So like many of you I am obsessed with Game of Thrones, and impatiently wait for the new season. My favorite character is Catelyn Stark. She has elegance, beauty and strength. She is the ideal archetype of a mother; fierce, beautiful, protective, strong and honorable. So I decided last Halloween to dress-up as Catelyn. When I was pulling together research for inspiration, it seems that because Catelyn Stark came from the Riverlands, she wears a lot of earth colors and blues. Her claim to fame is often a robe with large bell sleeves complete with fur trim, which makes sense as she lives in Winterfell where it's very cold.
Now getting fabric for all the layers of her outfit would've been outrageously expensive. So I started my quest at the thrift shop first. Low and behold I found an A-line silk wedding dress, that I felt I could alter quickly to be the main bottom dress of my outfit. It cost $10! So the first step was to was to get this dress altered, then dyed in a blue-color similar to the palettes that Catelyn usually wears. To alter the dress I had to get rid of all the buttons down the back. I also had to get rid of the bustle in the back with a giant bow, then sew the holes shut that it left behind. I then washed it in the hand wash cycle, then dyed it RIT blue dye using vinegar in the gentle cycle according to package directions, keeping in mind the delicate nature of the silk.
Next I decided rather than dealing with the zipper, I created grommet covered holes down the back where I could thread some ribbon and allow the dress to fit me perfectly without much alteration. Doing a criss-cross lace up the back is also very much in line with period clothing of that time.
Once the main dress was ready I had to start working on her coat. This is Catelyn's main feature costume-wise. There was no way around this one, I was going to have to sew this. So I got a pattern from McCall's (http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m4491-products-414.php?page_id=991), and bought fabric in a soft earthtone color with fur trim for the sleeves. I altered the pattern to be open in the front as a coat versus a dress.
Next I went online and found a House of Stark pin that I could cinch the coat together around my waist. This not only saved me time to have to sew buttons or hooks, but it also told people (or at least gave a hint to people) on who I was pretending to be.
The other claim to fame to Catelyn Stark's look is her long, luxurious hair. I do have long hair, but not as long and as pretty as Catelyn's. I quickly shopped on Amazon for a long auburn hair extension and wove that into my own hair then braided it the way she typically wears it on the show.
The last piece of the puzzle was a gauzy cream undergarment/blouse that she wears under everything. It's usually a peasant top that cinches closed along the neckline. Had I had time I could have altered a thrift shop find of a gauzy vintage cream blouse, or even sewed one. However I did run out of time, as I had to sew my own daughter's costume as well! I happened to have a cream peasant top in a light cotton fabric that cinched along the neckline, So I used that underneath and it worked out fine. I think if you ran to the thrift shop and found a vintage/retro peasant or poet style blouse, you could probably alter it and use it under everything and it would work out just fine. Like something like this, but in cream?
So all in all it was successful. I got a lot of compliments and I may just be Catelyn Stark again this Halloween, however I know if you guys watched The Red Wedding, Catelyn Startk isn't always going to be looking so nice. But I prefer to remember her in this way.
Hope you enjoy prepping for Halloween this year!