Friday, July 15, 2011

The End of an Era and Leather Pants Grandma

Bellatrix and Tonks, all friendly-like.
Last night, my husband and I and another couple went to the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 midnight showing. Being that it was the last HP film, we went all out and got dressed up. The movie was well done, but it made me so sad that there are no more coming. There are only a few movie series that I truly love, and while Star Wars came out before I was born and is therefore a moot point (Episodes I-III don't count), at least with the Lord of the Rings there are two more Hobbit movies coming. So it was with simultaneous heaviness and elation that I donned my Bellatrix Lestrange costume to go see Harry finally fulfull his destiny.

I'd forgotten how much fun it is to get all dressed up -- the last time I did was for a Dungeons and Dragons encounter and that didn't really count. As we walked around and marveled at other cosplayers (can you really call them that if it's just a movie showing?), we did get a couple requests for pictures, which is always kinda awesome. I have to say, I think I was the most movie-accurate Bella there that night...a lot of people had sort of generic gothy-witchy costumes. However, even then, I was still missing a lot of elements, like the silver swirlies all over, and I opted not to wear boots (too warm -- why have a movie premiere in summer when the major characters all wear layers and layers of black robes?!).

I began by drawing the Dark Mark on my inner left forearm in black eyeliner pencil. I was afraid it would be super tricky, but it turned out okay. I sprayed a black frizzy wig from Party City to get the white streak in Bella's hair, and of course I had the bird skull necklace I made last week.

For Bellatrix's top, I cut apart a black long-sleeve tee at the shoulders and up the sleeves, hemmed the edges, and then inserted many, many grommets and threaded black ribbon through it all. The skirt was this beautiful, wispy, flowy long chiffon skirt that I thrifted for $8. I absolutely loved how it would flap around my legs as I swept from place to place. After putting on the top and skirt, I tied the wand holster around my waist on a piece of ribbon. I thought about attaching to the corset, but decided that I might want to use it in the future without a wand...
This was actually extremely useful during the premiere, since wands are kind of long and pointy and get in the way of everything.

Not too bad, for being cobbled together without a pattern.
The corset was nearly a disaster. I didn't have quite enough ribbon for the lacing, so after I'd laced it all up, I couldn't quite shimmy into it because there was barely any slack! My husband had to tug it down over my head while I awkwardly wiggled and tried to breathe through the leather. All this to say, I got plenty of the grandma smell for several minutes. As I said before, since these leather pants were thrifted, they smelled strongly, and I mean STRONGLY, of grandma. You know, that indefinable old-people-sickly-sweet-musty-potpourri-plus-mothballs-and-who-knows-what-else smell. Gotta love it. At first, I was annoyed about it since Bellatrix, the best lieutenant of the Dark Lord, should not go around smelling like a cookie-baking, sweater-knitting little old lady in a rocking chair. But then I thought about it more and realized that if any grandma was going to even OWN leather pants, it would be someone who used to be like Bella. You know, a grandma with A Past, who used to do cool things like ride motorcycles (I don't know what else would require leather pants). Just no sadism, insanity, and maniacal laughter, of course. So I guess it is appropriate after all!

The icing on the proverbial costume cake was a snake ring I randomly found at Claire's. I colored in the clear rhinestones with a a green Sharpie, and tada! (chroma morphius?) A Slytherin ring!

All in all, I loved my Bellatrix costume...this is the first time I got so detailed in making sure I got all the elements as close as possible, as well as the first time I made something so complicated! Now that I've made my second fake corset, I think I could almost tackle a real one.

The microwave and wok in the back kinda take away from the whole feel of my cursing stance. Perhaps I am in this kitchen taking down unsuspecting Muggles.


  1. Absotively gorgeous. Very spot-on, even with the "recycled leather". I love all grown women who adore costumes. ;-)


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