Sunday, August 20, 2017

Harry's Hogwarts Wardrobe Takes Shape

After my Doll Club's meeting in August of 2015, I began to do some research on all things Harry Potter. After some consideration, I decided that my Harry looked fairly young, and was most likely entering his first year at Hogwarts, so I concentrated on items that were mentioned in the first book, or shown in the first movie. First, I sat down and sorted through things I already had, searching for anything I thought would work for Harry's muggle wardrobe. I already had several muggle things that he had claimed for his own, including a pair of navy shorts and a navy shirt with green frogs, a blue hoodie, the Halloween outfit with black pants, white turtleneck, and Magic Frog vest, plus a vest, made by Lorraine, of fabric from New Zealand that I'd purchased at her sales booth during the 2014 Festival in Phoenix, a "cactus" vest that I made him for the 2015 Ft. Worth Festival, the jeans from the 2015 Festival, plus some socks, underwear, shoes, and a pair of Wellies for trudging around the castle grounds. I had a small bag of feathers that I use when I make doll hats, and in it, I found a red one, a black one, and a couple of white ones that I thought were the right size for quills. I found a denim back pack for him in my accessory box, and a pair of tan cords and a navy pullover that I thought would work well for the outfit that Harry wears in the movie scene where Oliver Wood teaches him about Quidditch.

After assembling what he had, I sat down and looked over the list of basic school items I'd written up when I was doing a Back to School swap with Lorraine and Henry, and decided that Henry might enjoy going to school at Hogwarts. Among the items on that list were his Hogwarts letter, his ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express, school books, a Hogwarts school uniform, school robes, a wand, quills, ink, and a back pack. To that list, I added a plain pointed wizard's cap, a cauldron, potion ingredients, a set of brass scales, a winter cloak, a school scarf, pajamas and a robe, slippers to keep his feet warm on those cold stone castle floors, and a school trunk to keep everything in. I also added some optional items, namely an invisibility cloak, Hedwig and her cage, Quidditch robes, a Quidditch set, and a Nimbus 2000 broomstick, to be added when and if I found them. Once I had my plan, I found that I was quite eager to begin!

I began with printing out Harry's school letter, envelope, and his ticket to the Hogwarts Express, (below.) I found these by doing a Google search for images, saving the ones I liked best, then scaling them smaller and printing them out on parchment paper for an authentic look. I carved his wand from the end of a bamboo skewer that I had cut to the proper length and sanded smooth. The handle was made by putting a tiny daub of hot glue on the end of the wand, and shaping it with a toothpick while it was still hot. Then a thin string of hot glue was put around the bottom of the handle to define it. That was also done with the aid of a toothpick. I found this easier to accomplish by putting dots of hot glue on a paper plate as I needed them, then replacing them as they began to get too cool to manipulate. Once I was happy with the shape of the wand, I painted it. I used a brown base coat, then dry brushed on some black accents, and finished it off with a coat of sealer. It is shown on the top of Harry's trunk, with the Hogwarts letters, just below. You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them, by the way.

The grade one spell books are available as printables for 18" dolls in several places on the web. I got mine from the Wren*Feathers blog: 
Jenny also has patterns for a few other Hogwarts tutorials on her website. They may look a bit difficult at first glance, but the instructions are very clear, and they are actually quite fun to put together.

Around the end of September or early in October, the Christmas ornaments started to appear on the store shelves. I had seen a number of owls, but most were either too big, or too small. One day I was shopping in Michael's, and spotted a white owl, shown along with some other woodland type of ornaments. While it was not a dead ringer for Hedwig, as the feathers were accented with a pale brown instead of black, it looked to be the perfect scale, so I purchased one for Harry. (Frankly, the slight difference in coloring has never seemed to bother either of us much.) Some time after that, I found a bird-cage type of candle holder in the Family Dollar store. I whipped the tape measure out of my purse to make sure it wasn't too small. It turned out to be just right, and voila, Hedwig had a cage! She now sits cozily perched in the round metal spot meant to hold a tea light.

After Christmas, I got out my yarn and needles and began working on Harry's school sweater, using the same "Wizard in Training" pattern I'd used for the one I sent Henry. It was written by Sandy Wessel, and can be found on Ravelry under the name "Harry Potter School Sweater." I was out of sport weight yarn in the colors I needed, so I refigured the pattern gauge and used fingering weight yarn instead. There is also a great looking school sweater pattern in the "Knitting Patterns for Sasha, Gregor, and Baby" pattern book by Patricia Evans and Jane Woodbridge, if you have that book. If not, any basic sweater pattern with a V-neck would probably work, or even a v-neck vest pattern with sleeves added to it from another pattern. I used Brown Sheep Nature Spun yarn in Charcoal, Scarlet, and Sungold colors, but you could use any brand of yarn you like, as long as it's in the Gryffindor colors of gray, scarlet, and gold. 

Harry's house scarf was knitted in the round of the same yarn as the sweater. I believe I cast on 22 stitches in fingering weight yarn, using size 1 needles, knitted 9 rows of each color, and alternated 13 blocks of scarlet with 12 blocks of gold, casting off and finishing the ends with fringe. If you didn't want to knit in the round, you could just work in stockinette stitch rows on 11 or 12 stitches, instead.

I made Harry's shirt from a personal pattern that I had designed a while back, and have made frequently in both long and short sleeve styles. (Harry's navy frog shirt is made from the same pattern.) There are a number of similar patterns available, including a dress shirt pattern with sleeve and collar variations from the "Sixty Sewing Patterns to Fit Sasha and Gregor From Marcy Street Doll Company" pattern book, by Ann Louise Chandler. (It is now out of print, but sometimes the booklet, or the original Marcy Street patterns come up for bid on eBay.) Another of my favorites is pattern #131 - Shirt with Yoke and Sleeve Variations from Denise Ortakales of "The Doll Carriage", (which also come up for bid on eBay every now and then,) and the last of my favorites is the shirt from Evalyn Styles' Brownie Jumper and Blouse, from the Winter 2003 issue of Friends of Sasha newsletter. (The 2003 four issue set *may* still be available from Dorisanne Osborn.) There are other shirt patterns available as well. Judi Arrington sells lovely patterns with a very nice fit on her website:

Harry's pants are made of lightweight gray wool gabardine, from a pants pattern that was published in Friends of Sasha. Mine has a front opening mock fly, but that detail really doesn't matter, as the sweater covers the front of the pants anyway. When I made the swap outfit for Henry, I made the tie of a lightweight satin fabric, and sewed on the contrasting ribbon stripes. However, for Harry's uniform tie, I simply cut a piece of scarlet grosgrain ribbon for the tie and cut it to a point at the ends, stabilizing the edges with FrayChek. I intend to paint stripes on it using a gold paint pen, when I get around to doing that.

I had been looking for a trunk for some time, when I finally found one at Hobby Lobby that I thought was large enough to hold Harry's wardrobe, but not so large that it looked ridiculous. One of the last things I put in his trunk before he and I set off for the August 2016 Club meeting, where our wardrobe challenges were to be revealed, was his plain pointed wizard hat, which all the students are shown wearing in the scene of the Sorcerer's Stone movie where Professor Dumbledore awards the House Cup. I just cut a cone shape of black wool felt, seamed it up the back, turned it right side out and plunked it onto his head! Below is a photo of Harry's trunk, wardrobe, and accessories, as of August, 2016.

I have continued to work on both Harry and his wardrobe, and have several things that are not pictured above. I found some hair that was a good match for his color and started re-rooting the back of his head this past winter. It's coming along well, especially since I now have a rooting tool of sorts. I'll try to get a photo of his current set very soon and update it here on the blog. There are still a number of items on my list that I haven't yet made or found, but the journey is where much of the fun lies. I look forward to playing in Harry's magical world for a good while longer!


DollMum said...

You'be made a very good start with Harry's uniform and accessories, especially hunting down Hedwig and her cage, making his books (imagine if you had picked the year when they had to buy the monster book!), his uniform and his wand - what a clever method using hot glue to sculpt it (looks very authentic). You would be in seventh heaven if you came to the UK to a place only 45 minutes drive from us - the Studio Tour...

Serenata said...

It is really interesting reading how you went about making up Harry's wardrobe and accessories. All of it is very impressive! His trunk is just perfect as well. What fun you have had and will continue to have adding to it.

PrairiePosy said...

Anna, if you can believe it, there is actually a tutorial online for making an 18 inch version of the "Monster Book of Monsters"! It's here: if you'd like to check it out. I would love to visit both the UK and France at some time in the not-too-distant future. I want to visit while I can still get around under my own steam!

Thank you, Lorraine! I've enjoyed hunting down things to add to Harry's accessories, and great fun putting together his wardrobe, as well!

jamamy said...

Charla, you are amazing. I am so impressed by your attention to detail. Harry, his wardrobe and all his accessories are wonderful, well done on a super project xx

Ginger said...

A great post Charla and I really like Harry's wardrobe very much. 😊 xxx

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