I Made A Costume!

Another Dragon Con has come and gone. This year’s guests were incredible. Cary Elwes is as dashing as you’d expect. Ralph Macchio still doesn’t look a day over 16. C. Thomas Howell and Karl Urban had me rolling with laughter. Peter Weller brought the highbrow. And the Hobbit panel with Adam Brown, Jed Brophy, Billy Boyd and Craig Parker was simply phenomenal.

This year the fam decided to join in the cosplay fun, but with our own little twist – we brought a toga party to the con. We decided to represent different pop-culture/sci-fi/literary genres while donning a bed sheet in a crowd that probably topped out at over 60,000 during the Labor Day weekend.

From left to right: Doctor Who, A Ninja (but you probably can't see him), Elle Driver from Kill Bill, A Steampunk Lass, Darth Vader, Wonder Woman, and Effie Trinket from the Hunger Games.

From left to right The Toga Revolution: Doctor Who, A Ninja (but you probably can’t see him), Elle Driver from Kill Bill, A Steampunk Lass, Darth Vader, Wonder Woman, and Effie Trinket from the Hunger Games.

I’m always so fascinated by the creativity and techniques used to put the costumes together. Because I am always wondering what they used and how they did it, and because though I went to art school, I am the least “crafty” person on Earth, I thought I’d walk you through how I made my costume this year.

So I was Effie Trinket from the Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

IMAGES: Cathay-Keris Films

IMAGES: Cathay-Keris Films

I began with the hat. I had collected these craft butterflies from Jo-Ann’s, Hobby Lobby and an online craft store for the extra-large butterflies. They already had wire on them, so I grabbed a piece of Styrofoam from the Dollar Tree to keep them in place.

Craft butterflies

Extra-large craft butterflies.

Their wires were a little flimsy and you can’t paint this sort of Styrofoam easily, so I used black artist tape. I wrapped the foam with two layers.

Styrofoam from Dollar Tree and black artist tape.

Styrofoam from Dollar Tree and black artist tape.

Then I poked the teensiest holes to insert the wire. The tape was thick enough to keep the wire in place. Then I hot-glued a hair clip underneath the foam so I would be able to attach the hat to my wig.

I had a Marilyn Monroe wig that I trimmed a bit to look a little more like Effie’s. I also sponge painted a pair of black lace gloves with ochre acrylic paint, and then I sprinkled some gold glitter on at the end so the gloves would glisten in the light.

Sponge painting my gloves.

Sponge painting my gloves.

For my collar, I used a piece of black fabric and had my mom actually teach me how to use her sewing machine so the edges would be clean. I used Velcro as the fastener. I hot glued the butterflies onto the choker and onto each other.

I didn’t want to spend the money on Effie’s paper eyelashes, so I used some Halloween stylized lashes from the drug store and cut them for my left lower lash and applied a full one to the upper right lash. I used the eyelash glue to attach the butterfly above my eye and to my body. I used Velcro again to secure extra butterflies to my belt and toga.

Ta-da!!! Done.

The finished look.

The finished look. I did get my hat on the wrong side, but overall I thought it was a nice little nod to the film.

As we were roaming around we ran into these other two Effie’s. Amazing!!! The girl on the left made her butterflies by hand out of orange poster board and Sharpie!!!

Two other handmade Effies.

Two other handmade Effies.

So now I’ve written my first (and likely only) how-to blog post.  If you have any questions about any of our costumes, please send them my way! For instance, I was pretty proud of how we used drink koozies for Wonder Woman’s cuffs.

And if you were at the con, please share some of your favorite group costumes below. I would love to see them!


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