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Like the cloak, any Harry Potter-inspired tie has different variations, depending on which version or knock-off you happen to fancy. Unfortunatley, any striped pattern would be people-sized, and end up being the wrong scale for Timmy. So I decided to paint my own, went with screenshots from the movies to base my tie pattern off of.

I had two fabrics to choose from that were slightly different shades of red, and it took me a really long time to decide to go which to use as the cloak lining, and which to use as the tie.

Actually, it was more me second-guessing the colours of both for their intended applications, since one was a corduroy and wouldn’t really work for lining anything. But once I’d convinced myself that all would be well, I got down to work. I planned on using the same pattern and technique as before, since it really worked well.

I figured that it would be nice to paint the tie first, then sew it, so the pattern would wrap naturally and look like the real thing. I used Vallejo gold paint, which went on really nice, and didn’t stiffen the fabric once it was dry.

I tried to get away with a partial stencil, but the spacing was wrong every. Single. Time.

So I finally cracked down and created a full stencil.

Of course, painting before sewing turned out to be Mistake #1. Using fabric Modge Podge was Mistake #2, as it stiffened the fabric something awful. Both rendered the fabric sticky as all get up. So when I went to flip the tube inside-out, I couldn’t do it. It just wouldn’t slide through the flipper. I quickly gave up on trying, which was too bad, because the thing looked amazing, otherwise.

My next 4 attempts – four attemptsyou have no idea how frustrating that was – would not turn, either. I don’t know what was wrong with it, since I wasn’t doing anything differently in terms of sizing. I think maybe the corduroy was just thick enough to render the usual size too small for flipping. I decided to make it slightly wider than it should’ve been, and it finally worked.

Once the tie was flipped, I quickly got it under an iron to smooth it out, and then pinned it to the wood block I was using for painting. I fired up Disney’s Frozen (I wasted Tangled on painting the first tie, and as much as that’s my fave, I wanted to listen to something different), and went to work painting the tie.

It looks a little ridiculous because it’s wider than it should be, but it looks good 🙂

My dad put together the staff, using a real twig, and a clear, plastic rock thing.

During all this, I also needed to make a belt and travel bag for Gandalf. By some sort of fabric voodoo, I somehow had enough of the clock/tunic material left over to make the pouch of the satchel. (I got incredibly lucky; I have no idea how I swung that.) I used a white shoelace for the belt, and the satchel’s strap.

For the belt colouring, I mixed Vallejo brown with the gold, and painted both sides of the shoelace. For the bag strap, I mixed a light grey with silver.

Using flat aluminum Bare Metal Foil, I cut out a piece and wrapped it around one end of the belt.

On the other, I took a jewlery clasp and bent it into a half-moon shape; I wrapped the end of the shoelace around the flat side and 5-minute epoxied it together.

The paint made the shoelace less slippery, so getting it to fold around the way Gandalf wears his belt was a bit of a chore, but once it was in place, I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about it slipping loose again. Plus, proper placement ensured proper cinching of the tunic, which was a win-win.

I taped the two ends of the strap inside the satchel in with the fabric tape, to give it the proper form when it was closed, and then put a snap on the flappy to keep it closed.

The take away from this, folks, is the same as the Rule of Thumb when playing any Legend of Zelda game: If it seems like it’s too difficult, or taking too much effort, you’re probably doing it wrong. And if you’re doing it wrong, you need to change up your strategy and… tie, tie again.

(okay, that was a bad pun. Sorry not sorry!)

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