Dear HBO, Have you considered costume pattern licensing? With a new trailer for season 6, and season 5 out on DVD, here’s a look at
completely official Game of Thrones sewing patterns sewing patterns inspired by Game of Thrones.
Costume designer Michele Clapton won three Emmys for her work on the first five seasons of Game of Thrones. Season 6 will see a new costume designer for the series: April Ferry, who designed the Emmy Award-winning costumes for HBO’s Rome (2005-2007)—which also starred Tobias Menzies, Indira Varma, and Ciarán Hinds. (Read a Costume Designers Guild bio here.)
Update: Michele Clapton returned as costume designer during season 6, winning two more Emmys for “The Winds of Winter” and season 7’s “Beyond the Wall.”
Given the two-way relationship between Game of Thrones’ costume design and fashion, the costumes are interesting even if you don’t watch the show. (Full disclosure: I’ve made more than a few Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire costumes, including S2 Daenerys, book Quaithe, and Lyanna Stark.)
In spring, 2014, McCall’s released patterns for the most popular women’s Game of Thrones costumes, Daenerys Targaryen and Cersei Lannister. Both M6940 and M6941 are available as printable downloads. (I made M6940 for my Lyanna Stark costume; preview here.)
Last month, the company launched a new Cosplay by McCall’s line with three patterns including a unisex Westerosi cloak, M2016, “for those for whom winter can’t come soon enough” (press release here). Their pattern for the cross-fastened cloak worn by the people of Westeros (including Jon Snow, Eddard Stark, and the Stark children at Winterfell) includes an optional fur capelet. There’s also a hooded version similar to Sansa Stark’s hooded cloak:
Simplicity’s Game of Thrones costume patterns emerge in full plumage, but quickly change colours to evade capture.
Andrea Schewe’s Game of Thrones adaptations for Simplicity also started appearing in 2014. Simplicity 1347 combines three Daenerys outfits—wedding dress, Dothraki Khaleesi, and Qarth court dress—with the elf Tauriel from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013). (Now out of print, but see S1010.)
Simplicity 1487 includes court dresses for Cersei Lannister and Sansa Stark. (Now out of print, but see S1009.)
Simplicity 1246 has costumes for Margaery Tyrell and Daenerys, specifically the split dress and cape she wears as leader of the Unsullied. (This version out of print, but see S1008.)
Simplicity 1137 includes two Sansa Stark costumes. Michele Clapton conceived both as showing Sansa’s own handiwork: the dress with flower-embellished neckline from season 1 and ‘Dark Sansa’ from the end of season 4. The necklace refers to Sansa’s needle—“a jewelry idea of [Arya’s sword] Needle.” (See Fashionista’s interview; for more on Game of Thrones’ embroidery see Elizabeth Snead’s article in The Hollywood Reporter and embroiderer Michele Carragher’s website.) Andrea Schewe has posted tips on making the feathered neckpiece. (Still in print with new envelope, S1137.)
Game of Thrones meets Star Wars in Simplicity 8074, a pattern for season 5’s Sand Snakes Obara and Nymeria with Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) (still S8074):
HBO is owned by Time Warner, which has existing pattern licensing for DC Comics. Do you think HBO should license Game of Thrones patterns? I’d be first in line for a King’s Landing halter dress or Varys’ kimono.
Update (June 2018): Game of Thrones and Star Wars meet again in S8718 — season 7 Arya Stark with Rey from Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017):
Update (August 2018): evil queen Cersei and Dragonstone Dany were among Simplicity’s fall costume patterns:
And Burda’s new Renaissance costumes work for characters like Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister. Game of Thrones wedding, anyone?
Update (September 2018): Just in time for Halloween, McCall’s released Game of Thrones season 7 costume patterns for Dany, Arya, and mad queen Cersei. Winter is coming…
Update (spring 2019): Michele Clapton’s book, Game of Thrones: The Costumes, is out in November.
Update (spring 2020): One more Game of Thrones pattern, for Sansa as Queen in the North.
Update (fall 2022): A House of the Dragon pattern? This cape costume includes Targaryen-style dragon and octopus appliqués:
14 thoughts on “Game of Thrones Costume Patterns”
The Alexander McQueen is to die for. Wouldn’t I like to find a similar pattern.
The grey dress with the flowers and the embroidery details is beautiful!
The embroidery on the show is stunning. I’ve updated the post with some more interview / gallery links.
I’ll go take a look!
Sansa’s embroidery is meant to be her own work?! Funny!
She strikes me as lacking in the practical skills, but maybe with those long northern winters even Sansa would get tired of lute playing and cards and romance novels flown in via crow and eventually turn to needlework. Based on nothing but my own speculation. I haven’t read the books, maybe there’s more discussion of her special skills there.
On an unrelated note, a Sand Snakes spin-off show would be really fun.
It’s kind of wild that the pattern envelopes change colors. Like, fooling no one, yet not worth HBO’s time to crack down on.
Ha! Yes, in the show and the books, the Stark girls have needlework lessons with their septa (nun-tutor). Sansa is the teacher’s pet, but Arya sneaks out to watch sword practice—hence her naming her sword Needle. You could say S’s “womanly arts” are framed as more ladylike than practical until she makes herself that daring black outfit.
I suppose we’ll never know whether Simplicity was being preemptive or not.. Andrea Schewe commented that she couldn’t discuss it.
I love this whole line of thinking. The licensed and unlicensed pattern lines fill me with giddy glee; I buy a lot of costume patterns I have no intent of sewing, simply to see how close they flirt with stealing some designer’s work. The licenses for Disney work ebb and flow between the Big4 over the years; now that they own Marvel, those are shifting as well.
I was disappointed that McVogue did not bring their cosplay patterns to SewExpo this year. Hopefully in the future, they will expand past the NYC ComicCon.
I’ve bought all these patterns, simply because they are awesome. I did not understand why they were so quickly re-issued. It is clear I now Must Watch “Game of Thrones.”
Reblogged this on Cosplay Calamity and commented:
I *was* going to write an article about this. But Why re-write something that has already been covered so wonderfully?
I’m new to costuming, but my eventual goal is the dress Margaery wears in 301 at the orphanage. Do you think those pleats were done one by one or in panels?
So, I’d like to go to Boston Comic Con in August as Dany, but I don’t understand this whole thing? Why is it printed on paper? Is it not REAL fabric? I’m a bit confused, but I’d LOVE to wear her Qarth dress and would love any knowledge anyone has! I read the Printable pattern description but I just don’t understand! I’m new to cosplay, so any insight would be great! thanks!!