Dragonfly Designs by Alisa

What to call this one?

All I have is a fabulous idea for a corset, and some knickers! 

Using this fabulous stripe:

Since "Steampunk #1" also known as the Geisha Steampunk, is becoming more dress-up fancy, I think this one will be more down-and-dirty.  Possibly becoming pirate-like.  I'll start with the corset and knickers and see what else it wants to be. 


If I go with the airship pirate theme, these are my buttons!


These are deeply cool....




I have the pattern for the jacket/corset! I used Simplicity 3629 as the base, but I changed it quite a lot during the process of mocking it up.

This fabric was supposed to be merely for pattern-making purposes, but now that I have it mocked up, I'm finding I like it.  So odds are, I will now make 2 steampunk jackets from this pattern. Also, it has a sort of 18th century feel, so I suspect I'll use it later in a revised form as a 18th ladies' riding jacket.

Anyway, there will be a matching corset underneath, and this jacket will button onto it.

Notice the little flaps with semi-hidden pockets and gear-hooks!  The buckle will eventually become a belt.

Here's the back.  Everything is still partly pinned, and the collar and button lapel are just odd little scraps I roughly pinned into place, just to give a vague idea.

Sort of pinned together...

Here's the jacket, in the striped fabric.  Bloomer underneath, also striped:

I pinned together the lapels in red, but now am thinking Definitely Not Red.  It looks like a steampunk circus!  I think the lapels will also be striped, and the pockets as well.  Since it's lined in red, and I want to distress the jacket as if I'd been wearing for a few years while pirating on steamships, I'll rip a few frayed holes and let a bit of red peek through.

That's probably all the red we need, thanks very much!

There will be a ripped and stained white lacy skirt under the jacket (tucked up in front to show a peek of bloomer), and a brown bustled skirt (also tucked up) over the lacy one.

I really, really like how it's going together so far.

Jacket - nearly done!

No sleeves yet, and the pockets and hemming isn't done, and then I need to tear holes in it, and "distress" it, but otherwise....

 Oh, and I still can't decide whether the pockets should stay red, as they are in the picture, or whether I should make them out of the brown striped fabric.  I'm leaning toward striped.

The white skirt is my white lace and cotton gauze underskirt.  Still not entirely done, but you can sort of get the idea of how much fun I had ripping it to shreds!   The brown overskirt is not finished at all - it's just pinned in there.  I'm using the ring and ribbon method of bustling; the brown skirt is just a long, open-front skirt.  Here's a tutorial:


A close-up.

A closer-up.  I completely love the buckles.   (And in case you're wondering...yes...there WILL definitely be something under the buckles.  A blouse, or corset, or something....


The back.  More buckles.  Buckles are my new babies. 

I'll wear a leather belt around my waist, sitting just beneath the buckles.   This has been an interesting jacket to make, because I've just been winging it as I sew.  I had no idea of the front or back buckles, for instance, until I actually started making them.  

Pretty much done...

As far as the sewing of fabric.  I still have quite a lot of techie-bits creating and hatmaking, but it's a happiness to have the jacket officially done!  (except for distressing)

Here are a ton of pics:

The bustled skirt.  There's a bit of lace poking out the bottom, but it's so light it blends into the paving stones.




 Various belts, watches, chains, etc attached.

And here's something new: I recently was given a (very cheap) camcorder, so I filmed a brief "video tour" of this costume and uploaded it to YouTube. Enjoy!




Every steampunk outfit needs a good gun, so here's mine.  I started with one of those $1 purple plastic squirt guns from Walmart.  One black base coat later (Krylon paint, which bonds to plastic with fantastic results), I have this:

Then I bought 2 tubes of "Rub 'n Buff", in silver and gold. Their website says:

Lustrous wax base metallic finishes for antiquing, crafts and decorating.  Just rub onto any surface with finger or soft cloth, then gently buff to a beautiful luster.  Great for picture frames and other textured surfaces.

Rub n Buff is a wax base metallic finish formulated from imported carnuba waxes, fine metallic powders and select pigment.  This unique blend gives pieces decorated with Rub n Buff a finish no paint can duplicate.  It can be applied to any clean dry surface, as well as over previously painted surfaces. 

I have to say, their advertising is spot-on.  This stuff is AMAZING, and why have I never heard of it before I started this steampunk thing?  It's really fun, too.  Here's the gun partially Rub 'n Buffed:

After I took the pic, I went back over it with more Rub 'n Buff - couldn't make myself stop, I was having so much fun! - and then glued some metal buttons and gears over it.  I found the gears in the scrapbooking section of Michael's.  I held them up with glee (I'd been looking all over for just this sort of little gears) and said to my mother: "Look!  Steampunk's gone mainstream!"  She said: "I still don't understand what Steampunk is."

So there's the gun.  I'm still going to add a few more bits to it, but yeah.  It looks pretty good.  When I showed it to my brother, he said: "You made this?"  That's high praise.


Also, (and totally unrelated to weaponry), I'm happy to report I finally got a set of garter belt clips.  The first ones I ordered ended up looking too big, so those are going to be saved for something else.  I scoured the internet....well, I scoured Ebay....and didn't find a single set of smaller clips.  Finally I got the bright idea of seaching for garter belts.  Turns out it's cheaper to buy the entire belt ($5) and just cut off the clips, then it is to buy just the clips.  Huh.  Good to know.

Bloomer and spats

The bloomers are done!


Bad pic, because I was just basically holding the camera out at random and taking the picture myself.  And it's taken before the garter clips were sewn on.  I tried the bloomers on to measure where the clips needed to go, and was too lazy to put them back on after and take another picture.  Later, I'll get a better one.  You probably can't quite tell, but the little white stripes just above my skin is the lace I sewed around the bottom edge.  The bloomers are puffing out and you can only see a little of the lace from this angle.

Spats.  I have my pattern.]

I used a pair of actual vintage spats (which are regretfully too small to fit around my calves) as a base pattern, then enlarged it a bit and made it fit.  I think it'll work well, once I decide on a fabric.  Brown, I think?  Maybe a felt, or wool.  That seems to be what my vintage spats are made of.

Finished Spats.

I am so in love with these.  I was nervous starting these, because I'd never done anything like spats before, and I wasn't sure how easy they'd be to do.  But actually, they were fun to make, partly because they were so different, and partly because they turned out!  Never under-estimate the power of the turning out.  :)

The fabric is pretty cool, too. I searched all over the fabric store without finding anything I really liked, and finally I just stuck a bolt of brown duck in my cart.  But then, while I was inspecting the red-tag fabric closer, I saw the tip of a skinny bolt of brownish fabric sticking out.  I pulled it out, and it was this splendid brownish/greenish canvas-y stuff.  No idea what it is, but it's the perfect weight, and the perfect color, and there was just enough left on the bolt.  That's karmic.

 I considered doing functional buttons, but then went with lacing, because I liked the idea.  The piping, BTW, is more of a cream than the blazing white it appears in the above picture.  I'll probably use matching cream cord for lacing, when I get my hands on some cream cord. 


Still to be distressed...

Tomorrow, I'm working on the top hat.


The hat:

I started with a cheap $2 "Party City" top hat.  Since it was made for a gigantic head, I cut the crown off, and took a good two inch chuck out of the brim.  Then I put in some grommets and laced the brim back together in my size.  It looked so cool that I made the grommet side be the front, instead of the back (as I had originally planned).  Then I set the crown back down on top, glued it in place, and glued a brown ribbon around it to hide the seam.  Sometime I may make a hat like this with grommets that go all the way up the crown and down to the other side.  I might have done it this time, except that I ran out of grommets, and don't have time to order more before the this Sunday Abney Park event.

The goggles were purchased off ebay for about $6.  They were silver and not too pretty.  I jazzed them up with some "Rub n Buff".  That stuff is my new best friend.  I wonder now how I lived without it.

The Gauntlet:


This was supposed to be a jazzy number with lights, and working clock bits.  I'll still make that glove someday, but again...don't have time before the Abney Park concert.  (Gosh I love writing that - I'm going to see Abney Park!!!!!!) 

So instead I took a leather gauntlet and stuck on a bunch of cool stuff.  Gears, and keyholes, and chains.  And dangling keys.  It might not be what I wanted, but it's interesting visually.

 And that's it, folks.  The next time I update, it will be with live pictures from the concert - did I mention I'm seeing Abney Park?

Me Steampunked

I got some lovely compliments on it, and it was great fun to wear!  

And the Abney Park concert?  I'll be blogging about it (with pics and video) once I get them sorted out, but on my "Random" blog.   I'll put up a direct link to that post once I finish it.

Second Wearing - with new blouse!

I recently had an opportunity to wear a steampunk outfit to work.  I chose this one.