Saturday, 1 February 2020

SYOA LfH: Chapter 1 BTS

As you know, the Chapters for the Letters from Hogwarts Stitch Your Own Adventure will be released every 2  months. 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 a facebook group to discuss all thing SYOA, which you can join HERE

Behind the Scenes: Chapter 1

I think we can all agree that the subject of the first chapter was an obvious one, house sorting.

It's something that most people of a geeky persuasion would be able to tell you about themselves, which Hogwarts house they belong to... even people that aren't that big fans of Harry Potter.

Because most people already know which house they already belong to, I made the Choose Your Own Adventure part really obvious as to what the outcome would be.

Before I get into the designing of the banners, here's the current stats breakdown for SYOA.

Outcomes from Intro = 216
Outcomes from Chapter 1 = 4
Outcomes from SYOA so far = 216*4 = 864

On to the designs of the banners. Part of this plays into the timing of the whole story. The SYOA is set sometime after the Battle of Hogwarts, but before the Cursed Child. Hence why Neville Longbottom is now a Professor at Hogwarts (as met in the introduction). I assume that all of you know the house banners from the films, but here are the house banners from the Cursed Child play.
Image result for cursed child banners
image from

I love these banners, I think that they are really clever, and yes I may have the hufflepuff one on a tee...

As you can see, they are letters stylised to be the animals of the house. Where as the original film ones have the animals by themselves (in the actual art work, the house is in a scroll underneath/across). I wanted my banners to be somewhere between the two.
Of course I was watching Harry Potter while designing house banners!

If you haven't looked through all the banners I designed then I invite you to do so. Each background pattern is different and the back stitching down the side borders is different too. I tried to make it so that each one had a head nod back to the old heraldry style Hogwarts banners while having a some of the character of the houses.

Colour contrast became a little annoyance of mine. I don't have a particularly large collection of floss at home to be able to physically see the colours and how they look together. So I am relying on how they look on the program. The problem with this showed up with the Gryffindor Banner. The reds were too close to each other and there wasn't enough contrast in person, BUT on screen and in photographs it looked fine. But after much back and forth with the test stitchers we worked it out.

The little Hogwarts badge is something that I added in later. Actually, one of my test stitchers had literally JUST finished stitching her Ravenclaw banner when I told her I was adding in the Hogwarts badge. She very nearly cursed me.

But that bottom left corner was bugging me, it felt too much like dead space. Initially she was going to stitch it on a seperate little scrap of fabric, just to test out the pattern, and leave the final piece without it. But she ended up biting the bullet and frogging.

Apparently, beading needles are good for feeding frogged tail ends under established stitches.
This is what my test stitch team had to put up with haha.

Initially the Hogwarts badge was going to use the same colours as the swirls in the Introduction, which is also the same as the highlight colour in the border of the banner. But this is where the colour contrast monster reared it's ugly head yet again, and the Hufflepuff yellow was just too close to the gold/yellow round the H in the badge.


Photos have been submitted by:
Wendy Smith
Donna Beck
Barbara Frohne
Margaret Spare
Lucy Watts
Diane Snyder
Angela Smith
Miri Pizann
Stephanie Nordling
Lisa McLoughlin
Lisa BS
Izzy Martin
Ed Lobenhofer
... and Team Test Stitch