Steampunk

The things to come

This is a rather unusual post for me – it’s about planned projects. I normally only post about completed projects, or at least the ones well underway. But this one is too exciting to keep quiet about! ๐Ÿ˜€ 

We’ve just come back from the Steampunk Asylum in Lincoln. If you don’t know what it is all about, then google it – I dare you! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ So our heads are buzzing with ideas (naturally). My dearest mentioned that he would like a new jacket for next year, and we just stumbled upon an absolutely delightful fabric shop right there on Bailgate – The Fabric Quarter (thefabricquarter.com). The majority of fabrics are natural. Good quality fabrics – all of them! You don’t see that every day. So we bought some stuff… ยฃ130 worth of it… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ And also some leathers on the market…

The Sea Merchant outfit

This is what he called it – it’s that jacket that he wanted now transformed into a coat, a waistcoat, a pair of trousers, a shirt with ruffles and lace, a pair of cavallery boots, a tricorn hat, a handgun, a rifle, a knife (or two) for in the boot(s), a walking cane, plus various belts and pouches. We’ve got the guns and the cane already (a handgun from before and a rifle and a cane purchased this year), and we just ordered the boots (proper British army officer’s riding boots) and the hat (almost proper British navy hat). He’s intending to ride sea horses, no doubt. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

The Sea Merchant’s outfit collage. Click on the image to enlarge – check out those details!

For those who are not sure: the weapons are purely decorative and don’t actually shoot at all. Heck, the rifle has hooks for hanging teapots on! ๐Ÿ˜†

The main material is heavy weight cotton – officially for curtains or upholstery, but that’s just a label of course. It has a smooth surface, so the plan is to embellish it with burgundy wool couched with golden lurex so as to make the material 3-dimensional. The collar, cuffs and pocket flaps will be in burgundy velvet, and decorative trim will be black. The other fabric in the picture is silk from my stash – isn’t it nice to have a silk stash? That’s for the lining. The coat will have it on the bodice and sleeves only, the skirt will be lined with the outer material minus the embellishment. It has pleats to allow the coat to be buttoned up even when wearing those guns strapped to the thighs.

The waistcoat will be of a classic cut, with the front made of the outer material without embellishments, and the back made of that silk. The trousers will be of slim cut for in the boots, with sturrups, and with one of those old military flaps on the front with two rows of buttons. Probably just decorative with a regular zip underneath, but we’ll see. Material: sand-coloured cotton twill or drill.

The shirt… I might just make a lacey jabot and cuffs to go over a Jacobean shirt – that’s what they used to wear back in the day, it’s very practical.

The hat will get feathers, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also want a parrot, but my dearest doesn’t agree.

The green jacket

The kilt is very Steampunk, especially if you are actually a Scotsman and those are your colours.

That jacket is the formal jacket to wear with the kilt. For Steampunk events we would like something more exhuberant though. โ˜บ The tartan is Scott Hunting Green, so the main colours are green and navy.

I see a jacket coming up! ๐Ÿ˜€ This is the same kind of cotton “deco” fabric as in the Sea Merchant’s outfit. I haven’t got a design for this one yet, watch this space!

(And yes, I have more silk. May be red Chinese dragon for the lining? It needs contrast, I think.)

Alice in the Hatter’s domain

I was going to do something along these lines for this year’s Asylum! But if you leave things until two weeks before the event, they just don’t happen. Which is why I’m starting now! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

From the video game “Alice: Madness Returns”

This is my inspiration picture, my own outfit is going to look a bit different. It’s in there somewhere, inside my head, being worked on by The Brain, but I have not yet had the priviledge of being shown what it will look like. But it will be brown. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Alice in Hatter’s Domain concept collage. Click on the image to enlarge.

Did I mention we bought leathers? There they are. In different shades of brown, some thick, some thin, but all supple. Not top quality, but seeing that I’ll be aging them anyway, that’s just as well. Loads of leather for ยฃ40 – enough for the outfit, including a cape. Not all leather, you understand, but combined with that leafy “deco” cotton straight from the gardens of the Queen of Hearts (embellished with some gold braid, perhaps?). Some crochet doilies to use for lace (and may be crochet some more), my existing gold brocade corset over it, with belts and pouches naturally (one needs to be prepared), a copper tea pot, a walking stick and a hat with a parrot on (“No, it’s a Bird of Paradise!” – Parrot, I say). Brown lace-up boots and a silk polka dot blouse with some lace – yes, with rather oversized dots on it. ๐Ÿ˜€

Alice and The Cat

I do like my Alice. ๐Ÿ˜€ This is an outfit from two years ago, and it needs sprucing up.

Imagine randomly walking into someone dressed as The Cat that you’ve got on your head! Everything is possible at the Asylum. But that purple velvet outfit of mine is too plain and needs work. I also have a nicer jacket now, but it’s thin – more like a blouse, so some re-thinking is in order (Hello, Brain? Are you listening?).

Here we are – The Cat caught himself some ferrets (a.k.a. minks), and I’ve got two pieces of Chinese brocade that would work. Still not sure what to do with it though! Oh yeah, may be this is why I haven’t done anything with it this year… I was thinking a bustle with the two brocades, but I also want some sort of a corset/belt thing to go over it, but not a proper corset because that would totally crush the velvet on that top. Hmmm… Some blouse is also needed… And a cape… I have some heavier purple jackets that are too small for me – they could be made into capes…

These fabrics are not actually as light in colour as they appear in the photo – the contrasts are here because they lay flat on the table. They look much darker when worn – the top looks almost identical to the skirt in colour and saturation.

And the other stuff

This should keep me busy for a year, I reckon! I also need regular clothes. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Errr, I mean, civilian. Plain. For the Uninitiated. You know – muggles.

I’m working on another outfit from 1941 (a skirt and two blouses), and a few knitted things for the winter. My sewing ideas queue has some 30 items in it, obviously I can’t make them all, and I don’t need quite so many garments to be added all at the same time. I tend to pick out the most appropriate idea to cover an immediate need which is largely dictated by the weather, indoors and outdoors. (The climate in an airconditioned office does not usually correspond to the current season or the climate outdoors. You need the right clothes to deal with the discrepancy.)

With my work commitments and the demands on my time for sleep and food intake (how most inconsiderate!), I can make on average one outfit in 2-3 weeks depending on the amount of embroidery and other embellishing. Also mending and alterations of existing garments tend to jump the queue and squeeze in between. And then there’s the Tinkering Bug (TB). When that hits (or I come across something exciting), I spend my time tinkering instead of sewing. Oh well, such is life. ๐Ÿ˜

9 thoughts on “The things to come

  1. Well!! I never knew! That purple outfit looks wonderful and actually so modern. You’ve given me a whole new view of the two of you!

    Still working on the garden. More trees and shrubs have been lopped and hard prunned. John has just come home with a ‘biggy’ professional chain saw – very orange.!

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    1. Well, we got into Steampunk some 2.5 years ago when I was looking for something fun to do in the summer. Found it! ๐Ÿ™‚ This past year and a half have been quite hard for us health wise, so now that things got a bit better, we brought enough painkillers to bring down an elephant and went for some medicine for the soul. ๐Ÿ™‚ Well worth it!

      That purple outfit is actually just modern clothes. A lot of Steampunk stuff is just that – we wear clothes rather than costume. ๐Ÿ™‚ But it is amazing how things get transformed with a fancy hat or by wearing your corset over your clothes rather than under them. It’s like behind the looking glass: nothing is quite what it seems.

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    1. I think I’ve seen you. ๐Ÿ™‚ But we didn’t go to either of the fashion parades because there’s a fashion parade all around you all the time! ๐Ÿ˜€

      I’ve worked out some further details of the Sea Merchant’s outfit: the waistcoat will be based on Gerald Blanc’s waistcoat from Assassin’s Creed Liberation set in 1775 – it’s got corset lacing on the back. But the front will be modified. The trousers will be based on General Galliffet’s ones (1893) but more like Gerald’s around the thigh (1775) and puffy down to below the knee, then slim for in the boots and more structured like my grandfather’s (1941) using a pattern from a German sewing magazine (1951) which lists them as “protective workwear” – they’ve got a flap on the front like in Prussian army (1910) and corset lacing on the back like I’ve never seen before. Still with me? ๐Ÿ˜€ In a word: it will be a 2018 original. XD

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  2. Steampunk seems to go well with your love of vintage machines and vintage clothing! I am fascinated with Steampunk and i love the outfit you made for an event a couple years ago!

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    1. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think Steampunk can be described as Jules Verne re-enacted. So yes, machinery (including sewing machines) is very much a part of it. As long as it is powered by tea! (Steam) Or gin. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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