September 2, 2013

Dany Qarth costume process

So I made a costume for Dragon Con this year!
I did the last of Daenery's Qarth costumes, from the Game of Thrones show. It's actually the first costume I'm more or less making form scratch- I've put together a few costumes before, and though none were store-bought per se, I usually shopped for clothing that could be modified and slapped together to look like the outfit I wanted. :P

Here is the costume from the show for reference:

I only took pictures of my process for the vest, since it was the most complicated part. For the purple dress underneath, I found the cloth (while I was in Shanghai... that's another story) and enlisted the help of a tailor since I don't own a sewing machine now. The brown skirt under the dress was a maxi skirt I cut up and spray painted.

I started with the duct-tape-tshirt mannequin technique.
For those who don't know, it's just a cheap way to make a mannequin in your exact size.
First wear a t-shirt that you don't want anymore, and get someone to wrap duct tape all around you so it becomes a snug shell on your body. Cut it down the back to get yourself out and tape it back up for a mannequin (stuffing the inside is optional).

I marked the cuts I needed to make on the mannequin and proceeded to cut pieces of newspaper to fit the cuts. (I've also seen people cut up their mannequin for the pieces, but I wanted to reuse it.)

For the boobs part I figured it was just faster to cut up a bra I didn't want and sew it in, LOL.
Using the newspaper pieces as a templates, I cut the final plates out of craft foam (kid's craft stuff that you can get at any Michaels- fucking great for imitating leather!)

As for how I joined all the plates together, I started out sewing them. I would cut a strip of sturdy cloth to the shape of the seam, about a 0.5 inch wide, and sew both sides to the foam. I had to hand sew because a machine won't work on the thick foam.
Then I realized how needlessly time-consuming that was AND PULLED OUT A HOT GLUE GUN.

Tadaa, that went much faster.
(P.S Much thanks to my friend Andrea for the many pointers! ^u^)
When I got bored of gluing, I switched to scuffing up the foam surface with scissors. As I had hoped, this did wonders towards making the final painted surface look weathered.

In the show, the collar was higher and the cuts in the back were slightly different, but I went for easier cuts since hair would be covering it anyways.

I did the big fat stitches with old hair ties- yay creativity! And the picture on the right is after spay painting.
Then I hand painted the seams and some areas of the leather with deep brown acrylic.

Heres the final!! Yes I used my real hair, since I recently made it pretty light anyways.

That's the full costume. I'll definitely wear it again, and there are still improvements I'd like to make; such as the purple ribbon trim on her dress (I simply couldn't find the right ribbon to use), and sculpting dragons!
Overall I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I hope I can improve it and get better pictures sometime. :)

And I must re-post this photo form my Dragon Con entry, because it was perfect:


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