Steampunk Black Cat
This article should definitely be called, “Steampunk Black Cat : How I did it” instead because I do not have the time (and in some cases skill even if I did have time) to do cosplay like a pro. On the other hand, there are lots of Cosplay Noobs who might be intimidated to jump in. This article is for you guys!
Steampunk Black Cat is my 3rd made, not bought, outfit. If you have not made a costume before, I whole-heartedly agree with what Meredith “Ana Aesthetic” Placko and her group said in their Cosplay 101 talk at A-kon. They said to, “Begin with an outfit that only demands a small amount of home made aspects”. For instance the outfit that Ash from Pokemon wears can likely be found in your closet right now with just some minor tweaks. I also strongly suggest starting at a Thrift Shop (and yes, I hear Macklemore singing it every time I do cosplay foundational pieces). My first homemade cosplay of Han Solo. I made the cool holster almost entirely from re-used thrift store pieces. The cool part was I found a real leather Fossil purse there that was the exact color and even had some notions, like buckles, I could recycle for the piece.
Also, as with Han, it is also fun to cross gender your cosplay if you have a favorite character. How cute are these two She-Links! The whole idea of a femme version can also further justify whatever personalized, slightly “imperfect” or glammed adjustments you want to make to your cosplay. I am sure there are Cosplay purists who would shudder to think that too much leeway or artistic license should be taken as inexcusable, but unless you have a deep fear of the cosplay police, I say, “go for it and have fun”.
On that note, I’ll begin the journey of Steampunk Black Cat (“SBC”).
I tend to start with the accessories when I make a cosplay because often they are more defining of the character than even the clothes. I am sure my comfort with crafts makes it an easier starting point as well. With SBC, I started with steampunking her some claws. After needing to write at A-kon more than expected, I wish I had stuck with keeping my right index finger claw big enough to house a small pen. Maybe I will make another one someday.