Back in April this year, I debuted my new Margaery Tyrell costume. From season 4 of Game of Thrones, came her mourning gown. This costume was worn for a good portion of the season as well as being used in the promotional material for the season. I was also happy to see it pop up early in season 5 as well. At any rate, what follows is a small tutorial of how I put this costume together.
My first step was to track down the fabrics that I would be using. This was quite a bit simpler than the last Margaery gown that I made as I knew where to look. I headed to puresilks right off the bat. My bodice fabric is an embroidered silk dupion and is lined with scraps of 100% cotton. The skirt is cotton voile. I wanted the skirt to be light enough to flow and gather up nicely so that it could be incredibly full, but I also wanted it to be easily washed as I was unable to do with my last Margaery gown. The skirt took 5 metres of fabric in total.
I started with the bodice, which would require the most patterning work. I had taken a bunch of screencaps to try to work out the back of the bodice. It turned out to be very similar to one of the other bodices that Margaery wears with a full back. This made fitting a lot easier as a full back provides a lot more support.
The pattern I based the bodice on is Simplicity 4079 - a vest pattern.
I then divided up the pieces and drafted in the design lines. I did a couple of mock ups out of scrap fabric (which I forgot to photograph) to check that the fit was right, the front was crossing over in the right place and that the seam design lines were in the correct place. Below is the pattern completely laid out in order - so half of the body.
I then cut and started piecing the bodice together in my fabrics. It is made up of four layers of fabric - my outer fashion fabric, the lining fabric (with the centre front piece cut in the outer fabric) and two interlining layers. My lining and interlining layers are 100% quilting cottons. I just used leftovers from other projects.
I stitched all but the shoulder seam together as this would be used to turn the bodice later and pressed the seam allowances flat.
The next step was to start working on the boning. I have a lot of experience working with corsetry so I knew going into this where I would like my boning placed. The beauty of Margaery's clothing is that all the bust support is built into the bodice, so that the cross-over section can be quite low yet there is still enough bust support. Well, for me at any rate. Very busty ladies may need to think about working in bust cups for extra support or even making the cross-over higher.
All of my boning channels are stitched in contrast colour so that you can see them a bit more easily. I simply put the two lining layers right-sides in and stitched in my channels. This way I avoided the boning accidentally catching on seams. You will notice that the front bust support channels curve from the high armpit, along the bust and then down. This helps to push the bust from the side to give more cleavage.
I then inserted my boning. I chose to use cable ties - a cheap plastic boning choice. Steels would definitely provide more support for fuller busted ladies but you could also purchase plastic boning from corsetry supply shops. In Australia, this is not so easily acquired and I have had a lot of success with cable ties. I cut them to length (taking into account the seam allowance and sanded back the corners to round them off and inserted the boning.
I then sandwiched all the layers together in the following order:
- fashion layer right side up
- lining layer wrong side up
- interlining layer with boning inserted
and stitched them together around all the edges but NOT the shoulder. As I mentioned before this is how you turn it through.
I then clipped the curves, and pulled everything through the shoulder openings. (And this is where I have no more photos as I was too busy just trying to make my deadline). I pressed it all neatly flat on all edges. I then stitched the shoulder seams, keeping the lining out of the way using my machine. The lining was then hand stitched together to finish the lining with a simple slip stitch.
I finished the bodice off by pinning the cross-over in place and marking where I would need my hooks and eyes. These, I hand stitched on where I felt that I would need them.
I then made the skirt as a separate piece. It is simply the length of fabric sewn to a waistband that fits under the bust with two shoulder straps that hold it up. The should straps sit outside the bust and cross to the centre back in the aim of keeping them hidden.
I finished off the look with a lace front wig from wigfever and a replica necklace 3D printed from Print My Props on Etsy. Before I wear this costume again, I will definitely be making a cotton voile petticoat to wear underneath, as in some photos it is a little bit too sheer for my comfort. But otherwise, I am very pleased with how this came together.