Sunday, August 10, 2014

Game of Thrones King's Landing Dress--Done!

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I've practically written a novel about my Game of Thrones dress--the ten posts I've written are linked below! It has been such an enjoyable project though! I very much want to make another--I'm thinking one in the style Cersei wears to the purple wedding. What I enjoyed so much though, was they've truly created fashion on the show--clothes for different climates, different levels of society, different everything, yet they remain consistent in fashionable details. It was almost like discovering a new historical period. The style dress I made, for example, is heavily embroidered for Cersei, has a little embroidery for Sansa, and is trimmed with contrasting fabric for Ros, yet the lines remain the same. (Three samples are on my small GoT Pinterest board.) I wanted my dress to be between Sansa's and Cersei's, as would fit an adult member of a noble house. In my case, House Caron of Nightsong.

My hair is done with two hairpieces, a roll mounted on a band, and twists attached to a braid. A tutorial is linked below. I styled my hair a little differently this time though. Instead of pulling it all back, I did a center part, waved it with a triple barrel curling iron, and twisted those parts and pinned them under the band. This hid a little of my very high forehead.

I made my own pattern for the dress and underskirt. I plan on tracing my pattern and adding a scaled copy to the construction posts. Hopefully this week! I'll edit this post when I do that :)

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My dress is made of green silk taffeta (that I washed with baby shampoo), cotton/silk metallic brocade, crinkled metallic silk, and yellow/gold plain silk from Pure Silks. The bodice is interlined with lightweight linen from Dharma Trading. It's embroidered with beads, beetle wings, and gold thread--all these are linked in the beetle wing embroidery post below. It's edged along the neckline and side panels with 3mm Italian tubular mesh from Mimi's Gems that Michele Carragher used on her embroidery for the show. If you haven't seen her site--do visit. It's beyond amazing! The underskirt is purple silk from Thaimpex on Etsy. It's a softer silk taffeta than most, which was perfect for my purpose.

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To get the dress to drape the way I wanted it to, I washed the silk taffeta. The texture of the silk in this picture of Cersei's aqua dress reminded me of silk taffeta that had been washed. I suspect they dyed their own fabrics for the show, which would give the same texture as washing. Though a little scary to do, I was very pleased with the texture of the washed silk.

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I decided on dark purple for the underskirt as it would be an unexpected pop of color with the muted green. Sansa's contrasting underskirt can be seem here. The wrap on the dress is quite shallow, so it does show when you walk or sit.

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I couldn't resist showing some close ups of the embroidery! The beetle wings are just so wonderful in sunlight. For most of the wings, I used the bottom half of the wing. In the picture of the sleeve cuff on the right, you can see some slightly bulkier wings. These are the top half of the wing.

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Instead of embroidering first, I did basic construction and then embroidered. This meant the embroidery lined up with no worries. A description of how I transferred the embroidery pattern to the almost finished dress is linked below.

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My locket is the House Caron sigil--a nightingale. I bought the locket on Etsy. I also have an embroidered bag, linked below, with the house words--No Song So Sweet--but I forgot to take the bag to take pictures.

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The dress closes with functional ties. I suspect the dresses on the show have internal closures. In some shots, it looks like they're held together at the very top of the crossover. I just used three ties on the outside, and one on the inside waist.

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It's a little hard to see, but on the underlap side, I added two small darts to the neckline. I stretched the neckline while embroidering, and it didn't sit quite right. I also ran a few gathering stitches in the lining to pull it up a bit. Interestingly, Cersei's aqua dress does the same thing mine did. I think I may be on to something!

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Both Cersei and Sansa wear strapless, front lacing 18th century style corsets under their dresses. The outline of Sansa's corset can be seen here. They're also visible in some of the less, uh, pleasant scenes. I had intended to wear my almost finished stays under the dress, but I didn't like the way they looked underneath--I love the figure they'll give me for the 1780s, but it was too smooth for this dress. In the spirit of 18th century stays though, I wore an 18th century waistcoat that I made for a lounging outfit. It's just my basic 18c pattern lengthened with tabs, and tied at the front and shoulders.


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My stockings are the Phoebe Over The Knee from Sockdreams chosen because they're quite pretty and my house colors, and my shoes are the Juliet Garden Shoe from Revival.us that I use for early Renaissance and Medieval costumes.

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And my Not Today garters. These are inspired by historic garters with phrases such as Stop or Do Not Pass. A short tutorial is linked below!

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And just a few pictures to show how the dress moves.

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More movement, and the dress shown open. It was very warm out--about 100 degrees.

So I seem to have written another novel about this dress! I really couldn't be happier with it though, and hope to get to wear it many times!




Construction, Part One
Construction, Part Two
Construction, Part Three
King's Landing Hairpieces
Not Today Garters
Oops! Alterations
Beetle Wing Embroidery and Beading
Transferring Embroidery to a Finished Dress
Transferring Embroidery When You're Out of Ink
A Lined Bag

Game of Thrones King's Landing Dress--Construction, Part Three, Sleeves!

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And now, to finish the dress started here and continued here. When last seen, this was a sleeveless dress; therefore, this post is about the sleeves!

Because this is a wrap dress, I wanted the sleeves put in smoothly, without a visible seam allowance. To do this, I turned to the method used in my original 1790s bodice. The sleeve in that is sewn to the outer fabric only, not the lining, pressed towards the bodice, and then the lining covers the seam allowance. In the previous construction posts for this dress, the lining was left free for about an inch at the top of the sleeve seams to make this possible. This, of course, is only possible with hand sewing, but if you sew the lining in completely separately, it would work too. I like this method because it covers the armscye seam allowance like bag lining, but unlike bag lining, it's stable and not wiggly.

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The sleeve is made of two layers--the green silk and a lining with the sleeve cap made of yellow silk (which unfortunately photographed white with the flash I had to use in several of these pictures), and the hanging part of the lining made of crinkled silk metallic blend. This is a one piece sleeve. The sleeve is based on the sleeve from my 1920s Lily Pad Lanvin dress. This may sound a little strange, but it's my only sleeve pattern with an underarm seam, which this dress needed, and it's always easier to start with a pattern that fits. I just extended it so it went just past the middle of my hand and curved it just above the elbow to create the drape. The finished shape can be seen in the pictures, and I do plan on including a scaled copy of my pattern as well.

To cut the lining pieces, I marked a line on my pattern where I wanted the yellow silk to stop and the metallic silk to start, added a seam allowance, and cut there.

To make sure my pieces lined up as closely as possible, I laid out the green sleeve, laid the metallic silk over it, folded the seam allowance of the yellow sleeve cap over, and pinned it to the metallic silk. I then topstitched this into place. Although on the surface this may seem a sort of fiddly way to do it, it guarantees that the sleeve lining and sleeve will match. The metallic silk shifted quite a bit because of the crinkliness, and I was afraid that sewing this right sides together without lining it up would warp the sleeve.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Costume College--What I wore!

I don't generally do these, but I thought why not do something new and do a post about what I wore to Costume College? I made three new dresses--the Game of Thrones dress, 1920s tennis dress, and 1920s robe de style. I rewore my Angry Birds dress on Thursday night, and my cotehardie on Sunday.

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My Angry Birds dress, with five yards of silk charmeuse lined with three yards of China silk may be the best thing to wear ever. I had thought about a more elaborate dress, but since we were going to the garment district on Thursday, I felt this was for the best! I also loved wearing my Game of Thrones dress. I wore it over my 18th century jump-type-things, which gave a nice fit plus a sort of "period" feel. In the show, they wear 18th century style stays, but I didn't like the way mine looked under the dress, so the jumps it was!

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And then the 20s. How much do I love the 20s? So much! The tennis dress was perfect for Saturday. I couldn't imagine not dressing up at Costume College--I just don't have enough events--but an easy costume is nice. I initially worried that it wouldn't feel costumey enough, but once the whole thing was together, it was. And the robe de style might be my favorite gala dress ever. I wish I had thought to get a picture with the sun behind me, because my legs shadowed through very nicely. So scandalous!

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And then I finished with the cotehardie. I really just wanted to wear the veil again. And some advice--if you make this type and travel with it, put the dowels in it. It packed perfectly! I had already refreshed it by putting the dowels back in and spraying it with water and baking it. It had flattened a little since the last wear, so I was quite happy I didn't need to completely redo it!

And that was my wardrobe! Next year's plans include the 1890s bicycling sweater and outfit I didn't do this year, a teens evening dress with beetle wing embroidery, another Game of Thrones dress, and...

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A 1922 Evening Dress, Based on a Dress from Harper's Bazar

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I've wanted this dress ever since I first saw it over two years ago. I'm surprised it took me as long as it did to make it! The inspiration is pictured at the bottom of this post. For my accessories, I'm wearing earrings and bracelets by Taylor of Dames a la Mode, a fan--with a kitty!--from Dengra Designs, shoes from Amazon, and a necklace I made from vintage stones from Etsy, settings from Fire Mountain Gems, and beads and chain from a local bead shop. My tiara is from Seperwar on eBay. I had to

The skirt is hemstitched with the help of Laurie of Cuddle Tyme Hemstitching who was wonderful and actually let me use her antique machine! More can be read about it on my post here.

I took detailed pictures of the construction process, and will post those later!

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The dress is made over a foundation bodice of a cotton twill from Farmhouse Fabrics, boned with plastic whalebone from Farthingales, with boning channels made of Italian cotton ribbon from Angela Liguori, silk velvet from NY Fashion Center Fabrics which is lined with cotton organdy from Pure Silks, with edges finished with vintage rayon seam binding, and metallic silk from Pure Silks. I wrote about the flowers and silk thread covered beads here.

The pattern for the foundation is the Lady Maud Warrender 1911 pattern from Patterns of Fashion that I also used for my harem pants bodice.

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Now, underneath the dress! I'm wearing stockings from American Duchess, which, while a little later than 20s do a good job of imitating the shiny look seen in many photographs. The smallest size is slightly too big for me, which I think makes them look more twenties! They're held up with garters which are made of crepe de chine and lace over elastic. I've since bought an antique garter which was made differently, which I've yet to copy. I'm wearing it over my silk envelope chemise, fully described here, and hoop, described here.

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The dress is a wrap dress. A very elaborate wrap dress. I made up construction based on 1910s ideas, and it ended up working to not close the skirt. So, here it is, held up, and then I'm putting it on. Everything is open!

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The skirt is the first thing that gets fastened. It closes with snaps. Next comes the twill underbodice, which closes edge to edge with alternating hooks and eyes. The chemise straps are then fastened into the lingerie guards I wrote about here, so they don't slip out of the narrow shoulder straps.

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The flap that you can see hanging open in the pictures above these is essentially a stomacher. It's crinkled metallic silk lined with black silk taffeta. It's sewn to the right side, and then snaps closed on the left side. The velvet bodice then snaps shut over that.

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Last, the belt--a tube of the crinkled metallic silk--is snapped on the left side. It's sewn around most of the skirt so it doesn't move. It's only loose from the center front to the side.

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And here's the dress laid flat. You can see some of the construction. First, a twill foundation. Over that, a stomacher and back panel of crinkled silk. Then the velvet bodice, joined at the waist and center back, then the skirt sewn to that. Whew!

1922 Evening Dress from Harper's Bazar

And my inspiration dress. You can see I've made a few changes. But that's why it's inspriration, right? :)



Sunday, July 27, 2014

A 1920s Hemstitched Tennis Dress

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My 1920s tennis dress is loosely based on this dress at the V&A and this dress on Etsy. It's made of dress weight linen from Farmhouse Fabrics. My scarf is some lightweight cotton that I had, and is based on the photograph in this pin. I'm wearing white tap shoes, based on the flat Mary Jane type shoes based on the photograph in this pin.

I used my 1920s base pattern for the bodice. I've had it for several years, and can't remember what it started as. It's a very simple shift shape though. The skirt is straight panels box pleated, based on the pattern in Women's Wear of the 1920s. It's about 110 inches, or two widths of linen. The hemstitching on the bodice is done by hand, and explained in this post. The neckline and armscyes are bound with self bias. The belt is very simple. It's just a tube of linen without a closure that I pull over my head. The belt buckle is a mother-of-pearl buckle I bought on Etsy.

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I'm wearing the dress over my cotton 20s combinations, fully described here. I'm using garters to hold up cotton stockings. They're very simple, just crepe de chine and lace gathered over elastic. I've since bought an antique garter, which is constructed differently and that I'll eventually reproduce.

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A detail of the neckline. You can see the bias binding at the arms. The hemstitching was done by pulling threads and sewing groups of thread together.

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A detail of the waistline. The bottom edge seam allowance was pressed up and the skirt topstitched in. I've seen this done on 20s dresses, and it makes a nice, neat line. The box pleats are sewn together for about half an inch. I tried to sew them a little further down, like the pattern and the Etsy dress, but it was extremely unflattering.

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A detail of the hem. While most of the hemstitching in the dress was decorative, I actually hemmed the dress with hemstitching as well. It's quite easy, just catch the fold of the hem as you sew the little bunches of threads.

Now, if only I really played tennis...