I’m finally getting back into cosplay. I took a hiatus after GenCon, but I’m back in action, trying to finish this next project for C2E2 in April. As the title suggests, I’m making Cersei’s coronation gown from season six of “Game of Thrones.” I love this dress so much. It tells me everything I need to know about Cersei’s state of mind with just a glance, and that’s exactly what great design does. So this cosplay is my love letter to the amazing costume design.
Anyway, the first step was making an underskirt. The dress only hooks closed from the neck to the waist, leaving the bottom of the skirt open. In some shots, it splits apart, giving us a peak of the underskirt. I wanted to use a fabric that had some texture but wouldn’t distract from the dress. So, I went with a thick black fabric that had a velvety design on it. My camera had a difficult time picking up the print, so sorry for the lack of detail.
Additionally, the underskirt is a necessary part of this costume because it hides the petticoat. The dress has a bit of a bell shape, which I can’t achieve without foundational garments.
I used a pattern I already (Simplicity 5006) had to make this skirt – it’s the same one I used for an older project. A simple a-line, this pattern was just billowy enough to fit over the petticoat without being too voluminous.
I cut the front piece out of my fashion fabric and cut the rest out of a light black cotton. This way, I saved money and reduced the weight of the skirt – you’ll only ever see the front panel anyhow. The pattern was a little wider than the fabric, so I had to sew on the corners out of pieces I cut separately, but I think it still looks OK.
For the waistband, I just cut out two curved strips. I also added button plackets to the pattern, cut out of the fashion fabric.
Putting it Together
The first step was creating the basic shape of the skirt. I sewed the front panel corners onto the front panel, then attached the side backs, leaving the center back seam open. Next, I put the skirt on and marked how far down the center back needed to remain open to fit over my hips. I made a mark, then sewed the center back up to that point.
The Plackets and Waistband
I attached one placket to each side of the center back seam left open. One would be the bottom where I sewed on the buttons and the other acted as a facing where I added the button holes. So for that second one, after attaching it, I folded it over and sewed it along the waist.
With both plackets in place, I could move onto the waistband. First, I sewed the top of each piece, right sides together. Then I ironed the seam, flipped it right-side out and top stitched on the back side. Next, I sewed the waistband to the skirt. I only stitched one side of the waistband, leaving the other free. I also used my serger to finish the edge of the waistband.
To keep the free-floating side of the band in place, I topstitched it down right along the waist seam.
I serged the edge of my hem, then folded it over once and ironed it, using my nifty hem ruler/guide. Then, I stitched it down with a straight stitch.
The buttons are my favorite part of this whole skirt because they’re lionheads. I found them on Etsy and thought they’d be a nice touch tying the skirt in with the rest of the dress. (For those who don’t watch “Game of Thrones,” the lion is the sigil for house Lannister, Cersei’s family.)
I made the holes using the setting on my sewing machine, then added the buttons by hand.
The Finished Skirt
The skirt ended up being a little big on me. It was hard to tell before adding the waistband and back seam just how wide it was, so now it’s got some room. Taking it in is possible, but kind of a pain. I’m going to leave it for now and see how it looks underneath the dress – the thick material might hide the extra bulk. Plus, it’s not falling off or anything. If it looks goofy under the dress, then I’ll take it in.
Aside from the fit error, I like this skirt. I think the pattern is subtle but still opulent, and those lion buttons are a lot of fun. Most importantly, when worn over my petticoat (which I already had), it has the volume and shape I wanted.