I had been watching GoT since season 1, and read all the books soon after. The character Sansa Stark/Lannister has been a constant inspiration. I think her resilience and ability to cope with the plight life has thrown her is admirable. She is not the most outwardly strong character, nor is she most pretty; however, her quiet resiliency is what will keep her strong. Being in a POV character in the book lets us see through her eyes of the worlds crudity, and the actress (Sophia Turner) really completes the image for me. In Season 3/book 3, Sansa, almost materializing marriage to the handsome Loras, and was forced to marry Tyrion. In her mind, all she ever wanted is to marry a gallant knight. In the TV show, her wedding gown was full of meaningful details (THANK YOU Costume Designers and Master Embroiderers!). In a full gown with luminous gold fabric, she has her arms exposed with just two small piece of hip armor to accentuate her womanhood and vulnerable nature. The scrolling pattern on the armor is the same as the ones on Cersei’s corset. Amidst all the design elements, the neck wrap is the piece that tells the story of her life. It starts at the lower center back, we see the Sansa’s origins with the union of Stark wolves and Tully fish. As the story moves forward, her arrival with at the kings landing and the elements of the Lannister lion slowly takes over. And at the highest center back neck wrap, we see the Lannister lion takes center stage and totally controlling her. Classical symbolism of a balanced pomegranate, flowers and water, and the background filled with gold beads are all present.
For my construction, I made a fish tail petticoat ( longer at the back side, but nearly flat at the front) with stiff crinoline. I made this before I started draping to make sure I can my dress accompanies the exact fullness. In the end I am glad I did this, because the fabric was becoming scarce. I had purchase 10 yards of 60” wide upholstery fabric, and used up 90% of it. To start, I used hem tapes to outline the general shape of the top, noting the pleats at the side. I used flat pattern techniques to make the neck wrap. For the neck wrap, I took extreme care to make multiple revisions until the shape is correct for it to blossom around my neck. I also enlarged some screen captures to full size so that I can draft the embroidery lay out better.
This is the base pattern for the neck wrap, if you want to reference it. :) the grid board on the back gives you a sense of scale if you want to duplicate your own. Left side is the center back, then side back, and Right piece is the front wrap. The curved Center back seam allow it to fit closely to the neck, and blossoms out, framing the head.
This fabric sew like a dream and I found a shimmery gold taffeta lining to go with the look. I also match the fabric pattern at all the center back seams, so the exquisite floral brocade was kept in tack!
For the Embroidery details, I used a ton of findings such as French wires, garnet gemstone beads, gold beads, seed beads and Swarovski crystals. Also gold lace trims, gold/black/silver/red embroidery floss, braded robes etc. I also stitched out digitized appliqués to capture the spirits of the GoT house sigils. (You can now purchase these appliques on my etsy site! https://www.etsy.com/listing/182103709/game-of-thrones-stark-tully-lannister)
If you are interested in knowing my embroidery process, here it is. 1) roughly place the major components on the fabric base first. For the back panel, it would be the wolf and fish appliques.
2) Use fine gold braided lace trims, I outline the secondary compoents. That would be the vines, flowers and pomegranates. 3) add beads and embellishments, to fill in the shapes, and attach major components. 4) add thicker golden robes and laces to outline and stablize the design. 5) lastly (not shown, is to add all over gold beads.
For the wig, I used a wig from Epic Cosplay. It was extremely full with lots of hair. I used 5 hair rollers, and with Hillary’s and this Youtube video to accomplish the hair rolls. I then braided the individual hairs braids and stitched the whole wig set up together. It is worth to note, that I used a large amethyst stone in the middle of the hair adornment, (as a homage to the book’s plots)
The night before ECCC, I lay out the whole set up and totally ready to go!
At ECCC, I had so much fun hanging out with my GoT group of 14 people, and won the best group catalogry in the competition! Below photos are taken by many awesome photographers and thank you all!!