WIP: Game Of Thrones Cersei Dress

I'm still sewing! We took a bit of a camping escape over the holiday weekend, and I've been quite busy getting my new photography studio into shape.  Need I mention it's practically high wedding season as well? But I have managed to make some progress on my Cersei Dress. Surprisingly switching to hand sewing has made it go a lot faster. I think it's the option of not being in my sewing room, which I seldom even get the chance to be. 

The sleeves are insane, and I love them. The pattern called for putting a band of the accent fabric along the edges of the sleeve. But since I wear them turned back, I didn't see the need. I might do it in a contrasting fabric eventually though. I need to hem this, and make a shift in the same crossover style. I plan on wearing my 18th century stays under this, as it's very similar to what they wear on the show. The embroidery bit is going to go very slowly, and I'll probably wear it as completed before I even get any on there. But I'd like to take my time with that to make sure it looks decent. The biggest challenge with this dress though is that darn chain maille belt. 

I don't know if I'll attempt the chain, or just do something simpler. I wanted to attempt the front portion out of leather, or maybe craft foam. Any Advice?