Dragonfly Designs by Alisa




Steampunk Photoshoot

Last weekend, I got to spend two days with photographer Tyson Vick.  Besides being amazing with a camera, he’s also a fabulous costumer!  I’m still in awe of his recreation (embroidery and all) of this historical outfit.  Tyson and I have been talking costuming and steampunk online for awhile now, so it was wonderful to finally meet him in person.

He had an idea for a steampunk photoshoot based around the Opium Wars, and wanted to use my costumes for the lady models.  We went to Fort Casey, WA for the first day, and used the WWII bunkers for our background.  Lovely Meilyn was our evil steampunk villain, and Christopher our hero-in-distress.

I can’t share any of the actual pictures Tyson took until they are published (which will be next summer) but I brought my camera and took a few to give you the idea of what we did.  Tyson’s will be MUCH better!  :)

It was quite odd to see my costumes on another woman; when her back was turned it was almost like I was standing next to myself!  An eerie-cool feeling!  This one is, of course, my Steampunk Geisha.  The wig was made by Tyson…another of his many talents!

Christopher was genuinely terrorized by Meilyn’s long metal fingertips!

I helped Tyson’s friend and assistant, Lizzie, with light reflection.

The other costume of mine we used on this day was my pirate coat (given a steampunk twist with the addition of a bustled skirt and modded shotgun.)

The models enjoyed the steampunk props.  Meilyn told me that this was the longest shoot she’d worked on…but the most fun!

Besides being fun, it was just slightly death-defying – at least to this height-phobic costumer!  ;)

This was my first photoshoot, and I had a blast.  Tyson’s a great guy, and easy to work with, and the models were high-energy and fun.

Sunday we went to Gasworks Park, in Seattle.

This was particularly fun for me, because while I’d driven past this park several times, I’d never actually been.  And it’s so STEAMPUNK!   It also has amazing views of the city, including the Space Needle.  (Why did they paint the top orange???  That’s just weird!)

This time model Christopher was joined by the heroine, Jadi.  Jadi wore my “Airship Pirate” pirate outfit.

Jadi is more blessed with curves than I am, so I had an opportunity to test-drive my corset, by lacing her in quite a bit harder than I normally would.  She actually had to hold onto the car, while Tyson and I yanked the laces!   And then, we made her jump, run, and climb.  Proving, once again, that it’s possible to do things like that in a corset!  ;)

Love this next shot…I don’t know what’s going on, but Christopher seems to be having a stare-down with Tyson!

Everyone loved playing with the guns!  I’m kinda surprised the police didn’t show up to arrest us, with all the guns, swords, and knives we were packin’.

I have a great fondness for that costume…it was the very first steampunk outfit I ever made!

Tyson, demonstrating how to climb the side of an airship while shooting.

After we finished the Great Pirate Battle at Gasworks, we went to another Seattle location, Kerry park.  It was very small, but it did have an interesting sculpture…and lots of milling tourists!

For this shoot, Jadi wore my Ottoman outfit.

The models shared some tender moments…. (lookit how pretty the beetlewing embroidery is on that jacket!!!)

….but this happened too!

That feathers on her turban were very unruly in the wind….as were the before-mentioned tourists!

Time out for feather-fixing…and a little key-wrangling.

Then I came home and unpacked the car and put everything away.  GAH.


Steampunk NeoBedouin

Captain Robert (lead singer and lyric-writer) recently published his first novel, a fictionalized account of the band’s adventures in the past and future.  In his fictional world, there are people in the future who have abandoned life in the cities for a life of freedom.  He calls them “NeoBedouins” and has a few descriptions of how they dress.

Wool and leather vests, with ornate embroidery.

Baggy pants tucked into enormous boots.

Colorful cloaks.

Long knotted hair.

Headdresses of made of belts and odd pieces of machinery.

Henna tattoos.

Basically, in Robert’s world, technology exists and is used – but outside of the cities, mankind is reduced to a more natural/primal state as well, with attacks from wild beasts common, and people foraging or trading for what they need.  These NeoBedouins are not a particular race, but anyone who has chosen this lifestyle.

I took that, and I ran with it.  I loved the idea of the tech combined with the primal.  A group/race of people who live in such close proximity to dangerous wild animals, would use parts of the animals in their dress.  Fur, skin, teeth and claws….if only to demonstrate that they survived an attack.  But since they also trade or scavenge for their needs, they would have cast-offs from the city.  Fancy fabrics and bits of jewelry or “odd bits of machinery”.  Something that might be too worn or impractical for a their outside lives would be torn apart and modified into something new.

Enough of the talking, let’s get to the pics!  Here’s what I have so far (it’s still pretty far from finished…)

One wool vest, with embroidery.

Notice the watch pocket!

I made a pair of baggy pants (which do not show to advantage in the pics because my dummy has no legs.)

I went with a MIddle Eastern-inspired coat, instead of a cloak.  It seemed more…right, to me.

Yes, there is only one sleeve. I’ll tell you the reason for that at the end!

For the embroidery, I went with a sort of almost Scandinavian look, because I wanted to pull it away from a complete “Middle Eastern” look.  I wanted it to look not completely racially homogeneous, but more like the outcasts from a city were jumbled together, and their styles started to merge as they borrowed designs and ideas off each other.  The center of the flowers are tiny mirrors – totally NOT a Scandinavian style of embroidery!  :P

These embroidered panels on the sides hang underneath pockets, and I think they will have some sort of secret/fun pocket on their undersides.  Possibly a place to hide a weapon?

The back of the coat is split, to enable riding on a motorbike or camel.

I also cut the back of the neck down, to show off the embroidery on the vest.  I think I’ll put some sort of fur trim on the shoulders of this.

The inside of the coat is lined in bright turquoise fabric.  This will show in flashes of color when I walk.  It matches nothing else on the costume, but I like that.  When you’re trading/scavenging  for fabric, you can’t always find those exact color matches!

For boots, I’m making a pair of leather spats.  This is my first time sewing with genuine leather, and I’m loving it.  I bought leather needles for my machine, and it’s as easy to work with as any fabric.

Still very much in progress:

There will be buckles, I think, and possibly fur.  Or some other kind of decoration.

And now…the reason for there being only one sleeve on the coat.  These people are fighers.  Stands to reason they would have some sort of armor.  On my “sword arm” I’ve taken off the sleeve (which would only get shredded by a leopard, should I be fighting one off) and am making a steampunk leather arm protector thing.  Cool name/function still to be determined.

Here’s what I have so far:

This will wrap around my upper arm, and lace and buckle in place.  And yes!  It lights up!!!  In the pic below, it’s “full on” (and not very bright because of the camera’s lighting needs.)  I can also make it flicker, which I think is the coolest effect.  In dim lighting, it’s awesome.  I used EL wire that came in about a two foot length.  It’s powered by a small battery pack.  I coiled it underneath the painted drain stoppers.  Once it’s finished, I’ll get a video for you guys…in dim light.

So there it is, so far.  Just wait until you see what I have planned for my head!!!!

It’s DONE.  I decided not to finish the spats…I just didn’t have the inspiration for how to finish them, so I’m leaving them for later.  In place of the spats, I’ll wear my big boots…which actually matches the book description better anyway.

On to the pictures!

The necklace is little glass “talon” vials filled with colored sand. And a Jay’s feather.

Hip pockets.

These fit my actual hips better!

Pockets, pockets, everywhere!  Inside….

…and outside…

Plus, I made two wrist bracers. This one:

And this one:

And then there’s my hair/headdress.  I made a turban and falls.  And antlers!

The black veil can either go across my lower face, as it is here, or just unclip and hang loosely to the side.

The antlers are made of Paperclay.

The hair falls are made of 1/2 fake burgundy hair, and 1/2 yarn.  The hair has braided sections with knotted bits of beads, shells, and bells attached.  The yarn is quite dread-like, and I was pleased to find it on clearance at Michael’s.  It’s called “Horizon Tweed” by a brand called Loops & Threads. I bought three different colors: blue, lavender, and red.

Here you are!  Pictures of me wearing it!

It was a very comfortable costume to wear.  I had *some* worries that the weight of the headdress/falls would make it start to slip back too far on my head – especially with all the dancing and jumping, but it all stayed perfectly fine and didn’t even give me headache…which was my other worry, as I have a sensitive head and even a simple headband will sometimes hurt me after a few hours.  Around my eye is a fake “henna” design I freehand drew on with liquid eyeliner.  Someone at the concert thought it was real henna!  I bought waterproof eyeliner for this because I wanted it to stay put even if I forgot it was there and rubbed my eye.  I bought cheap Wet n’ Wild eyeliner, and by golly did it ever stay put!  I couldn’t get it off even with makeup remover!  I had to basically *scrub* it off…which wasn’t much fun since it was right around my eye.  Glad I didn’t use it actually for it’s purpose…I’d never have gotten it off!  :)  But next time I want a temporary design on my hands or feet (or anywhere else more friendly to scrubbing, I’m definitely using this brand.  It STICKS.

Oh, and I also met this guy.  No idea who he is, but he seemed kinda cool….  :D

*not-so-quiet SQUEE at getting a picture with the guy who inspired my costume, while WEARING my costume*


How to Steampunk Anything

Before I get into today’s lecture, :P, I want to mention that Thanksgiving and the other holidays are totally messing with my time to costume….and also, my time to blog.  But I have gotten *some* stuff done on Idris, so I swear I will update that page soon!

Okay, so there are some costumes that are just easy to steampunk.  Anything that hails from the Victorian time period, for example.  But what if you want to make something steampunk that isn’t Victorian?  Funny enough, I was already planning to write about this subject, and then I went to this year’s Steamcon, and one of the panels was on how to “Steampunk your Fandom”.  Of course I went, and the panelist pretty much said everything that I had floating around in my brain!  But, for those of you that couldn’t attend *that* panel, here’s my take on the subject.

I’ve been steampunking my fandoms (and everything else) every since I discovered I was a steampunk.  Two of my upcoming costumes (just given their own pages to the left) are my Steampunk Hufflepuff and my Steampunk 10th Doctor.   Right now, I’m going to talk about the 10th Doctor costume.

This is the 10th Doctor, in case you aren’t a Doctor Who fan.

Basically, he’s just a man in suit and a long coat.  A very gorgously wonderful man.  In a wonderfully gorgeous coat.

The back of his coat has this fabulous buttoned flap:

When you steampunk something that isn’t visually in the steampunk aesthetic, there are two things you need to do.  You need to make it steampunk (obviously!) and you need to express enough of the original design/character so that people won’t just think “Oh that’s a cool steampunk outfit” and fail to realize who you are meant to be.  In my case, I also want to make my steampunk’d 10th Doctor a woman as well.

My first idea was to make his suit as an Edwardian woman’s suit, because the lines are quite similar.  His suit is very straight and skinny, and so were those Edwardian suits:

And this would have worked fine.  But I’ve worn this type of skirt, and I know how you have to move when you wear one!  The 10th Doctor’s physical trademark is his love of running and other exhausting activity…and that sort of thing is NOT going to happen in this kind of skirt.  I also considered making a Victorian bustle skirt, but that had nothing whatever in common with the look of the Doctor’s suit, and I just couldn’t settle my mind around it.

And then, I remembered this Victorian oufit:

It’s a Victorian cycling uniform, from the Kyoto Costume Institute.  Here is a Victorian woman’s outfit that is made for activity!  And it has similiar lines to that of a modern suit.  Oh, yes, I can see a female Doctor wearing this!

I googled a ton of different cycling uniforms, and I discovered that women frequently wore spats or gaiters with them  Such as this pair:

My other problem had been what to do about Ten’s shoes.  He wears red canvas sneakers…not exactly Victorian OR steampunk!  But…imagine a pair of red canvas spats, worn over a pair of white Victorian boots.  Yes.  That works.

The 10th Doctor is active and physical.  We’ll put my Ten in a blue pinstriped cycling suit, with white boots and red canvas spats.

Now for the coat.  This is the single most recognizable thing about the 10th Doctor, and if we take it away, our Ten will be just a woman in a cute cycling uniform.  But neither can we leave it exactly as it is, if we want to stay at all true to the “look” of the Victorian era. The back of it, with the buttoned flap, is easily its most distinctive detail.  That has to stay.  But the front…we can play with the front!

What about doing a tailcoat? Victorians wore them all the time.

Since this is steampunk, and doesn’t have to be historically accurate, we’ll have our Ten wear a modified tailcoat over her cycling uniform.  We’ll crop the front of the 10th Doctor’s coat, and make it more fitted to a woman’s body.  But we’ll leave the buttoned back flap pretty much as-is, creating a steampunk-y version of a tailcoat.

Instead of a tie, we’ll have her wear a cravat.  The 10th Doctor has a fabulous bit of tech, his sonic screwdriver, and we’ll maybe play with that bit to add a more steampunk feeling.  The 10th Doctor loves various props, and in one episode, he wears a pair of 3D glasses.

What is the steampunk equivalent of 3D glasses?  Goggles with one red lens and one blue lens, of course!  Yay goggles!  I like having an excuse to add them to a costume; goggles are cool.

Here is my finished concept sketch (and forgive the fact that I cannot draw the back of a buttoned-flap tailcoat to save my life):

So here are my tips for how to steampunk anything:

1) Think about your character/thing/person.  What are her/his abilities, strengths, likes, and favorites?  What does s/he value in his/her costume? Comfort? Fashion? Does he have an item of clothing that he is never without?  Make a list of the things that he has to have in order to be “him”, and then modify those into Steampunk equivalents.

2) Try to think of what a Victorian version of his work/job/hobby would be.  If he has a profession, what would his profession have worn in the Victorian age?  If it’s a profession that’s been around for a hundred + years, that’s a simple thing to google.  If it’s something new to our age, you’ll have to look for a more ancient equivalent.  A computer tech today might have been an engineer in the past.

3) Look at the cut and style of his costume and props/gear.  What does it LOOK like?  What does it do?  Could be made tooperate with steam?  If he does magic in his real world, could he do the exact same things using mad inventions and Victorian-age tech in a steampunk version?

4) Don’t fret about being too “historical”.  If there is no Victorian equivalent to what you want to do, then just do it anyway.  Steampunk is about having fun, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!

5) Don’t fret about it not being “steampunk” enough.  I cannot stress this enough.  For every steampunk costume I’ve made, there has been at least one person who commented that she doesn’t see what makes it steampunk.  Don’t get scared and start hot-gluing gears all over or stick a pair of goggles onto your hat just to “make it steampunk” – unless you want goggles on your hat and a lot of gears.  :)  Steampunk is one part aestetic, one part attitude, and a whole airship full of whimsy.  In a world that embraces mad invention and time travel, there is no way there isn’t justification for your vision of steampunk.   I don’t care how “big” a person is in the steampunk community, don’t let them convince you that they have the only legal definition of steampunk, and if you aren’t playing by their rules, you’re doing steampunk wrong.  I’ve heard one Really Big Name say that (among a bunch of other things) anything post-apocalyptic can’t be steampunk.  In my opinion that’s load of hooey.  We aren’t recreating the past, we’re imagining a new future for that past.  Who’s to say that  some evil inventor didn’t destroy most of the known world in my version of 1885?  Who’s to say that the world in 2085 wasn’t destroyed, and the only books that survived were a Victorian etiquette manuel and a textbook on steampowered technology?  What do you think the world the few surviving people created might be like?  My view on steampunk is, if you can figure out a story to go with it, and you’re having fun, you’re absolutely doing it right.

And with that, I’ve been meaning to say that, while I absolutely adore comments left on my blog, any of you can also feel free to email me as well, with suggestions, pleas for help (I don’t promise to actually be ABLE to help, mind you!) or whatever else you’d like to say.  Bear in mind that I don’t do costuming for people other than myself (although I plan to make a few pairs of spats to sell, and embroidered purses as well, so if you’re interested in either of those….)  Also, I’d love links to your own costuming blogs if you have one, or photos of what you’ve done – especially if something I did/said inspired you to make it!  Also, I am not one of those people who jealously guards my photos/designs, so if you want to post pictures of mine on your own blogs, have at it.  And I get a TON of people asking if I’ll sell my airship pirate jacket.  I don’t plan to, but feel free to copy the design for yourself, or find a professional to copy it for you.  I don’t mind, honest, and if the professional costumer says she won’t because copying someone else’s work would be unethical, tell her that isn’t true in my case, and refer her to this post!  :)  Anything cool I post or make is there to be shared with you – I just appreciate all the praise and enthusiasm for my costuming!

My email is

If you email me, please put something in the subject line so I will know you’re not a spammer.  I have a very active spam filter, and while I do check my spam folder for things that accidentally slipped into it, subject lines of just “hi” make me think you might be a ‘lonely sexy woman’ who wants to show me pictures I’d prefer not to see, or else some kind of Nigerian royalty!  *grin*


Chinese Steampunk

Here are a few pictures of the ‘quick and dirty’ Chinese-inspired outfit I put together when I realized I:

a) Had all the fabric I needed, and

b) Wanted something cool to wear to the cabaret at Steamcon.

It is three layers: a striped gold and brown corset, a mandarin style cropped coat with immensely long sleeves, and a kinda-more-Japanese belt/sash.  I have the ruffled pettipants I’m going to wear tucked under the corset in this picure.  I’ll wear it with over-the-knee stockings and Victorian boots.

In the below pic, that dark line across the chest is a shadow.

The jacket buttons up the side front.

Since the fabric is all synthetics, I decided to burn the edges of the sleeves to ‘hem’ them, rather than sew.  It made a very nice edge, and was remarkably easy.  If you’re curious, I just put a candle in a sturdy base, then held the fabric stretched between my hands and ran the edge across the flame.  As long as I kept the fabric moving at a slow, steady speed, I had no problem with an even melt.  And as for the fabric accidentally catching fire – it didn’t seem to want to, even when I tested it.  So I felt  pretty secure – although I still did it over a non-carpeted floor.  :D


Steampunk Vampire

I’m calling this one done…although I may make a few more tweaks before Steamcon (if I have time!).  I’ve worn it once already: to the first of five Halloween-themed dress-up days at my library workplace.  The first theme was…big surprise…vampires!

Here are three of us, at work, terrorizing a co-worker who wasn’t wise enough to wear fangs and take herself off the lunch menu!

When I got home, I had someone take a few quick snaps in the front yard.  I will hopefully get better ones next time I wear this….these are so bad I really don’t even want to post them – but since you’ve all been begging for more pics…here they are.

I have a pair of fingerless, over the elbow black leather gloves that I will wear to Steamcon with this; I wore ordinary fabric gloves to work because: 1) I didn’t want to risk injury to the gloves, and 2) It was quite warm inside the building. We’re having our second summer just now….   I did manage to wear the boots ALL SHIFT without experiencing an intolerable amount of pain!  Yay for comfortable 5″ heels!


Steampunk Zombie Hunter

I’ve finished the zombie hunter jacket (except for the back patch, which is being custom made).  I think it looks pretty awesome!

Here are some pictures:

Notice the medal I made for “Meritorious Mayhem against the Living Dead”!  (Using one of my replacement silver zombie heads.  The first zombie heads were stolen by my household gremlins!)

Imagine the back of this with an awesome custom zombie patch….

This is a shot of the underarm holster.  This was made from an old purse I picked up at Value Village.  Lots of little straps and clips!  It has one pocket, and a place to hold a weapon.  I need to make that weapon, one of these days….

Here’s the thigh holster, made from the same purse. There’s a pocket, a gun holster, and a secret pocket behind the gun!  I’m really pleased with how this turned out (although it looks better when it’s worn by someone with thighs, unlike my dress dummy!).  I’m already on the lookout for more purses whenever I hit Value Village!

I still plan to add some more details, but it’s finished enough to wear to two events!


Steampunk Explorer

Finished! 5/8/14

Well, I got busy and didn’t really get many in-progress pics for you, but here’s the finished results.

The underskirt is an Edwardian-inspired hobble skirt…so practical for exploring the deserts of Egypt and fighting off evil mummies!

The corset is hiding a convenient zipper behind those buttons.

And has lots of pockets.  Pockets are extremely practical!

The back looks a bit wonky in this photo – I didn’t notice I had the skirt slightly askew before I took the picture.

Steampunk Wedding Dress

Finished!  7/5/14

The wedding dress in done.  Well, except for putting grommets in the swiss waist.  I discovered I was out of silver ones, so I had to order some.  They’ll be here next week, so I can put those in and ship this dress to Montana for its big photoshoot.

I’m not going to lie; I’m VERY ready to be finished sewing 25 yards of Ivory silk!  If I were making a dress for myself, it would never be in this color.  Good thing I have very colorful projects lined up next!

So, on to the pictures!

I made it with a detachable train.  The skirt is altered from Truly Victorian’s #125.   It’s a petticoat pattern, but I left out the net inside, only used the outer shell.  And I’ll let you in on a little secret…I sewed it together upside down, using the hem as the waistline, and the actual waist as the hem.  Why?  Because I accidentally put it on my dummy that way (don’t ask me how!) and it worked.  It worked fantastically!

The smaller circumference around the lower legs drew the skirt in to almost a Victorian version of a mermaid dress, and the really large circumference around the waist let me do some interesting pleating at the waist and down the back of the legs.

Let me show you.

This is the back of the skirt, sans train:

This is how it looked on the dummy, just pinned in place – and minus the upper layer of pleats:

After I sewed the lower pleats around the bottom of the skirt, I folded the pleats in on themselves, like so:

And then allowed the folds to travel up the skirt to the waist:

Full view of the finished back (bearing in mind that I can’t properly lace or fit the waist without grommets):

And from the front?

Notice the sleeves have buttons now, and there are more pearl embellishment on the swiss waist.

The train buttons on, just under the upper layer of pleats.

And from the back, you can see just how long that train really is!

Sometime I’m going to have to revisit this skirt “mistake” – I’d like to make a skirt like this in something I would actually wear myself!

Wedding Gown – 6/13/14

This is kind of a fun one for me – I’ve never done a wedding dress before.  And this is definitely an over-the-top wedding dress!  I purchased 25 yards of ivory faux silk fabric, and except for about 40″ that I’m sending to my co-creator, Tyson Vick, I’m going to be using every bit of that yardage, I think.

I haven’t done more than cut out the fabric for the train, and the skirt is about 1/2 way finished, but the bodice is done except for buttons on the front and sleeves.

Here’s a few pictures.

I really love the collar I designed for it.

The bodice is New Look 6945, but I switched out the sleeves with another of Truly Victorian’s wonderful patterns – the 1980’s Victorian Sleeves Pattern.  It was, as always, brilliant to work with…although the sheer volume of fabric required for each sleeve made it quite interesting to make.  Since my fabric was on the thin side, I flat-lined it with cotton.  Including the lining and a second structural lining of stiff net, that made me use around 8 yards of fabric for each sleeve!  Gah!  I could have made a ballgown with the yardage I put into these sleeves alone!

I have also completed most of the swiss waist, although it still requires more decoration.

I ruched a panel of fabric, then applied it to the front.  It makes a pretty effect, I think.

And here it is, put together.  Well, pinned together, since none of the fastening are sew on! 

This style of sleeve always looks so wonky without an actual arm inside.

Oh, I forgot to mention: the lace panel on front is a piece of vintage lace I found on ebay.  Since the gown is lined in blue silk, this gives the dress “something old”, “something new”, and “something blue”.  Philomena just needs to borrow an accessory, and she’s all set for her wedding!

Since I have no reason to keep a wedding dress, this one will be going up for sale after the book’s photoshoot.

Steampunk Tenth Doctor

Costume Con 30

Judges Choice in the Fantasy/Sci Fi Masquerade!  “All the Whos in Whoville”.  All eleven Doctors plus one extra….  For more info on this, see this blog post.

Oh, look!  It’s River!

With Suzette, the First Doctor.

And Arte, the Eleventh.

Gallifrey One 2012

For lots more pictures of me wearing this costume, go to my Random Blog:

Done, but for goggles  1/26/12

And YES.  I’m calling this one done – all that’s left is to put the strap on the goggles and add the red/blue lenses.  The lenses are being custom made for me by a lovely Etsy seller – and he’s only charging me $4 (including shipping!)  If you need anything made, contact him.

So here’s what you’re all waiting for – the pictures!

The blouse has its buttons finally!  Read more about the blouse, including pattern info n the post below this one.)

The back of the blouse is gathered.

For the cravat, I took a wide man’s tie, and took it apart and put it back together.

I’m absurdly pleased with it – and it was easy too!  Maybe (after Gallifrey One) I’ll do a tutorial for you guys?

It buttons at the side:

The buttonhole is all raggedly – I need to clip the loose threads!

Also, I finished the spats.  They are a deeper red than they appear.  Stupid camera that won’t capture color right!  Like all my spats, they have a hidden zipper under the buttons, and they lace up the back.

Here’s what the suit looks like, minus the coat.  The bloomers do not hang quite right on the dummy – since I can’t put them on her (her stand gets in the way of the legs holes.)  They are just pinned on in front.

Notice the pocket watch chain across the front?

And instead of doing blue plastic buttons as I did on my previous Tenth Doctor outfit, I decided to go steampunk with metal buttons.  Look – they sort of have gears on them!  I found them at Walmart, for super cheap, and they are so HEAVY and quality.  I’m very happy with them!

So there you are!  And I’ll post pictures of me wearing this very soon – this one is going to Gallifrey One with me, in mid-February! If you see me there, come up and say hello!!!  I’ll have ribbons!!!!!

Progress!   1/18/12

I was snowed from work today, so I worked on the bloomers.  They are done – except for putting in a waist band.  Instead of simply gathering the top with elastic (as they did on an extant pair of 1895 bloomers) I’m going to make a fitted waist, then put the gathering on at hip level.  There is a LOT of fabric to gather, and I’m afraid it will mess up the fit of the bodice/vest.   The bodice/vest is finished except for adding buttons.

Notice all the snow.  Gah!  I am so not a winter person!  But it does make for a difference in the making-of costume pics…and that’s the only reason I didn’t wait to take them until after the snow was gone.

I draped the bodice/vest without using a pattern, and the front of it is pretty much a copy of Tennat’s suit.  Only a little more fitted.  The blouse still needs buttons as well, and the pattern for that is the Truly Victorian #491.  I used the sleeve lining as the actual sleeves, because I didn’t want them to be too bulky under the coat.

I changed the back from Tennant’s suit – I put some gathering in the back, and changed the peplum to more a bustle-look.

And I lined everything in this awesome fabric!

Coat Finished!  1/14/12

Those sleeves were a PAIN.  I don’t like setting sleeves, period, and this fabric was thick enough to make gathering and sewing in these sleeves a difficult job.  Thank goodness for seam rippers!  But here it is, all done:

The upper part of the coat is made using Simplicity pattern #2525, with sleeves from Truly Victorian’s blouse pattern #491.  The back with the buttoned flap, I copied from pictures of David Tennant’s coat.

Glad this is done (even though it was largely fun to sew…other than those sleeves!) because I’m on a serious deadline here.  And I keep adding more costumes, so it’s totally my own fault.  And last night?  I was dreaming up a new steampunk costume to wear to the Abney Park concert Jon and I are going to this summer!  An early finish to this costume means I might actually get to make it (and heaven forbid!) not have to wear an old outfit!    Plus, I’m really excited to get to work on the stuff for Costume Con….this long weekend, I am going to try really hard to finish the bicycling outfit to wear under this Ten coat.

The Coat

First, a few pictures of the original coat:

And because it seems to be impossible for me to find a view of him from the back, here’s one of a replica costume.

I thought of making this outfit Victorian by turning this coat into a 1895 cycling cotume, like this extant example:

After a couple days of work, this is what I have…so far.  The sleeve is still only pinned in place, as is the collar.

Because I’d previously made a Tenth Doctor coat (See the page: Femme Ten), I already knew how the back slit works, and it was pretty simple to make another, tailcoat version.  The sleeves, however, are being the very devil.  I HATE setting sleeves even when they are ordinary sleeves, and these…well, there’s nothing ordinary about those puffy monstrosities!  Plus the fabric is quite thick for gathering, so it’s all unyielding and awkward.  But I’m soldering through, and the jacket will be done very soon.

How I came up with this idea

Concept: Female Steampunk Victorian Tenth Doctor

I’m going to do an entire blog entry on coming up with this idea, and how to “steampunk” characters that aren’t steampunk, so I’ll just put the finished concept sketch here.

This one will be done by early 2012.  I have the fabrics – all I need is time to sew it!

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