Note: this tutorial was transported over from the old Wordpress site, which is no longer active.
I read the Hunger Games books about three years ago. I enjoyed them quite a bit; they were a quick read with page-turning intensity. The world Suzanne Collins created captured me, even if her writing style was not quite to my taste.
Then the movies started coming out. It’s a very rare occasion that I enjoy the movie adaptation more than the books, but when it came to the world of Panem, oh boy did the creators of the film do it justice, and then some. I was completely blown away by the acting, cinematography, directions, and of course, the costumes. In particular, Cinna’s extravagant yet tasteful Capitol designs. I love how they were able to blend futuristic fashion with cinematic effects to make each of Katniss’s outfits captivating yet still on the verge of possible.
I was doing a re-watch of Catching Fire about a month before the premiere of Mockingjay, in particular, the Quarter Quell parade scene. and something possessed me and I thought, I could totally make that dress. You know, the one that looks like glowing embers.
Of course, the first part of any project is research. So I loaded up Catching Fire on Netflix, and basically captured a screenshot of every unique angle of the outfit I could find in the 10 minutes that she wears it.
After staring at it long enough, I had a general idea of the shape of the dress: short in the front, long in the back, scrappy scooped neckline in the front that attaches straight up and down in the back. I also noticed the headdress: a tangley mess with textured wires that domed over the top of her head.
Of course, Katniss is wearing a distinctive makeup look with black feathered lids and gold and black liner fanning out around her eyes. Sparkly and fierce.
Next, I sewed the two metallic layers. These two layers are really what give the dress sparks and make it come alive under sunlight!
Then, it was time for the black lace. I used a double layer of it for two reasons: a) it made the lace pattern less repetitive, and b) it wasn’t quite dark enough with one layer of lace. Two was perfect! This next picture is before I snipped the seams.
I also hand-sewed LEDs to the wrong side of the lining of the dress to add that extra “oomph” of being on fire (with the help of the lovely Queen Ally Cosplay!). If I have the time, I’d love to make lights that fade on and off, but for now, the little bitty LEDs work pretty well!
Great! Now all I had to do was the strappy neckline.
I bought an ordinary black headband and some high-gauge (small radius) wire and some black seed beads. I threaded the seed beads on the wire to give the textured look. I also made two circles of craft foam and leftover Regina fabric and hot-glued the beaded wires to it. I also added some feathers and sequins to add texture to the headband. Vwah-lah! Beady head thing!
I immediately got to work destroying them. I used an x-acto knife to cut off the toe and heel parts, as well as separate the sole from the heel.
Makeup & Wig
I followed this makeup tutorial on YouTube, which gave pretty great results. I used a combination of my Maybelline gel liner and Rimmel ScandalEyes liquid black liner, a gold eyeliner that I only used once because it was so crappy, and some Dior lipstick that I’ve had lying around forever. I also sprinkled some black glitter on my eyelids over the gel liner in addition to black eyeshadow to help seal the liner so it wouldn’t rub everywhere.
The wig is from Cool2Day on Amazon as an add-on item for $12 or so. I love this wig; it’s been used in four different cosplays now: Lust, Kyoshi, Zatanna (Sunshine Cosplays borrowed it) and now Katniss! The curls fell out a while ago, so I simply did a twisted bun, heated it, and let it sit and cool to get relaxed waves.
Thanks so much for reading! You can check out more pictures of this cosplay here.
A weird mash-up of physics, math, education, sewing, and stanning Hordrapta