Winter is Coming

I wanted to challenge myself and make something more complicated. What better way than to make a "halloween costume" inspired by Game of Thrones?

Now, I don't normally dress up for Halloween, but my neighborhood is one of the hot spots for trick or treating, so I wind up sitting in my garage all night handing out candy because it's silly to do the answer the door thing, because it's just one after another lined up. It's often cold and crappy around here on October 31, so my original idea of making myself a Rey costume from The Force Awakens was out. Too light, too sheer, not enough warmth.

I will also admit that I bought a pattern for a Kylo Ren costume, and there's still a chance I might make that, but that one will be easy. Not a challenge.

I found some patterns for dresses that are a little more on the renaissance faire side, and I thought I could pull off some Game of Thrones. With my red hair, there were really two options - Catlyn Stark, who is dead (or undead, if you've read the books). It would be more age-appropriate, and I could do a drastic slit across my throat, but there are lots of little kids and I don't want to be too scary. Or, Sansa Stark of the post-King's Landing, post-Bolton drama, take back Winterfell and kick some ass era. It's Halloween, so if I want to pretend to be 16 or however old she is, whatever.

I started with a cape.

Much like the curtains I made, this involved a veritable fuck-ton of fabric. And, I decided to join the lining to the cape at the hem instead of the back center seam as the instructions indicated, and there are places where it's all jacked up, but by the time I got to this part, it was creeping up on 3am and I decided that it's a fuckin' cape, so whatever. It's not like I'm going to wear this thing to the grocery store...or will I?

So here's my cape. It has a hood. It's a velvety fabric on the outside with a satiny lining. This is Simplicity pattern 5794 view C. I added a little closure thingy because capes need a closure thingy.

I spent a lot more time on the dress. I wanted it to be something dark, but classy. I went with a black brocade with silver and gold for the bodice and a plain black satin for the skirt. After making the

Indian Inspired Brocade Jacket

, I had sworn never to work with brocade again, because it makes a damn mess, but oh well, here we are. At least it was just the bodice.

I had a very hard time with the bodice. The instructions that came with the pattern (Simplicity 1008 view A) were very confusing and hard to follow when it came to joining the lining to the bodice, but I eventually got it. The part that I had the hardest time with was the points at the neckline and where the bodice joins to the skirt. They're not perfect, and I hand stitched most of it in an attempt to get it close to perfect. It was a good exercise in problem solving.

Also, this involved a lot more hand stitching than what I had signed up for. Closing the lining at the sleeve caps was entirely hand stitched, as well closing the lining at the side seams and all around the waist where it joins to the skirt. Pain in my ass.

What I'm most excited about is that I finally understand the concept of understitching. This is a useful technique that I'm going to keep in my arsenal for future projects. I had to google it to understand what it really meant. It looks like this when it's done and it's very useful for lined pieces where you want the lining to stay where it belongs (on the inside) and you don't want to topstitch (on the photo below, the dress is inside out).

I also figured out that my new dress form (who is yet to be named) has some pretty handy tricks up her sleeve, such as a hem guide. This is super helpful - I can make the dress form my height and use this little guy to work my way around the hem to get it to the right length. It even has a little pinning thingy so you can pin as you go! This makes sewing things for myself (by myself) MUCH easier!

The back of the dress has tabs with grommets to lace it tight, and I just used a spare shoelace because I'm lazy.

I did a rolled hem on this dress, which is easier said than done - still not an art I've mastered, but I'm going to keep trying. It's easy to do when you can start at a raw edge, but when it comes to starting at a seam, all bets are off. Plus, the satin fabric was just thick enough to cause the fabric to get hung up in the rolled hem presser foot when I got to a seam, which made for all sorts of swearing.

I made the hem in the back longer, because this is as close as I'll ever get to wearing anything with any semblance of a train...I'M PLAYING DRESS UP DON'T JUDGE ME!

So it's Sansa Stark or Kylo Ren. Still a couple weeks until Halloween...I'm tempted to make the Kylo Ren outfit because then I can sit in my awesome Stormtrooper Adirondack chair and look like a total boss. We shall see.