24 February 2015

Sansa Stark Quick Post: Pattern Layout

A year and three months later I am still working on my Sansa Stark wedding dress cosplay, which is due in part to the complexity of the costume as well as the fact that I have other projects, classes, and a job that also take time.  The dress itself is pretty  much wearable at this point, but the embroidery is a major time sink that I'm working on slowly.

Now, for those who are wondering which Sansa Stark dress I am talking about, it is this one:

Embroidery.  Yes.

Now, I was going through my blog statistics and I noticed that someone on Tumblr had compiled a list of references and tutorials about how to make various outfits Sansa Stark has worn throughout the Game of Thrones TV series (go here to see it) and to my surprise I found a link to my very own blog!  It was under the subheading "tutorials," which seemed a little bit generous considering the post in question (this one) is comprised of little more than my ramblings about how fabric.com fails at taking photos of the fabrics that they sell.  Anyway, to add a bit of legitimacy to myself, I decided to sketch out exactly how I patterned this dress so anyone else who shares in my ridiculous pipe dream of making this dress can learn from my experiences with it.

So here it is:

Please feel free to magnify that or save it to your computer so you can read all my little notes.  Now, let me explain how this works, because you WILL have to draw this pattern out yourself.

Here are the specs of my dress: I used six yards of 60" fabric to make this dress, but it would have been better with seven.  Just throwing that out there.  The back-neck to hem length of my dress is a little over eighty inches.  I am five-foot-three, but that still makes the train a little bit short.  This dress IS going to be expensive and it IS going to be time-consuming, but don't shortchange yourself on fabric the way I did.

I have a body block that I use to make the vast majority of my costumes.  A body block is a basic bodice pattern that fits you perfectly, and I highly recommend making one so that you don't have to keep re-fitting every time you draw up a new pattern.  This particular one is done in four pieces: front, side front, side back, and back.  Once that is done, I trace my body block pieces onto a large piece of paper and add things like skirts, change the shape of the neckline, or whatever I need to do.  Then, if I'm smart, I make a muslin mock-up of that to check for fit, length, etc.  In this case I only made a slightly longer than hip-length mock-up, because the skirt would have been a fuckton of muslin.

I would recommend interfacing the fronts from the hip up, all the collar pieces, winges, and, though I did not do so, the rest of the bodice pieces as well.  This helps the dress to maintain its shape and strengthens it.

My version of the dress is unlined.  That wasn't my original plan.  I actually bought seven yards of cream lining fabric, but think about this: the dress itself weighs about ten pounds, and with the lining it would have weighed at least three more.  I faced the dress instead, and that is the path I would highly recommend.  IT DOES THE JOB and it doesn't weigh a fuckton.  Save that for your petticoat.

The collar pieces are weirdly shaped.  This pattern was the result of a great deal of trial and error before I was satisfied enough to cut it out of the purple and gold fabric.  Make sure your collar pieces fit you and the points end up where they need to be.

The only pieces I haven't figured out yet are the hip pads/petticoats and armor that covers them.  To be honest, I'm also nowhere near thinking about those either, so give me some time?  Once they're done I'll let you guys know how they worked out.

Hope that helps!


  1. About the hip pads, may i suggest making very small 1700's paniers? there is a very thorough tutorial here: http://thedreamstress.com/the-historical-sew-fortnightly/the-panier-along/

    1. Those panniers were one of my first ideas when I started thinking about Sansa's hip pads! It's definitely the right type of shape, but...Sansa's stick out more sharply that that design would allow. I actually DID make a set of small, crescent-shaped bustle pads to fit the bill. They work, but they really do need to be part of a petticoat so the skirt doesn't droop limply off of them.