Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Purrfect Costume: Finishing Touches to the Catsuit (Part 8)

The last part of a costume...the final finishing is often making sure little things that make or break the costume or help make the costume easier to handle. In this costume, there are two small unseen finishing techniques.

The Necklace

Julie Newmar and Lee Meriweather both wear the necklace around the neck. However, Eartha Kitt wears it on her shoulders. This is physically impossible unless you have a little help because the weight of the main pendant drags the chain to around your neck.

I had no photo proof that they had some attachment to keep it in place, but Julie Newmar used eyes & hooks to keep the belt firmly in place around her hips.

(Side note: Now, I did not add eyehooks to my belt or the catsuit. I had found a belt that was pretty form fitting and sits right at my hipline without moving while I was wandering the house wearing the outfit for a test run. I might change my mind later, but for now, it's unnecessary.)

I'm sure that the costume designer did similar for the necklace, but I wasn't sure how they did it. I took the simplest route and added hooks to the shoulder seams so I could hook the necklace around it.

(I reduced the contrast on the photo so you can see the black hook on the black fabric.)

Now, the necklace stays IN place!

And then I found photo evidence with this image. If you enlarge it, you see that there is a "strap" or something along the back of the shoulder seam keeping the necklace in place. This is akin to the "bra strap holder" on dresses that keep bra straps from creeping out.

I don't know if I'll actually add this little bit of detail in this costume. The eye hooks work for now and are less visible from all angles. 

The Zipper

Now, getting in and out of a costume with the minimal amount of  help is one of the things that I try to build into every costume, especially when you have to go to the bathroom.
  • Cosplay Problem #20 -- Getting in & out of your costume by yourself or with minimal help.
  • Cosplay Problem #20a Corollary -- Being able to go to the bathroom while wearing your cosplay.
I think being able to go to the bathroom is a very important thing to build into ANY costume. I don't know about other cosplayers, but I do not have a camel's bladder.

With catsuits, the most important thing is to be able to unzip yourself out of it any any given moment. For that, I like to add long zip pulls to my zipper so I can easily get in/out of them.

Here's what I did:
  1.  Added a jump ring to the zipper head. As hair is going to be covering my back, I decided on gold to match the necklace.
  2. Add a bead so that it slides over the gap.
  3. Get some cording/shoe lace and tie a bowline knot which won't slip.
And that's it! The entire cosplay is basically complete. Now, it's on to the Convention! I'll be posting photos of our finished group cosplay next week.

Read the other parts of this Catwoman Dress Diary!

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