Apologies for the terrible image quality - I’m lacking scanner access at the minute so I had to take these photos on my phone
I was reading hyperbole and a half’s blog entry explaining their experience of depression and decided to make another sketchy comic based on my experiences with anxiety, which is another mental illness I think people tend to misunderstand quite frequently
Hopefully this will be of use to some people - whether they suffer from anxiety themselves or if they just want to know more about it
A few friends have asked me for details on the making of my Journey costume, so I thought it would be best to post it here.
Sorry to upload this as one big honking image, but I got tired of beating my head against the wall in trying to get tumblr to display multiple images the way I want them to appear.
First off, credit where credit is due. We started with this tutorial by turnonred but made some extensive modifications to it to better fit me.
This is where we departed the most from the original tutorial. The instructions called for creating the cloak out of a simple semicircle of cloth and then cut another semicircle for the neck. While this did work, it left the material really bunched up around the neck. Technically the hood would cover that up, but we wanted the cloak to be a standalone piece of clothing.
You can kind of see it in the first pic. We cut out a piece at the top and created a proper yoke (if you look at a shirt, the yoke is the part cut to fit the shoulders and neck. It’s a separate piece that’s stitched to the rest). Now it looks nice just by itself without the hood. The fourth row has a better shot of the yoke.
The original design also called for sew-in snaps to close the cloak. Since we were making the cloak to be its own piece of clothing, we wanted something more rustic which matched the look of the cloak itself. That’s the wooden toggle-style buttons and braided loops you see in the third row of the pic. Note that in keeping with the wrap-around style of the cloak, the fasteners are meant to be closed from the inside.
We also had a problem creating a semicircle of fabric as one piece. We found the right rust red color we wanted, but the bolt was not wide enough. We had to do it in four pieces and stitch them together. We found a bolt in a different color that was wide enough to do it in one piece, so we created a liner to give the cloak a little more weight. It worked, but the cloak is decidedly NOT summer wear. The purple color looks a little odd, but you don’t see it while wearing the cloak.
For the trim we used metallic gold bias tape. In retrospect, it makes it look a touch gaudy, but it looks fantastic in subdued lighting.
This was pretty straightforward, not much deviation from the original design except to make the face opening a little larger and fit it better around my shoulders, plus improve the shape of the ears.
The hood does not have a liner like the cloak. Instead it has some lightweight interfacing to give it some stiffness, and a strip of heavier interfacing along the back edge to make it hang straight.
The original design in the tutorial called for using Wonderflex. None of the craft stores around here ever heard of the stuff, and we did not want to be dependent on something we had to have shipped.
We started off with black craft foam and discovered that while it was easy to work with, it didn’t look right. It wasn’t black enough and the texture was all wrong. So we got some self-adhesive black felt. Not only does it look great, but it has the fabric texture that you see on the character in the game.
We also made another departure. The original design (which was based on Wonderflex anyway) called for making slits in the circle you cut out for the mask, then drawing the edges together to give the mask some curvature (you’ll probably need to look at the tutorial for that statement to make any sense). Then you’re supposed to smooth the two points with an iron.
Since you can’t really use an iron on the craft foam, we just snipped off the sharp points and called it good. This turned out to be the perfect thing to do, as keeping the mask a bit angular allowed it to fit perfectly over my glasses. Then the gold trim was some more bias tape held on with rubber cement.
Sandwiched between the two layers is some sheer fabric to give the appearance of white eyes but allow me to see through it. (By the way, trying to cut out the eyeholes in the felt was an adventure. Felt doesn’t cut easily in the best of circumstances).
The mask is velcroed to the hood so it can be detachable. That was due to the fact that I wanted to wear this at the office Halloween party and had to deal with stupid no-mask security rules (off course, the first thing a terrorist is going to do is show up in a home-made Journey costume. Right.) As it turned out, I need not have bothered. I work in a small field office and the coordinator of the site (who was also running the party) told me to just ignore that dumb rule.
This is the part I am most proud of.
We pretty much stuck to the original design in that I used the patterns pretty much straight out of the tutorial. Where we departed was the choice of fabric for the backing. All the yellow fabrics we saw were too bright and cartoony-looking. My wife found a burnished gold with a mottled texture that I had my doubts about at first, but after starting on it, I discovered it looks great (and now we can’t find the fabric again to save our lives).
The other departure was the symbols. The original design called for the white bits to be more cloth. I thought it would look better done in fabric paint. It took a LONG while to come up with the right way to do it. Every stencil I tried to create got warped as soon as it got wet and the results were terrible.
So what finally worked? Scotch tape!
I discovered that the spaces between the parts of the symbol were almost exactly 1/2 inch wide. So what I did for each symbol is I used the heat-n-bond on the red fabric for the backing and cut the shape. I then set it on a piece of cardboard and used scotch tape to create the shapes of the symbol bits, then just fabric painted over it and removed the tape once the paint dried.
Using the fabric paint was interesting, though. I had to do it in multiple coats. To anyone who tries to do it this way themselves, especially if your material is muslin like it was with us, ignore the instructions on the bottle that say to apply it directly to the fabric. Use a brush, and apply sparingly. Give it 15 minutes to dry a bit and then apply another coat. It took about three coats overall. It was a lot of work, but I really like how it turned out.
And make sure it’s 1/2 inch scotch tape. Most scotch tape is 3/4 inch.
If anyone has any specific questions about the design, please use my “Ask” button and I’ll do the best I can to answer them! We thought about posting patterns, but really its has to be tailored to each individual body shape in order to fit well. My wife knew her way around a sewing machine but is no seamstress and had to take multiple shots at it to get it right.
My own little ikea hack
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