Finished projects · Weddings!

The Sneaky Khaleesi Dress

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.

IMG_4547I 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…

10609540_10100184953947805_7033695532427170778_nI’m recycling some photos here, but I do have a new and exciting dress to show you so bear with me. πŸ™‚

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.

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That gold and blue! Ahhh!

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:

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It glows in the sun!

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:

20150515_151129I 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!

Desktop1The 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!

IMG_5810Not too shabby, eh? I think it’s more of a Lannister blonde than Targaryen blonde, but I’ll take it!

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.

IMG_5870I think this dress looks pretty good for a summer wedding! I also don’t think it reads too costume-y, either. I’ll be interested to see if anyone recognizes the style, though…

IMG_5834I’m calling this my “Sneaky Khaleesi” dress because I’m totally sneaking in a cosplay opportunity outside of cosplay-appropriate events. πŸ˜‰

IMG_5836
Throwback photo – same pose as my first version, LOL!

Back detail:

IMG_5833I also have a cool swirly necklace (thanks, Mom!) that goes perfectly with the swirly fabric!

IMG_5828The bride-to-be is into dragons and I figured sneaking in a tribute to the Mother of Dragons would be appropriate for her nuptials. πŸ˜‰ 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.

10385482_10100271142046165_6044159084507484535_nThey 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:

IMG_5845They have wire inside so you can wrap them around you for easy hands-free dragon carrying. Genius!

IMG_5848I wasn’t quite sure what to do with my hands, but it looks like we’re having a touching family moment here.

IMG_5842Rawr! I will sick my cute little dragons on you if you dare defy your Khaleesi!

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.

IMG_5839
Rock on, dragons!

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?

-RED

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37 thoughts on “The Sneaky Khaleesi Dress

    1. I wish there were more opportunities to wear costumes as adults. I don’t blink an eye at a girl in a princess costume at the grocery but I would feel weird doing that as an adult, LOL.

      Yes, yay for sergers! I don’t know how I got along without one before. Sewing is so much faster now!

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    1. Thanks! The fraying didn’t get too bad compared to some other projects I did pre-serger. I would definitely say it was worth the extra effort for sure. πŸ™‚

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  1. Hi! I’ve been following your blog for a while now (love it!!). I just had to comment on your last question about costumes in normal occasions. I (meaning my mom) totally used the Simplicity 4940 view C to make my high school senior prom dress. And it was awesome πŸ™‚

    Love the brocade! Color-wise it’s great for a Nola wedding! Now, if you have a matching handheld fan to go with it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello and thank you! Oh wow, a prom dress based on Lord of the Rings, awesome! I’m sure yours was the best dress there. πŸ™‚ I’d love to see a picture!

      A matching fan! That reminds me to pack one (that doesn’t match…), thanks! LOL. I just hope I don’t melt! I was actually thinking of making a matching clutch but I need to peruse the internet to see if I can find a decent tutorial. I’d need to bust that out tomorrow since I’m leaving Tuesday! Ahh last minute sewing!

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  2. Gorgeous! Love πŸ’˜ the open back! Had me in stitches @ satans butt holeπŸ˜‚. Havent laughed that hard in a while. Not yet made cosplay but I have seen some interesting looking steampunk stuff-

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! The back detail is definitely my favorite. I’m hoping it will provide some ventilation with the summer heat, hah! My family is saying it’s pretty darn hot in New Orleans now but here in Tucson we’re hitting over 110 degrees F! I’ve been almost worthless today – I ended up taking a nap on the couch because it was too hot to do much else!

      I love some of the steampunk patterns, especially the jackets. I think I might have to throw a little steampunk in my life one day soon. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hah! This is brilliant. I love that it looks like a normal, pretty dress, but once you mention GoT it makes perfect sense as a costuming piece, too. (And I legit LOL’d at your use of Lannister and Targaryen to describe shades of blonde–some hair color company should get on that, amirite?!) The back detail is particularly awesome! Have fun in NOLA!

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    1. Thank you! Now I need to figure out how to sneak The Little Mermaid cosplay into my everyday life! I’m guessing hopping around in a spandex fin wouldn’t work in the real world…

      Game of Thrones hair color by L’Oreal, LOL! There’s actually an indie makeup company that has “geeky” eye shadows inspired from GoT, Harry Potter, etc. I forgot the name of the company, though. ~_~; But yeah we can throw Sansa Stark auburn and John Snow black in there, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your hair looks great! I never could pull off the short ‘do unfortunately. The dress looks awesome too! Do you have a link for that vendor by chance? Those dragons are adorable!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I need the short hair to survive the brutal Arizona summer, haha!

      I agree, I couldn’t resist those cute little dragons! I tried finding the vendor, but I don’t think they’re on the list from the AZ Renaissance Festival. I thought it was something like “My Pet Dragon” but here’s the link to the vendors in case there’s something else that catches your fancy:

      http://www.royalfaires.com/arizona/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=96&Itemid=64

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow – that fabric is amazing, although it sounds like a nightmare to work with! Your efforts have certainly paid off – the dress looks great and I love the back detail. Your hair looks great too. The question is; do blondes have more fun? πŸ˜‰

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    1. Thank you! The brocade actually isn’t too bad to work with – it’s way easier than shifty chiffons and satins! You just have to be careful not to handle the edges too much before you serge. Oh, and the fibers get everywhere! They got tangled inside my serger so I had to completely re-thread after I pulled the brocade threads out. I almost forgot about that…

      Hmmm do blondes have more fun? I was hoping I would but work was not fun at all last week, so I would say maybe only “real” blondes have more fun! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh medieval reenactment sounds like so much fun! When I go to the Ren Faires, I always want to just quit my day job and join the actors/entertainers. Jousting for a living sounds way cooler than a desk job, LOL!

      Using parts of a costume for “real clothes” is a great idea. Using a medieval skirt or a flowy blouse for every day wear would totally work. πŸ™‚

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  6. Beautiful work with the brocade. Brocade is so so pretty but not easy to work with because of the fray mess. You handled it really well; particularly along your edges–they’re so crisp! I’ve only ever used it for bags and that was before my serger. You’ve got me curious how much the serger would help in cutting down the fray. Perhaps I’ll experiment.

    The only costumes I’ve ever made have been for stuffed animals growing up and my sons, mostly without patterns, and the only pattern I’ve used is a legit dragon costume when my oldest was 4. I’m trying to think of an occasion where a dragon costume could get passed off as completely normal. πŸ˜€

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    1. Thanks! The only thing I should warn you about with serging the edges of brocade is it warps the fabric a little, so a really good pressing is in order (but use a pressing cloth!). I think that’s why some of my seams are a little wrinkly…

      Dragon costumes rock! Little kids could totally be a dragon year-round πŸ˜‰

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    1. Aw, thanks a bunch! The sad thing is right when I was walking to the bar from the wedding ceremony, my dress caught on a chair and I got this totally crazy long pick in it. Darn you, brocade! I’m tempted to make another in a more casual fabric. I’m not sure where I would wear it, but gosh it’s so fun to make!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. NOOOOOOOOO!!!!
        That is literally the WORST!
        It’s sooo pretty you could totally make a more casual version of it! Maybe with a rayon? Or maybe a flowy voile! But that would not be fun to actually sew…tricky

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