I've finally started the embroidery (other than the birds) on the Cersei gown!
First I printed out photos that had good shots of the 5 embroideries: center back, right breast, right lower sleeve, left upper arm and left lower sleeve.
I traced around one of my existing birds and sketched out the major swirls. Then I used a light box to retrace it more cleanly in sharpie. And ended up with a drawing like this for each section:
I held each motif up to the pinned together dress to make sure the scale was right. Then I put a piece of transfer paper under the design and traced the drawing onto the fabric. I redrew a few fainter lines then hooped my fabric.
The swirls seem to be of 3 types to me - a metallic embroidery running stitch, a running stitch with seed beads, swirls of seed beads and Italian mesh couched with a herringbone stitch with seed beads on top. I started with some of the easier bits and worked my way up to the herringbone stitch.
One thing I like about this is I can add more later to make it even richer but I don't really have to. And while I want to stay with the basic shapes and placement of the swirls I can be a little free in exactly where I place things.
Here's a photo from early on with one of the birds placed on top :
and here's what I've gotten done so far: (Please ignore the post-hoop wrinkles!)