Oberyn's coat

Posted by Ellinor Orton on August 26, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Another Game of Thrones based costume, though this time not an exact replica. I was asked to make a costume for live roleplay, based off the sunburst coat but with embroidered spirals instead of the suns.

There were plenty of pictures of the coat, which let me see that it comes to slightly below the knee and is worn over a tunic and held shut with a belt (neither of which were included in this project). The front crosses over low down, meeting a little above waist level, and the line of the edge continues without changing angle. There are sunbursts in two sizes on the coat, located on the front, the sleeve head and the cuff. I replaced those with spirals. On the original the larger suns have beads or studs at their centres.

There are plenty of pictures of this outfit which show the basic shape and length


There was no way I could find a fabric with the same sort of almost-paisley design on it, so I went with a plain fabric. Initially I had thought to make the tunic out of a silk dupion, but after looking at more detailed pictures it’s clearly something less shiny and smooth and more like a linen or cotton. You can see in some pictures where the fabric has been rubbed and fine filaments are showing up in the light. In the end I went with an imitation linen in two colours for the robe and trim, and lined the tunic in a deep burnt orange cotton. This was washable (essential for costume used at live roleplay events outside!) and gave the look and texture I was after. I used the smoother side of the linen for the main part of the coat and the rougher side where the weave was more apparent for the trim. The spirals are embroidered in a burnt orange of a similar shade to the lining.



The coat initially looks like a very simple pattern. I thought it might be a three-or possibly four-piece pattern, but finding a large and high-definition picture of it made me rethink this. There’s an insert in the side of the front panels. It’s hard to see and I can’t work out why it’s there. I think it is a separate panel but I suppose it’s possible that it extends from the back panel. I can’t work out why that might make sense either, though. Anyway, it’s there. On the picture below I’ve highlighted what I’ve identified as seam lines, with the unedited version for comparison.

Part of the reason it’s hard to spot is that the print of the fabric is nearly exactly matched to the insert, which I got when I cut a rough version out of some patterned fabric and cut the insert pretty much butted up to the panel it would be attached to. Of course, this could be because the fabric is printed after stitching/cutting (as I suggested was the case with the Varys robe).

So, the front is two panels for each side, one small one inserted into a larger long one. Reference of the back was harder to find, probably because mostly people don’t bother filming or photographing actors walking away from camera. Shots were mostly fuzzy or quite small.

The back seems to be three panels, with three visible pleats but no noticeable riding split. There’s no sign of any split at the back in any pictures, so I didn’t include one. The back does seem to be panelled as the centre part is wrinkling differently to the upper parts (around the shoulder blades). I cut the back as three panels, with pleats set into the skirt at the waist. There are also pleats at the side seams as the skirt seems to be quite full.



The back of the coat. The fabric seems to pull differently in the centre back, suggesting panels for a closer fit.

The sleeves are long and fitted, and they seem to have a very slight flare at the wrist where it comes down over the hand, coming in tight at the wrist and then mirroring the line of the hand. The seam is also in a strange place; further forward than is normal in a one-part sleeve where you would expect the seam of the arm to meet the side seam of the coat body. This gave me a strangely shaped arm pattern.


Front and back outline diagram of the robe I made

Front of the robe, showing the embroidered spirals

Side of the robe, showing the insert panels at the side front

Back of the robe, showing the pleats


This is a popular design so it’s likely I’ll make it again. Looking at more pictures, I may need to revise the hemline as it seems possibly that the front should not be cut straight but should come down to points at the open edges.

Possible revision to the front

In addition, and as a result a more dramatic pattern revision, the back may be constructed differently, with a separate back skirt panel, at least at the centre. I suspect that the entire back is in fact three panels above the waist, with no centre seam, and two panels below the waist with the pleats set in.

If this is the case, the insert panels at the front side might be the edges of either the centre back panel, as pictured below. Alternatively, the “shoulder” panels in the upper back might come down below the armscye, in which case it could be the front of those that you see showing around the front. Either of these scenarios make more sense than the front insert panel being just for show. On reconsideration I’m leaning towards the second scenario as the belt at the front sits quite a way below the front panel, but at the back the belt must cover any horizontal seam that there might be, so that seam would need to be lower than the front.



Two versions of the revised back. I personally consider the second option to be more likely for the reasons discussed above.

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