Archive for the ‘Costumes’ Category

Becoming Khaleesi, Part 5: The Event

When my dragons are grown, we will take back what was stolen from me and destroy those who wronged me! We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground!

The night of the SideReel Game of Thrones Season 3 Premier Screening finally arrived!  For those who have been following my earlier posts in the “Becoming Khaleesi” series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4), you’ll recall that this was the big event my costume was for.  Finally I would get to become Khaleesi, and I would have dragons!!

We held the event at the Variety Screening Room, which is an awesome venue.  There’s a lounge, bar, bathrooms, a giant statue of the Kung Fu Panda, a popcorn machine, and 49-seat stadium style auditorium, with full on projection, sound, curtain, the works.  Plus, a portion of the (very reasonable) rental fee goes to the Variety Children’s Charity, so we felt pretty good about renting from them!  I should note that the people running this venue are incredibly nice and helpful.  I so want to have events here again!

My colleague (the crazy one who started the GoT photoshopping silliness that inspired this party) and I arrived at the venue just after the catering did; we delivered the booze, got into costume, and greeted the 30 or so Sidereelers and guests who descended upon the venue, some in costume, some not (boo).  Finally I got to reveal my costume!  Alas, fair readers, you will weep to discover that some of the following pictures are blurry and/or dark.  Womp womp.  But in the close ups you can actually see my purple contact lenses – yay!

The Reveal

The Reveal

Some other details included trading cards of the sigils we all had created using Join the Realm, and a beautiful poster of the sigils, created by our senior visual designer.  Seriously, click on that thumbnail – it’s awesome.  Another of our designers put together an awesome pre-show animation of these sigils, projected on the screen while we drank and ate before the screening.

Welcoming the Audience

Welcoming the Audience

After herding the group into the auditorium and welcoming them to the screening, we watched a few warm up videos:

Then we introduced the rules of the drinking game.  Drink whenever you:

  • See a nipple
  • Hear “Jon Snow”
  • Hear “king” or “queen”

And finally the screening began…  What can we say about “Valar Dohaeris”?  It caught us up with several main characters, but neglected many others.  The GoT universe is vast, and one 55 minute episode can’t begin to cover all of the story lines.  But this post is not really about the episode, is it?  So lets just say there was lots of drinking, shouting at the screen, and general happiness that a beloved series was back on.  And then it was time for the after party…

We literally paraded up and down Market Street in our costumes, with Khaleesi leading the charge, foam sword in hand.  People stopped us to take our picture, or to take pictures with us.  It was amazing.  We walked from 2nd St. to 4th St., then doubled back to New Montgomery to House of Shields.  Sidereelers have a track record of getting thrown out of here, but we went for it anyway – Game of Thrones and House of Sheilds just seemed right together.

Khaleesi Leading the Parade Down Market Street

Khaleesi Leading the Parade Down Market Street

All that’s left to say is that a good time was had by all… especially Khaleesi:

In the wee hours, laughing myself silly

In the wee hours, laughing myself silly

Becoming Khaleesi, Part 4

I am Daenerys Stormborn and I will take what is mine with fire and blood.

Another edition in the Becoming Khaleesi series.  If you haven’t already read Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3, let this be your official spoiler alert!  And before we go any further, it would probably be good to refer back to my original reference image, and this additional reference image.

Dany in the Red Waste

Dany in the Red Waste

The costume is complete.  I won’t post a pic with all the accoutrements in place until the night of the party, but in this post you’ll get a peek at almost all the accessories, and the finished costume top and bottom – on me!

Let’s start with the wig and work our way down, shall we?  I got this wig on Amazon, and it’s pretty awesome, but man it was frizzy.  It definitely needed some product to tame it.  A little of my sons’ detangler, and some of my Frizz-Ease finishing creme, and it’s looking moderately better.  Still way too shiny, but meh.  I think I’ve done all I can do here.

Wig before & after

Wig before & after

Moving on to the gloves.  Dany wore glove/gauntlet things in the original reference image I was working from, but they’re really fashioned from leather straps wound around her hands.  I ordered some brown leather gloves from Amazon, and set about “distressing” them using my hammering technique from the chaps construction.  They got pretty jacked up, in a good way.

Gloves before abuse, and gloves after abuse

Gloves before abuse, and gloves after abuse

Boots.  It was hard to get a good image of Dany’s boots, but meh.  I had a pair of camel boots I wasn’t too fond of.  And the oil stains they had from cooking in them gave me the idea to further distress them by just rubbing oil on them.  Bam!  Instantly thrashed boots!

Oiled boot & un-oiled boot

Oiled boot & un-oiled boot

I also added a crucial underpinning – camel leggings.  Crucial because I finished the inside of the chaps with spray paint, which is not at all comfortable against the skin.  So, without further ado, here is me in the completed top and bottom, leggings, and the boots (prior to distressing).

Top, bottom, leggings, and boots (pre-distressing)

Top, bottom, leggings, and boots (pre-distressing)

So… I’ll put it all together – what you see here, plus wig, gloves, purple contact lenses, and hopefully my penannular brooch – on Friday.  Pics to follow!

Becoming Khaleesi, Part 3

In my previous posts Part 1 and Part 2, I showed you the early phase of my Danaerys Targaryen costume construction.  This weekend major progress was made.  Before I show you the work, I should introduce you to a key player: my trusty hand-me-down Montgomery Ward sewing machine.  This thing has been with me as long as I can remember, and at times has been delightful, and at times has been my nemesis.  In fact, in the course of this project, it has been both.  In its defense though, I should tell you that every time it has freaked out on me, I’ve later realized that the issue was operator error.  If only it could talk to me when I’m screwing it up!

Mom's old Montgomery Ward Sewing Machine

Mom’s old Montgomery Ward Sewing Machine

This weekend I finally got the embellishments to stay on the waistband!  And I finished it off with some hand-stitched hems (because the machine was uncooperative) and hook-and-eye closures.  Check it out!

Embellishments on Waistband

Embellishments on Waistband

Finally, the entire bottom part of the costume is complete!  Drumroll please…

The finished bottom

The finished bottom

Time to refocus on the top.  This thing has been intimidating from the beginning.  As I showed you in Part 1, I did the puckering on the top, but I hadn’t been back to work on it since.  Finally it was time to get going.  Believe it or not, the halter for this top was tons of work.  I had to do a “hem” on each side of two 48″ lengths of the woven fabric, sew together two 36″ lengths of the distressed brown “leather” fabric, sew the three together at one end, and braid them, then sew the other end together too.  The result was a 24″ braid of awesome.

Braided strap for halter

Braided strap for halter

Finally the end is in sight.  Left to do:

  1. Put the halter on the top
  2. Decide whether to put darts on the top or…?
  3. Figure out how the heck to get button holes into that woven fabric without fraying it all to hell
  4. Sew on the buttons
  5. Hem it to an – ahem – appropriate length
  6. Rub some oil or shoe polish or something on my camel boots so they look more beaten up
  7. Fight against my body’s innate resistance to shoving things into my eyeballs, so I can try on the purple contact lenses
  8. Try on the whole ensemble with brown tights and tan leggings; decide which to wear
  9. Pray to the old gods and the new that my pennanular arrives in time to get pinned on – this thing will make or break the costume (in my mind)
  10. Probably some as yet unforeseen and crucial detail that will send me into a tailspin between now and the event
  11. Remember that I don’t need dragons – Khaleesi in the red waste didn’t have them yet (whew!)

Becoming Khaleesi, Part 2

Getting close to our GoT party now.  In an earlier post, I told you about the Khaleesi costume I plan to create for the party.  The other night I cut and frayed the fabric for the “loincloth” panels of the “chaps.”  I’m super happy with how they turned out!

"Loincloth" panels

“Loincloth” panels

The other bit I did was the first attempt at distressing the light colored “leather” for the waistband.  I’m not really happy with how it turned out.  The color I put on it is way too red.  But I could always say it’s blood.  Her waistband does get covered in blood eventually!

Original leather for the waistband; dirty (bloody?) leather for the waistband

Original leather for the waistband; dirty (bloody?) leather for the waistband

Time to get down to the details of my costume components so I can begin final assembly!  First up was distressing the “leather” of my “chaps.”  I’ve been trying to get a good rough edge on this material since I bought it.  If I ever want something to look like distressed leather again, I’ll probably just shell out the money for actual distressed leather.  Initial attempts included slicing the fabric with an open scissor, sanding, and steel wool.  Finally, a friend who knows about this thing called Google, found a leatherworking forum  that was helpful.  Roll up the leather, cut the edge with a saw, then hammer it.  So, out came the tools.

The initial tools: hacksaw, tack hammer, and brick

The initial tools: hacksaw, tack hammer, and brick

The hacksaw alone gave a nice rough edge, but it still needed hammering to make it supple and really rough.  After the brick broke (ha!), I tried hammering against a brick hammer, but that was going to make me deaf.  So I ultimately realized a 15-pound dumbbell would make a good anvil.

The winning tools: 15 lb. dumbell and tack hammer

The winning tools: 15 lb. dumbell and tack hammer

Many swings of the tack hammer later, the edge looked pretty good.

The finished edge

The finished edge

Then it was down to darkening the white backing of the fabric.  It’s an upholstery fabric, so it only has one “leather” side.  Again, the moral of the story is use actual leather if you want to have something that looks like leather!

One more panel to go, then distress the edges of the waistband thingy, pin it all together, fuse the layers, sew a channel for the elastic, feed the elastic through, add the embellishments… Oy.  That’s only the bottom.  Wish me luck!

Becoming Khaleesi

SideReel, where I work, is rather obsessed with HBO’s Game of Thrones.  In fact, one of our crazies photoshopped a bunch of GOT stills with our faces on them.  Mine was the first.  He made me “Laura Stormborn.”

Laura Stormborn

Laura Stormborn

For the uninitiated, Danaerys Stormborn Targaryen is one of the main characters in GOT, and she is an exiled princess (and the rightful heir to the throne of Westeros) who marries a Dothraki Khal named Drogo.

Khal Drogo

Khal Drogo

Spoiler alert: he subsequently dies, their child is stillborn (and a dragon fetus), and the fossilized dragon eggs she received as a wedding gift subsequently hatch into baby dragons after she takes them – and herself – into a funeral pyre, and comes out unscathed.  Thus she becomes known as the mother of dragons.  Anyway, she’s a badass.  And since the photoshop, some folks around here refer to me as Khaleesi, and respond with the Dothraki acknowledgement: “It is known.”

So… the Season 3 premiere of GOT will air on Easter Sunday, March 31.  SideReel will have a party on April 5 to watch the episode.  It is known that some of us will attend in costume, as we are sometimes wont to do around here.  Natch, I’m going as Khaleesi.  So a while back I started researching costumes, and this is the version of Khaleesi I will try to become:

Khaleesi

The reference image for my costume

I’ve done some shopping and here’s what I picked up:

The Danaerys wig

The Danaerys wig, and me making a stoic Khaleesi face

My fabric and notions, pre-distressing

My fabric and notions, pre-distressing

I’ve tested the process I’ll be using to distress the “leather” elements, and it seems like it’ll work.  The pic is not great, but hopefully gives a sense of the effect.

Left, virgin "leather"Right, distressed "leather"

Left, virgin “leather”
Right, distressed “leather”

The other work I’ve done so far is the puckering on the top.

First step on the "shirt"

First step on the “shirt”

I had a revelation the other day, that I own a brown skirt with a fold-over waistband.  This will work for the underlay of my Khaleesi skirt/chaps thing.  Here’s the first test of putting the brown “leather” onto the skirt.  From here the leather will get distressed and shredded on the ends.

The basic skirt/chaps structure

The basic skirt/chaps structure. Note that I will likely opt not to bare my chubby midriff. Why is Khaleesi so petite?!

So that’s it for now.  More work to follow over the next few days.  I’ll do my best to document the rest of the construction, but failing that, I’ll at least post the finished product.

Side note: tonight is HBO’s red carpet premiere of Season 3 in San Francisco, and Sean scored us an invite.  I’m hoping to get some pics of (or with) the 8 cast members who will be there.  Also, the executive producers and George R.R. Martin himself will be there!  Nerds everywhere are jealous.

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