I love the Steampunk style. The combination of old Victorian style with a futuristic sci-fi twist has always appealed to me, so imagine my delight when I discovered there was a word to describe it all: steampunk! In between studying Open University science modules I treated myself to a Steampunk costume,something I made for a Halloween party. Most of my artistic creations are made from recycled materials, and this project was no different.
The corset, hat, choker and cuffs are made from a faux-leather jacket from the charity shop (£2). The shirt was heavily modified and was also purchased at a charity shop. The first skirt (shown above) was left as is (also from the charity shop). I wore this outfit at a local Halloween party and didn’t particularly care for this skirt so I made another one, a layered and ruched affair in rich green and brown. I can’t seem to find the photographs of it just now, but when I do I will upload them.
Hat – I used this tutorial as a basis for making it. I didn’t follow the instructions exactly as I was making a much smaller version. The pheasant feather quill pen (complete with nib) was purchased over a decade ago from a gift shop at Loch Lomond, Scotland. The clock face is a genuine clock face from a dismantled charity shop clock and the feather above it was from an earring made by my Canadian aboriginal auntie when she was younger – the other one has long since been lost.
Corset: I used an existing corset I have as a template to cut out the faux leather pieces. I altered the pieces so the style was different. It is hand embroidered on the front and back using print outs of embroidery patterns I stole online (Google image steampunk embroidery – lots to choose from!). The boning from the corset was the plastic boning from some of DDs princess dresses (charity shop finds) and she hasn’t yet noticed they are gone – phew! Sometime in the future I would love to make a real corset using a bask and proper boning. All the straps are detachable as they are held on with buttons/buttonholes. The straps at the thighs hold a chain (salvaged from a charity shop belt) on the right hand side with two old keys (one from the pantry door in a house I used to live in and one from an old wardrobe, long since demolished and bonfired). The left hand strap holds a working clock I bought for myself while waiting for a flight in an airport in Birmingham last summer. It has Roman numerals on the clockface and a clear back so you can see the workings. I positively love it. 🙂
Choker: The cameo is a genuine cameo brought back to Canada from Venice by a boyfriend a very long time ago. The chain used to belong to the clock at the hip which I dismantled. The key was given to me by a Canadian friend before I immigrated to Scotland – she said it was a talisman and “the wearer shall know the truth”. Lace was sewn into the top and bottom and it fastens using a corset fastening with suede in the back.
Cuffs: These are hand embroidered using paper piecing embroidery patterns stolen off the interwebs. They are also held together using corset fastenings.
Shortly after finishing this costume I found out there was a private Steampunk party being hosted in a nearby town. I managed to get myself an invitation and was so pleased to be able to wear my own designs out in public.
This photograph I took of my initial supplies was the inspiration that started it all.