The Purple Files:  Bellatrix: Harry Potter 7.
Recreations by K. Carlisle, also known as La Signora Onorata Katerina da Brescia

I have wanted to make a Bellatrix costume for some time. I have researched her first costume and worked out how long it would take to hand embroider the dress... a looong time! I saw the following pictures from recent shoot at Shell Cottage from Harry Potter 7 and decided that I would to this costume which is a little different to what most people are making:  

What I will need to learn/ do for the first time:
  • how to applique and cut out for coat,
  • sew leather straps on coat
  • how to do a 2-part cast mould, for the buttons (I have only done one part molds before)
I managed to find a few photos, on the internet, showing details of the coat and costume. Firstly, I made the dress:

From the photos available,  I assume the following.
  • the collar is rounded and has a metal closure.
  • neckline edged with white piping
  • metal buttons in raven's head, similar to her necklace in previous movies. 
  • front opening
  • sleeves appear to be lined in white, with a split at the bottom where it flares slightly. 
  • Skirt is longer. It is difficult to see exactly how long via currently available photos so I used a maxilength which will look Victorian and suit the lace up boots. It is alos similar to the length of her previous dress.

I made a paper pattern, then made a calico toile to fit. I could not find ready made white piping, so made my own to add. The buttons were made from plasticine, then a 2-part silicon mold was made. Dave poured the buttons with lead free pewter. I then handpainted the eyes with gloss black minature paint. (You can buy them from me for $15 each +postage!)
There is a corset with cutouts and metal 'dressing', worn over the dress. I went with leather, as Bellatrix has a history of wearing corsets made of leather! The design was extrapolated from the glimpses we had from the photos.
I marked  out the cutouts and Dave cut them out for me, as my wrist is well, stuffed!
We added square and 2 different sizes of round studs. I edged the corset with a leather strip and metal boning at the back with the eyelets.
Far right is the final corset.
Basic shape, cutout on sleeve and skirt, back seam

Raglan sleeves, Closure and Hood

From these we can see:
  • an open front with 3 leather straps as closure, with silver buckles.
  • front of bodice is not decorated
  • Hood is large and edged with applique of transparent material 
  • the back seam is peaked downwards
  • sleeves are raglan 
  • edging of the skirt and sleeves have applique of transparent material
  • Sleeves are just above elbow and 
  • skirt is above knee length
The pattern was made initially from paper, then made as a calico toile
Transparent material was pinned to the back of the satin and then machine appliqued on the edge of the hood, edge of sleeves and front and hem of the skirt. I then cut off the satin to reveal the transparent material. The hood has this to the very edge (seen above) but the sleeve and skirt have a solid edge around. (this makes the 'flappy bits' less fragile and also allowed for a hem to be attatched).

  • leather laced bracers
  • lace up boots
  • raven ring in silver
  • Bag.... from the first movie, I have discovered this resembles Hermoine's bag (for which I now have some pictures). At the time, I did not have close ups, so made one from left over velvet, cord and tassles.
  • wand by Alivans... I will have to made a Bellatrix one later...

The Finished Outfit: Dress

Final Outfit: Coat

I initially made this for Harry Potter 7 movie opening night: 23 of us attended in costume.

and then rewore it for the Australian Costumers' Guild Christmas party:

Things to change:

  • remake the bodice to remove a few inches at the side seams. I made it too loose and now, as I have lost a few kgs, it is way too big. The original was more fitted.
  • Remake the corset tighter (see above)
If you want to see more on the Sirius Black Outfit

Florence Files

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(c). K.Carlisle, 2008.