Game of Thrones, Season 3/ Season 4
Since David had a Game of Thrones costume, I figured I would try out a look from the show for my own.
I chose my favorite female character from the show - Sansa Stark. She's a polarizing character for sure, but that's what I love about her. Her costumes in Season 3 and 4 were my favorite. She had moved on from the little girl dresses, but hadn't quite emerged in head-to-toe black yet.
I started with this dress in mind, and went searching for a Simplicity pattern that would work. I found Simplicity Pattern 1009, some gorgeous dark purple silk, and a mauve swiss dot polished cotton - and went for it.
This was my very first garment, so I had a lot to learn.
I chose "C" as the dress since it had the coat look I was going for and I jumped in. I was done with the bodice and moving on to the skirt when I realized a few things:
1) This beautiful silk was fraying like crazy
2) The "godet" panel wasn't going to cut it, for the look I was trying to emulate
3) I had to learn how to put in a hidden zipper
So I regrouped. The fraying silk would continue to cause problems, but with the help of a friend I was able to brainstorm a way to alter the pattern so it did what I wanted.
Instead of sewing the center of the bodice up, and making a faux clasp I just cut it back open, finished the edges and attached hook and eyes (a tedious task if there ever was one). Then I left the skirt open as well, not putting in the godet panel.
Next, I made an underskirt out of my polished cotton. This was a good choice, since it made the dress flow and added some extra volume to the skirt, which it needed. The bonus to this solution was - no more zipper! It turned out to be a more comfortable design and more authentic in construction
I was finally ready to add - the sleeves. Holy crap those were some sleeves. They were only piece of the garment that had a lining, so they weighed a ton.
Not to mention, they were way too long, and impossible to wear. I tacked up the sleeves to the elbow so at least my hands were free and it exposed the pretty lining fabric more.
At that point, the dress was assembled - and... it was too big. I cut it to my pattern size (22), because I need it for my shoulders and hips, but that left my waist and bust way too small for the pattern. I was swimming in fabric. I learned another lesson at this point: make the bodice out of muslin first.
I looked hard at this dress for what seemed like hours, trying to crack how to take it in (where I needed it) without loosing fabric (where I needed it). I never really felt super confident, but I sort of just... went with it. Instead of just taking it in at the seams which didn't work because of where it met with skirt - I reshaped the back bodice panels. I basically freehand drew new lines for cutting and wished for the best. And it worked! Dress - fitted.
On to trimmings: I selected this beautiful (and expensive) trim at the fabric store when I bought the fabric. I didn't really know how I was going to use it. I just knew I had to use it. It was beaded with sequins into this lovely coordinating ribbon. I decided to use that to follow the entire edge of the coat opening. With very careful and slow sewing, I was able to do that with my machine - so as now to break a needle on a bead. Then I placed some gold clasps I found in the upper bodice as both extra closer and decoration.
Finally, to stop from any accidental gaping at the hook and eyes, I added a stomacher piece in the pink cotton that I attached with hooks to my corset and the underskirt.
I was pretty happy with the final results of my first garment sewn, with a handful of lessons learned:
1) Make the bodice in a muslin first. Then you can make the measurements work for you.
2) If you're using silk, cut on the bias and cut your pattern with extra fabric to allow for french seams (and then do them immediately)
3) Take the time to customize the pattern so it's what YOU want. I'm so glad I did.
4) Money spent on trimmings is always worth it