Make Your Own: Katherine Howard from SIX

Katherine Howard Cosplay from SIX

Divorced, beheaded, live! SIX, a pop concert about the six wives of Henry VIII, has taken musical theater by storm. Full of feminist anthems, the queens share their sides of the story. The show is playing in London, Chicago, Sydney, Norwegian cruise ships, and now Broadway! Costume designer Gabriella Slade has infused Tudor fashion with rhinestones, fishnets, spikes, and studs.

Katherine Howard, the fifth wife, is my particular favorite. She was first played by Aimie Atkinson and is now played on Broadway by Samantha Pauly. Katherine sings “All You Wanna Do”, with a style reminiscent of Britney Spears and Ariana Grande. When my friend got tickets to the last Broadway preview of SIX, I knew I had to cosplay. So here is what I came up with in two weeks, and while this isn’t exactly Broadway caliber, I hope it’s inspiring!

This costume guide will focus on creating her pink and black top as well as her skirt. Pair this tutorial with this vlog, where Samantha explains how she does her makeup for the role.


What You Will Need:

Tools:


Step One:

Make the template for the pink part of the top. You know what this means — measuring time!

Use a ruler to measure the center of the tank top. If you’re like me and lost your ruler, a tape measure is a fine substitute!  Please ignore the hot glue splotch — we’ll get to covering that up later. The highest point of the shape should be in the middle just below your chest (not exactly on it — you’ll need room for more ribbon). I’m going to say we can make our point anywhere between 2.5 and 3 inches away from the neckline of the tank top.

Katherine Howard Six Measure

Now measure the distance from the side of the tank top to the point we made. Mine is about 8 inches. Considering our first point is at the center, it should be approximately the same measurement on each side. To make it symmetrical, I made another mark 8 inches down for the bottom of the piece.

Pro Tip: Use chalk or crayon to mark measurements. They can be erased and covered!


Step Two:

Transfer these measurements onto a piece of poster board. Draw the shape, using the reference picture as a guide. Here’s a good one:

Cut out the template and make sure it fits to the proportions of the tank top. Then trace onto the satin with a pencil and cut it out. Sew the shape onto the top with hot pink thread.

Pro Tip: If you cut the template and it’s too small (like I did…whoops), use the leftover poster board and tape to add onto it. You save yourself the time of redoing it and you recycle your scraps!


Step Three:

Trace the shape with marker on the BACK of the fabric. That way when you cut it out there won’t be any lines on the satin side! Using a needle and hot pink thread, sew it onto the tank top. The reason I say sew is because when hot glueing something light like satin,  you can see the globs of glue underneath, which we don’t want.

Then use the remaining fabric to cut out a back piece. You don’t need a template for this, as it’s simply a rectangle. Just be sure to align it to the same spot as the front piece will be. WARNING: Leave the sides bare. If you go all the way around, you won’t be able to put the tank top over your head.

It should look like this on the front:

And this on the back:

I cropped the bottom of the tank top because the mesh top is cropped. This was simply achieved with a pair of fabric scissors. While you can use a cropped tank top as your base, you may have less room for the front and back pieces.


Step Four:

Last sewing part! This step involves the straps of the tank top. You can use the ruler determine the length and width, but I just put a scrap of satin against the strap and cut out a matching one. Make sure it’s long enough to connect to the back piece, and make sure it’s wide enough to wrap around the strap.

Sew the satin onto the straps. You want it to begin at the front a bit past the arm holes, and right above the back piece.

Katherine Howard Six Straps


Step Five:

Now to decorate! K Howard’s costume features black stripes and silver studs.

Front: Arrange the ribbon to outline the front piece and glue into place. For me, I put two pieces of ribbon diagonally to create the pointed pinnacle. Also glue a piece of ribbon from top to bottom in the center of the pink piece, with  two more pieces on either side. Line them with the enamel dots. Some enamel dots have a sticky back, but they’re prone to fall off because they’re meant to adhere to paper, not ribbon. Honestly, a glue gun is a cosplayer’s best friend.

Back: Repeat what you did for the front, but you should be able to lay one piece of ribbon across each of the long sides.

I used larger enamel dots for the outline, and smaller ones on the inside.

Straps: Cut your ribbon length wise down the middle. Hot glue those onto each strap so there is a gap in the middle. The ribbon should extend past the shoulder and down the back, but it doesn’t have to be all the way. Apply the studs on the ribbon with hot glue.

And this should be the finished product!

Katherine Howard Six Finished


Step Six:

Now onto the skirt. This first part is easy, as we’ve been doing this the whole time! Lay out your skirt and roll out your ribbon from just below the top of the skirt to just below the bottom. Cut the ribbon and lay it diagonally. I used two stripes for each side. Leave space in the middle. Adhere enamel dots going down the stripes with glue. I used smaller dots for the skirt in particular.

Katherine Howard Six Skirt

Flip the skirt over and repeat the process. When you’re done, try the skirt on and see how it looks. Now you want to assess how it falls on you, because we’re going to cut into that space in the middle. Use your fabric scissors cut 3/4th of a square in the middle. Put on fishnets and dance shorts underneath the skirt.


Step Seven:

For the finishing touches, slip on the shoes and fasten the black spiked choker around your neck. Fun fact: The director and writer for the show wanted Katherine Howard to wear a choker to symbolize her beheading.

Style your hair into a high ponytail with an elastic. Clip the extension on and layer your hair for an ombre effect. If you prefer a wig, look for one with dark brown to hot pink ombre. Either way, steer clear from dye because that can stain the back of the top. Fasten the wrist cuff around the elastic.


Here’s me in the full cosplay before seeing the show on Broadway!

Katherine Howard Six Final

About the Author

Mandy

Cosplayer, creative writer, cookie connoisseur. Pronouns: she/they.

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