Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) build

Ok so I’ve postponed it enough… here’s my build for Black Cat

I don’t have many progress pictures because well, I was tired and had a week before FCBD to get this done and I had pictured myself out taking progress pictures for Deadpool.
I trust all of you to use your imaginations and if you have any questions email me!
Here are two pictures from FCBD to base my descriptions off of.
fcbd 2010
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Catsuit
I bought another fantastic catsuit off of ebay but this one had a keyhole chest and a high collar with a clasp to connect the two sides. The reason I got this on was because I was basing this particular version of her on one of Adam Hughes’s drawings
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I picked this version because one I love all of his interpretations of these characters and because most of his drawings translate well to real-life. I also liked the fur and the open neck line and wavy hair. That being said, I bought the open necked catsuit because it gave me a basis to easily modify the neckline. I tried on the suit and used a piece of light colored chalk to trace how big I wanted the neck line to be. (didn’t want the girls to be too over-exposed… it is an Adam Hughes drawing after all 😀 )
I took into consideration how much room would be needed for a hem and then went to town! After cutting the neck line out and pinning the hem in place, I tacked the hem down with some fabric glue before sewing it (note: when sewing stretchy materials it is a great idea to tack down your seams with fabric glue as long as you’ve tested it on a scratch piece to see if it leaves a mark…) ((double note: always try on your catsuit when you get them to make sure they fit, never start cutting without doing this. You may need to take it in some places you haven’t before, this will give you the best custom fit.)
Ok so I sewed the hem on the neckline and re-secured the zipper with extra stitches and some glue. Nows the fun part, the fur!
Fur
Followed my reference pics and placed and measured the fur around the neckline in the thickness that I wanted. I bought a fur that wasn’t uniformly fluffy like a new toy, I bought one that was long enough to trim while looking more “worn-in” I think this worked out better than the super fluffy stuff, this way I didn’t look like a giant stuffed animal. Then I measured on my forearms how far up I wanted the fur to go and I cut this piece out in a skinny triangle, the widest part closest to my elbow.
It’s helpful when adding small details like this to have many reference pictures from many different artists and to even go on flickr and see what other people have done to see what you like the best and what translates best to real-life. These are the details that will make or break your costume, seriously. After I attached the fur on the neck and the arms I trimmed it so the longest part was closest to my elbow and it got shorter the closer it was to my wrist. The reason I did this is because she’s drawn this way often, cats’ fur actually grows this way, and it’s a small detail that really brings such a seemingly simple costume together.
I cut another pair of triangle pieces, this time a little wider and longer for the boots (normally I wouldn’t devote a whole pair of boots to one costume unless absolutely necessary, but this looked the best… and the boots were on sale so plus all around)
Wig
I did much ebay research on finding the perfect wig. It only cost about 30 bucks shipping included from Korea and it was beautiful. Wigs are another big part of a costume. You don’t always have to spend a ton of money on one but finding one that fits your face well and looks good on takes some time. Sometimes if you’re looking for colored wigs it’s best to get a white one and dye it yourself. There are tons of sites online that tell you how to cut, dye, and style a wig. More importantly it tells you how to take care of them. You can’t treat them like real hair you’ll ruin them.
Anyway got an awesome one that looked like my hair if it were white. (one step closer to my Lady Gaga costume run now!! haha you think I’m kidding…) Another thing, always invest in a wig cap, they’re two bucks and they make your wig fit and look ten times better.
Boots
After my Catwoman and Zatanna fiasco at SDCC 2009, I needed a new pair of boots that a.) didn’t look like tacky stripper boots and b.) didn’t absolutely suck to walk in. Lucky me I found both! Now I have classy stripper boots that are awesome to walk in!
(boots note: I opted for the 5 in instead of the 6inch stacked heels because if you’re even thinking about going to cons in these you need boots that you can walk and stand in for more than an hour. Try huffing two miles to the SDCC and then walking up and down that place and two miles back in the same 6in non stacked heels, suck….. big suck. It may sound strange, but opt for stacked heels if you can, the extra padding on the ball of your foots helps for comfort and adds height without you actually having to walk in true 6inch heels. Adding comfort soles and inserts can help too.)
Gloves
Got a free pair of matching gloves with my catsuit!!! Oh Chinese seamstresses how my love continues to grow for you….
I wore these underneath my catsuit because I attached the fur to the suit rather than the gloves. This was a style choice on my part because I didn’t want the fur to move around like gloves would and I’ll wear through gloves faster than the suit so I would rather replace plain gloves than have to measure out the fur a few more times. Always think of how you can re-use pieces from one costume for another to save on cost and closet space. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. But it’s always better if you can…
Mask
I bought my mask from xtremedesignfx.com. this guy makes awesome generic hero masks in any color that you can attach with prosthetic adhesive. The reason using these is usually better than make-up is because they give that polished look. There are also tutorials online to teach you how to sculpt your own masks to your face. This is something I didn’t have time for for this costume but is something I would love to try for others. If you are serious about costuming always opt for the most custom-to-you option, it will always work the best. But i love my mask and Will use it until I need a new one!
Belt/Collar
The belt I added because I thought the costume looked too plain without something. I was origionally going to base my suit off of AH’s and this fan concept I had seen for Spiderman 4 that used the “quilting” I had used for Deadpool, but it was all wrong for the neckline I chose so I went the route of the belt. I picked a tactical belt because well if Black Cat were real she would need one of these to climb up buildings and stuff (now I realize the contradiction with the boots I chose and my reason for picking this belt, but like I said, these two look good together in real life while still retaining that comic-feel, I’m not actually planning on robbing people in high rises in this costume…)
After I picked the belt I decided I needed something to go on it and as I was walking through the local costume shop I saw a batman grappling hook. BC’s a thief right? So she stole Batman’s grappling hook and re-painted it for her very own. My husband even gave it a “weathered” paint scheme to make it look used.
The collar I found at Pet’smart, just a simple black leather dog collar that I got a silver dog tag engraved to say “meow” on one side and “if found unconscious please return to your friendly neighborhood spider-man” I like the stories where BC is funny and mischievous so I thought I would play it up.
Make-up
One of THE most important parts of female characters is the make-up. I decided to go with a very pale “Lady Gaga” image instead of my favorite dark red lipstick version.
I wanted Black cat to be fun and I wanted to try something new so I figured since I already had the dark black outline of the mask I could play up my eyes with some color. I didn’t get any contacts for this so I thought I would enhance the green in my eyes (I have weird eyes, they’re kinda brown, kinda hazel, but the left one is half green… don’t ask) To enhance a color you choose its compliment, i chose bright purple. I did bright metallic purple from the inside of my eye closest to the bridge of my nose and fanned it out a bit (I love those HIP eye shadows, they’re cheap, bright, last awhile, and are great for costuming) following it up with a metallic platinum to cool the purple down and blend it. I chose a brighter pink lipstick that went with my skin tone and complimented the purple eyeshadow. I outlined my eyes lightly in black outlined to give definition and added some soft fake eyelashes to add some extra definition.
Before all of this I primed my face in a foundation a tad lighter than I would normally wear (this was to make the make up stand out and to achieve a clean and bright effect with the wig) and did that all over my face (except were the mask would be) and down my neck. It’s a good idea to make-up your chest and neck if you’re a girl and showing a pretty big neckline so in pictures your face doesn’t look a different color than your neck. Always finish with powder so it doesn’t get all over your costume.
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This is a close-up picture from Phxcon, I had sunglasses on because well, it’s hot as hell here and we had a little walk to the convention and I didn’t want to squint and mess up all my hard work!! (someone yelled across the street when we were walking and asked if I was Lady Gaga, hahaha!!! They totally made my day….)
Next Phoenix Comic Con!
Black Suit Spider-man, the Shredder, Deadpool, and Black Cat all hang out… weird combination? Maybe, but it was awesome…
Also Garrick and I made an awesome friend…
More to come when I get back out pictures from the phxcon site…
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