Saturday, September 29, 2012

Letting the Cat out of the Bag

Today's Halloween costume is from seven years ago.  I apologize for these photographs, as I took them myself with the timer, and my crappy grad school apartment isn't exactly the right sort of backdrop for this costume.

Anyway, this year I was the Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman.  (The previous year, I had been the Lee Meriwether Catwoman.)  In the movie, her costume was made out of PVC, leather, and latex.  It also featured a corset.  Latex was out for me (allergies), leather was out (vegetarian), and I didn't have the skills at the time to attempt a corset (seven years later, I still haven't tried).   So it was a PVC jumpsuit for me.

Like the Harley Quinn costume, I did not use a pattern.  While it worked for Harley, that was not the case here.  I did not have enough experience to work without a pattern, and this ended up chafing my armpits all night and being too loose in the waist.

To create the bottom half of this, I held the fabric at hip level and pinned it together along the crotch and butt.  From there, I tapered he legs and sewed hem together.  Not the best way to make pants, even with a stretchy fabric.  My bottom-heaviness makes pants difficult.  From there, I did the top piece in four parts, with a zipper in the front middle.  The zipper was under a lot of stress due to the poor fit, so I had to replace it once and very nearly a second time, but the second zipper valiantly persevered though the night.

The headpiece was quite difficult.  I think this was my fourth attempt at it.  If this one hadn't worked, I probably would have just given up.  The key here was to add a middle piece, which you can probably see most clearly in the second picture.  To get the ears to stand up (which should have been a bit larger), I used electrical cable ties which I cut into pieces several inches long.  I hand stitched the ears on.

Onto the stitching.  I wasn't going to attempt to replicate the stitching in the movie costume, so I just haphazardly did a narrow zigzag all over the place.  If I had more foresight, I would have did the stitching before sewing the seams.  It was quite arduous attempting to get the machine into little nooks and crannies.  This is why there isn't much stitching on the sleeves.

I am my own worst critic, I know, but it embarrasses me to look back upon this, seven years later, and see the vast improvements that could be made.  I did learn from my mistakes here, and hopefully others can benefit from my experience.  I did receive a lot of praise for this costume, but the best thing to come out of the party that I went to is that my now husband proposed to me that night. :)

Remember, I'm running a Guess My Costume contest to celebrate Halloween.  I think it will start October 23 and feature seven days worth of hints, with the grand reveal coming on Halloween itself.  I will be posting rules as we get closer to the start.  Would readers like the prizes revealed before or after?


  1. Woo! I don't see how he could NOT propose with you in that outfit. ;-D

    1. Ha, thanks. It certainly made the chafed underarms worth it!