Among all of the things I love about sewing, I would say having the freedom to make any outfit or costume I want, how I want it, ranks at the top. The freedom to choose the pattern, fabric, and fit makes all of the time and effort worth it.
Last year, I made a Daenerys Targaryen costume (from Game of Thrones). It’s been one of my more popular blog posts and it’s actually one of my favorite projects. I found the most perfect fabric to make her costume from Season 3 and was able to tweak it and add my own creative touches to it.
I fell in love with the pattern itself and how easy it was to make. Well, easy for someone who has been sewing for a few years. I might have tried this pattern my first year of sewing but probably wouldn’t have the best results…
Two of my good friends are marrying each other next week back home in New Orleans. Of course I have some pretty dresses to choose from to wear to this special occasion, but how often do I have the opportunity to make and wear a pretty, fancy dress? (Well, actually I just got 3 more Save-the-Dates for more friends in New Orleans for the end of this year so I guess that means I have PLENTY of opportunities to make pretty, fancy dresses. But seriously, y’all are killing me – can’t we space these weddings out a little more? LOL). So I knew I wanted to make a dress, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to make…
Not too long ago, I binge-watched Seasons 2-4 of Game of Thrones in order to prepare myself for Season 5. I had seen Season 1 a year or two ago, so I desperately needed to catch up before the internet and Facebook in general leaked spoilers like they always do. Anyway, I fell in love with the colors and fabric from the scenes in Qarth in Season 2.
Aren’t those costumes GORGEOUS? I was thinking, “Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to wear GoT costumes like this normally and not just for Halloween?” Then inspiration struck. I could get away with sneaking in a little bit of Daenerys fashion for something a little fancy – like a wedding!
Since I loved the pattern for my Season 3 costume, I chose to make it again, but with little changes to make it not so costume-y. I also needed to find the right fabric, so I went to three different fabric stores around town looking for a beautiful brocade. I wanted brocade because there are so many beautiful costumes in the series made with brocade that I wanted to give it a shot. After much deliberation, I finally settled on this beauty from Joann’s:
There are two things you need to know about brocade. The first is it frays like crazy. If you touch it, it will fray. If you breathe on it, it will fray. If you look at it funny, it will fray. Thank goodness I have a serger now and was able to serge all of the pattern pieces before they shredded into nothingness. The second thing is it’s HOT. I don’t know what I was thinking, making a dress for the middle of summer in New Orleans when it’s hotter than Satan’s butt hole, but… well… HOW can you pass up this GORGEOUSNESS?
I had to tweak the pattern a little to make it more of a dress and less of a weird tabard costume thing. I snapped a picture when I was cutting the main and lining fabric so you can see how it went down:
I cut the main fabric first and laid the front and back longer pattern pieces next to the shorter side pieces. I extended the side pieces using a ruler and stopped where the front/back long pieces ended. Easy enough! I also did not cut out the “criss-cross” pieces that are sewn over the chest. Simple is better!
And as you can see from the layout on the lining fabric, this pattern really doesn’t take up much space! Maybe 1 3/4 yards of 60″ fabric… that’s it!
I cut a straight size 10 this time. My first version of this pattern was a size 12. The 12 is slightly large, but the dark blue textured poly fabric also had a little bit of stretch. When I was sewing version 2, it got pretty tight around the mid-section. I know I have gained a little weight, but not that much! I figured it was because brocade doesn’t have stretch, so I had to take the side seams and three back seams out from 5/8″ seam allowance to 3/8″ seam allowance. This ended up being perfect, thank goodness!
I took a couple of pictures before I inserted the zipper. She’s looking pretty good on Brunhilde!
The invisible zipper went in easily (only one try, yay!). For the top back piece the pattern calls for three hooks and eyes, which I did on my first version, but they don’t stay closed. I thought getting the kind you put in work pants would be better since they’re larger and don’t slide around as much, but when I was about to stitch them in, I realized there was no way I could close them normally. I would have to twist the fabric and it wouldn’t lay flat at all and just be a disaster. I was about to panic, but then I realized the neck hole is pretty darn large in this dress, so I checked to see if I could get away with just sewing the top pieces together instead of using hooks and eyes. It worked! And now I don’t have to worry about the top back piece coming apart while I’m boogy-ing down at the wedding.
OK so now I’m ready to show you the dress on me, but be warned! I got bored and decided to change up my hair for a more “Targaryen” feel (I swear I’m not that obsessed…). I went blonde! I’m shooting for platinum and I’ll get there with my next visit probably, but I’m pleased with how well my hair took to the bleach for the initial visit. Here we go!
Oh, and I got those awesome silver glitter heels to go with this dress. They’re Naturalizer and I got them from DSW. They are seriously the most comfortable silver shoes I’ve ever put my feet into.
I’m calling this my “Sneaky Khaleesi” dress because I’m totally sneaking in a cosplay opportunity outside of cosplay-appropriate events. 😉
The bride-to-be is into dragons and I figured sneaking in a tribute to the Mother of Dragons would be appropriate for her nuptials. 😉 And speaking of dragons, I bought these adorable “pet” dragons at the Renaissance Festival in February to go with my first Daenerys costume, which I was wearing at the festival, of course.
They were too adorable and remind me of Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon. The owner of the booth freaked out that he finally saw a Daenerys at the festival and talked me into buying three dragons. Of course I had to pick black/red, green, and gold for her real dragons.
I need to do another photo shoot with my new babies in my original costume, but for now, here’s the Sneaky Khaleesi with her babies:
That’s all I have to say on this dress. I’m a little sad that Season 5 is over, but I still have the 4th and 5th books left to read… plus I can rock out this dress whenever I want, so I don’t imagine I’ll have bad withdrawals until Season 6 comes around.
I can’t wait to see all of my friends and family next week, which is also when my birthday is happening! I’ll be a whopping 32 years old, but it’ll be great ringing it in with friends, family, and of course the best seafood ever!
So I’m curious… have you made something “normal” from a costume pattern?