Katniss Cowl Take 2 + Accessories

Once I had finished my Katniss cowl, I wanted to make another one that was more screen accurate. Two of my friends on Tumblr had made one using herringbone stitch, which is closer to the original piece. I can’t make up patterns on my own, so I chose to knit the cowl designed by AnaidDesigns on Etsy.

Originally I was going to follow the pattern exactly, except I planned on wrapping the icords with extra yarn. However, once the cowl was complete I didn’t like how wide the collar was on me and how it bulged in the back. I spent two days and a lot of hours ripping out seams and redoing everything. Eventually I got it the way I wanted and that best replicated the original.

Here are screen shots of the original.


And here is the second cowl I knitted.


And the back.


I wanted to complete the outfit, so that meant a quiver, arrows, and a bow. I managed to find the NECA bow replica from the first movie still available at an online Halloween store. I didn’t need anything that I could shoot, just something that looked like I could.


I made the quiver following the instructions from this blog. I had to make stuff up as I went along but managed to make a decent looking quiver. The arrows were made on the fly from six 5/16″ dowels, an exacto knife, feathers, and paint. Again, I wasn’t looking for something that could shoot, just look it.


Now that everything is 100% complete, this cosplay is ready to wear this coming weekend to Ichiban Con.  I’ll be going with my favorite photographer, Sarah of Starrfall Photography, so there will likely be more photos later.

P.S. Please excuse the crappy iPhone photos.  I was in a bit of a hurry and haven’t charged my Canon camera batteries.

Happy New Year

Happy 2014 everyone!

2013 ended with me being lazy and productive at the same time.  I didn’t do any work related things and I didn’t do any traveling; while my mother/roommate went to visit my brother in New York, I stayed at home with the kitties and knitted to my heart’s content.  I completed a few projects and made headway on others.

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve started to make a few. Since this blog is all about my sewing and crafting, I’m only going to discuss those resolutions.  My crafting resolution is simple: knit and sew more.  I have plans to knit all of my close friends winter accessories as Christmas presents.  I have already started, but since I don’t know who follows me here I am going to refrain from posting any specifics.  I decided to do this now since there are tons of patterns and things I want to knit, but I knit so much for myself I can’t use them all.  There are going to be a lot of hats, cowls, and gloves coming off my needles before December rolls around again.

I also plan to sew more. I have this affinity for skater and circle skirts lately so I am going to attempt to be making a number of those.

As for cosplay plans, here are the top 5 picks for the time being.

1506258_699637143403097_1049951217_oI have no plans for anything anime/manga/kpop related. All of my plans circle around my current obsessions: Doctor Who, Hunger Games, and Once Upon A Time. Three outfits on my list – Katniss hunting, Katniss training, and Clara – are done except for a few accessories (shoes and/or wig).  I’ve already started the mock up for Katniss’ parade dress, and have a decent pattern in mind for Snow White. Since there isn’t much to be done, I am likely to add to this list (tentatively, I am considering adding Katniss’ arena outfit from the first movie and a Mary Margaret outfit).

As for the knitting, the following items are on my list to complete by the end of 2014 (and yes, these are for myself):

Dr. Watson’s Cabled Crew Neck Jumper
Effortless Cardigan
Mary Margaret’s Lace Tam
Mary Margaret Brioche Pullover

I said I wasn’t going to knit a lot for myself and now look what I did. In my defense, I have the yarn for three sweaters already, and the lace tam does not take long.

Can I make these resolutions?  Crossing my fingers that I can.

On the Hunt

One Tuesday I was rather bored and it was a beautiful day. I was on Facebook when my friend Sarah of Starrfall Photography commented on how gorgeous the day was and how she wanted to go out shooting photos. Since I am the most local of all her models, I quickly styled my Katniss wig and threw on my hunting outfit and off we went. We lacked a bow and accessories, and I discovered that my head is too small for lace front wigs but the photos turned out gorgeous (like always).

imageThe day was warm but cool enough that I wasn’t dying in my faux leather jacket and cowl.

imageThe above shoot took make in a bog, which smelled awful. We also happened across a deceased possum, which was a bit of a kill joy but we pressed on.

imageThe best part about Katniss’ outfit is that it makes it easier to tromp through greenery. I didn’t have to worry about snagging flowing dresses on sticks, or tripping over roots in heels. I could also get down and dirty on the ground then come home and toss everything in the wash.

The only downside to it all was the lack of snow. Sarah and I commented frequently on how we wished it would snow so we could take pictures that simulated the opening sequence of the movie. Until it actually does snow (which does not happen often in NC), Sarah photoshopped a bit in.

imageI plan on wearing this outfit again in a few weeks to Ichiban Con (first con of the season!). I am in the process of making it complete and better with another cowl, a different wig, and all the necessary accessories.

And since it is December 24th, Happy Christmas and Holidays! 😀

Catching Fire Katniss Training Outfit

Catching Fire has so many awesome outfits for Katniss. There are so many I want to make. But sometimes it’s just easier to buy the outfit or the pieces.

Case in point, the training outfit.


I have the Neca replica of the training shirt from the first movie; it was only natural that I would get the outfit from the second movie. The original outfit designer, Lucas Hugh, made the entire outfit (jacket, capri, shirt, and bra) available for purchase. However, even as a set the outfit was priced at 550 pounds (roughly the equivalent of $900).

No. Way.

Luckily NECA came out with their replicas. Hot Topic didn’t have them available but I managed to find NECA’s eBay page. I was able to get the jacket and the capris for 1/10th the cost of Hugh’s set. Alas, I don’t have the shirt and bra but they are not necessary components if you are wearing the jacket.  I plan to wear a plain black tank underneath; if I can find some silver reflective fabric, I’ll add the accents later.


The jacket…omg I love the jacket.  The outer fabric feels sturdier and different from the capris, but the colors compliment each other well.  It has a felt lining which allows it to be worn in the cooler temps of spring and fall.  The slight peplum bottom hides my larger hips and gives a very streamlined appearance. I have a smaller chest to the top was a tad boxy on me but I can live with that.


The capris are made of breathable stretch lycra that doubles as an actual pair of work out pants. There’s a good amount of stretch in them to fit most body types, but I think the sizing is a little on the large side (I bought a small and it fits perfectly to my pear shaped body).  Ladies, beware; the side paneling is mesh so if you’re like me and can’t go commando, think about your options.


I need to find some black sneakers to wear with these.  I am eyeing a pair of Skeckers that are low cut on the ankle and are not too expensive but we shall see.

I think I’m next going to attempt her chariot parade dress.  I love that dress and I’ve made similar before.  Finding fabric is going to be a pain though.  =/

P.S. I have no idea why my pictures are tilted.  I was standing perfectly straight when taking them.  Guess I need a little more practice.

Catching Fire Katniss Hunting Outfit

When I first saw the promo shots for Catching Fire, I totally fell in love with Katniss’ hunting outfit. It’s her same outfit from Hunger Games, but I LOVED the cowl addition to it.


The cowl is really what made me want to do this outfit. I searched everywhere for a pattern for something similar. I didn’t want to buy a handmade piece since I am a knitter and can make it myself. It took a while but a free pattern popped up on Ravelry that I snapped up.  It was a great opportunity to use some leftover gray yarn from my Hermione sweater, plus find an excuse to purchase some alpaca yarn from my local yarn store.  The yarns I used was Takhi Jackson in gray (3 skeins), Berroco Ultra Alpaca in charcoal gray (2 skeins), Knit Picks Swish in marble heather (3 skeins), and Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in oatmeal (1 skein).


The lovely Katharina Schnorr is the creator of this cowl and it is a beauty.  So easy to knit up, and so quick to.  I love the colors and it is so warm.  I wore it when I went to see the Catching Fire movie in theaters and when I went to pick up my brother from the airport at Thanksgiving.  I am in love with this piece and need to find more excuses to wear it.

Once the cowl was in the works, I set out to find the other pieces. It was tough going at first since the hunting jacket has a specific look. Mostly what I was looking for was a hip length brown leather jacket with bottom pockets that had flaps.  I wanted it to be a little boxy but slim fitting (oxymoron, I know) since Katniss wears her father’s jacket.  Most searches for “women’s brown leather jacket” turned up very fitted jackets. I eventually found from at Kohl’s that I liked, and it was on sale for half off (bonus!).  It isn’t an exact match and is a tad shorter and more fitted than I expected.  But it’s a beautiful jacket nonetheless.


Boots came from Modcloth and were a bit pricey, but they have great stuff – plus I was looking for tall brown boots to wear in the winter.  The boots had to be brown leather and lace up.  Modcloth had plenty of those but many pairs also have buckles and funny other things.

With my wide hips bootcuts or trouser cuts are best, but they weren’t going to work being stuffed into the boots with my already wide calves.  Skinny pants tend to make my hips look wider and give me a camel toe effect.  I was originally going to make the pants so I could avoid the camel toe effect so many other skinny jeans give me…until Eddie Bauer had a skinny version of their curvy jeans. They fit well, avoid the camel toe, and are the perfect gray color. Bonus!

I anticipate wearing this for Ichiban Con 2014 as well as for Halloween when it comes around again.  It works nicely for a cooler weather outfit with the jacket and the cowl.

Note: After I posted my cowl to Ravelry, I had a giant pouring in of requests to knit this cowl for other people. After a lot of debate and discussion with my mother and knitting group, I decided that I would be willing to knit this for others…under a few conditions.

First, payment for a cowl is $200 + shipping. Payment is due upfront, in full, and via PayPal only. This cowl is hand knit, stitch by stitch, and takes approximately 15 hours to complete. The yarn is high quality wool and alpaca. Nothing is done by machine. Shipping is dependent on weight, shipping speed, distance, and any confirmation. This is a fairly heavy cowl and I personally don’t like to ship anything slower or less secure than USPS Priority.

Second, turn around time is approximately 2 weeks. This takes into account any other projects I am working on, my career (most important), and shipping time. The cowl is not difficult but it takes time, and I have other things on my plate.

If you are still interested, you can leave a comment with your contact info so we can message the details.


Yes, that does say “mockingjays.”  Plural.  I have more than one.

I didn’t first start reading the Hunger Games series until early in February of this year.  Somehow I had completely missed all the hype about it until just before the movie was going to come out.  One of my cosplayer friends, Ali, was gushing all about it on Twitter.  It got to the point that I started to become curious out it and went to my local Walmart and picked up the first book.

Could. Not. Put. Down.

I became very intrigued with the mockingjay and what it stood for.  Naturally, it became one of those things I just had to have because the books resonated with me and I really loved Katniss’ character.  And we all know how the two practically blend together (trying to avoid spoilers here).


Of course, once the movie merchandise started coming out, the mockingjay was one of the things I attempted to acquire.  I have, in total, 5 mockingjays.  (Sorry for the slightly blurry image.)


The first mockingjay is the shiny Scholastic pin (top middle).  I’ve been out of school for a while, but I remember Scholastic and all the books they sold in elementary schools.  This pin was given to those who purchased the first book through them.  I got mine off eBay for a reasonable price.  The first time I wore it to work a couple of my students practically freaked out on me.

The second mockingjay is a modified pendant from the Neca replica (top left).  I love the pins but I rarely wear them, where as I wear bracelets and necklaces a lot.  I got this one off Etsy, also for a reasonable price, but I don’t wear it as much because it is rather large.

The third is Neca’s pin replica (top right).  This one tends to stay pinned to the left lapel of my arena replica jacket.  What I like about this one compared to the Scholastic version is that it isn’t as shiny; for a pin that has been passed down for some time, one wouldn’t expect it to be super shiny.  What I dislike about it is that it’s a tack pin rather than the brooch pin the Scholastic version is.  It makes for a pin that spins around a lot.

The fourth is Neca’s mockingjay bracelet.  I found this one at my local bookstore.  I didn’t immediately buy it.  I waited about a week and told myself if it was still there when I returned I would get it.  It was still there so now it’s mine, along with a District 12 Katniss and Peeta fleece blanket.

The fifth and last mockingjay is the gold plated sterling silver pendant (lower right).  This is the one I wear the most (when I’m not wearing this, I put on my bracelet).  This isn’t an official merchandise, per se.  I got it off of Amazon for an amazing price.  It’s not a perfectly formed piece (the circle isn’t a perfect circle), but it’s a nice way to display my affection for the series.  Because my skin is a golden/olive tone and I wear a lot of v-necks or open collars, it doesn’t get noticed as much.  When people do notice it, it’s either “Oh that’s so pretty!” or “Oh, is that…?!”

That’s my mockingjay collection.  If Neca comes out with new, different versions for Catching Fire and Mockingjay (which they probably will) you can bet this collection will expand.

Jackets, Jackets, and More Jackets

Work has been extremely busy lately with finals starting Thursday.  Posting will have to be put off until then.  I am hoping to take more pictures of other replicas I haven’t gotten to over the break, and work on a few sewing projects.

The post for today deals with jackets.  I love jackets but don’t wear them nearly as much as one would think.  I am still working on building up my movie jacket collection but people ask for crazy amounts when they find out the jackets are in some movie.   Today I am featuring four jackets from two different movies.  Two of these I wear constantly, one occasionally, and one I have never worn…yet.

First up is the BB Dakota lake blue jacket Bella wears in Twilight.


Everyone knows this jacket, right?


This was the second of Bella’s jackets I acquired and after lots of searching as I was a bit behind on collecting her items.  I always through movie clothing looked ordinary but always were brands I couldn’t afford.  Twilight changed that, still it was two years after the movie release that I decided to find the jacket.  I found it, luckily, at Modcloth.com but they no longer carry it.  My tag actually says Jack Dakota but I believe it is the same jacket.  I ordered a medium but somehow got sent a large so it isn’t as fitted on me as it is on Bella.  I’m fine with that since it is my go-to cold weather jacket and I can wear layers and sweaters underneath.

The first Bella jacket I ever bought was her New Moon green cord jacket.


Of course I bought the Neca replica version from Hot Topic as soon as I saw it.


Like the blue Dakota jacket, I bought this one in a medium so I could wear layers underneath.  This turned out to be a good decision since my shoulders are just a touch broad from my small frame; the small and extra small I tried one just didn’t feel right.

Interestingly when I was checking out the cashier made some comment about how the fact that this jacket was from Twilight detracted her from buying it.  She said that she wanted to buy Bella’s dress but it was “Bella’s dress” and that stopped her from buying it.  I just gave her a smile and left quickly after that.

The last two jackets are different versions of the same, very familiar and very popular jacket: Katniss Everdeen’s District 12 arena jacket.


Both jackets are Neca replicas.  The first is the “simple” version, the one I call the windbreaker version.


And the second is the full replica.


I got both versions off of Amazon.  The windbreaker version I wear in early spring and late fall, when it’s just cool enough for a jacket but still too warm for a thick one.  It holds in heat really well; as such, I have to take it off and air it out often since it isn’t exactly machine wash friendly.  The full version has never been worn and still has the tags on it.  Both are size smalls but they could be smaller (extra smalls, according to the measurements, were only an inch smaller).

There was this little fiasco on Amazon regarding both of these jackets.  The windbreaker version was supposed to retail for $49.99 and the full version for $119.99.  I preordered a jacket for $49.99 and thought I was getting the windbreaker version.  But it was advertised as a “full replica” and had the image that went along with it.  In the month since I preordered the image changed twice.  When it finally arrived (and my cc bill not too long after) I received a full version but was charged for a windbreaker version.  Amazon has since never corrected it.

I had read some reviews that others had the same mix up before I received mine.  Since I wasn’t sure what I was getting, I jumped on Amazon again and bought another jacket for $69.99.  I figured if both jackets turned out the same I would just sell one on eBay.  Turns out this second jacket (which arrived a week after the first) was the windbreaker version.  So, in the end, I got both jackets for a total of $119.98, a penny less than the full replica was supposed to cost.

I love when things like that happen.