I had the insane idea to make a last minute Narcissa Malfoy. I knew I was taking pictures with Jason Isaacs on Friday, and since I was not about to wear River Song’s winter-y outfit in the Phoenix heat, I needed a new costume.
The dress was pretty straight forward. Obviously drawing inspiration from (if not directly copying) the “La Sirene” dress designed by Charles James.
I pinned the center pleats and the sides.
My next challenge was to make the hair extensions. As I have brown hair approximately the correct length, I didn’t want to have an entire wig, so instead I just made the pieces I needed. Unfortunately I had read this tutorial: http://www.arkathwyn.com/bjd---wig-wefts.html
The process seemed simple enough, but it really didn’t work well for me. I lost 70% of the hair in the weft, sewing around the fine pieces was just not secure enough. I did use a layer of hot glue to try to hold it together, but that only worked marginally well. I had also planned to ventilate the pieces so they looked natural, but in the end I was just too exhausted to stay up all night before the con getting ready.
As a result the pieces do not look very natural, but they worked.
The coat started out as two velvet dresses that I got from Goodwill for $14. I had purchased some really nice velvet at Joanns, but it was $70, and my overall budget was $50, so I knew I would have to compromise somewhere. Were I to do this again, I would probably have done it differently. The dress was stretch velvet (something I had avoided buying at Joanns) and this created all sorts of complications. Narcissa’s jacket is lined with black satin. Lining a stretch fabric with a non-stretch fabric isn’t impossible, but it is HARD. It took 5 hours just to get everything lined up correctly.
I couldn’t decide if the design on her jacket was painted or embossed, but I decided to paint my design to keep in my budget. I used silver and black acrylic paint mixed with a fabric medium.
The evidence of small bugle beads sewn in places on the design is small- I could only tell they were there when I watched Deathly Hallows part 1 and noticed the way it glinted every so often when she moved. As it was 1 am on Thursday that I got to the beads I decided to hot glue them on, rather than sew them as I should have.
Besides my horror at wearing such obvious hair extensions, the outfit worked wonderfully. Jason Isaacs recognized me immediately, and in the end, that is all that matters.