Meredith as Margaery: Complete

Finally, I’m back to tell you that the journey we started in this post was completed *just* in time for Lexington Comic and Toy Con a few weekends ago. Meredith and I were working on it until all hours the week leading up to the Con, and we succeeded!

The original gown, designed for Game of Thrones by Michele Clapton.

When we last left off, the pattern was made (by both draping and drafting), and the mockup fitted, but there was, as yet, no gown! We quickly remedied that. To save time, I put together the bodice and bodice lining, Hannah W. put together the skirt and skirt lining, then we put them together on a big Saturday sewing day.

In order to get the kind of weighty drape that this dress needs, we did both the dress and the lining out of cotton sateen, which makes it very heavy. Here are Hannah W. and Meredith holding everything steady while I sew the lining to the fabric.

Despite the weight, we did get it all put together that afternoon:


In addition to putting the dress together, we also got the hem and the armhole edges pinned in place and ready for stitching that day.


I did the stitching in the evening:


Meredith and I had hoped to get a lot of the embellishment done the next Saturday, but we were hampered by having miscalculated how much cord/vines we would need. The vines are made of silver vinyl cord, which we dry-brushed with black acrylic paint to give them a bit of tarnish.


Meredith also got a pile of roses made and put onto the train. We dyed a few handfuls of the roses in diluted black ink to get the color variation.



On our next big work day, we started to give the fabric a bit of it’s fuzzy texture with wire brushes. We were able to make it a bit fuzzier, but had to move on to other, more noticeable things if it was going to be wearable in time!


Meredith went back to train embellishment, and I put on the rest of the cord before moving on to the clumps of roses and leaves on the front waist.

Here’s the front of the original gown.

I started with the roses, which are different from the ones on the train because they need to lay flat and be seen from the front, rather than from the side. The roses on the train are made by coiling up strips of fabric to form a spiral. To make the ones for the front, I had to fold the strip as I went to create a more complex rose shape.


I used some velvety millinery leaves, cut down to the right size and shape to make the rest of the piece.



The cords at the bottom haven’t been dry-brushed with the black yet. You can see what a difference it makes.
In the meantime, we discovered that all those flowers make the train so stiff that it can stand up on its own.
With the bulk of the flowers on the train, Meredith was able to turn her attention to the cascade of vines and smaller roses that flows down the back of the skirt.


And I began preparing the dozens of little felt leaves that, along with thorns and more small flowers, will adorn the bodice.
Here are the first few bits of vine with their leaves and thorns. I ended up removing one thorn from each and re-spacing them since they seemed very squished together. Natalie Dormer, who plays Margaery, is a few inches taller than Meredith, and I decided it was more important to preserve the proportions than the have the exact number of thorns.
Making progress!
Here is the bodice front with its full complement of felt leaves, millinery leaves, small thorns, large thorns, fabric roses and teeny felt flowers with bead centers. It wasn’t until the next night that I thinned out the thorns.

We called it quits for the night at this point, and started again the next day. My first task that day was to make the large flower that hangs where all the dangling vines in front converge. It is made of a combination of felt, beads, and scraps of the millinery leaves that had been cut apart.



With it in place, I could embellish the rest of the hanging vines around it. Their decoration includes large thorns, felt leaves and small silver, gold, and green glass beads.


The train just needs some felt leaves and vines running through it.

After all the practice, I made short work of adding small thorns, large thorns, beads, and more leaves to the back of the dress.


Painting the embellishment was the final big step. We did this for two reasons: some things, like the large thorns and the millinery leaves, needed to get toned to match the color palette of the rest of the dress. Others, like the felt leaves, we painted to have more detail and depth.



We did get it done just in time! I actually didn’t even have a chance to take the final photos until after Lexington Comic and Toy Con, so I apologize if there are a few wrinkles!


All told, I think we did four really big days on the embellishment, watched six Harry Potter movies, Tangled, Hogfather, How to Train Your Dragon, Waitress, and The Princess Bride. The dress, true to the spirit of Game of Thrones, has both blood and red wine stains hiding under all the flowers.

I’ll be back next week with new historical pretties!


Edit: Here are the stunning photos taken at our Game of Thrones shoot with Ben Marcum Photography. He is the most amazing. Wig by Custom Wig Company.


Join us!

Hello! Between Lexington Comic and Toy Convention last weekend, and Kalamazoo Living History Fair this weekend, I haven’t had much time for writing. Rest assured, you’ll get a full account of the finished Margaery Purple Wedding gown (and my current 1841 gown project) in the upcoming weeks!

In the meantime, I’m going to drop a quick plug for something I care about a lot: the Locust Grove First-Person Interpreter Corps. We will be holding auditions for new members on Tuesday, April 5th at 6:30 pm!

The Interpreter Corps is an all-volunteer group who work to bring the Croghan family and other Louisvillians to life for Locust Grove’s visitors. The interpretation is set in the year 1816, and we get to discuss many points not only of the family’s personal history, but also local Louisville and Kentucky history as well.

Joss teaches hoop
Jocelyn Hiner as Eloise Bulleit teaches a visiting group a period game. Photo by Fox and Rose Photography.
The Interpreter Corps doesn’t work from a set script, but are part of a constantly evolving improv based on our ever-growing knowledge about life in 1816, and about Louisville’s history in particular. Every interpreter brings a unique set of skills and interests to the group, whether it be playing an instrument, knitting, embroidery, or the ability to spin a good yarn. We are all constantly learning from one another as our research grows and our interpretations develop.

dancing by Stephanie Corbett.jpg
L to R: Me as Elizabeth Lee Taylor, Tammy Burke as Sarah Taylor, Cheryl Adkisson as Sarah Anderson, Sara Ritchie as Mary Ann Cosby, and Kelly Stevenson as Diana Bulleit. Photo by Stephanie Corbett
If the idea of acting, teaching, and learning new skills hasn’t already convinced you, I haven’t even gotten to the best part about being part of the Interpreter Corps: the corps. This is an absolutely wonderful group of people who are an absolute joy to spend time with, whether it be playing games with your LG family:

Charles and William at chess.jpg
Noah Hiner and Sam Loomis as Charles and William Croghan. Photo by Fox and Rose Photography.
Or gossiping with your new friends (only about the scandals of 1816 of course!) (And there’s the fabulous clothes):

Mia and Tammy
Tammy Burke as Sarah Taylor and Mia Seitz as Lucy Croghan. Photo by Fox and Rose Photography.
If any of all of these things sound like fun to you, please join us at Locust Grove on April 5th at 6:30 PM. Auditions will consist of a monologue and dialogue (sent out ahead of time), and some improvisational activities. For more information or to schedule an audition slot, please email .

I hope to see you at Locust Grove in the future!