I grew up with He-Man and She-Ra, and I was delighted when after watching some old episodes together, my daughter got really into She-Ra as well. But when she told me that she wanted to be Catra for Halloween, I was a little skeptical. My first thought was, nobody her age is going to know who she is supposed to be. My second thought was how am I supposed to make that kind of costume? I certainly couldn’t buy it. I tried to talk to her about other costume ideas, but she was set on this one. So I started looking for images of Catra on the internet to study her outfit.
I remembered that I still had the devil costume she had worn two years ago, so I got that out of the storage room and had her try it on. It still fit her, but was pretty short. So I decided I would alter it by cutting off the skirt part of the dress. I bought a yard of red pleather from the local fabric store, made a new skirt with a jagged edge bottom. Then I cut a rectangle shaped piece, drew the Horde symbol on the front with a sharpie, and attached it to the front of the bodice. After sewing the skirt back on to the dress, it was almost perfect.
I looked closer at pictures of Catra, and noticed that the neckline of her dress was attached to a cape. I bought a second-hand cape, sewed a new collar out of pleather, and sewed a small strip of pleather to the top of the bodice that looped around the front closure of the cape. I bought some self-adhesive Velcro tabs to keep the loop in place. I found the perfect red pleather boots in my daughter’s size online, which cost about $30. Then I made little arm cuffs with pleather and Velcro tabs.
Then came the difficult part: making the belt and mask. I have to give my husband credit for this part—he came up with idea of how to make it, thought outside of the box for the materials, and used his blow torch to shape the mask. For the belt, he came up with the brilliant idea to use some insulation padding that he had taken out of his car. It was flexible and dense enough, but not too stiff. He cut out the shape of the belt, and then I wrapped it in pleather, stitched it to the insulation material, and added Velcro tabs on the back side.
The mask was made out of a sheet of corrugated plastic that my husband cut out and then melted slightly to curve around my daughter’s face and give room for my daughter’s nose. He used a Mountain Dew bottle to make the green eyes (genious!), and also melted those slightly to follow the curve of the mask. Those were hot glued to the mask from the inside. I cut out pleather to cover the mask and wrap around to the back slightly, and used a scrap piece of red cotton for the inside, attached with spray adhesive. Then I punched holes on the side, added rivets that I had with my scrapbook materials, and attached the stretchy string that would hold the mask on her face.
The last detail was to make her hair blue from spray-on color, and to put dark blue eye shadow on her. Needless to say, no one my daughter’s age knew who she was supposed to be, and didn’t know who Catra is. But she has never cared what other people think, and was proud of her costume. Success!