Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Purrfect Costume: Clawing Gloves (Part 5)

I'm still procrastinating on getting that collar done on the costume, so I'm making use of my time to create more of Catwoman's accessories!

Another accessory that the 1960's Catwoman had were her clawed gloves. These were made of a completely different material than the actual catsuit, which would make it easy for me. I purchased some long gloves from a costume store with the intent of re-creating those gloves.

In addition to the gloves, I bought some long fake nails at the Halloween Spirit Store. One of the joys of cosplaying so close to Halloween is the amount of things you can currently purchase in-person. each pack comes with 10 nails. I bought two packs, just in case, as they were fairly inexpensive.

All 20 were spray painted gold. There were two coats of gold and two coats of a clear finishing lacquer. My Viking has a small paint spray booth that we used. This is set atop a lazy Susan so I don't have to touch the nails.

I took a page out of another cosplayer's dress diary and picked up brass finger picks. These are often used by banjo players and can be resized to your fingers. They cost about $15.00 for a 12 picks. I went to my local guitar store and tried a few. They have them in different thicknesses.
PRO TIP: Once you size all the picks to your fingers, make sure to mark which hand/finger each pick corresponds. It'll save you time and effort later!

The nails also came in different sizes, so I matched them up to the approximate size of my hand. The pinky (right most) gets the smallest fake nail. I used E6000 to glue the nails to the picks.

E6000 requires 24 hours to completely cure. The hardest part of costuming is waiting for paint or glue to dry! (Cosplay Problem #5)

Here are the final set of claws. I can move in them fairly well, although picking things up is a little tricky.

After the claws were fully cured, I carefully seam-ripped the tip of each glove so I could slide a claw through it. I didn't want to cut off the fingertips as I couldn't tell from the photos whether you can't see her actual fingers.

Addendum: I actually found a photo where you can see the actress' fingers through the gloves! Yes, it's not Eartha Kitt, but I see no reason why they would make the gloves different for each actress. My gloves do a similar look. It's near impossible to have the fingers not show unless you build custom gloves for this outfit with a special pocket that holds the nails.

Once I slid the claw through the slit, I sewed down the raw edges and seamed up the sides as much as I could. This process took a while as I worked on each finger separately.

As a side note, the gloves are a bit tight to wear, especially if they were going to be worn over the catsuit. I did some additional modification to the gloves --- mostly re-doing the side seam. The left glove had enough excess fabric to allow me to add some width to the forearms, but the right glove did not. Unfortunately, these gloves (along with many commercially made satin gloves) are "one-size fits-all" and they use somewhat stretch fabric to achieve that effect. If I had more time, I might have considered making custom gloves, but I highly doubt that the costume designers & wardrobe crew of the Batman show would have gone to the trouble of creating custom gloves on their budget.

Here are the final gloves! I'm very happy with how they turned out.

(Dean really liked getting scritches with the claws. 
Sam, however, attacked them when I tried petting him with them!)

I'd like to do one final modification on these gloves and use some conductive thread on the finger tips so I can use my phone while wearing said gloves, like I did for Shego!

The gloves are fairly comfortable to wear, but it's difficult to pick up anything "delicate" with them. I had trouble picking up my keys, but big things are easy. I could easily pick up the cat statue, but I had to grab my SDCC medal with the pads of my fingers.

Read the other parts of this Catwoman Dress Diary!