I've decided to do a walkthrough of my Arya Stark cosplay! This is part one, in which I'll cover the pants.
part one: research
Step one of any accurate cosplay is doing great research. I've compiled reference images on this Pinterest board. The most important images that I used for the pants were the one embedded above, and these:
"But wait!" you, future Arya cosplayer, cry out in frustration. "That last image is a different outfit! Those are her pants from the Red Keep!" We are both correct, my friend. Over the course of my research, I was noting the vaguely green tinge of Arya's pants in certain scenes, and of course, the angled closure in the front. It wasn't until I was trying to figure out the hems of the pants that I thought maybe the pants were the same, just filthy. Finding the above image of Arya's Red Keep outfit without the overskirt confirmed it — same angled closure. She just unrolls the hems in S2-4. Which is excellent luck, since we never see Arya in S2-4 without her weird strappy jerkin thing, obscuring the waistline of her pants.
So after doing all that research, here's what I ended up with in terms of information:
With the pants fully detailed and mapped out, it's time to move on to construction!
Her pants have a pretty visible texture to them, so I chose to go with a linen (I went to JoAnn's and got the Sew Classic Linen Look Natural Hopsack. It's a very thick, heavy fabric, so you might want to go with something lighter depending on personal preference. It was on sale.)
Of course, that's not the right color, so I also bought Rit dye in dark brown and pearl gray. I later ended up picking up kelly green and gold, but more on that in a moment. I also grabbed some interfacing for the waistband, which I ended up not using because my fabric was thick enough, and some hook and eye closures.
Then I picked up Butterick B5614, or as I like to call it, "super unflattering mom pants pattern." It had just the right awkward narrowing at the calves, and it went to the natural waist, like Arya's.
This part of the process was harrowing for me, since I don't have any experience dyeing things, and also I have no patience. Luckily, my friend Anne is a dyeing expert and wrote up a super helpful blog post about the dyeing process. I suggest you look to her for your technical tips.
The reason I picked up so many dyes is that Arya's pants are just about as neutral-colored as you can get, and dyeing neutrals is notoriously difficult. You'll notice, if you spill some dye powder on your counter and it gets wet (which is obviously not something I would be careless enough to do... *cough*) that grey and brown and black are all made up of every other color put together. It's difficult to strike a good balance. As it stands, the "pearl gray" is actually very blue, and the "dark brown" is pretty solidly purple. That's why I ended up with all these not-quite-right swatches as I spent my first night failing miserably at getting the color I wanted.
What I ultimately ended up going with was about 50% pearl gray, 40% dark brown, 3% kelly green, and 7% gold.
To sew the pants, I followed the pattern almost exactly. Here are the things I changed:
- Narrowed the calves a bit more after trying them on
- Left the front seam open about 4" at the top, hemmed, and added hook-and-eye closures
- Constructed a separate triangular piece to form that front flap
The drawing above and the photo below should better explain how I did the front closure than I could in words.
I made the ties out of the linen, but they're extremely stiff and bulky, so I'm going to replace them with an actual cord when I summon the motivation to got to JoAnn's for the fourth time this week. As you can see in the Red Keep outfit photo above, the flap gapes open when she bends, so it's only secured at the tie.
the final product
Well, not quite the final product, since I have to distress the crap out of them. But structurally, the pants are finished! Here's my final pair. My biggest mistake is that I squared off the bottom of the triangle, like an idiot, and hers comes to a point. So... don't do that.
Are you making an Arya cosplay? Did you come up with way better pants-construction methods than me? Probably. Tell me your successes, problems, and questions in the comments.