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Topic: Narnia's White Witch/Jadis costume  (Read 20683 times)
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« on: February 24, 2009 01:39:11 PM »

I know I'm a little late on the Halloween costume topic, but oh well. *I will try to add some more pics later, when I find them.*


According to Narnia Webs The Wardrobe Door (http://costumes.narniaweb.com/), the White Witchs dress as seen in the Turkish Delight and Ice Castle scenes in the Disney film is three layers: dyed velvet, felted wool and silk, and lace. While the dress is gorgeous, I dont have the time or skill to make a dress with the construction or silhouette. (If you do have the time and interest in being this detailed, visit the Wardrobe Door Web site for further construction tips.)

I couldnt find a pattern that matched the silhouette but was also simple to sew (if time is not a factor for you, I saw several bridal gown patterns that could be adapted for a more sophisticated costume), so I chose Burda pattern no. 7977, which is a simple, medieval-type long gown. The pattern is suited for womens sizes 10-24.

The fabric of choice is a white 100% cottoncheap ($2.49/yd at Wal-Mart) and easy to work with. Jadis gown has short sleeves, but in cutting out the pattern, I opted to make the garment sleeveless for two reasons: 1) simplicity, and 2) my fur coat will be warm enough as it is. Removing the sleeves made it necessary to adjust the armholes, which I did by trimming closer to the neckline at the top of the armhole and adding darts to take in the excess fabric around the bottom of the armhole. I also cut the neck to more of a boatneck than the original pattern.

The back of the dress called for lacing; the pattern suggested buttonholes, but I did grommets, which was fun but time-consuming. I used a nubby white yarn for the laces because I already had it on hand and I thought it looked kind of whimsical.

I dip-dyed the dress with Dylon Permanent Fabric Dye in Light Blue (3 packets) and Carribean Blue (2 packets). I mixed up the dye in a plastic bin in my bathtub and dipped the bottom two-thirds of the dress in and out of the dye for about 30-45 minutes. This yielded a nice ombre effect, with a dark ice blue at the bottom to white from the bustline up. The packets instructions to wear rubber gloves should be heeded; my hands looked frostbitten by the end of the dye session.

For the icicles on the front, I cut rectangles of organza into ragged triangles (bissect a rectangle on the diagonal and you end up with two triangles; see, geometry will help you make Halloween costumes). With Aleenes Fabric Fusion glue, I attached the base of each icicle to the bodice of the dress. This was quite time-consuming.

Underneath the dress I wore the petticoat from my wedding dress (glad I could use that a second time!)

NOTE: I toyed with the idea of doing a second layer that approximated felted wool, but I ran out of time to complete that part. Hobbs Heirloom Cotton Batting stretches and clumps kind of like wool and takes dye well (it was a lovely shade of blue after less than 20 minutes in the dye bath). If you want to make the felted layer, this batting would be a cheap place to start.


I dont wear real fur, so that was out of the question. I found a sumptuous floor-length faux fur cape on eBay, but I had to pass since it was $399! Another idea I had was to adapt a faux fur throw into a cape, but I couldnt find one in the right color with the texture I wanted (a mink-pelt look). I looked at the faux fur at the fabric store and didnt find anything promising there.

So for $15, I picked up a white furry bathrobe at Garden Ridge Pottery. The robe has thread of sparkly plastic woven into it, giving it the look of freshly fallen snow. So, OK, it doesnt exactly look like fur, but I think its acceptable for the price. The robe is hooded, but I used safety pins to shape the hood into a thick collar instead.


An amazing-looking replica of the White Witchs wand is available on several Web sites for $200+. If you have the means to buy that, youre set. If not, heres what I did. Again, this is more an interpretation of the wand than an exact duplication.

I purchased two unpainted wooden candlesticks from Michaels, a craft store. The bottom flange unscrews, and I trimmed the candlestick down further so that they fit relatively flush on each end of a 18-inch-long dowel rod. (I attached the candlesticks to the dowel by drilling out holes in each piece and gluing a section of smaller dowel into the holes.) I didnt sand or prime the wand before applying several coats of silver spray paintbut now I wish I had because it would have had a shinier chrome appearance.

The black hand grip is painted on (though my husband suggested a higher-end look could be achieved with black leather) and the silver swirls details are built up with squeezable fabric paint (what we used to call puff paint in my 80s youth).

If youre making your costume in the later half of October, you will probably be able to find acrylic icicles in the Christmas section of craft and department stores. I found several sizes of icicles at Garden Ridge. The icicles are secured in the cups of the candlesticks with lots of glue (this technique didnt work as well as I hoped; the glue didnt fully set for almost 2 days, and you can see that one of the icicles is askew in the photo above).


On the hunt for a cheap tiara, I stopped at Claires. I was looking for one with open scrollwork on the front that would allow me to lash icicles to it. I almost paid $16 for a prom tiara, but then I saw the kids dress-up tiaras, which were simpler, with cheaper rhinestones, but still metal and only $5. Sold. I attached three of the plastic icicles to the front with small zip-ties. Then I painted the zip-ties silver.

I found a drugstore Halloween makeup kit called Ice F/X. From that kit I used the adhesive and iridescent flakes to decorate my eyebrows. I used the lightest foundation I could find (though it still didn't give me a pasty look). Since I was wearing this costume for an entire day, I didn't want to mess with greasepaint, but that would definitely give a whiter look. Blood-red or burgundy lips are essential. I also custom-blended white nail polish and navy blue polish for an ice blue nail polish.


What White Witch costume would be complete without that tempting treat? I ordered the Locoum Delights from Liberty Orchards (get the value pack under Personal Treats if youre looking for a cheap option), which includes four flavors of Turkish Delight. I put the candy in a glass candy dish decorated with a snowflake pattern.

This is the most time I've ever spent on a Halloween costume, but it was really enjoyable crafting the details and having all my co-workers be amazed!
« Last Edit: March 16, 2009 04:34:28 PM by bellapoison - Reason: Add photo » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2009 10:43:16 AM »

This is sooo cool! Very innovative! Your time was well worth it, the result is GREAT!
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009 01:24:14 AM »

Awesomeness! i like.  Wink
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2009 11:03:55 AM »

Very Cool! I'm impressed with the dyeing, and I love the wand & crown! I'm even adding "White Queen" to my list of potential costumes this year inspired by your post Smiley

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