Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Up-Close and Personal with Bellatrix Lestrange

You deserve an explanation.  Well, my like 3 frequent followers deserve an explanation >< haha

So here's what happened.  When we got together for the Lestrange costume photo shoot before the movie, my good friend Alex was good enough to agree to shoot for us.  While he took amazing photos of Rodolphus and our House Elf, I was so busy making sure everyone looked good and putting finishing touches on the outfits that there was only one good shot of Bellatrix taken.  I recall us taking more then one shot, but when I received the final images, there was only one of me!  Well that just wasn't good enough for me, so I took it upon myself to take more.  I couldn't get anyone to do a full-fledged shoot with me again, so the newer photos are taken with my decrepit old camera in my work room and I've lost about 20-30 pounds since the movie, so the costume is a bit big, but bear with it.  I think you'll still enjoy it.

As always, feel free to send me questions or comments here or on Twitter!

So as it turned out, Bellatrix was actually pretty easy to take on.  I based her dress on this image by Makani:

Since the image is kindof unfinished, I had a bit of leeway as far as color, but the design was quite well laid out in Chapter 2 of Makani's Half-Blood Prince Project (she's illustrating every chapter and it's amazing).  For the dress, I went with a lovely thin, textured black with a black lining and used Butterick B4929 (style C - the black coat in the top right):

Those of you who follow my blog may recognize this pattern as the one I used for the top of Peach's dress.  This time around, I used the whole pattern and elongated it.  I moved the zipper to the back, left off the trim, closed up the front opening, added a few feet and extended the sleeves to wrap around my middle finger:

Surprisingly, that was the single hardest thing I had to do for this dress.  It was entirely guess work and I wish I could break down for you how the heck I did it...

Anyway, for the "corset", I used Simplicity 2556:

This pattern is FANTASTIC.  It's designed to be altered, so it was incredibly easy to use.  I chose pattern C because the back was very elongating and elegant and I knew I'd have to chop the front off for the corseting, so I knew the wide and low opening in the front would be easy to alter.

I found an amazing purple suiting fabric that was thick and rich looking with a purple satin lining.  I also used the satin for one side of the twist in the back to give it a bit more character.  I sewed a few pieces of boning along the seams (under the bust and along the full back) on the lining so the stitches wouldn't be seen, punched eyelets through the front edge and threaded through a thin, braided black rope.

Then it was a trip to the thrift store for some gorgeous rings, dangly earrings and the most magical, rich witch shoes you've ever seen:

LOVE these...

The final touch (aside from the post-sucked-at-for-years-by-Dementors-in-Azkaban makeup) was a wand.  Of course!  Now, you'd think I would have a Bellatrix wand.  You think wrong! But the sad story of how Angi got cheated out of the wand she wanted at Ollivander's is a story for another day.  The sad story came to a happy conclusion when I contacted Blast From The Past in Burbank, CA and they saved my booty by special ordering a wand for me and getting it in just in time for the movie!

And so, with wand in hand, I prepared for the movie:

at the premiere

I love this collection of costumes and I am so happy to share them with you all.  I sincerely hope you enjoy them as much as I loved wearing and making them.  If you saw us at the premiere and got a photo, let me know and I'll feature it on the site!  And if anyone knows how I can get in touch with Makani, I'd love to show her the finished pieces.  She's such an inspiration to me.


CosPlay with me

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