The Grand High Witch From Roald Dahl's the Witches

Introduction: The Grand High Witch From Roald Dahl's the Witches

Eva Ernst, the alter ego of The Grand High Witch from Roald Dahl's The Witches was played by Anjelica Huston in the 1990 movie. I just loved the scene in the ballroom where she makes an entrance and throws her purple cape down to make a train for her dress (and then subsequently peels off her face to reveal her true identity). I am allergic to latex and also don't like to wear hot masks so I stopped at Eva Ernst, but you don't have to let this stop you, there are full masks should you want to make a total transformation this Halloween! I will detail how I put together the outfit and made the cape/train.

Since I have written a lot of recipe Instructables, here are my ingredients for The Grand High Witch:

1 Black Dress, I used the Monica dress from Pin Up Girl Clothing

Black elbow length gloves

Black Heels (in the movie they say witches don't wear pointy toed shoes but Eva Ernst is shown in some fashionable heels)

Black tights or pantyhose

Faux Bangs or a Wig with black bangs and straight shoulder length hair that curls in a little

1 Black Corset from the Party Store

2 yards of polyester dupioni in purple and 2 yards in black. I purchased Shantung Satin Faux Silk Dupioni 60' Wide Fabric in Purple and Black from Amazon.

4 Crystal brooches that are typically used for bridal bouquets

6 Heavy Duty Snaps

Black and Purple Thread

Jewelry, the bigger the better, rings, bracelets and necklace

Make Up: Most important red lipstick and purple eyeshadow and false lashes

Step 1: Create the Cape

Starting with the 2 yards of purple and 2 yards of black fabric, put them right sides together.

Trim off two 3 inch strips for the two belts that are needed and Set aside

Fold the two pieces of fabric in quarters and use chalk to trace an arc that will create your oval. The cape is almost a circle but since the fabric is 60 Inches wide and two yards is 72 inches but you've removed 6 inches, your oval will be roughly 60x66.

Cut out your oval. Sew it almost all the way around, leaving room to inside it out and then hand finish the final hole. Your cape is done.

For the 3 inch strips, cut the ends off at an angle and sew them together with the right sides facing in, make one black and one purple belt, inside them out, press and hand finish the edges.

Next sew 6 snaps to the corset and their corresponding halves to the cape. Make sure you have enough fabric that you can have a "hood" on your cape and then drop it and not have it drag on the ground. It is not quite the midpoint, but it will vary on your body depending on your height.

Once you snap the cape onto the corset, tie the purple belt around it in a knot and fasten it on with two brooches

Flip the cape up and tie a similar sized knot in the black belt and fasten it on the purple side with two more brooches.

Step 2: Do Your Makeup and Style Your Hair

I did the following but you can do your regular routine which may have more or less steps.

Put on pressed powder to create a matte look

Using black liquid eyeliner, create a cat eye or winged eye

Add eyelid primer to eyelid and use purple eye shadow.

Apply false lashes

Use red lip liner and fill in lips with red lipstick

Add a small amount of blush to apples of cheeks.

Optional, use contouring under cheek bones, I didn't have any product so I skipped this step, but Anjelica Huston has some amazing cheekbones!

Optional extra, use purple contacts prescribed by your optometrist. I didn't have any so I settled for some photo post processing to get the purple eye witch look.

If you have the right length and color of hair, use a straight iron to straighten hair and put a slight curl inward at the bottom. I don't have bangs so I used clip in bangs I purchased from ebay. You could also use a black wig.

Step 3: Dress Up and Throw Your Cape Around!

While the famous Edna Mole cautioned that there should be "No Capes!" for a superhero, I think they're amazing for a Witch! Just don't drink any Formula 86!

Halloween Contest 2017

Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2017

Be the First to Share


    • Puzzles Challenge

      Puzzles Challenge
    • CNC and 3D Printing Contest

      CNC and 3D Printing Contest
    • Rice & Grains Challenge

      Rice & Grains Challenge



    4 years ago on Step 3

    this is great thanks you look beautiful!