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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Making a Jon Snow Season 6 Inspired Costume Set

It's finally done and ready wear! 
Which is great because we all know that Halloween and Winter are coming ever so soon. 

This costume set was a lot of fun to put together. It took a few weeks to make and consists of a jet black jersey knit Riding Tunic, a studded black vinyl Battle Vest, a long black vinyl Belt and matching Body Straps, a Scabbard with a 41" plastic Sword, a black Cape with a (faux) wolf fur around the neckline and a matching pair of (faux) fur lined Gauntlets. Everything you need really but the pants and perhaps a pair of boots.

This photo shows the complete costume set here except for the Gauntlets. The Scabbard is adjustable at either hip or on the upper part of the back. The Cape has a drawstring neckline, a big hidden hood with a drawstring of its own and the (faux) wolf fur at the neckline. The fur around the neck is removable if you would like. There is also a (faux) wolf tooth that hangs from the fur.

This photo shows the riding tunic and the battle vest belted. I also have the sword pulled out from the scabbard. The plastic sword is 41" in total length and has a 3d printed wolf hilt. My sweetie printed it and he did a really great job! I cleaned it up a bit with a dremmel tool, painted it a few times to give it some really great coloring (including a bit of glow in the dark paint to the eyes) and then a bit of gloss before attaching it to the hilt of the sword. 

I ordered the plastic sword and cut the hilt off with a miter saw. I covered the hilt with the vinyl used to make the battle vest and a strip of  black leather twine 3 yards in length. The blade of the sword has been treated with glow in the dark paint. 

These photos show the front and back of the Riding TunicIt was made longer with a slit down the front and back for easy riding/ fighting. The size is a mens xl and made out a soft black jersey knit fabric. The neckline is a crew styled neckline with a small opening at the back. 

I really really like the fabric I selected. I went over to the black knit fabric section and closed my eyes and selected the fabric based on softness. It turned out that it was the most expensive fabric per yard but it was..even after testing once more with eyes closed..the best. So, you win some and you spend some? Something like that... 

This is what the Battle Vest looks like before you have added the belt and body straps.

This photos shows the brackets that appear on the sides of the vest. 

Here is a photo of the riding tunic, the battle vest and the long Belt.

The Battle Vest is pretty long, falling about 4" shorter than the cape (cape falls 51" from the upper neckline). There are two sets of brackets on each shoulder and again at the sides so the front and back panels really hold well together but can be adjusted tighter or looser as needed.

This is the back the costume with the tunic, battle vest, belt and Body Straps. Under the arms of the tunic you will see adjustable parachute snaps and hidden velcro for size adjustment.

This shows the set with the sword in the scabbard.

I left the belt really long so you can cut it off after you have wrapped it up the way you like it.

You can adjust the body straps to fit. 
The Scabbard can be latched at either hip depending on if you are right or left handed or latched at the upper back (at the metal ring in the back of the body strap).

This photo shows the back view of the tunic, battle vest, belt, body straps and the scabbard without the sword.

This photo shows the tunic, the battle vest, the belt, the leather straps and the scabbard attached to the leather straps on the left side hip. You can also attach the scabbard to the belt if you find that more comfortable than the body straps.

This photo shows the riding tunic (arms tucked in so you can see a bit more the vest), the battle vest, the belt, the leather straps, the scabbard & sword, and the matching (faux) fur lined gauntlets resting at the shoulder. 

The Cape is a very full cape and you can wear it either hooked closed at the front center or left open. The neckline of the cape has a drawstring. In this photo the (faux) wolf fur has been unsnapped at the neckline but is still hooked to the cape towards the back. The (faux) fur panel falls backward so that you can see a bit of the costume. The cape also has a hidden hood with a drawstring. The underside of the fur piece has a mini pocket to hold the cape if you do not want to have it out and it slips up and out from under the fur so you can have the fur on and the hood up at the same time.

This photo shows the parachute snap that holds the front of the wolf fur together at the neckline. You can unsnap this and still have the fur around the neckline as it has hidden elastic and buttons towards the back. The front fur pieces come together and cover the parachute snaps. 

This photo shows the inside of the Gauntlets (the studs you see are actually the battle vest, not the gauntlets themselves). The gauntlets are laced with leather twine around the edges but the gloves were purchased in a size men's xl and are leather. 

The gauntlets are made of the black vinyl fabric used to make the battle vest. I purchased a pair of xl mens leather gloves and made the wrist guards (which are adjustable with hidden velcro). I then attached those to the gloves. If you decide you would like to wear the gloves without the wrist guards you can snip the binding that holds them together (you will find extra binding materials in the small notions/ repair kit I am including with the set to reattach again).

This photo shows the (faux) wolf tooth that hangs off the fur panel. I made that out of polymer clay. 
The hilt of the sword was 3d printed, you can find details @ https://www.thingiverse.com/ 

Not only is it really full but it has a hidden hood that tucks into a little pocket when you don;t want it, or can be used while the wolf fur is on the neckline. The neckline has a latch so it will hold closed comfortably but it also  has a drawstring. The hood has a drawstring as well. The fur at the neckline has a parachute snap to hold it closed but it also has hidden elastic and buttons to hold the fur on. This allows for the fur to balance comfortably around your neck  but it can also be removed if you don't want to wear it and the cape still looks great. The inside of the cape has a hook at the side to attach the gauntlets when not in use, or even to attach your keys when you're not using them.

Below I have included the materials list and instructions if you're feeling daring enough to make your own costume set. I have broken it down by costume piece. Happy Crafting!

Costume Set Instructions:

Riding Tunic: 1.5 yards black fabric, black thread.

I just picked out an oversized t-shirt and used it as a pattern for this but if you feel more comfortable picking up a pattern follow the instructions that come with. The only differences I made to my t-shirt pattern is that I made the sleeves longer so the tunic would be long sleeved and I made the bottom potion longer with a vertical seam running about 8" up the center front and back to compensate for riding and fighting.

Once you have all of the pieces cut then you will turn the front and back panels inward towards each other and sew the shoulder blades and the sides. To finish up the base of the tunic you will want to turn in and sew the edges all the way around the bottom hem. Align the sleeve seams and sew, and then sew t he sleeves to the tunic. Finish the sleeves by folding over and sewing the ends of the sleeves.

Next I cut out a long folded over strip of fabric for the crew neck. This piece will be about 1/2" longer than the length around the neckline of your tunic x 3.5" in width. Fold the crew neck piece in half-fabrics facing inward-and sew the short ends. Trim the ends. Turn the piece right side out and align and pin the crew neck piece around the neckline, and sew them together.

Battle Vest: 3 yards of black vinyl fabric, 2.5 yards of lining fabric, 150-200 grommets, spray fabric glue, fabric glue (non spray kind-the squeeze kind), 3 yards of foam, 8 brackets (check the pack you buy-sometimes they come 2 to a pack), black thread, paper, pen/ pencil, masking tape. sewing needle.

*If you are also planning on making a belt from the same fabric then you will want to cut off a long strip from the bottom of this piece of fabric before you cut the panels for the vest. Cut a long strip off that is the width of the belt buckle selected.

For the vest I  started by making the pattern pieces out of paper and then I cut out the vinyl pieces once I was sure I got the right sizing and cut. Assume at least 1" seam allowance. I sewed the vinyl leg panels to the upper front on the slant in order to make one big panel. I did the same to the back pieces in the same way. Then I sewed the lining front and back the same way as I did the vinyl pieces *except that on one side seam between a leg and the breast panel I left a small opening about 4-5" in length. Make sure the seam opening is at least 3" inward from the center.

Next I added cut vinyl leather strips to the back vinyl panel. You want a total of eight of these small strips and they will be about 4" in length and narrow enough to fit through the brackets you have purchased (mine were slightly narrower than 1/2"). You will want to take a strip and slip it through the center of the bracket. Mark where you plan to sew your straps on the tunic with masking tape. Fold the piece with the bracket in half and sew down the vinyl strip twice for security to the front area of the tunic. Do this for the rest of the brackets. You will sew two bracket/ strap pieces to each shoulder and then two to each side panel.

On the front vinyl panel you will sew longer vinyl strips that will, once sewn on, fit into the brackets attached to the back panels. You will want a total of eight of these strips as well. They will be the same width as the back bracket strips you up and about 5-7" in length. You can always shorten them once you have tested them so a little longer is always better. You will want to hold the back panel up to the front and mark where you want your vinyl strips to be sewn with masking tape. Sew the strips down at the ends to the vinyl panel twice as you did for the back vinyl panel.

I added the grommets in the correct pattern to both the front and back vinyl panels. You will find it useful to make your grommet areas with small bits of masking tape. It might not have been necessary but just for good measure I added fabric glue to the back of each grommet and allowed the pieces to dry fully.

Then I cut out a TON of foam pieces to fit. I left about 3/4-1" around the side seams to help with sewing later on. I glued them down really well and allowed them to dry for another 24 hours. Check a little while after you have added the foam pieces to make sure you added enough glue. If not, add a little bit more at this point and allow to dry fully.

Now you are going to sew the vinyl and lining for the front panel together. Align the front pieces fabrics facing inward (make sure your brackets are tucked in) and sew all the way around the edges. Use the small opening in the upper slant to turn the piece right side out. Do the same to the back vinyl and lining piece.

Now you are either finished with your battle vest or you need to do one more step. I went with a medium weight fabric for the lining and it had a bit of a stretch to it. I found that it pulled the bottom legs up just a tiny bit so I took the piece outside and placed them on a board with plastic on top. I put gloves on, grabbed my spray glue and cut a hole in a corner of the garbage bag. Then I slipped my spray glue in and down the legs and sprayed the inside so that they would not pull at all. I wasn't sure it would work but it worked just fine. Spray inside anywhere you would like the be flatter and then allow the pieces to dry for a few hours. When fully dry sew the small opening closed with a sewing needle and a piece of black thread and you will be officially finished.

Belt: *You will want a strip of fabric a bit longer than your waist size and the width that will fit well into your belt buckle. Make sure to measure with the riding tunic and battle vest on. Take a belt buckle and sew one end of the belt to the center bar on the buckle. Mark with masking tape where you would like your holes to be and hammer or snip little holes. Tie up the belt as you like it and snip the end.

Body Straps: 1 yard black vinyl. You can use the same material used for the battle vest. I went with a heavier vinyl fabric for this portion, the same material used for the belt
You need two strips of vinyl. I cut mine slightly wider around the bodice and shoulder areas. The ends on the other hand need to be narrow enough to slip through the parachute straps and the metal ring. The pieces start at the center back attached to a metal ring and extend across the bodice and down around the arms and meet either under the arms or a little lower down by the hips depending on what you find comfortable.

Sew the ends  ends toward the back to the metal ring. Then wrap them around in front-holding with masking tape works-and then the ends that fall around the hips need to have one side (The right side!) to each end.

Then you will want two more vinyl strips cut. These will extend from the lower half of the metal ring down by the sides and attach to the parachute snaps already sewn in. Sew the ends of the upper back area to the ring and attach the  correct parachute snap pieces to the ends.

Cut velcro pieces that are a few inches long and glue the velcro to the backside of the vinyl strips that extend from the lower metal ring. This way you can adjust the straps as you like them under the arm/ lower sides as you like them.

Scabbard: 1/4 yard vinyl fabric, 6 yards of black leather twine, 2 sets of Parachute snaps.

I laid the vinyl out flat and laid the sword on top. I left 2" seam allowance and cut out a narrow sleeve. I sewed it together fabrics facing in and then I turned it right side out. I added a few studs to the front and glued them Once dry I made small snips and laced the scabbard up the sides with the leather twine. I sewed w few small vinyl strips to the back and added the parachute snaps. This way you can adjust the scabbard as you like it, on the upper back or at either hip depending on if you are right or left handed.

Sword: I purchased a 41" sword.

I cut the hilt off it and my boyfriend was a sweetie and printed me a 3d wolf hilt. You can find the details @ www.Thingiverse.com. I cleaned it up a bit with a dremmel tool and then I sanded it with a coarse piece of sand paper. I painted it a few times with a white and gold paint, added a little glow in the dark paint to the eyes, and then attached the hilt to the sword. Depending on the sword and finished wolf hilt, you may need to hollow out the center and adding structure to the inside of the hilt. I put this together and tested it and it broke so I did it once more, this time it's as strong as can be so make sure to test it out.

I used a lot of gorrilla glue-the super glue kind, a few thin strips of black vinyl, 3 or so yards of leather twine, and a dowel possibly inside to keep the sword and hilt attached. I added a plastic piece that fit over the sword handle and the hilt and added a lot of glue. A LOT of glue. Let it dry fully. Make sure you allow for proper ventilation when gluing these pieces together. I also added some glow in the dark paint to the blade of the sword. It should show up in the dark but I would test it out by leaving it outside in the sun for a bit a few nights before Halloween. I am adding the rest of the glow in the dark glue with the 'extras pack' in case you want to add more.

Cape: 6.5-7 yards of fabric for the base cape, drawstring for neckline of the cape and for the hood., 1.5 yards of faux fur wolf fabric, 3 yards of fur trim, black fabric for the lining of the wolf fur panel, hook and eyes, sewing needle, thread, 4 buttons, 4-1/8" wide (very slim) x 8" black elastic, 2-1/2" wide x 1.5-2" long elastic set of parachute snaps, and a hook to attach your gauntlets to the inside of the cape, leather twine.

This cape is really great. I made it long so it falls 51" from the center front down to the bottom hem. The sides have faux wolf fur running down the front. It is made from a diamond design on it and the neckline has a drawstring. It also has hook and eyes to close at the center front. It has a hidden hood, nice and big and can be worn with the faux wolf fur or without. The hood has its own drawstring. The faux wolf fur at the neckline is attached at the center front with parachute snaps on the underside. It is also attached via elastic and buttons that latch from the underside of the neckline of the cape to buttons on the underside of the fur piece. The wolf fur has a polymer faux wolf fur hanging off the end with a piece of leather twine. The inside seam on the left side of the cape also has a hook so you can attach the gauntlets when not being worn, or your keys.

Follow the directions that come with your cape pattern. Sew the vertical side seams down. Attach and sew the hook for the gauntlets (*optional). For the faux fur strips that run vertically down the front I found I could sew them onto the cape with my machine but had to hand sew to seal the seams. It depends on how tough your machine is and how thick the fur strips are. Mine had bias tape added and it was still to heavy to run through the machine.

You will want to make the cape and add the drawstring inside. Next make the hood with the drawstring added. Then add the hood to the cape. Sew the hook and eyes to the center front opening of the cape. Add at least one set for closure, more if desired.

Lay your wolf fur fabric out and cut out a big piece that looks like an animal laying flat. Lay out the black lining fabric and cut out a piece the same shape and size only slightly smaller around 1/2" so the edges of the fur piece curl under just a tiny bit. Pin the fur and lining pieces together-fabrics facing in-and sew around the edges leaving only a few inches of an opening so you can slip the piece right side out.

Turn the piece right side out and add buttons to the bottom side of the fur piece. Add the slim elastic strips to the inside of the collar of the cape.

This is a good time to test it out so determine where is best for placement of the parachute snaps. You will want to take the wide elastic pieces and the parachute snap. Slip one piece of the elastic through the right end of the snap and hand sew it to the underside of the fur panel so it lays flat and is hidden from view. Sew the snap into place, making sure you sew both the lining and the fur piece so the fur piece won;t slide later on. DO the same with the other side. Test this area by trying it on. It should lay flat without being able to see the snap at all. Looks good? Sweet, now you're done! At this point I found I needed to tuck and sew the lining up just a tiny bit more so it wasn't visible.

mens leather gloves, velcro, fabric glue, thread, black vinyl, 1/8" wide slim elastic, leather twine.

I purchased a pair of mens black leather gloves in a size xl. I then made wrist guards out of the black vinyl I used for the battle tunic. I cut two pieces of vinyl out for each wrist. Before you sew the front and back of each wrist cuff together you will want to add vinyl strips to the inside of the wrist area on each. Mark the areas where you want your strips sewn with masking tape and then sewing the strips down. You will want to sew the pieces -fabric facing- around the edges, leaving a few inches of an opening so you can turn the piece right side out. Do the same with the other wrist cuff. Then make very small cuts around the edge that will be up toward your elbow and lace the edges with leather twine. Do the same with the other wrist piece.

Glue the extra faux fur left over to the inside of the wrist cuffs with fabric glue, making sure to allow the pieces to dry for 24 hrs. This glue takes a while to glue so depending on how much you use, you may need a solid 48 hrs for it to turn clear.

Make a small incision near the wrist of the gloves and the wrist cuffs and attached the glove to the cuff with a piece of 1/8" wide elastic. Tie together once more with leather twine.

To finish these gauntlets you will want to glue velcro strips to the wrist cuff area to each so the vinyl strips wrap around and hold closed to hold the cuffs closed around the wrist.

You are now completely finished with your Jon Snow Season 6 inspired costume set!

Happy Halloween! I am off to list this costume set on etsy. I only have one but I may find someone that still needs a costume. The size of the costume is a men's large-x-large.

This set can ship out as early as this coming Monday morning and is boxed in two boxes, one with the majority of the costume (sword, scabbard, body straps, belt, gauntlets, riding tunic, battle vest) and then the cape which is in a separate box. This set ships USPS Priority in the US. Any questions let me know! The best way to reach me is usually via etsy.

Lindsay :)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Making a Diamond Dragon Dress: A Khaleesi Inspired Gown...

You needed another Khaleesi inspired gown to get you through Halloween 2017 didn't you? I thought so and I needed to at least attempt to make this gown so we were both in luck. I am officially done, photos and everything!

This was a really big project for me but it was a fun challenge. If you are interested in making your own you will find the details below but for now let us just scroll through some photos of this beauty now that the crafting storm has settled.

All in all I was pretty happy with this gown. It was not easy getting the shoulder blades to rest just so and have the diamond panel in front and back fall well. It all really needs to be pretty close to perfect, though I can't say mine was perfect. I found that the shoulder blades ended up just a little bit different, and that was not my intent, but it was my first one so I'm not going to feel too bad about it. It just ended up that one of the layers of vinyl on one blade got folded into the glue slightly differently than the other shoulder blade. I have not found that they rest on the shoulders weird so they slide or anything but they are ever so slightly different when you look at the costume up close. I did however try and make the photos as large as possible so you should be able to get a close up view of what I'm talking about there.

In the end I added a piece of sheer light pink mesh fabric to the upper portion of the back to hold the blades in place a bit more. If you don't think you need it then you can opt out, it is easy to cut off and it won't be visible. If I were to make this gown again I would swap the material out for a clear bra strap (and you can usually find those at the sewing shops in the sewing notions section).

The bodice is in the right measurements for a size medium however the bodice isn't very pronounced on the sewing doll. Since this dress fit on the sewing doll I held off but I do have elastic thread in a sewing kit to go with this gown in order to cinch up any areas if needed. It won't wreck the design and was my initial plan but since it fit well as is, I left it alone.

I had a difficult time finding the bodice fabric for this costume. I wanted something with a cinched look, something sort of dragon-like. You know what I mean..the..perfect...fabric! In the end I found a cinched gold knit fabric with a black flower print on it. It was pretty horrible I will be honest but on the back side there was a plain white shimmer fabric. I picked up a pack of Dylon in the shade of gun metal and I dyed the fabric before I sewed the bodice pieces. Make sure if you do this you test the dye on the fabric, I watered mine down a lot to get the right shade. When hunting for fabric you may need to get super creative because finding the perfect fabric might not be an option. You can also go with a more basic knit fabric and elastic thread (in the color grey or white-sometimes the elastic thread shows through to the front so it's better to go with an elastic lighter in color for this project). If you go with a flat knit fabric for the bodice you are going to want to go with 3/4 yards of fabric for the bodice and a light colored elastic thread to deck it out scrunchy style. You will also need a  sewing needle to sew the elastic by hand for this section.

The skirt took a lot of time to construct. For starters I could not find a pleated fabric in the right color. In most cases they were sheer fabrics and I really wanted a non-see through fabric. To save yourself time, if you can find a pleated fabric go with it, even if you have to line the skirt with a slip. I added my own pleats and I tried to get them perfect with heavy duty (env. friendly) Niagara Starch. If the fabric you select is pleated and sheer-as in way too sheer-I would sew the slip to the skirt to make one piece, and then sew that skirt + slip piece to the black vinyl areas. Your slip can be an inexpensive rayon skirt slip, something thin and flat that offers a little bit more coverage. This specific dress may or may not need a slip. My intent with  here was to not need a slip but in some lighting I can still ever so slightly see where you may want one. The sides of the skirt are made to be laced up and you will find they lace up 4.5" in length. hen I made this gown I found the hips hung a little too low for this gown. They really should fall horizontally along the belly button line but I decided to leave the hip seams/ lacing area as is for now. I feel like they will need to be altered if someone purchases this gown but I'm not going to alter it not knowing someones hip measurements. If you are interested in purchasing this one, if still available, you will see this same info in the etsy listing stating that with the purchase of the gown comes a final hem for the skirt and if needed, a minor alteration to bring those side seams up slightly. You can tell that it's too low because it's making the front diamond area buckle a bit and when I pinch the sides it tightens perfectly.

Making those beautifully sculpted shoulder blades was not an easy task either. When I originally made the base shoulder straps (that run from the back ring to the front hips) I used my sewing doll to help determine the length. I also cut the straps wider at the shoulder blades. Not too wide, but slightly wider to help balance the layered blades I was going to add later on. Along with the black straps that wrap from back to front, I went with two additional layers of black vinyl for the shoulder blades and one layer of fabric stabilizer. The fabric stabilizer I liked was white. The color doesn't matter, you will be fully wrapping these with the vinyl. I cut those pieces out pretty big and I sewed these down every few inches to hold the blade layers together. Then I sculpted the shoulder blades with layers of fabric glue. I used a plastic mannequin covered in plastic bags, put the dress on the mannequin, wrapped the skirt in plastic so there was no chance of getting glue on it, and then I glued the layers of blades together.

I really needed the shoulders to get the formed shape I wanted so if you do not have a plastic mannequin at your disposal then I would say you really might want to go with a big suit hanger or fashion yourself something out of tin foil or similar to get a rounded shoulder shape. I used a clear fabric glue and a medium sized paint brush. The brush got really gunked up towards the end so go with an inexpensive one because you will most likely throw it out afterwards. I ended up gluing the shoulder blades down once to get everything a bit stiffer, again to make sure everything was folding and wrapping around as best you can, and then once more to seal it all up. I let each of those glue sessions dry for four hours minimum. Once I was satisfied with the shape and wrapping of the fabric around the blades I added more glue along the top, this time not brushing it on but heavily smearing it on. Not too much that it runs, but enough that it starts to pools a little before you even it out with the brush. Then I sprinkled the black beads on, letting them settle into the glue. Allow the beaded blades to really dry out. I would assume at least 24 hours minimum and you can touch it with gloves the next day to see if it is fully dry before you remove it from the mannequin/ hanger.

In the end I was really happy with how the dress turned out. When you see it up close it really does look like sparkling fresh caviar just resting on the blades as though Khaleesi has just walked on out of the Sea... It's pretty cool. I am not sure if I will make more but it was rather nice to set out on this crafting project with the hope of making a decent gown and accomplishing something pretty and pretty close to the original. I am going to list this gown on etsy for $155. With the purchase I will hem the bottom for you to the length you would like and I will also, if needed (and I feel it may be) bring in the sides a bit as they hang just a tiny bit too low. The hips should fall horizontally in line with your belly button. So there is a small range of hip sizes that will allow alteration but I will be willing to do it, especially since Halloween is coming up so soon and I only have one. If I were to make more of this gown in the future I would sell it for about $200+ but I always discount my first one. It's just one of my rules, what can I say?

If you are planning on making your own I would get started right now, there is no time to waste! It also takes a few days for the shoulder blades to dry. There is still time..but you will want to get started sooner than later.

Ok, so here is the materials and detailed 'how-to' part of this post. Any questions let me know!

Materials needed: 

1) light grey rippled/ knit fabric for the bodice-1/2 yard if the fabric is cinched. If you are going with a flat knit then go with 3/4 yard of fabric.
2) black (crackled) vinyl for the bodice and shoulder blades -1.5 yards
3) light beige/ light peach colored fabric for the skirt-3.5 yards or so. If you can find a pre-pressed pleated fabric I would recommend going with that and if you do then you will need 1.5 yards of fabric.

I went with a soft rayon fabric that was flat so I had to iron the pleats myself, which was a bit time consuming and required a lot of starch to hold the ironed pleats
4) heavy duty fabric stabilizer-1/2-3/4 yard should do it. I went with white but covered the blades so well you can't tell.

5) plush black fabric to the underside of the vinyl to cover up any glue from the underside of the blades and made it comfortable to wear-1/2 yard

black, cream (to match the skirt fabric), and grey to match the bodice fabric selected.

All the Extras: I also used clear fabric glue, a 2" metal ring for the center back, very small black beads (and a few opal blue beads mixed in), a light blue glitter fabric paint, scissors, plastic or a few plastic bags to cover the skirt when gluing the blades, masking tape, gloves for painting the blades, paint brushes, tape measure + something to write your measurements down on, sewing machine if you have one, two leather twine strips that are about 15" or so in length (that will be used to lace up the sides), and a hand sewing needle.

I use a sewing machine for almost all of my sewing for this project but it is good to have a sewing needle on hand in case you can't get your machine to sew the shoulder blade layers down together. I found sewing the black crackle vinyl to be challenging on my sewing machine because the crackle vinyl fabric has such a tight weave. I switched out my sewing needle for a micro one, which is basically a leather and micro tech fabric needle and that helped a lot. If you do not have a sewing machine that will really chomp away at fabrics then I would probably go with a regular vinyl fabric as it is easier to sew, but again, using the right sewing needle will make your sewing easier. You may also find widening out your stitches will help the sewing process as well.

Measurements needed: (This is a very important step and you will probably need help for this because it is not easy getting an accurate measurement yourself from the middle of your back around to the front hip. Impossible actually so grab a tape measure and someone you love and enlist their help).

1) measurement from your center back-where you want your metal ring to be placed- up across one shoulder-down the front-and ending at the opposite hip of the shoulder you measured over. If you are measuring over your right shoulder then you will want to measure to your left hip.

2) measurements of your bodice, waist and hips all the way around. Measurements between each of bodice, waist and hip measurements.

3) measurement from where your ring will be placed in back down to each hip. For your natural hip area you should assume that it will be level with your belly button.

4) measurement across from shoulder to shoulder

*There are a few additional measurements that you will need however you need to construct the black vinyl straps before you are able to get those additional measurements. I have marked those areas below in bold to help you along there. It will look like this:  (*Additional measurement needed here).

Making the gown: I started out by creating the black vinyl pieces you see in the front and back. You will want two strips of vinyl that are about 1/2" wider than what you want for your finished, sewn strips. That 1/4" seam allowance will allow you to fold over the raw edges of the strips on each side. I made my straps 1.5" in width to compensate for a 1/4" fold over and also because the strips all had to fit around the metal ring in the back. The pieces will be about 1.5" in width toward the mid region in front but come up wider in the shoulder area and again in the back before they narrow into the ring.

For the length of the strips you will want each strip to be the length from your center back (at the ring) up and around your shoulder and down the front until you reach your opposite hip (the opposite side you measured for your shoulders). You will add 1" in length additional to the end of the strip in front. For the back you will also want to add a bit for the seam allowance however in this case that seam allowance will most likely be slightly longer to compensate for wrapping the end of the strap around the round metal piece and sewing it down. This will be more like 2" instead of 1" added to the front.  Here is a picture that should help you understand what I am talking about. I made mine out of paper first so I could get the shoulder blade area cut correctly and then I cut out two fabric pieces by cutting on the folded vinyl fabric.

For the lower strips that fit into the ring in back, cut two matching strips and sew 1/4" down the sides. Fold the ends around the ring and sew them down. In the front you will want to sew down where the bodice straps meet at the center bodice. Next you will need two strips that are long enough to wrap around the lower half of the back of the gown from the metal ring in back until you reach your hips. Assume about 2" fold over for around the metal ring for the seam allowance and 1" seam allowance at the hips when you cut those strips. As you sewed 1/4" fold over on the edges of the first set of vinyl strips you will do the same to the lower back-to hip-strips as well.

Once you have your main front and back straps sewn at the edges you will want two more strips the same width as the others and the length of about 12-13" each. These will be for the lower half of the front and back mid-section where you want your diamond shape to be. Fold each strip in half and sew a small area on a 45 degree angle and set it in with the upper part of the diamond shape and sew it down. Make sure before you sew any area down that you know for sure that the diamond piece is even and in the right place so it doesn't fall too far above or below the belly button. Placement for this section is everything so take your time. Adjust as needed before you sew any final stitches to this area. Do the same to the back as you did to the front.

At this point you will find connecting the sides with pins or tape helpful..just for a little bit while you're working on the rest of the dress. I had a difficult time getting sewing pins into the fabric for this part and clothing clips/ pins didn't hold enough so I went with masking tape.

Next you're going to want to work on the bodice area in the front with the silver knit fabric. Measure about 2" above your bodice front center where your two leather strips meet to the back ring where the fabric will stop (*Additional measurement needed here). Make sure to measure inward in the front and back so you cut the fabric wide enough so it falls in line with the angle of the vinyl pieces. If you cut the width too short it will be too tight and will pull all wrong. Don't do that.

Take those measurements and add an additional 1" seam allowance horizontally for the top and bottom hem, and 1/2" for the vertical seams in front and back. You will also want a bit of a cinch to the bodice where it meets the vinyl so I added an additional few inches to the length of the fabric bodice pieces to compensate. I folded the top and bottom of the fabric bodice pieces horizontally and sewed them down. Gather the front center of the fabric bodice panels with grey thread and a sewing needle. This has to be done on an angle and carefully or you can ruin it so I would suggest you also sew this area by hand to start and then if you want to reinforce it on the machine afterwards that would be your best bet there.  Pin and sew, or hand sew a few areas to hold the fabric bodice panels in place to the underside of the back vinyl and then fully sew the bodice fabric panels to the bodice vinyl strips. Do the same in the back as well.

Now we are going to move onto the skirt portion of the dress. You can easily get it pulling in different areas if you're not really careful so take your time. I found that pins did not like going into this fabric but laundry clips worked well for this part in the project. They will hold the skirt into place around the black vinyl areas. In order to get the skirt pleats to fit down and around with those black vinyl angles you are going to want to construct the black vinyl pieces first, prepare the skirt (pleats/ slip), and then slip the skirt under and up to the highest part of the diamond vinyl areas. Pin at all of the peaks and sew the skirt to the underside of the black vinyl along the lower stitches

Once you have the skirt attached to the black vinyl areas (add a bit extra for the seam allowance) you are going to want to pin about 4" lower from the hip area and then sew down the side seams from there until you reach the bottom hem of the skirt. Then cut two long pieces of black vinyl strips sewn down on the sides so that they are 1/2" wide when finished and 12-13" in length. Cut these two strips in half. Fold over one end and sew it down. Repeat with one end of the other three pieces.

Place each of the four 1/2" finished strips to the right and left of the opening you left at the top of the side seams and sew each down. Next put in four little holes into each one about 2/3" in spacing. Depending on the fabric you selected, you may or may not need to reinforce the tiny holes with thread and a hand sewing needle. You will then lace up the sides and tie them off. This part is now finished!

It's time to start those lovely shoulder blades. Cut yourself one shoulder blade piece that is about 3-4" longer and wider towards the ends of the blades. Hold it over your base shoulder strap (the one that wraps from back ring to front hip area) to see how it fits. It is going to be bigger and floppier than you like but it's better for it to be bigger because you're going to want to cut it down to size once you start to shape it with the glue. Next you will lay that piece out upside down over black vinyl fabric (facing up) and cut a shoulder blade in the same shape as the first. Next lay one of those pieces over the black vinyl once more and cut one more set of two on a folded piece of fabric (on the fold). Next lay your fabric stabilizer out and cut one blade for each shoulder as you did with the black vinyl blades. Now layer the vinyl blades so that the straps that wrap in front are the base layer and then you have a black vinyl layer that is fabric facing down, then the fabric stabilizer piece, and then two floppy vinyl pieces on top, the lower one pulled out further from the shoulder area and the top one inward more. Sew these pieces down in a few areas so that they stay together.

Now comes the messy part with the glue and such. Above I explained a bit how I sculpted these blades and I have to be honest when I say that I do not know how else you would make these unless you have something to use as a mold. I had a plastic mannequin that I covered in a bunch of plastic bags and masking tape. If you do not have those then I would get myself a box, put some plastic in the inside, and make myself a rounded shoulder shape out of tinfoil. And in order to save on space I would probably make one shoulder blade at a time. Just don't forget to fashion a shoulder blade for each shoulder so they don't end up wonky.

Don't forget to cover your mold in plastic, it helps keep the blades attached to the mold later on. And don't forget to wrap the skirt part of this dress covered in plastic, you do not want to get glue on the skirt. Once you're ready, take your fabric glue and your paint brush and start gluing down the layers, and sort of folding them down and under for the top layers of vinyl and up and inward for the bottom vinyl layer. I glued the top layers into neat little folds and wraps on top, making sure to add glue to the underside of all of the layers so it really stiffened and then once the top was fully dry I glued the underside, it's just a little easier to do the top and then the bottom. Once the blades have had a few glue layers and were a bit shiny and stiff I took the dress off the mannequin and turned it upside down. I took the plush black fabric and laid it inside the blades so it was lining the blades, and cut around the edges so you could not see the lining from the outside. Then I glued down the lining to the inside of the shoulder blade area so it would be soft when being worn.

After finishing the upper lining of the blades I put the piece back onto the mannequin and added the black beads. For awesomeness I added a few very tiny opal blue beads which matched the blue glitter paint but for the most part I used small black beads. And as mentioned above, you're going to want to really lather up the fabric glue so it's pooling a bit but not running. Smear it out a bit with the brush and let it dry. Give it at least 24 hours in which to dry and then put on a pair of gloves and test it. If a few beads come off then you need to add more glue. You'll know how much at this time, you're done a great job so far so I will trust that you can determine at this point how much is too much. Allow it to dry another 24 hours and then you are ready to add an ever so light shimmer of blue glitter paint. I used a light paint brush. If you want you can use a small amount of cloth or something similar but do not use a q-tip or anything that will get globbed up in the glue. Just lightly spread it where you like and allow it to dry for a bit. How long...until it's dry. Give it a few more hours to really really dry out and then you can remove the skirt from the plastic and you are all set. You are finished! Now you're ready for Halloween 2017!

Thank you much for stopping by and checking out my latest Khaleesi project. If you are having a difficult time making your own or have any questions feel free to ask. I pop in and out of the craft room. It does happen so I should see your message. If for some reason I dont message you back you are always welcome to shoot me a message via etsy, and that page is www.Craftzies.Etsy.com.

Have an awesome Halloween and be safe! Have fun AND be safe. Both of those together.... :)

Now I am off to finish a new blog post on how I made a Jon Snow Season 6 inspired costume set. It's finally finished!

Until then, here are a few older Khaleesi inspired blog posts if you are looking for something else to make:

Walking on Air - > http://craftzies.blogspot.com/2012/10/game-of-thrones-costume-remake-making.html

Quarth Gown - > https://craftzies.blogspot.com/2014/09/in-quarth-state-of-mind.html

Dragon Scaled Tunic -& gt; https://craftzies.blogspot.com/2014/09/dreaming-up-dragon-scale-tunic.html

Wild Dothraki Sets -> http://craftzies.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-khal-constructing-wild-dothraki.html


Blue Battle Outfit -> http://craftzies.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-brightest-blue-reconstructing.html

Silver Wedding Gown -> https://craftzies.blogspot.com/2013/12/into-mist-recreating-silver-khaleesi.html

*in the lower part of the Silver Wedding Gown blog post you will also see a few Renaissance inspired gowns including the Khaleesi inspired pink and white gown with the black choker.