Winter is Coming: The Sansa Dress

I recently acquired two queen sized, white cotton flat sheets and thus, this project was born not from the list.  Plus, I wanted to play around with dyeing something and free cotton is the best way to do it.   Suddenly I had to finish it and name it:  The Sansa Dress/Ren Faire Summer dress (because it’s cotton, easy and feels like a garden party dress to me).

It feels so Sansa-like!

It feels so Sansa-like!

Now, I’m a fan of Game of Thrones, both book and tv series and love the costume work in the show because it feels very organic, like it belongs.  The dresses Sansa Stark wears in Westros in particular.  They look beautiful, simple and comfortable and recently have become quite a fan of hers (read the book, watch season two and you’ll see why).  With all this in mind, so begins the journey.

It's actually a very lovely icy blue that doesn't show well on camera.

It’s actually a very lovely icy blue that doesn’t show well on camera.

I bought some light blue dye to get an icy, Winterfell like feel.  I wasn’t going to recreate a particular dress exactly (I don’t have the coloring of the actress who plays Sansa) but the shape and feel of it. Now, honestly, I can’t tell you how much I used to what ratio because like a painter, I just sort of filled up the machine, poured in some dye (I used liquid because the powder, however fabulous it is, is messy and I have cats and am paranoid I’ll dust it everywhere) until it made a pretty color liquid.  Blue is sort of my signature so whatever shade it came out, I was going to be fine with; luckily, it was the ABSOLUTE perfect color.  I imagined it looking exactly like the color it came out and thus, did a happy dance no one in my house understood.

The darts are in!

The darts are in!

Next came the drafting and tailor’s chalk.  I only used a patter for the arm sythe; I’m horrible with them.  So I took a random pattern with a shoulder and a matching sleeve and went from there with a measuring tape and my art skills behind me.  It turned out beautifully measured.  YAY.

I did have to play with the hip inserts and took inspiration from a cap I saw online of the dresses where there can be tiny gathers seen and therefore, I endeavored to play with that…and took the opportunity to insert a pocket.  I hate carrying around a basket or a pouch or a purse and pockets are a good alternative.  I do have an Italian pocket that I usually wear but hey, inserting a pocket isn’t all that difficult.

The ties are on and it's looking more and more like Sansa's

The ties are on and it’s looking more and more like Sansa’s

Lulu, the dress form was paramount in fitting this dress.  I added a few darts to the front and back.  Not enough to super-fit it since I did want this to be comfy and summer-dress-y, but enough to give me a shape, especially in the back.  She also allowed me to mark the tie placements.  So much easier with a dress form!

Look, it's a pocket!

Look, it’s a pocket!

All put together with the sleeves (the only part that is lined) and my trusty green linen, knife pleated skirt to give it some fullness (the dresses on the show look like there are quite a few petticoats), I really like this dress!  I love the color and the feel of it.  It’s loose enough that I can move in it (I have tomboy tendencies at times) but feel dainty and pretty.  Even better: I found my little dragonfly pendant for the dress.

Winter is coming

Winter is coming

Winter is coming!  (actually, it’s already here but pft)

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