Becoming Lyra Belacqua

It’s not too late to post about Halloween, is it? I hope not, for I meant to share some progress on a little project B and I undertook this fall. B had announced, oh, over a year ago, that she wanted to be Lyra Belacqua (from the movie The Golden Compass) for Halloween. A quick web search provided a few reference pictures and off we went on a quest to turn an ordinary white sweater into Lyra’s fabulously embroidered winter coat.


A little bit of sewing and a whole lot of fake fur later, we had a Lyra of our own posing happily in front of our fridge.


She was using a small makeup mirror of mine as her Golden Compass, her boot covers are the inside-out sleeves of a too-small fake shearling jacket, and we cheated on the embroidery by using printed ribbon, but I’m sure you can tell from that smile that she was not at all displeased with how her Lyra costume was turning out.

Especially the bear.

If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know that Lyra has a guardian angel of sorts in the form of an armoured polar bear.


B needed a polar bear. You absolutely cannot dress up as Lyra Belacqua and not have an armoured polar bear for a companion.

Now if the truth be told, B wanted to be Lyra for Halloween last year, but our lives being what they were (and with K busy building  a papier mache helmet so he could be Master Chief from the Halo video games), we pulled together a Katniss Everdeen costume instead. I had started planning, though, and I had ordered a lovely felt kit from Woolhala to make a miniature polar bear, confident that I could figure something or other out for the armour in time for Halloween.

It didn’t work out that way.

We ran out of time, was what happened, and Katniss Everdeen was ever so much simpler than a costume that required a fair amount of sewing, and a lot of it being hand sewing at that. Plus while I knew I probably could figure out how to make a suit of armour for a polar bear… well, I hadn’t exactly figured out the logistics of it, given that it not only had to be a suit of golden armour, it had to look more or less representative of what Lyra’s bear companion wore in the movie.

This time around, we started early, and we both were absolutely tickled pink with the results:



The black cord attached to the armour let her wear him like a purse and not risk dropping him on the ground in the dark on what turned out to be a rather rainy and muddy Halloween night.

It was a lot of work for this one costume; probably the most effort we’ve put into a costume so far. We both enjoyed the process thoroughly (even if it did put my Christmas crafting on hold). What has me absolutely tickled pink is not how happy she was on Halloween night. Instead, it is the fact that she has worn that newly furry sweater and coordinating hat almost daily ever since we made it.

I do declare it just might be her new Favourite Thing.


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