Techie Shirt & Shoes

I’m more than halfway done with my Techie costume (Domhnall Gleeson’s character from Dredd 2012), so I wanted to share my progress!

I totally spaced and did not take any photos of piecing together the shirt (durr). What I ended up doing was ordering a short-sleeve t-shirt in yellow, a long-sleeve t-shirt in white, and a short-sleeve t-shirt in a charcoal grey. I used a seam ripper to remove the collar from the white shirt and the yellow shirt, and then attached the white collar to the yellow shirt. Then, I cut off the sleeves from the white shirt and sewed them onto the yellow shirt to create a faux layered shirt. I used some of the fabric from the charcoal grey shirt to create the trim on the left sleeve. After I worked my Dr. Frankenstein magic on the shirt, I began Phase 1 of the weathering process. I used a seam ripper to make holes in the shirt, using reference photos of the actual costume to make holes and tears as close to screen accurate as possible. Then, I washed and dried the shirt a couple of times to help fray the holes a bit more.

Phase 2 of the weathering process was as simple as tossing a bunch of tea bags and some old coffee grounds into a giant stock pot and boiling the hell out of the shirt to give it a dirty look. I washed and dried the shirt again.

For Phase 3, I used a few different colors of rubber stamp ink to add stains to the shirt, and in some places I sprayed the areas with water to dilute the stains. I allowed everything to dry overnight.

Phase 4 of the weathering was a super fun phase. Armed with a can of Aqua Net and a sock filled with Fuller’s earth (it was cheap cat litter made with 100% Fuller’s earth), I took the shirt outside to my back stoop and sprayed Aqua Net, then beat the hell out of the shirt, shook off the excess, and repeated the process all over the shirt. It really added a wonderful dirty, dusty look. I also smell like clay, but whatever.

The next major part of the costume was the shoes. For a piece of the costume you see for about one second in security camera footage in the film, I definitely spent more time on these than I should have. Oh well.

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Techie’s shoes are a modified pair of Converse All Star Hi Tops, but I wasn’t about to put money into a real pair of Converse, only to destroy them. So, I found a cheap pair of Converse knockoffs on Amazon that fit the bill perfectly! These are the shoes after I took out the shoelaces.

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Then, I used Rit Dye in Tangerine to dye the shoes. I probably wouldn’t recommend using this color because it’s a lot more red than it is orange, which was pretty disappointing. I considered bleaching them and starting over, but then I decided against it since most people have no clue what his shoes look like anyway.

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I used watered-down brown acrylic paint to add a ton of staining to the shoes, which definitely helped tone down the brightness of the red-orange.

I painted the white soles black with a couple of coats of shoe sole coat, which technically is not intended for painting rubber soles, but I figured it’d be better than using plain black acrylic paint. After that dried, I sealed the shoes with a couple of coats of matte Mod Podge.

Then, I did further weathering with more watered down brown acrylic paint, sanding off some of the black shoe sole coat, and then some grey acrylic paint to give the black areas a dirtier look. I covered the logos with black pleather fabric (gluing them into place and then hand-stitching them down). Then, I made shoelaces from twine and cotton yarn (which is what I think was used in the actual costume, but it’s kind of hard to tell from the photos).

The final bit of weathering was a beat-down with Fuller’s earth like I did for the shirt. I assure you, my neighbors gave me odd looks when I was sitting on my back stoop beating clothing with a cat litter-filled sock.

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As a reference, this is a photo of the actual costume from the film. I’m actually pretty happy with how close the shirt and shoes are to the real costume.

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