Daenerys Targaryen cosplay dress photos

Finally got a bunch of photos from my friend in the Daenerys Targaryen dress I made her!

She said the costume was a BIG HIT at the convention, and that many people stopped to take photos. She was thrilled with it.

Now for the bad news.

You may notice how the front drape is white on this one, and not the ivory of the original dress:

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That’s because there was a little accident.

She got the hem of the dress caught in an escalator and it got some grease on the hem. Since she was away from home she brought it to a dry cleaner. (If she was at home I would have suggested soaking the hem in Oxy-clean.) I texted her a list of the fabrics used, and she meticiously wrote them down on the ticket, along with specifying that she only needed the hem cleaned up.

The next day I get a text message: “I’m so sad.” I was thinking did someone die? or I wonder if her ex proposed to his new girlfriend. Fortunately it was neither of those.

What had happened was the dry cleaner made a mistake. Rather than just treating the hem they must have thrown it into the perc bath with everything else, and the leather bled all over the silk and slightly tinted the rayon jersey. The silk was completely ruined. And on top of it the grease stain on the hem wasn’t out! She was beside herself because she felt awful that I spent that Sunday making the dress. She followed it up with saying that the dry cleaner wasn’t going to charge her and was going to do their best to get out the grease stain and find a replacement for the silk drape and sew it on. If they couldn’t do that they would pay her for the dress.

I told her the honest truth – that I wasn’t angry or upset, and Life Happens. If she needed it recreated it wouldn’t take nearly as much time because I had already figured out how to do it and wrote meticulous notes. She then got in touch with me later on and said the dress arrived back with a new drape sewed on and the grease stain was mostly gone. Crisis adverted.

Now you see why I don’t sew couture. I would be devastated if I spent 90 hours hand tailoring a French jacket and something happened to it…

Style Arc Emily Top

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The Emily top from Style Arc was the free pattern for July 2014. It is a knit tee with a yoke design line at the front and back, front pleated shoulder detail and elbow length sleeves. The back length out of the envelope is about 23.5″ for size 8. I would describe it as slightly fitted and fluid.

Style Arc recommends “knit jersey or baby wool.” I chose a lightweight and stretchy Italian rayon/lycra jersey from Sawyer Brook. It has a ton of drape, which I think suits the shoulder detail.

My fitting adjustments were:

  • Lengthened between shoulder and bust 1″
  • Added 2″ width to the sleeves at the bottom hem
  • Added 5″ width to the hips at the hemline
  • 3/8″ forward shoulder alteration
  • 3/4″ broad back adjustment. Lately I’ve been adding the width mostly to the middle of the back armhole rather than further below.

The toughest part of this top is definitely that front shoulder detail. Fortunately Chloe posted a really good tutorial on how to sew it.

I want to mention that I differed a little bit from the directions when it came to sewing the neckband in place in that I sewed the LEFT shoulder seam in place, stabilizing it with some clear elastic, but did NOT sew the right shoulder seam yet. (I know Style Arc has this in the instructions but it doesn’t need to be done yet!) Also, my binding didn’t want to stay in place so I topstitched it down after the top was finished with a narrow coverstitch, but it would have been easier to do at this point.

It was nice to not have a binding seam at the center back, but the problem is that now you have a slightly messy edge at the inner right shoulder. Here’s how you can neaten it up:

  1. After folding the pleat in place, pin the right back shoulder to the right front shoulder.
  2. Make sure the neckline binding edge and edge of the fold are perfectly lined up and stitch together. (I stabilized with clear elastic at the same time.) Leave a long serger tail at the inside neckline edge.
  3. When you’re done sewing the seam take that tail and pull it as much as you can back into the “ditch” of the shoulder seam (which should be pressed to the back) without folding the neckline edge. You want the seam allowance just slightly behind the inside neckline edge.
  4. Bartack it in place, trying to keep the serged seam just behind the neckline edge, and trim the tail.

Your neckline edge will look similar to how it is shown below. Since you bartacked that serger tail in place it will keep a clean neckline edge, the serger tail and clear elastic will be kept tucked out of the way, and the seam won’t unravel.

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I use this same technique when I sew panties since I find it easier to sew elastic in flat than in the round.

The neckline detail of this top is so interesting. I’m thinking of making this pattern again, but as a dress and maybe with long sleeves. Styled with a belt of course. I also see the possibility for a little bit of color blocking at the shoulder line…