Fleur Delacour / Beauxbatons Student - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


This costume has been through so many remakes I’ve lost track... It originally happened after Eli and I saw the trailer for Goblet of Fire, decided the Beauxbatons uniforms were pretty, and that we wanted the uniforms in time to see the film. Simple as that, but trying to make two uniforms in the week before the film was released wasn't really a sensible plan. I ended up making both uniforms to ensure we matched, and because that's the sort of insane thing I tend to do. It was difficult having only the references available before the film’s release, so after seeing it, noticing all the inaccuracies in the costumes, and with more time to do things properly, I revamped them for London Expo in 2006. The cuffs and dress collars were altered, and I made entirely new capes, shoes and hats. In the end, the only things left untouched from that initial rushed week were the dresses and capes. When I dug out my costume to check it over before wearing it to London Expo in October 2009, I decided it was time those remaining original pieces were remade too. I tracked down the same cheap satin I originally used all those years ago, so the remake didn’t cost me much. Finally, I redid my hat in 2011 and I think I should just stop messing with this costume, although I’d love to find better buttons and maybe nice silk for another remake one day.

The main challenge was definitely the hats. The first ones were cobbled together with fabric but this just doesn’t work so I went on to research felt hats. There are a few tutorials online so I took ideas from several (mainly this one) Naturally, all the tutorials deal with sensible shaped hats, so my dad helped me to design a crazy shaped hat block. We used a styrofoam wig head as a base, and padded it out with bubblewrap (smooth reverse side facing up) until it was the right size. The point was carved from a candle and glued and taped on. Filler smoothed the join and helped form the overall shape. Ghetto, but it worked.

With a block made, it was very easy to mould felt over it going by the instructions in the tutorials I’d found (surprisingly shaping the felt was the easiest part). I covered the block in clingfilm so the felt wouldn’t stick to it, wet the felt, and stretched it over the block, pinning it in place around the base. Luckily the hats in the film have a seam, which made shaping it even easier for me. It was then coated in glue and left to dry. The tutorials suggested two layers of felt, but I couldn’t get the two layers to stick together, so left it at one which was ok on its own. For my second felt hat, I did succeed with the two layers which was an improvement.

The brims took a lot of experimentation with paper shapes to figure out, but once they were patterned, I just cut out the shape and hand stitched it to the hat dome. I had experimented with using glue on the brim to stiffen it like the dome, but found it warped the felt. I’d avoided that problem when making the domes as with the felt stretched over the block it couldn’t warp, but couldn’t deal with the brim the same way. As with the domes, I couldn’t get two layers of felt to stick together either. So the brims are a single layer of plain felt. I did stiffen them a bit using spray starch, but they stayed in shape fine by themselves mostly – I just had to be very careful when transporting them. And iron them occasionally. For my remake, I made a brim from wonderflex plastic and covered it in felt so it’s much tougher!

For the dresses we couldn’t afford any of the lovely satins we’d have liked, so resorted to a cheap acetate. It was horribly shiny stuff, but I used the reverse, more matte side which is surprisingly nice so long as it’s ironed to death. The cape lining, collar and cuffs are polycotton and I found expensive linen in John Lewis for the uppermost collar. Since I only needed a 10cm cut of it, the price didn’t matter though! I had originally made the dresses without a pattern, so they were simple, with only side seams. On my remake I decided to add the princess seams I originally missed out for a closer fit at the waist, and to have the flare of the skirt distributed more evenly. I used my original dress as a pattern, slashed to add more volume and allow for the additional panels. I also used part of a shirt pattern for the sleeve shape and getting the armholes correct, because sleeves are evil, so I need those pieces to be more accurate. All the raw edges are overlocked, which is ideal for dealing with nasty satin.

The buttons are functioning, and act as the closure for the dresses (the pointy cuffs also fasten with functioning buttons). I later added a zip down a back seam for a closer fit at the waist, but kept the front opening too to avoid problems with having to split the collar at the back for an opening there. The zip ends before the collar. I found the collar awkward to make, it was fiddly turning those narrow points with satin threatening to fray all over the place.

The capes were originally patterned out with my usual experimentation, they’re a little under a full circle. For my latest remake, I kept the lining and collars, but cut out a new one entirely in one piece, eliminating the shoulder seams I‘d preciously had.

The shoes have gone through several changes. We both didn’t like the flap thing over the laces, so went with a similar style of shoe in the black and blue colours...and left it at that. They were a lucky find in New Look for £10, which I painted in blue acrylic paint. They're almost my favourite part of the costume now! Because of the heels of doooom, we mostly wear plain black shoes which are muuuch comfier

My dad made us wands from £ shop paintbrush handles joined to the handles off some garden tools, also from a £ shop! Cheap and effective.

I’ve worn various wigs with this and used my own hair but regardless of my hairdo, I would inevitably be called “Fleur” so I finally styled a wig for her with ringlets at the front and a ponytail. The wig is also used for my Velvet costume, but it’s easy to pin the curls back out of the way to use it for other characters.

HotshotShan posted on 11 March, 2009 - 21:40
This uniform is amazing, great to see a cosplay of it and one that does it justice too, I so want one myself!

Captain_Marvelous posted on 12 March, 2009 - 12:32
Boom there we go quality cosplay right there ^.^ well done im totaly in love with it ^.^ ......would you like to go to the yule ball? LOL ^^

Hannah-Kiwii posted on 15 April, 2009 - 17:11
Wonderful, wonderful cosplay. Well done on that hat making especially. These outfits are perfect.

Uni posted on 1 November, 2009 - 19:42
Being a HP fan myself i totally geeked out at your costume! Its so beautiful and well made <: D Plus Blue really suits you :3

KhaosKreator posted on 2 May, 2010 - 21:53
Love the new photos! -Tab

Mtani posted on 2 May, 2010 - 23:42
I love the new photos! Edinburgh FTW! Prettiest city I've ever visited.

sjbonnar posted on 2 May, 2010 - 23:48
Oh wow! I love that location! And the costume is fantastic!

Ranma1-2 posted on 3 May, 2010 - 00:26
What a beautifull flare on the dress. Your cosplays are always immaculate.

Anonymous posted on 3 May, 2010 - 02:16
When I clicked on this I was like " why are there so many ref pics then I realised they were your photos >_<

Sephirayne posted on 4 May, 2010 - 19:04
Love the new photos. Location is stunning.

Anonymous posted on 22 May, 2010 - 23:23
Such an awesome Fleur, really well done :0)

rosieroo posted on 23 July, 2011 - 18:27
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW THIS IS AMAZING such a beautiful cosplay its remarkable how much the character suits you plus - great photos

Amy-Lou posted on 24 July, 2011 - 17:43
The new hat looks fantastic, does this mean we'll be seeing Fleur again?

Anonymous posted on 13 November, 2011 - 21:28
You make a cute Fleur!. I say it an awful lot but dammit you are cute!

j_mercuryuk posted on 19 November, 2011 - 15:44
The entire costume looks amazing. It's unbelievably accurate. Awesome.

Leadmill posted on 22 November, 2011 - 06:36
This is brilliant, well done!

Yasmia posted on 23 November, 2011 - 17:06
This is a costume I've wanted to do for a long time. You look lovely in this, and the hat looks wonderful :)

22nd June 2011

New Hat

It was then sewn to the crown of the hat. There are a few ripples in the felt, but I’m really pleased with it overall. It’s also very resilient with the plastic inside it and won’t go out of shape, so it’s a big improvement on my last hat.

21st June 2011

New Hat

The felt was sewn together around the outer edge, seam allowance clipped, turned the right side out and pressed out to form a cover for the Wonderflex.

20th June 2011

New Hat

I then cut out two layers of felt to make a cover for the brim. That template is the original hat brim which is ridiculously faded!

19th June 2011

New Hat

As for the brim, the tutorial I followed also suggests two layers of felt glued together. I originally had encountered problems getting two layers of felt to stick together, and also found that the glue would warp the felt (no such problem when it’s stretched taunt over a hat block, but just a piece of felt sitting on a table with glue spread on it would start to go all ripply and wonky from the moisture) Perhaps weighing it down with a flat heavy object would help, but after seeing how solid two layers of glued felt could be on the crown of my hat, I wasn’t entirely confident I’d be able to shape the brim appropriately once it had dried, and I didn’t think I had a hope getting it to sit in the right shape while it was still wet. Rather than trying to troubleshoot the PVA glue, I went with a whole new approach. I used my original hat brim as a template to cut out some Wonderflex, heated it with a hairdryer and formed it into the right shape. As usually happens at some point, I forgot about taking photos for all of this stage.

18th June 2011

New Hat

The downside is it was hard to sew through for securing the seam and attaching the brim, but nothing pliers couldn’t help with.

17th June 2011

New Hat

Second layer of felt. This time I used gallons of PVA glue and managed to get two layers of felt to stick together when making the crown of the hat, as the tutorial suggests. The glue even soaked right through the inside layer and formed a shiny coating on the inside. I think getting this step right was key - it’s ideal since the two layers and all that glue makes it very solid - it’s like a helmet. Hopefully this hat won’t get dented so easily.

16th June 2011

New Hat

First layer of felt.

15th June 2011

New Hat

I was able to buy the same felt I’d previously used from John Lewis and got to work shaping it over my revised hat block, which had been covered in cling film.

14th June 2011

New Hat

The point

13th June 2011

New Hat

I got a whole heap of enquiries about hat commissions in advance of the last Harry Potter film and although I didn’t suddenly start accepting commissions, it did get me thinking about redoing my own hat since mine was getting very battered and faded. I took the opportunity to revise it too since the brim had never been ideal and the point wasn’t quite the right shape. I found my original hat block and re-shaped the point on it. It was made from a candle, so it was easy to carve and I could use a lighter to melt the wax and get it very smooth.

2nd May 2010

1st Felt Hat in Progress

Felt being stretched over the hat block for my first felt hat attempt.

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