Halloween DIY Special: How to Make An Effie Trinket Costume (from the Hunger Games)

And what an interesting experience it was! Considering that there are no retail costumes for The Hunger Games characters (which is probably a good thing), deciding to create a flamboyant Effie Trinket ensemble was a brave feat, especially since I've only ever sewn pillows before attempting my first garment. If you've seen the movie, you know how disturbing it was and while Effie was a necessary evil, she also possessed elements of enchantment and optimism that inspired this slight OCD fantasy I had of transforming into her. So I took on the challenge of becoming the exquisite Effie Trinket on a shoe string budget because that is just half the fun.

At first I had high hopes of finding a peplum suit pattern just like Effie's I could simply follow. No such thing existed. So I googled and you-tubed myself into a low level of insanity looking for leads that I could use to piece my outfit together. All in all, it took me about 30 hours to complete.

Jacket Sewing Pattern $5
5 yards of Fabric (thrift store) $4
Silk Curtain (thrift store) $2
Top and skirt (thrift store) $9
Wig $9
Flower $1
Existing make up and face paint $0
Existing Shoes $0
Existing Jewelry $0

Effie Trinket Costume $30

The process... The two elements that I had to have for my jacket were the peplum bodice and the dramatic puffed sleeves. I wasn't sure how the rest of the costume would come together, nore was I concerned. As far as I knew, I was going for style since she did have numerous costumes throughout the film. Mine turned out to be a nice combo between the two most popular outfits she wears.

First I purchased a PDF printable download from Burda.com for a peplum jacket #120. I printed the bloody 30 pages and taped them together to create the massive template for the pattern, which apparently is for "intermediate" sewers. Well the instructions absolutely stunk and I had to define every unfamiliar term and fill in the blanks with other similar tutorials online. I wouldn't recommend their patterns unless you are a bona fide pro who can easily decode this jargon.

Then, I wanted to incorporate Effie Trinket's dramatic puff sleeves so I did lots of research and found this pdf most helpful in understanding how different shaped sleeves are formed.

Which led me to this awesome DIY sleeve template tutorial from which I drafted a basic puff sleeve and sleeve arm template and attached my improvised sleeve design...

...to the bodice. Ultimately, I left the jacket short sleeved because I was afraid I'd be too hot. *I wish I had sewn the arm sleeves in.

Then I found the only comprehensive 3 part tutorial which explained how to line the sleeve with added netting for optimum puffiness. I was actually watching an altered pattern design for a child, but it worked. Mama mia!!!
Part 1 here:

I wanted to make my own enormous fabric Peony flower and would have used this tutorial on creaturecomfortsblog.com but I ran out of time so bought one on a deep fall discount at AC Moore.

And after all the craziness, I added a ruffled collar (made from a silk thrift store curtain) to the jacket neck line, along with a silk fuchsia peony to my hair, a jacket button, a satin ribbon for a belt, my purple jeweled necklace and my outfit was complete. I am very proud of my first sewn Halloween costume, Effie Trinket here I become!

Good luck to all of you looking to create your own costumes. May you feel empowered in the face of adversity while sewing what you've never sewn before... and may the odds be ever in your favor;)