The Grey Lady, Part XI: Accessories

While I’m waiting to finish up the dress, I’ll need to acquire some accessories.

I’d always planned to have a belt on this dress, but while the sewing pattern had an option for a fabric sash it just looked kind of boring. I wanted to find something made of metal or thin chains– kind of a veiled reference to the traditional “ghost = chained to the earth a la Jacob Marley” thing. A little searching online revealed that what I really wanted was a “concho belt,” traditionally worn in the Southwest and made up of silver medallions. The one I bought arrived looking pretty shiny, but I painted on some black acrylic paint, waited for it to dry a bit, then wiped most of it off with a paper towel– the paint stayed in the cracks (hard to see in the picture below) and gave it a nice antiqued feel.

GL belt

Finally, I wanted a wand. I say “wanted” instead of “needed” because there’s no reference in the books or movies to ghosts retaining their wands, but come on, I’m going to a Harry Potter event, I’m going to have a reason to shout “Expelliarmus!” at someone at SOME point. While I’ve made wands for myself in the past using dowels, wood stain, and brass hardware, I wanted a tapering wand this time and realized that it would be easier to start with a premade tapered wand and trick it out so it looked right. Yes, this is a theme for me, but I figure why make things from scratch when you can reduce the price and labor by starting pre-made and still get what you want?

Anyway, I went online and bought a “Sirius Black” wand, which has engraved runes on it and tapers nicely towards the end. What I particularly like about it was its lack of a distinctive handle– I’ve never pictured the Harry Potter-verse wands as having actual handles, and seeing them in the movie was just kind of jarring (though I admit that the relatively short wand measurements of 9 inches or so in the book made more sense if a handle isn’t included in the overall length). Unlike the diadem debacle, the wand came looking exactly like the picture and has a surprisingly nice heft to it.

The Sirius Black wand is, predictably, black, so to match my outfit better and go with the ghostly theme I got out some silver paint and blotted it on, trying to keep the engraved areas black while hitting the high points with silver. I wiped most of it off with a dry paper towel and left it somewhat streaky on purpose– it turned out looking a bit weathered, which is what I was going for.

GL wand before after

Up next, hemming and trimming the dress, and then it’ll be done!

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