 2018. It was going to just have the wand over the top of the ribbons, similar to it being on top of the scrolls in the actual frame.

Shortly before I recruited my test-stitching team I did a complete overhaul of the design. I hope that you would agree that it worked out for the best.

Initially the two owls were going to be stood on two poles, and the banners were going to be hanging down, magically wrapping round the poles. What's more the two owls were going to be Hegwig and Pigwidgeon themselves. But I figured that it would fit into the story better if the owls were two random Hogwarts post owls.
The blanked out bits have spoilers for the SYOA. And yes... this is the back of my work notebook... I have a lot of online meetings ok...

In the end, I ditched the banners, opting for more pattern space for the chapters. The swirls/scrolls at the top would now represent the four houses in the introduction instead. The colours I picked for it, are on the muted/dusty side, as I always picture Hogwarts being kind of dusty and worn.

You'll also notice that my initial sketch didn't have the Hogwarts Express. I had pictured in my head just having Hogwarts along the top, in silhouette, akin to how you would see it for the first time from the boats going across the lake. In order to keep some sort of scale, so as not to have Hogwarts itself huge and potentially distracting from the Chapters later, I ended up shrinking it a bit and adding in the Express. This also ment that the train journey part of your adventure would also somehow be covered in the experience.

Story wise I like the idea of Professor Longbottom gathering all the muggleborn students and running an "Intro to the Wizarding World" crash course for them. Helping them get to grips with the money, helping them get their school supplies (heck even just accessing Diagon Alley, and how to later get onto Platform 9&3/4) and taking them to get their wand.

In my head this came about from Harry telling Neville about his experiences when he started school. Not knowing what to do or where to go and Hagrid not being entirely helpful. It's a headcannon that I have made up and I am running with it.

Obviously the main point of this element of story is to get you to Ollivanders to get your wand. I really enjoyed doing the wand options. I deliberately included this element in the frame, as I wanted to give you all an easy introduction to the SYOA nature of this pattern. Now, you may be thinking that rolling a dice isn't exactly "choose your own adventure" cause it's random and not really you choosing. Well, as you know, in the Wizarding World, the wand chooses you, so I wanted the simulate that in the method of picking the wands.

So you already know, there are 216 possible outcomes for the introduction (not including all the modifications you all are doing and sharing in the facebook group).

6 wood options * 6 shafts * 6 handles = 216 outcomes

Some of the wand options are based on wands used in the actual films as well. Option 2 is a kind of basic Elder Wand in style. Option 3 features carved vines and leaves similar to Hermiones. 4 is a mix of Belatrix and Voldemorts, while the handle of 5 is based off Umbridges.

I could have gone with Pottermore ones, but I thought that the film props had more to them.

And yes, that's from a display at the Harry Potter Studios. Because yes, I went on a field trip to research for this... and yes, it was FABULOUS.

I may have taken over 400 photos, a lot of them for references for this SYOA haha.

Incidentally, my test stitch team has taken to pronouncing SYOA as SOYA, and codenamed this entire project the soyabean project.


Photos have been submitted by:
Sara Etten
Sherry Williams
Cassie Justice
Angela Smith
Donna Beck
Natasha Ewart
Wendy Smith
Tanya Rivas
Dawn Hinchman
Lisa Barmby-Spence
Barbara Frohne
Danielle S
Amber Hutto
Natascha Rijsdijk-Wieser
Alicia C
Meg S
Lovella S
and Team Test Stitch