Photos courtesy of Lindsay Hinz
NOVEMBER 2019 I BOROMAG.COM 33
But this wasn’t the first time the Long
Island City resident participated in the
She first entered the contest — which
has a grand prize of $10,000 — two years
ago after seeing an article about it in a
Facebook group called Costume People.
“I looked at the pictures and I was like,
‘Oh that’s really cool. I could do that,’”
She then admitted that although she
had a fun time back then and even made
it to the top 10, it ended up being a lot of
work so she decided to skip out on the
following year’s contest.
“But then, when I found out that they
were going to make a TV show and that it
was going to be a much bigger deal this
year, I decided to give it one more try,”
Hinz explained that as a Broadway costume
technician, her job entails putting
together costumes that were already designed
by other team members.
As a seamstress by trade who studied
at the University of Virginia, this comes
more naturally to her than designing
something from scratch — but she thinks
it’s also “fun to have creative freedom.”
“One thing that I love about the contest
is you have the freedom to make your
own choices,” she said.
And that she did. As a self-proclaimed
“movie buff,” she took inspiration from a
wedding dress that appeared in a popular
“I was like, ‘OK, what wedding dresses do
I remember from movies that have really
stuck with me?’” Hinz said. “And one that I
really thought of was Katniss Everdeen’s
wedding dress in ‘Hunger Games.’”
She used 56 rolls of Quilted Northern
Ultra Soft and Strong, and spent about
100 hours creating the ruffles in the skirt
“I essentially created fabric out of toilet
paper, so it’s like rolling toilet paper out
and stitching it together one panel at a
time and creating yardage of fabric and
then I can make a dress the way that I
know how to make a dress,” Hinz said.
Hinz, who lives with her boyfriend in
what she says is a “really tiny apartment”
in Long Island City, said that different
pieces of the dress were stored in several
places throughout their home in the
months leading up to the fashion show.
“The skirt is absolutely ginormous and
so it basically took up one of the rooms in
our apartment,” she said, laughing.
Although she didn’t win the contest this
year either, she has fond memories of creating
her toilet paper dresses.
Hinz reminisced about the time she
walked to Astoria Park, where she took pictures
to submit to the contest, wearing the
first toilet paper dress she ever created.
“I had people like on the sidewalk yelling,
‘Congratulations!’ And there was a
bus full of children on their way to school
being like, ‘Oh my God, look at her dress!’
she laughed. “And no one knew that it’s
This year was no different, when she
went to a friend’s apartment lobby to take
the photos of her new creation.
Hinz said, “I was there, posing for pictures,
and people were leaving their
apartments being like, ‘Oh my God, that’s