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07 July 2010 @ 11:34 pm
Steampunk sewing  
The festival of knitting is in full swing, but I have a Steampunk party to cobble an outfit together for. It's in a month, and I have the perfect footwear (actually, I have two perfect sets of boots and one ideal set of shoes, I may have a small issue) and a corset and antique watch and chain ... that's it. Four weeks is enough time to pull together a decent outfit, and I have scads of fabric, so I can manage it without spending any extra cash, but I wonder if costuming is enough to give a truly steampunk approach. In short, help!

Poll #1589017 Steampunk is ...

A good steampunk outfit requires

A lovely Victorian-esque frock
3(5.9%)
Excellent footwear
1(2.0%)
A good antique watch
0(0.0%)
Goggles
2(3.9%)
Weaponry, preferably brass
0(0.0%)
A compass, preferably brass
0(0.0%)
A neat set of tools, preferably brass-bound
0(0.0%)
Cleavage, all else is optional.
6(11.8%)

That Victorian-esque frock would be best based on

A riding habit
15(31.9%)
A lovely day dress
7(14.9%)
A genteel evening gown
4(8.5%)
Sporting wear, such as a walking or tennis gown and hat
7(14.9%)
Men's clothing, but with cleavage
14(29.8%)

For those pressed for time, the best single accessory to add to a frock for an authentic steampunk look is

Goggles
9(18.0%)
A beautifully crafted tool belt, avec tools
4(8.0%)
A beautifully crafted tool belt, avec navigational aides for directing one's dirigible
13(26.0%)
A gun
1(2.0%)
A sword
1(2.0%)
A man with a sword
1(2.0%)
Something else I will mention in comments
2(4.0%)
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 01:51 pm (UTC)
The one I most like at the moment is:
V&A Habit

Though it might be even more fun with a big bustle and sweeping draped silk over the top of the skirt.
AutumnHearti_autumnheart on July 7th, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
I love the jacket. It would go beautifully with the commander-of-standing-militia character you mentioned below...

blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
And the cut is really interesting! Though I probably won't pad out the breast to that extent ...

You can see me with my own cavalry, can't you? I need to teach the Midget Army how to ride!
Anwynanthraxia on July 8th, 2010 12:30 am (UTC)
That's what hobby horses are for.
AutumnHearti_autumnheart on July 8th, 2010 12:56 am (UTC)
I agree! Perhaps hobby-horses are in order for the next big battle?
Bondeannawol on July 7th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
That is gorgeous! *saves image *
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 02:14 pm (UTC)
Bondeannawol on July 7th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
It's a gorgeous style. I did a victorian/edwardian governess outfit last year (with bustle) for a gaming convention. And I love the era. Picked up a Victorian bustle skirt from ebay recently and looking for something to go over it. :)

Have sewing machine, will possibly sew if there's no alternative!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
I thoroughly recommend Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 2 for cutting guides to skirt shapes through the period: It's easy to follow if you have some skills in sewing already, and she covers the main shapes of the period.

You can do it!
Bondeannawol on July 7th, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC)
Coolness :)

I didn't mind picking up the skirt. It was only £15. :) Not bad on either.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
That's an excellent price! Photos! I went mad and thought you were talking about draped overskirts, but of course you meant jackets and coats and such, which Arnold also has patterns for (you'll probably need to adjust, unless you are the exact scale of the original garment, but that's pretty easy.)
Bondeannawol on July 7th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
I like both honestly. And I'll look up the site. I'll need to grab my camera and take them, but I'll send them on :)
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
Just needs a horse ...
shu_shu_sleepsshu_shu_sleeps on July 8th, 2010 08:32 am (UTC)
THAT IT FABULOUS! you must have it! Or if you don't, I must have it :)
FEELS TERRORIST!: Architect Derekmomebie on July 7th, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC)
And what I mean by clicking all of those things is really 'any one of those things'. You don't need to over do it. I'm really weary of goggles now. Everyone has a pair, but goggles alone a dirigible captain do not make. (Also, I have this issue with how not every profession needs goggles, and not EVERYONE can be a captain or a scientist.) The best thing to do is just create your character, decide what they do, and accessorize as necessary. Though, if you modified a riding frock and used your corset and got a sword it might be the cheapest way to go without being accessorized to the hilt.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
You're quite right, what I need is a character.

Thinking about it, in steampunk land I would have a few options when it came to career. I could be:
* A leading politician, or, countries that still had issues with women and voting, a charming wife or mistress of a leading politician.

* A pamphleteer, keeping the presses free!

* A Lady Explorer, with her own dirigible and team of excellent cartographers, keen on learning new things and not annoying the natives, though occasionally having to lop the head off other explorers who are less culturally sensitive.

* A simple country Lady, with a standing militia of only three or four hundred horse and a few thousand foot soldiers. Shhh! A girl can dream! And they'll be handy for holding back the zombies that always seem to appear in these stories these days.

ravurian: insufferable british snobravurian on July 7th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
You could be an eccentric inventrice, or a clockwork courtesan, or a threadbare thief with a ticking secret. Or you could combine your hobbies and be steampunk witch with a steampimped wand...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 02:05 pm (UTC)
OOH! I like the last one ;-)

Alas, my inventions would all be along the lines of Comfy Saddle With Drinks Cooler, and Stable Ladder For Climbing From One's City Residence Into One's Dirigible.

I would know I should be working on vaccines and aether radios, but my uselessness at biology, chemistry and electrical engineering would show!
FEELS TERRORIST!: Architect Jamesmomebie on July 7th, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
Hey now. This big, mad world needs all kinds of inventions!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
I would have failed to invent penicillin, but been well ahead of my time with soft toilet paper ;-)
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
Oh comfort ... I've worn corsets spanning 500 years of fashion, comfort is as nothing to the right silhouette!

And OMG! That is Narcissa Malfoy's frock!
FEELS TERRORIST!: PATD Brendon bowlermomebie on July 7th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
I like all of those characters! And I can definitely see different pieces in my head that would work for each. My favorite is the pamphleteer. ♥

If you need ideas for how things could look you might try here. Or you could do a little digging through steamfashion and see what other people have done recently.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Those are great links! (Foresees hours of timewasting that should be spent sewing!)

Heh! I have a dreadful idea of the sorts of pamphlets I would produce, too ... maybe I will work on that for the local Steampunk World Faire in September ...
Keeper of the Superfluous Es!: Absinthe2/Nishizonothemostepotente on July 7th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)
This post made me squirm with utter joy! I want pictures when you are finished Brammers!!!

blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC)
There will be a big hat with a veil, so there can be pictures! (Be kind about the size of my bottom, I am not as young as I once was and there will be a bustle involved!)
Keeper of the Superfluous Es!: Ouroborosthemostepotente on July 7th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
I'm sure you will look absolutely scrumptious, m'dear! Is this for a con or a steampunk fest?

Edited at 2010-07-07 02:23 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 02:26 pm (UTC)
A party! But there is a local steampunk fest in September, so it can have another outing, and I am sure treacle will drag me to another con before time ends ;-)
Keeper of the Superfluous Es!: HandMeMyLeather/Fimmelthemostepotente on July 7th, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC)
I wanna go, too! *pouts*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
If you can be in Enmore at the end of September, you can! They even bring out the black horses and hearse carriage, it's loads of fun!
Kareinakareina on July 7th, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC)
This is why they invented the bustle, so that one's bottom looks as full as it should, despite not having grown it to proper lush proportions yet...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
I thought it was just a handy place to stash a bun and a flask of gin ...
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
WOW! Those are all divine. Dior has been so gorgeous this year. And that has settled it: I am not eating again until my arms are that thin! Pass me the dumbells! That hat is exactly the one I want, which is annoying, because I have had two just like it and gave both away when moving countries. Stupid!
Hollyhollyxu on July 7th, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
Comfy shoes go without saying in any outfit, but depending on how hot you're going to be, maybe go light on the corset/accessories?

Sorry, currently trying to live through 40C weather, brain is not working well...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 7th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
It will be the last month of winter here, so all should be well! (I once wore an Elizabethan frock in Brisbane midsummer -- never again!)

The beauty of bustles is that they can hold fabric out away from the body and allow for cooling breezes beneath, I think this is why so many summer frocks had enormous crinolines and cage bustles: to make up for the high necks!
( ̄ー ̄)☆☆ ジュンジュワ!under_an_oak on July 7th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
I'm appalled at the low votes 'goggles' got. It's Steampunk as Steampunk is.

Though...how on earth does one have a Steampunk party?
John Carterbrumeux77 on July 7th, 2010 11:15 pm (UTC)
Knowing little to nothing about steampunk myself, I drafted lady_akatari, who has at least written some. So my answers are really hers. For Q3, she commented "any costume of any period is improved by a man with a sword". As for Q2, she dithered back and forth between the sporting wear and men's clothing (with a very brief consideration of a riding habit) and finally refused to commit herself. But the very first thing that caught her eye was Q1's watch. "You can't do anything in steampunk without a good antique watch!"
Dedicated Escape Artist: Dystopiaryjadzialove on July 8th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
I am hopelessly out of touch! I have no idea what Steampunk even is...
bare_memabonwitch on July 8th, 2010 03:35 am (UTC)
I confess, I don't know what steampunk is. My answers to the poll, therefore, are more "I am most amused picturing you wearing..."
anna_wing on July 8th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
You need this:

http://www.grand-illusions.com/acatalog/Pseudoscope.html#a183

Or indeed, anything else from their shop.
&helena;uminohikari on July 8th, 2010 04:09 am (UTC)
I do not think that making the last question with tickies was advisable, since it asks for the best /single/ accessory. *g*
grey_hunter on July 8th, 2010 06:53 am (UTC)
Haha I have absolutely no idea but. One word: PICTURES! Even if you photoshop out your face but plz!

Huh. What about a pipe? A hat with a veil? A monocle? :D :D :D Yeah, I just pulled it out of my backside. Sorry.
shu_shu_sleepsshu_shu_sleeps on July 8th, 2010 08:48 am (UTC)
My easy accessory options to steam up a gorgeous Victorianesque frock are:
* cog-like jewelry (necklace/fobs)
* octopus inspired jewelry
* incorporate metal bits (keys, cogs, small gadgets) into the trim on your outfit
* create an inspector gadget type parasol
* raid Mr B's armour bag and get him to clean your selection thoroughly before use - pauldron/ elbow cop/gauntlet..... I think random small armour bits could work :)
* if you are wearing a military stylejacket (as per the piccie you added at the top of the comments) - go all JeanPaul Gautier and line up some small daggers in line with all that lovely frogging

Just thinkin' out loud - pick one or none of the above :) Though watching Fifth Element (the Diva's concert scene) may supply some inspiration - or am I being swayed by my absolute adoration of JPG....