Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Purrfect Costume: Accessorizing (Part 3)

After being frustrated with Catwoman's catsuit collar, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the belt I ordered with Etsy was delivered pretty promptly and is a near exact replica of the original. The belt was commercially available during that era. I did a search for gold scale belt on Etsy and eBay and found a number of similar looking versions and a few of the original ones too...for a fairly reasonable price!

With one less thing to worry about, I set about making the necklace for Catwoman. As I mentioned before, the original pendant was round and looked like it had a "cat" or "lion" as the center piece. There are also 3 other flat oblong pieces on either side of the center piece. From looking at the photos, it appears there are various hammered dimples on each flat oblong piece.

In other shots, you can see reflections, but I'm assuming those came from the dimples catching the light..

As much as I want to be screen accurate, there has to be some give in recreating the outfit. I couldn't find anything remotely close to "flat oblong disks with dimples" and I have no access to metal working tools. I *did* consider looking for one of those machines that flattens out coins to get the right look, but I decided to just go with pieces I could find at local crafting stores. Plus, I AM on a time crunch to get this done by October! I found inspiration from another cosplayer's work.

Consequently, I decided that I would make something that I thought the real Catwoman might appreciate and add some shiny BLING to it.

I had a lion's head pin from many years ago that I never really wore, but merely kept because I liked it. I also had a filigree pin that broke that I thought was a good size. I went to the local Joann's to find a centerpiece pendant that would work with both the lion head pin and the filigree piece.

First, I set about making the main pendant. I took apart the pendant I found at Joanns

And used jewelry wire to lash the lion in the center.

By the way, if you don't have one of these handy-dandy third hand, you really need to get one! They are so useful, especially if the arms are segmented. They are normally used for soldering purposes but are great for whenever you need that "third-hand"!

After making the centerpiece, I went to Michael's and  selected several different options that I thought would work for this necklace. It didn't matter the color as I was planning on painting them to match. I needed the "look".

I used rub-n-buff to paint over the pieces I had purchased.
( I didn't take the pendant off its card. It was actually easier to paint it this way using the third-hand.)

Painting took a little bit of time and care, but very much worth it.

These bigger pendants didn't have enough bling, so I glued some Swarovski crystals to it.
I liked how the necklace looked. It evoked the style of Catwoman, at least to me. The original Catwoman necklace is attached at the 10:00 and 2:00 locations of each oblong piece. Luckily, the smaller oblongs already had attachments in those locations. I cut off the main loop of the centerpiece, so I could build appropriate hooks at the 10 & 2 locations.

Because all of the pieces were of varying sizes, I needed to make some custom jump rings to hook everything together at the 10:00 and 2:00 positions. The commercial jump rings that I had (lower left) were either too big or too small.

I wire-wrapped eye pins to the larger side pendants so they could attach to the smaller ones, which luckily had them (as they are parts of a bracelet.)

It took a while for me to get the jump rings to look and hang correctly. I made several different sized rings to get the right look. I still need to attach a counterweight to the back portion so it hangs correctly on the costume, but I won't do that until I've got everything put together and it can be done during the final fitting.

Overall, I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.

Read the other parts of this Catwoman Dress Diary!