Girl on Fire

Girl on Fire

It’s rare when a project this amazing falls into your lap.  I got a call from a girl named Isabelle back in April.  She said she had a friend who was looking to have a costume made for comi con in Chicago.  She couldn’t take on the job herself and was looking for another seamstress to make  her friend something special.

Not long after I receive this email.


I know Isabelle has contacted you with my idea for my mockingjay dress.

Here are some photos of the outfits I think (with your divine designs and mystic insights) could be made classy and outrageously cool.

The dress is from the second book of the hunger games series. Catching fire. I don’t know if you’ve read em- but they’re great! here are the passages that talk about the dress.
“Heavy white silk with a low neckline and tight waist and sleeves that fall from my wrists to the floor. And pearls. Everywhere pearls. Stitched into the dress and in ropes at my throat and forming the crown for the veil.”
“Charred bits of black silk swirl into the air, and pearls clatter to the stage… I’m in a dress of the exact design of my wedding dress, only it’s the color of coal and made of tiny feathers. Wonderingly, I lift my long, flowing sleeves into the air, and that’s when I see myself on the television screen. Clothed in black except for the white patches on my sleeves. Or should I say my wings. Because Cinna had turned me into a mockingjay.”

I want the charred version… of course!

I have already spent a small fortune on materials and will still have to purchase more.

Lace three yards of it.- for wings

I also purchased the wig!

I’m trying to figure out how I want to style it/ what type of veil

I got these too- A cute little addition

Would you be up to meeting to talk about the design?

My answer, YES!  I started scouring the internet for more fan art and built a pinterest board.
We met in early May.  She brought the dress that I would transform, the lace, the feathers, and a ton of ideas.  The hardest part would be getting the sleeves she wanted with the amount of lace she had purchased.  I decided a mock up was in order.  I took an equivalent amount of cheap fabric and drafted this sleeve. Not quite right, but that is what drafts are for.  The second draft was used to make the final lace sleeve/wing.


There was lace left over, so I went to work on remaking the bodice with a lace overlay.


The other challenge was finding something feather-like for the skirt.  There were a lot of feathers, but I didn’t want to wast time/money feathering a skirt.  I went to Dallas and scored some black rose-textured fabric.  I saw other colors on the clearance rack that looked more feather like and decided it was worth a try to distress the fabric.  I brought it home and ran it through the dryer with dryer balls and towels and got exactly the texture I wanted.

20130528_183006 20130603_192155

I redrafted the skirt to have a train and attached the left over feather trim to the bottom of the skirt.


The last part of the project involved attaching feathers to the waist of the dress.  I decided to build a wide belt to make this happen.  I was able to use the sewing machine to attach the trim.


…and now for some fun stuff.   I rarely make head pieces.  A year had passed since the last one was made.  I decided to make a feather headpiece and a short veil out of the leftover lace.


This is Kristy the day that she picked up her dress.


…and this is Kristy in Chicago

The Mockingjay

Thanks Kristy, for one of my most challenging projects.  I would be grateful to work with more customers like you.