Sep 082017

Cersei’s coronation gown

– in Progress –

The fabrics

Tywin Lannister’s jacket uses exactly the same lasered dot/teardrop leather as Cersei’s coronation gown.

…like father, like daughter.

Now – it would be similar to either cut or punch those dots and holes into artificial or real leather. However, I found a similar PU leather with the lasered dot and teardrop pattern on Etsy. Note that this lasered pattern isn’t exactly accurate, it’s just similar.

The original lasered pattern (right) has jagged edges around the dots/teardrops, opposed to the Etsy pattern, which has smooth dots and teardrops.
There’s also some kind of ‘laurel crown’ etching around all dots on the original laser pattern, which isn’t on the Etsy fabric.
Still, it’s a nice starting point.

When creating the dress pattern (read below) and using the proportional method of enlarging it as described on my page how I made Emperor Palpatine’s robe for my father, I ran into the problem that the lasered pattern on the pleather which is offered on Etsy is too small for my own height.
The pattern on Etsy has a repeat (=1 dot, 1 teardrop) of approximately 2x2cm.
However, for my own dress, I needed that pattern to be at 150% of its original size – 3x3cm, to be precise.

So I just asked the seller if it would be possible to laser the pattern larger – and it was. There, problem solved 🙂

I also developed a print pattern for what’s beneath the lasered leather.

This image shows the fabric underneath the lasered leather rather well.

I isolated the cut-out dots and teardrops and developed the pattern of the fabric underneath from there.

Here’s what that pattern would look like if placed beneath the laser-cut leather (right); compared to the original gown (left). Not bad, I think!

I will have that pattern printed on fabric at Spoonflower. Yeah, I know that it’s probably woven and all and must be available somewhere; but even at Spoonflower’s prices I bet the printed version will be cheaper than the original stuff; and it will still look like the original material because so little can be seen of it.


The gown

The gown is front-split down from just below the hip; and there’s a brownish-black skirt made from rather rigid material with an undefinable pattern beneath it (which shows whenever she walks or lifts the split sides of the gown to walk up to the throne during the coronation).
Also, when Cersei is in the map room OR sits on the Iron Throne, there’s no hoop skirt worn under it; but when she’s in the dungeons or walks towards the Iron Throne, there is a hoopskirt beneath the gown.

The dress has some interesting seams. For example, there’s this curved seam on the backside…

Left shows the dress as we see it in the series; right side highlights the seams.

So to create a perfect sewing pattern for the dress, I counted the dots and teardrops; carefully comparing them to dozens of promotional images and screenshots, and while doing so, I drafted the dress sewing pattern in Inkscape.

…like this.

The underarm- and side of the dress was just “guessing”. I’ll probably have to correct the pattern when I make the mockup from cheap cotton fabric (which will then serve as lining).

Here’s the complete pattern I came up with by counting as many dots/teardrops as I possibly could:

…those were a LOT of dots and teardrops to count, believe me.
Center back is on the left side, center front on the right side. Collar is between center front and side front.
Note that this is not a final sewing pattern; particularly the parts that are beneath the arms (on body and sleeves) are still subject to change until I have finished the mockup.

To make that pattern of the original dress fit my own size, I first JUST adjusted the entire pattern to fit my own height at the center front. Which means I adjusted the center front panel. which, on the original gown goes from the base of the neck to the floor, to my own height; and adjusted all other pattern pieces accordingly.
This, by the way, is where I ran into the problem of the lasered Etsy pattern not being to scale for my own height.

Of course my own body size is (very!) different from that of Lena Headley who plays Cersei; but that’s something I will have to adjust on the mockup of the gown, not on the printout of the pattern.


The crown

I decided that the best way to create a replica of the crown would be to have it 3D printed on Shapeways in “strong and flexible” plastic, then to use leaf silver and gold to hide the fact that it’s actually just plastic. Yes, Shapeways prints metal too – but I didn’t want to shell out a four-figure amount for that crown (which would be what it would cost in metal), so I went for plastic instead.
I started by developing a replica of the crown in Blender.

To do so, I first created a photoshopped image which shows the actual wraparound of the crown…

…then used this image to create the crown in Blender. The sides, of which I only have a blurred image, may not be completely accurate; and I also added some “eyelets” at the back of the head to be able to adjust the size on my head once it’s 3D printed; but the front should be accurate.

I then used a “curve” modifier on the finished crown object, and resized it to fit my own head plus wig. You see, I have a rather uncommon problem with Cersei’s hairdo – my hair is way, way too long for it (reaches to my hips). My own hair length would work extremely well for all of Cersei’s hairdos BEFORE the “Walk of Shame” and her hair being cut – but for the short hair, it doesn’t work at all.
Which also means that I will have to hide a (very!) massive amount of hair under a short hair wig. This *will* make my head larger where the crown will be.
That’s why I added eyelets to the back of the crown, to be able to adjust and tie the crown over that wig.

Here’s a rendered (which means – computer-generated…) picture of the crown replica I made in Blender (top), compared to the original crown (bottom). I made several of these rendered comparisons of the object I was creating in Blender, always checking for differences to the original crown – this is the final version.
If it turns out even just HALF as nice when I have it 3D printed and leaf-gilded and silvered, I’ll be a very happy camper 🙂

I have made the model available on Shapeways – as soon as I have my own print of that model, I’ll show how to decorate it with leaf silver and gold to create the metal look from the plastic printout.

Rendered crown (top) compared to the original crown (bottom).


  2 Responses to “Cersei’s Coronation Gown”

Comments (2)
  1. I admire your work! You also pay such close attention to detail, and that always amazes me. Are you a part/have you joined the Game of Thrones Costuming page on Facebook? (If not, I’ll link it down below so you can check it out) – It would be great for others to see this!

    • Thank you!
      I have not yet joined that group, but I probably will as soon as I have more to show than just the planning and my pattern making. Still waiting for my laser-cut fabric; and I have to wait even a bit longer before I can order the printed lining fabric from Spoonflower 😉

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