I feel like I really stepped up my pastie game since making my last set (which you can read about here). This set was made with better materials and overall has a much better finish. So if you want to learn how I made these cute-as-a-button cat nose pasties, keep reading!
I made my first pair of pasties out of cardboard from a pasta box. They were star-shaped (for a cowgirl-themed beginner burlesque routine) and covered with silver lame and plastic rhinestones. After this I graduated to craft foam sheets, being the easiest way to make a quick pair of pasties for an end-of-term group routine. The problem with craft foam pasties is that they aren't the sturdiest and will be ripped apart when you remove the tape. Keeping this in mind, I decided when I made my pasties for my first solo that I would back the foam with buckram to protect it from tape removal. Well, I couldn't find buckram so I ended up using a thick interfacing that frays, which I tried to abate by sealing the edges with nail glue (which I use to fix almost everything, including my overlocker).
The finished pasties (see above) are pretty but not ideal. The overlapped section of foam with the added crystals is thick. So thick they look a little silly. Don't get me wrong, it's not something you can see on stage, but looking at them makes me think that craft foam sheets really aren't the right material for a proper pair of pasties. So when I went to make these pasties I wanted to make sure I used better materials.
I've never had any luck buying buckram. I'm usually met with puzzled looks when I ask the staff at Spotlight where I can find it. So when I went to Lincraft and asked one of the staff where the buckram was, I was dubious when they said it was over with the interfacing. But it was there! I was so excited! I finally had buckram to make pasties with!
The next thing to do was create the design for the pastie base. The easiest way to make a non-circular pastie is to start with a circle, make it into a pastie, and trim it to the shape you want. I started with a paper circle slightly larger than my nipple which I overlapped as per normal, secured with sticky tape, then trimmed down to a cat nose shape. I tried them on to check the coverage then altered the size of the starting circle and the shape of the cat nose until I was happy. I then removed the tape and flattened out the pastie. I traced this shape onto another piece of paper so that I could refine the design and make a smooth and neat template.
Using this template I cut 2 layers of buckram for my pasties and a layer of vinyl. Now that they are finished I think one layer of buckram would be enough. I shaped and glued the layers of buckram then glued them to each other using craft glue. I used my trusty pin curl clips to hold the overlapping buckram together while they were drying. I also used pin curl clips to hold the 2 layers together while they dried. I used 3 clips for this which not only held them together but also acted as a little tripod that kept them and any excess glue off the table. The cat noses are pink so after the glue dried I painted them using an acrylic paint.
The next thing to do was attach the whiskers! I was fortunate enough to receive some glitter whiskers with the beautiful half-mask fascinator I bought from Pearls and Swine. The whiskers are a flexible plastic covered in glitter. I was sent whiskers in pink and black and opted for black as it would contrast the most with my skin and stand out more on stage. I cut and attached the whiskers with a hot glue gun to the back fo the pasties. I then attached the backing of the pastie, which is vinyl, to over the ends fo the whiskers and create a durable and smooth backing. This I glued in place with craft glue and held in place with my trusty pin curl clips.
Finally, it was time for crystals. I covered the pasties with a mix of rose, light rose and Crystal AB in ss12 and ss16. I glued the crystals on in lines radiating out from the centre using E6000. I filled any spaces the best I could but with the base painted pink any little gaps are fine and not noticeable.
The finished pasties are great and a definite step up from my last pair. The only thing I'm not too sure about is the vinyl backing. While it adds strength to the structure and is a smooth surface that won't be damaged by tape, it seems to be too smooth. The tape I currently used seems to not want to stick to the pasties too well. This combined with the fact that the whiskers are long and want to catch on thing means that I have lost a pastie on stage 1 out of the 3 times I have performed this act. Maybe I need to change tapes or maybe I need to change to spirit gum?
Anyway, I hope this post is helpful to stepping up your pastie game or at least gives you a few ideas for your next pair! My next post will cover the final elements of the costume including the gorgeous half-mask fascinator from Pearls & Swine!