Meredith as Margaery: Complete

Finally, I’m back to tell you that the journey we started in this post was completed *just* in time for Lexington Comic and Toy Con a few weekends ago. Meredith and I were working on it until all hours the week leading up to the Con, and we succeeded!

The original gown, designed for Game of Thrones by Michele Clapton.

When we last left off, the pattern was made (by both draping and drafting), and the mockup fitted, but there was, as yet, no gown! We quickly remedied that. To save time, I put together the bodice and bodice lining, Hannah W. put together the skirt and skirt lining, then we put them together on a big Saturday sewing day.

In order to get the kind of weighty drape that this dress needs, we did both the dress and the lining out of cotton sateen, which makes it very heavy. Here are Hannah W. and Meredith holding everything steady while I sew the lining to the fabric.

Despite the weight, we did get it all put together that afternoon:


In addition to putting the dress together, we also got the hem and the armhole edges pinned in place and ready for stitching that day.


I did the stitching in the evening:


Meredith and I had hoped to get a lot of the embellishment done the next Saturday, but we were hampered by having miscalculated how much cord/vines we would need. The vines are made of silver vinyl cord, which we dry-brushed with black acrylic paint to give them a bit of tarnish.


Meredith also got a pile of roses made and put onto the train. We dyed a few handfuls of the roses in diluted black ink to get the color variation.



On our next big work day, we started to give the fabric a bit of it’s fuzzy texture with wire brushes. We were able to make it a bit fuzzier, but had to move on to other, more noticeable things if it was going to be wearable in time!


Meredith went back to train embellishment, and I put on the rest of the cord before moving on to the clumps of roses and leaves on the front waist.

Here’s the front of the original gown.

I started with the roses, which are different from the ones on the train because they need to lay flat and be seen from the front, rather than from the side. The roses on the train are made by coiling up strips of fabric to form a spiral. To make the ones for the front, I had to fold the strip as I went to create a more complex rose shape.


I used some velvety millinery leaves, cut down to the right size and shape to make the rest of the piece.



The cords at the bottom haven’t been dry-brushed with the black yet. You can see what a difference it makes.
In the meantime, we discovered that all those flowers make the train so stiff that it can stand up on its own.
With the bulk of the flowers on the train, Meredith was able to turn her attention to the cascade of vines and smaller roses that flows down the back of the skirt.


And I began preparing the dozens of little felt leaves that, along with thorns and more small flowers, will adorn the bodice.
Here are the first few bits of vine with their leaves and thorns. I ended up removing one thorn from each and re-spacing them since they seemed very squished together. Natalie Dormer, who plays Margaery, is a few inches taller than Meredith, and I decided it was more important to preserve the proportions than the have the exact number of thorns.
Making progress!
Here is the bodice front with its full complement of felt leaves, millinery leaves, small thorns, large thorns, fabric roses and teeny felt flowers with bead centers. It wasn’t until the next night that I thinned out the thorns.

We called it quits for the night at this point, and started again the next day. My first task that day was to make the large flower that hangs where all the dangling vines in front converge. It is made of a combination of felt, beads, and scraps of the millinery leaves that had been cut apart.



With it in place, I could embellish the rest of the hanging vines around it. Their decoration includes large thorns, felt leaves and small silver, gold, and green glass beads.


The train just needs some felt leaves and vines running through it.

After all the practice, I made short work of adding small thorns, large thorns, beads, and more leaves to the back of the dress.


Painting the embellishment was the final big step. We did this for two reasons: some things, like the large thorns and the millinery leaves, needed to get toned to match the color palette of the rest of the dress. Others, like the felt leaves, we painted to have more detail and depth.



We did get it done just in time! I actually didn’t even have a chance to take the final photos until after Lexington Comic and Toy Con, so I apologize if there are a few wrinkles!


All told, I think we did four really big days on the embellishment, watched six Harry Potter movies, Tangled, Hogfather, How to Train Your Dragon, Waitress, and The Princess Bride. The dress, true to the spirit of Game of Thrones, has both blood and red wine stains hiding under all the flowers.

I’ll be back next week with new historical pretties!


Edit: Here are the stunning photos taken at our Game of Thrones shoot with Ben Marcum Photography. He is the most amazing. Wig by Custom Wig Company.


Meredith as Margaery 1: Draping and Drafting

It’s time for Custom Wig Company to work up out second group of cosplays, and this time we’re doing (drumroll…..) Game of Thrones! We’re all pretty excited about it, since it’s a show that has such incredible, detailed costumes, and we’re all a bit obsessed with that sort of thing. The costume designer, Michele Clapton (who sadly isn’t returning this season), blows me away with her ability to create culture in a fantasy world through clothing. Every item a character wears speaks to that characters personality, family, and background, and each location has its own set of fashions.

This time, in addition to creating out own costumes, Hannah W. and I are tag-teaming Meredith’s costume, and it’s a doozy: Margaery Tyrell’s wedding gown from the Purple Wedding.

This is the original gown from the series, designed by Michele Clapton.

We started by draping the bodice, using Meredith herself rather than a dummy. We were quite nervous and ready for it to be a huge headache, but it actually turned out to be one of the easiest things I’ve ever patterned! It’s all one piece of fabric which starts in the front, wraps over the shoulders, and connects at the side seams.

I first placed the fabric with the grain line down the center of Meredith’s torso and cut a quick neckline so we could wrap it over her shoulders. It was nice to have two people working on it, since one of us could be holding something in place while the other pinned or marked. Everything started lying better when I cut away the excess fabric from one armhole so that it could mold around her body. Once the piece around the back was pinned at the side, we could start playing around with darts.


The back lies quite nicely with just a single dart at the shoulder blades. It’s quite difficult to see any seam lines or darts in the original gown since it is not only covered in vines and roses, but also made of an almost fuzzy fabric that obscures any lines. This gave us free reign to listen to what the fabric wanted to do as we were patterning, since we weren’t trying to mimic construction lines, only shape.


Between adjusting the darts, and the side seams, we were able to make it fit Meredith beautifully in less than half-an-hour!


When we were finished draping and had marked darts and seams, I simply cut the muslin down the center front in order to create a pattern piece meant to be cut on the fold, then it was just a matter of neatening up seam allowances and adding a bit more of a wing at the shoulder as I cut out a mock-up bodice.

This is the shape of the draped pattern when we took it off of Meredith. Front on the left, back on the right.
I added about an inch, plus seam allowance, to the shoulders to create that wing-like look.
It took about five minutes to zip this tiny bodice together!

Hannah W. flat-patterned and sewed the mock-up of the skirt, and then we added them together and tried the whole thing on Meredith.

The first thing we had to do was slice a large chunk out of the neckline to create Margaery’s preferred narrow-but-plunging look. I purposely left the first pattern higher because it’s easier to cut a chunk out at this stage than to add more.
We’ll have to add another half inch or so to the bottom of the bodice so that it hits at Meredith’s natural waist. We also had to add a tiny dart to the armholes, so they wouldn’t gap. It actually does gap in the original gown, but we decided to get rid of it. It will mostly get covered by a trailing vine anyway.
The lower green line marks where I’m planning to widen the back of the armhole a touch.
I’m very happy with how the back of the bodice fits, though we will have to add about a quarter of an inch to the closure so that there’s enough seam allowance. When it’s finished, the two edges should line up and hook-and-eye together.
The gap means we need to add more to the back pieces at the side seams. This will maintain the center grain line, and eliminate the wrinkles that stretch from the side to the bottom of the opening.
We’re also going to take a bit of volume out of the hips and add some more flare to the skirt!
Hannah W. pulled off a gorgeous train on the mock-up. Marionette decided she needed to help us adjust the shape. You can see where we’ve added a piece to make it rounder. This will be the final shape of the train piece.

We’re planning to cut the real fabric this week. The dress shouldn’t be too big of a deal to make but the devil’s in the details. I’ll admit. I’m pretty excited!




See you on the other side (where I will hopefully not be rocking back and forth and gibbering)! At least there will be three of us attacking it.