Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The North Remembers - House Stark Sigil Dress (Game of Thrones)

So, my husband's grandmother heard that I like sewing, so she gave me scrap pieces of fabric she had lying around. Or more like I got permission to rummage through her fabric cupboard and take whatever I wanted. She also told me that she has more fabric stashed away in the attic and I am welcome to rummage through that stash as well - suddenly visiting relatives doesn't seem so bad, now does it? :D

Anyways - New Year's Eve is here! So naturally I had to make something to wear (as if my closet wasn't already full of clothes...) My Lord of the Rings dress got such a positive response that I thought I could reach into the depths of my favorite fandoms once more and get some inspiration. And inspiration I got, oh yes. And I had just the fabric for this purpose, too. Something cold and blue, like the North...

It's one of the pieces that I snatched from my grandma-in-law's cupboard:

It's a nice blue/turquoise print fabric, and the only bad thing about it was that the piece was so small that I had to get creative, hence the other fabric lying on top of the print fabric. See, no matter how I measured and twisted the fabric, I couldn't get a long-enough half-circle skirt out of it and still have enough fabric for the top. So I cut a too short half-circle skirt and added a strip of fabric on the bottom to get enough length.

First, I found the sigil I wanted to use. I used this stencil from Free Stencil Gallery:

I put on a shirt with a high neckline to see the placement and measure the size of the sigil on the dress:

I cut out the half-circle skirt and the top pieces (plus linings for the top):

Then I attempted to make a cutout of the sigil on the front by drawing the sigil on the wrong side of the fabric, then placing the lining and the print fabric right sides together and sewing over the drawn line. I then cut out the middle part and pulled the lining through the hole, so the right side of the print was visible... then I tried to push and pull the sharp corners of the cutout in place. I tugged and shoved and cried and cursed - to no avail. The sigil as a cutout was a failure since the cutout image was too detailed and hence impossible to recreate on fabric in the way I attempted.

Above is the sigil sewn through the fabric and the lining, before I cut out the middle and tried to assemble the cutout image.

So I nearly gave up. I tossed the (now torn) top front in the trash, then dug it out of the trashcan a minute later because I realized I didn't have enough fabric for another top front. So I cut slivers of the print fabric and sewed them together to create another top front.

Then I set out to try another way of creating a cutout of the Stark sigil.

I lined the top pieces as I normally do (right sides together, leaving a gap at the bottom and pulling the whole thing inside out to reveal the right side) and then pinned the (slightly crumpled) sigil paper on the fabric:

As you can see it's on the right side of the fabric, and the lining is on the back. Then I simply sewed around the paper, through both the lining and the print fabric. It took ages, but finally I was able to remove the paper and reveal the sewed line on the fabric.

Then I cut the fabric in the middle out as close to the thread as I could, added fabric glue to prevent the edges from fraying and painted over with black fabric to cover up the edges of the fabric. If you have Fray Check or something else like that, it's probably better for this purpose than textile glue. I only had the glue and at the time it was so late I couldn't go buy anything else :D

So then I sewed the shoulder and side seams together to complete the top, top-stitched the armholes and the neckline, added a strip of gray fabric at the bottom to avoid flashing everyone, attached the top and bottom parts, hemmed the skirt and added a zipper. The usual stuff.

...And it was done. After seven or so hours of labor, it was finally done. (And I realized I had forgotten to eat, so I made dinner around 10 PM. Go me.)

This morning I realized I needed pockets, so I added them:

I cut out crest-shaped pieces, two of the print fabric and two of the lining. I sewed the pieces together, right side to right side, leaving a small gap. I then turned the pockets inside out, ironed them and top-stitched over the sides, closing the small gap. Then I simply attached them to the skirt of my dress and now I can have my cell phone in my pocket tonight in case I want to take pictures of the NYE festivities.

Rocking the new look:

I'm really loving how this dress turned out, even though it was a struggle at first with the cutout direwolf. Now I just wish I had an actual direwolf to go with this outfit ;)

So, what do you think of my Stark sigil dress? :)


Have a geek-tastic New Year's Eve, and remember to dress warmly because Winter is coming.



  1. I always go for simple cutouts, but maybe it's time to upgrade XD

    1. Definitely! Stark direwolf cutouts > simple cutouts ;)