Thursday, 24 July 2014

Inspired by Daenerys' Qarth Dress from Game of Thrones

I wanted a fancy dress for an upcoming convention and ventured into the realm of cosplay. I browsed pictures and read tutorials, until finally I could decide what I wanted: a full-on cosplay costume was not to my liking, but I would do something inspired by one of my favourite characters and one of her prettiest dresses. My chosen one is Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones, and the dress is the one she wears in Qarth in season 2. I loved the flowing chiffon dress, but the colours would have been hard to wear again, and I was after something that I could re-use as a part of a different attire. So instead of turquoise and gold my dress is made of black fabric with silver accents.

That's 8 meters of chiffon, a long black underskirt, 3 euro necklace from the flea market
and about 20 sticks of hot glue painted with a silver marker ;D


The attached cape in the back is going to be the death of me when someone steps on it!
The dress is not a replica but inspired by the dress from the show, so I used a lot more fabric, sheerer chiffon and did the back differently. There's much more fabric in the cape part than was on the show!

Here's a shot of my first shoulder pieces. I had to re-do them because I didn't
think they could hold the full weight of the gown.

Here are links to some of the resources I used:

Belt and shoulder patterns by BrittanyDanielleCosplay (I made shoulders based on these patterns, but had to re-do them later. The pattern is super nice and crisp!)

How To Make A Daenerys Qarth Gown by I Do Things I Love (I used the basic pattern, but my fabric was 150 cm wide instead of the 112 cm that she has. I also skipped the elastic waist and made a full length back piece instead, and made the front pieces 10 cm longer so I can wear the dress with heels. The pattern is made for a 167 cm tall person, which by chance is exactly my height!)

Daenerys' Qartheen Dress by MisfitToy (I liked this belt pattern the best, I made my template using her pictures)

My dress has a fancy hot glue belt and shoulder pieces. It has almost 8 meters of black polyester chiffon, which by the way is a bitch to sew. I somehow forgot at the fabric store that I HATE sewing chiffon. The chiffon is so sheer that the dress needs a slip or undergarments that hide all critical spots. Using a less sheer fabric would be a good option.

My main troubles were with attaching the shoulder pieces to the dress. The fabric is so heavy that I felt the hot glue filigree pieces might not be able to support it. My solution was to hide a strip of white tulle under each shoulder piece. The "metal" is attached to the tulle with glue and the fabric is sewed to the ends of the tulle strips. I think this might also help make the dress more comfortable to wear when the shoulder pieces are not digging into your shoulders.

This was my other problem: Magnus the kitty is crazy for fabric trailing on the floor, he constantly attacks my hems!

See? What little menace ;P

How to make a Daenerys Qarth Dress (quick tutorial)

You need:
8 meters of fabric
Tiny strip of tulle
70 cm of satin ribbon
About 20 sticks of hot glue (with the small sized sticks)
Hot glue gun
Parchment paper
Tape
Paint marker in the colour you want your filigree pieces
A long necklace
Jump rings and pliers or tread


1. Buy fabric and cut it to pieces according to the pattern.

2. Sew all the edges so they are neat. A self hemming foot is great for this, even if the tulle constantly tries to escape it.

3. Choose a pattern for your shoulder pieces and measure their width. Pleat the top parts of the front pieces and the cape pieces to match. If you have a back piece, make a few pleats on its top corners too just to blend it in. Sew the pleats.

4. If your chiffon has tiny pieces of thread sticking out at the seams, burn those by bringing the edge close to a flame. If you are using a non-synthetic fabric, skip the burning!

5. Measure the length of your shoulder pattern and cut two strips of white or skin-tone tulle that are the same length and a little bit more narrow than the shoulder pieces.

6. Sew the pleated pieces to the tulle strips. Front pieces are simple, just pin the tulle to the pleated parts on the back side of the fabric and sew. I used a zig-zag stitch. For the back, sandwich the tulle between the cape and the back piece, pin and sew.

7. Try the dress on and mark where you want the front pieces to join and where the arm holes should end. This is easiest to do with another person so you can let your arms down so the dress lies like it will when you wear it. Or you can put it on another person, no matter their size. I asked my other half to stand still for a moment and he's a bit bigger than me ;D

8. Sew the front and side seams. Don't worry if the dress is a bit too long for you at this stage, wearing it with the belt takes off a few centimetres of the length. At this stage it looks like a sack made of chiffon anyway.

9. Choose your belt pattern, print it out and tape it to a surface that can stand a little heat. Make sure to scale the pattern to work with your waist measurement. If you use a thicker fabric than chiffon, take into account the bulk it will add. In my opinion the belt looks best when it is slightly open in the back so just be careful not to make it too big and you should be fine.

10. Trace the belt pattern with hot glue. You should do the upper and lower edge as one long strip to make them durable, and then fill in the middle part. Remember to make hole-like pattern to the place where the belt closes in the back so you can thread the ribbon through the holes later. For stability, I added wider straight lines of glue next to the holes to act as light boning to keep the back from warping.

11. Repeat steps 9. and 10. for the shoulder parts.

12. Colour your filigree pieces with the marker. If it leaves a sticky surface after dry (my marker took about 15 minutes to dry, while drying it did feel sticky), you can add spray varnish on top. Spray paint should also work. I painted my pieces only on the top part that shows, just in case the colour might rub out and stain the fabric.

13. For that extra finishing touch, iron the dress. Pay extra attention to getting all the pleats to lay flat so they don't puff out and make the silhouette less sleek. Don't leave ironing until later, you can't iron the shoulder pleats once you have attached the hot glue pieces!

14. Put on your dress and check the positions for the shoulder pieces. Their ends should come on top of the pleated edges of the fabric for 1-2 cm. Use a few drops of hot glue to make them stick to the tulle or your fabric (whatever is best for positioning them the way you like) and sew through the hardened glue for extra security.

15. Take your long necklace and attach it to the bottom edge of your belt. For a screen accurate look, cut it in half and let two long cords hang from the belt. I liked a draped look more, so I didn't cut mine. Attach it with jump rings and pliers, or just with some tread in a matching colour.

16. All done! Put on the dress and admire yourself :)

Having chiffon under the shoulder pieces lets them rise a bit from
the shoulders, which I think looks really nice. It also means there's
not much stress on them.



The cape is separate from the back piece, so it flows freely.

40 comments:

  1. Looks gorgeous! I love this Darker Daenerys Version ♥

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  2. Breathtaking...
    My sister is looking for a Daenerys dress for a wedding. Do you accept comissions ?
    Have a nice day :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm sorry, I don't think my skills are up to large scale sewing jobs, I'm not very good at making the finishing touches on a garment so I fear the quality would not be good enough.

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  3. Jess, itsekin pelmahdan paikalle GoT-hahmossa ;D Upea on asusi!!

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    1. Kiitos! En tainnut muistaa kehua sun mekkoa kun törmättiin, mutta komea oli!

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  4. Wow, beautiful gown. How talented you are! :) x

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  5. fantastic job! I agree you'll get much more wear out of the black & silver color combo.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Black is so much easier to combine with anything!

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  6. You look very witchy! More like a sorceress than the Mother of Dragons, but pretty awesome nonetheless! I hope we get to see some photos of that dress on location somewhere - a castle or some fancy landscape!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I took pictures of the dress in use yesterday, and decided to pair it with horns to play up the witch factor :)

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  7. You did a magnificent job. It's stunning!

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  8. Absolutely gorgeous!! Fantastic tribute!

    <3
    margot

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  9. I can see kitty inside the dress in the last photo, what a scamp! The dress looks amazing and the fact you managed to recreate the shoulder straps and belt really makes the outfit!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Magnus likes hiding under long skirts for some reason ;D

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  10. woah woah!! you look stunning in this dress. Like a goddess! I always like to see peoples own twists on things and you gown is lovely!

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    1. Thank you so much, what a lovely comment :)

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  11. Very cool dress! You are awesome in this dress! Thank you for share this with us!

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  12. Wow! It's absolutely amazing!! You look wonderful in your dress, a darker version of Daenerys! Your belt and shoulder parts are so inspiring. I need to do glue gun stuff!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm thinking of looking into making a tiara or something similar, the glue seems like a versatile material. My belt was partly made a little bit too thin when I was getting used to the material, but the thicker parts held up fine.

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  13. Simply stunning!

    x Dawn
    www.wickedlypleasant.blogspot.com

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  14. Mielettömän upea! Eipä ihan ekana tulis mieleen tehdä vyötä kuumaliimasta, mutta pitänee joskus kokeilla. :)

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    Replies
    1. Kiitos! Kuumaliima paljastui kyllä paljon näppärämmäksi materiaaliksi kuin mitä mä olin kuvitellut, aattelin kokeilla väkertää siitä seuraavaksi jonkun kivan tiaran :)

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  15. The dress is stunning! And the belt; is it really made by glue guns?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! And yes it is ;D The glue looks surprisingly nice when painted, it actually has a very metal like surface in the end. The side that lay flat when I made the belt is the one that is facing out when the belt is worn so it's very smooth.

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  16. Always so creative and crafty! Excellent job, Karoliina!! :D

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  17. Wow, I love how this turned out!

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  18. Incredible craftsmanship, you are beyond talented!

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  19. You look wonderful! Thank you kindly for linking to my blog. You did an amazing job with your gown x

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  20. The link with the pattern is gone - do you happen to still have it? I'm trying to make my own and love how yours turned out!! ❤️❤️

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