Welcome to the third instalment of my Game of Thrones Cosplay How-To posts! If this is your first time here and you’re interested in one of the other ladies of Westeros, I’ve already brought you tutorial guides for Margaery Tyrell and Sansa Stark.
KG is the newest member of our cosplay team and after being George R.R. Martin at the last Expo, she was ready to have her own Game of Thrones dress. Today I’ll show you how we turned her into Daenerys Targaryen!
The first step was deciding which Dany she was going to be. You see a lot of people cosplaying Dothraki Dany or Qarth Dany but those dresses are so two to four seasons ago. We wanted something more recent. Eventually we decided on this one:
The next step was finding the perfect pattern. I used McCall’s 6941 and didn’t make many adjustments.
Then it was on to fabric shopping and boy did we luck out! There was the most perfectly pleated fabric in the discount section of our local fabric store. What are the chances?!? KG had almost resigned herself to the fact that she’d be ironing pleats into the skirt before every Expo (sounds like the worst if you ask me). We were just as lucky with the blue fabric. It was wonderfully textured and also from the discount section.
I’ve now made multiple skirts with this pattern and I love it. It’s a simple but really full skirt that works great for many occasions. Working with the pleats was a little difficult. They liked to stretch more than I liked. This made me have to take it in a lot to make it fit around the waist! I also had to do a lot of hemming as KG is a little shorter than Kris and I.Next was the bodice and, luckily, this turned out easier than I thought it would. I cut out all the pieces and just started following the steps. Easy as pie. The one tricky part was finishing the edges along the curves.
I had KG try it on once at this stage and it was a little too snug – I was worried. To try and fix this I took out some of the main seams a little. It didn’t give much more room but it was the best I could do without adding more fabric. I then added a zipper and some snaps to the back. At this stage the bodice was complete… except for the two pieces that cross in the front.
The cross was the most difficult part. I added a layer of interfacing to each piece to give them a bit more shape. Attaching them only at the top of the dress, I waited for KG to try it on before I figured out where to secure them at the bottom.
Then it was the big try on and, surprisingly, it fit!! I couldn’t believe it; I was quite shocked. I didn’t need to take it out anymore or make any other adjustments. I used this opportunity to pin the crossed pieces where they belong. As I mentioned, KG is a little shorter than I had made the top for. I had to hem the front and back flaps as well as bring up the sides to fit more on her hips. It was quite easy to make these simple alterations.
The final sewing was making sure all the edges were finished and attaching the crossed pieces. I used some hot glue to secure these front pieces to each other and the dress. I still want to make some adjustments to this part, even now. The pieces tend to lift up and shift a little, especially when she has the belt on. I know I can fix this before she wears it next.
KG made her belt with a ton of hot glue, a pattern and some paint. She’s considering remaking the belt and promises to blog about the process if she does.
The final step was a hair test. First, we curled all of her hair. Loose ringlets was the closest we could get to the Dany look. Then it was braid time. KG has short bangs. Dany doesn’t. Getting rid of those was the most difficult part. I did 4 braids using the front of her hair. It was tricky to get the bangs out of the way, but a little hairspray did the trick. The main thing I learned here was to pull the braids down the side of her head as opposed to pulling them straight back. Finally on the third time of creating this Dany hair I think I have mastered braid placement… it’s just trial and error till you get it right. The final step was pulling the 4 braids back into a little pony tail. In creating this look I simply looked at the various styles Dany has had in recent seasons… as long as it’s blonde and there are some braids it’s totally recognizable!
The look was completed with some brown sandals, a nice basket and of course, Drogon. KG bought the stuffed animal and now carries it around with her often. It even made a trip to the bar with us once!
The dress is instantly recognizable, but still pretty basic right now. KG and I have discussed adding some more detailing to the bodice… perhaps some additional stitching or adding beads or scales. It’s still to be determined. I’ve seen some amazing work done on this dress by other cosplayers and we’ll see if we can compare. If we make some changes I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted here. I love getting help, ideas and tutorials from other cosplayers and I hope others feel the same coming here! I hope you find this useful in creating your own Daenerys Targaryen.
Let me know in the comments if you have any additional questions!
– Justine Alyssa