I spent most of this past June watching Game of Thrones season 2. I don’t have HBO so I must wait until February 2014 to watch season 3, but that hasn’t stopped me from finding clips on YouTube and searching the net for pictures. As one might have guessed, Daenerys Targaryen is one of my favorite characters (along with Arya and Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister). I was asked by my friends to go to Anime Weekend Atlanta this year and bring a kpop cosplay I wore to Animazement but what else would I bring? I haven’t watched/read much anime/manga in the last year so either I would bring a Clara cosplay or something new. Something new I thought, but a new Clara or…and then I found images of Daenerys’ season 3 blue dragonscale dress outfit.
Okay, sure, why not? I’ve never done anything like this before but how hard could it be? I’ve been sewing/cosplaying for 10 years so this will be easy.
The pants took me a day; the ring, necklace, boots, and wig took me a total of 20 minutes to order from eBay, Etsy, and Aliexpress. The wig took 3 tries and 30 minutes to braid. The dress…just about stressed me out.
Let’s talk about this dress, shall we? First, I had to make a mock up because there were absolutely no patterns I could just modify like I always do. It took two mock ups to get right using whatever fabric I had on hand. First mock up involved simply cutting out the pieces I needed from two patterns and throwing them both onto the dressform.
I like to joke that I make the second mock up in Lannister red but the truth is that was purely an accident (it was the only spare fabric I had big enough).
The second mock up still needed some work before I finally cut into the real fabric. I originally planned to dye the fabric to the correct color, but it came out too light. I ended up purchasing an indigo blue medium weight linen from an online retailer specializing in Renaissance fabrics (the fabric I dyed ended up becoming the lining piece).
Once the main dress was completed, I started work on the embroidery. I got lucky and stumbled upon the website of Michele Carragher, one of the costumer embroiderers for the show. On her website, she explains the process of the dragonscale and how there are actually three versions of Daenerys’ dress. Since most of my reference images were of the second dress, that’s the one I went with. I followed Michele’s simple tutorial for the dragonscale but had to make up the rest on my own.
Once the embroidery was done, all that was left was to piece it all together. Here’s the finished result:
The whole process took me over a month to finish. It really shouldn’t have taken that long since I am currently on summer break from work until next week. But I had to keep talking myself into working on the dress. I kept thinking I was going to ruin everything and didn’t want to waste all my work. One of my friends, Ali, who is also a Daenerys cosplayer, had to keep feeding me words of encouragement. In the end, I love the result. I hope to wear this for an on location photoshoot before AWA so I can work out any kinks. But it is going to be epic and I am so proud of myself for doing this.
Next I think I’ll backtrack to season 2 and work on Daenerys’ Qarth dress. More challenges await with that one.