Daenerys Targaryn Season 3 Dress Cosplay

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.

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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.

Uh…oops.

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.

imageOnce the two patterns were pinned together, I took a Sharpie and drew out the curves I wanted before cutting the pattern to pieces and making a second mock up.

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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.

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Once the embroidery was done, all that was left was to piece it all together. Here’s the finished result:

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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.

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19 thoughts on “Daenerys Targaryn Season 3 Dress Cosplay

  1. Hi Sew Kurafty! I love, love, LOVE your Daenerys Targaryn dress! The cut is unbelievable, and the details are just stunning. My name is Stephanie, I’m a TV news reporter, and I’m looking for a Daenerys dress for Halloween. I’m obsessed with the Khaleesi and want to wear something really authentic and special. I haven’t found anything online (cosplay or costume) that even comes close to your dress. Would you consider selling it to me, or loaning it to me for the weekend of October 25th? I of course will pay you very handsomely. Please send me an email at stephanieellenwoods@gmail.com if you are interested in making a profit off of this beautiful dress. You really have a talent! Thank you, hope to hear from you soon! – Stephanie

    • Thanks for your comment!

      I don’t sell my cosplays nor do I loan them out. I am very petite with something of a pear/hourglass shape. My costumes rarely fit anyone other than myself. I also have not gotten a lot of wear out of this one costume despite all the time I have put into it.

      Also, the weekend you are requesting it is the very weekend I plan to wear this at an event so it won’t actually be available. Sorry. 😦

  2. Hi, you did an amazing job! That is so impressive. I see that you are not interested in selling or loaning it, but would you be open to make one for me with my measurements? I know it was a ton of work, but thought I’d ask in case!

    • Sorry, can’t do that either. I appreciate the compliment, but the fitted nature of the dress is really difficult for me to replicate on another person without constant fittings. I also no longer have my pattern, and the website I bought the fabric from no longer is in stock. 😦

    • Daenerys’ boots drove me nuts. I wasn’t sure what to get other than it needed to be gray, suede/leather looking, and have buckles with a small heel. I ended up getting a faux suede gray pair off eBay. I can’t remember the listing or the seller though.

  3. This is my favorite outfit. I would wear this every day if I could get away with it. Great work. Love the pleated scales.

  4. Hello. I think your dress is very well done. Attractive, and a very good replica. However, I think if at all possible, you should try for a genuine red-and-black-colored copy of the dress, because red and black are the Targaryen colors! You wouldn’t know it from the show, though. I really do wish they would put her in at least some red, if not black as well. I originally found this page from the picture of the red incomplete copy of the dress you put up. It actually looked great! The Lannisters aren’t the only ones with red! Drogon is colored red and black, as was Aegon I’s dragon, Balerion. Just a suggestion.

    • Thanks for the comment and for the suggestion. However, while I do like the fan colored version of Dany’s season 3 dress, I will not be replicating it. I feel the original blue is much more appropriate since it is supposed to play homeage to the Dothraki (blue is supposed to be a royal color for them). I do not plan to replicate the dress again, once was enough. πŸ™‚

      • Blue is the color of motherhood. The costume design on the show is all about symbolism. This is why Dany now always wears blue, because she is the Mother of Dragons, as well as the mother of the kingdoms she is helping to free.

  5. Hi, beautiful work! I had made a Khaleesi cosplay outfit of her in quarth with the purple hanging dress over the brown suede and the leather upper tunic top. I always appreciate a good costume :). How do you put the dress on? Is there a zipper or a clasp somewhere? And how did you do the open back? Whenever I do that on my clothes they don’t fall right. Thanks! And also feel free to contact me if you decide to do the quarth costume, I can share some ideas.

    -Christine

    • Thanks for your comment! My dress closes on the left side with hooks and snaps. There’s also a weird piece in the front that attachs with snaps (you can’t tell because it’s very well hidden). As for the hole…my fabric is made of linen so it has some weight to it. It also has a cotton lining and bias tape which gives some structure to the opening.

  6. I’m in the planning stage for making this dress, and your embroidery looks really good. How did you fasten the dragon scales? I saw someone else had glued it on, did you do that, or?

    • Thanks for your comment. I attached my dragonscale pieces by sewing. I used my random lockstitch to hold it in place and hide when the pieces were placed. Glue, in my opinion, would make the fabric too stiff. If you do enough random lock stitches, it will be strong enough to hold the fabric in place.

  7. I just wanted to say, wonderful job on your Dany dress. I just finished one myself (same style, different fabric) and I agree that it was a pain in the butt! πŸ™‚ I was never taught how to use a pattern myself, but I managed to find a very simplistic dress pattern that had a v neck and cap sleeves. So, essentially, I made it according to the pattern (elongating the dress according to my height) and then I took it apart again to tailor it more towards the original look. I deepened the V, cut out the back, cut out the openings in the front and back portions (giving them the overlapped look of the original) and now I am working on the embroidery.

    Anyways, that was a long winded version of me saying: “I feel you, girl. This dress was tough!” and congrats on doing such a wonderful job on yours!

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