If you’ve been following me at all since my blog started, you’ve probably seen this old profile picture, which looks like I’m sitting in a very awkward pose. Let me explain—I’m wearing a corset because a corset is necessary for any women’s steampunk costume.
Today’s post is about my steampunk costume. It was so much fun to make. It was so much work to make. It was so worth it. Plus, there were a lot of fun little details that I finally get to point out to everyone.
Steampunk Dress and Bodice
I used Simplicity 2172 to make my dress and coat. It takes 9 yards of fabric, so I chose one of the cheapest fabrics I could find in a color I liked. In hindsight, for more authentic steampunk, I should have made it in brown, but I really like the torquiose.
I followed to pattern exactly, with only three minor alterations. First, it needed shoulder pads. I don’t like shoulder pads, but the jacket just didn’t fit without them.
Second, I hand embroidered a detail onto the shoulders with gold embroidery floss. To make it, I drew a loopy design on the underside of the fabric, then hand-stitched it on. It was much simpler to sew than it looks.
For the third alteration, I raised the front of the skirt. I wanted my cool petticoat to show, so I used some ring tape I had left over from making roman shades. I coated the rings and tape with Rub n Buff to make it metallic gold. Then I gathered together all the loops with a keychain ring. I did that on both sides of the front of my skirt.
The petticoat I made several years ago for a pirate costume, and I’ve used it several times since. It’s great for making any dress fuller, and more historically-authentic looking. The skirt is just a large rectangle of off-white muslin sewn together and gathered at the top. Then I found a lace tablecloth at a thrift store, cut it into strips, gathered it together, and sewed in onto the bottom the skirt for a ruffle.
I took several old feathers and tied them together with fishing line. We had a broken metal watch, so I removed the face and rubbed on some Rub n Buff to make the numbers stand out. I glued the clock face onto the feathers and added a bobby pin. (I love Rub N Buff. I even used it on my curtain hardware.)
My very creative sister made these goggles from some old swimming goggles. She spray painted the whole thing gold, then hand painted the lenses black. No, I can’t see through them, they’re just for looks. She removed the plastic strap and added black elastic instead. They are actually very comfortable to wear as a headband.
This was a random, last minute addition I made because we had some scraps of black leather. I cut a 5X7 inch rectangle, a 5X13 inch rectangle, and a long 2-inch wide piece for the sides. With my sewing machine, I sewed the side piece onto the smaller rectangle, then onto part of the larger rectangle, so that a flap hung over the front. There were a lot of flaws in the leather pieces, so I added a bunch of lace and decorative stitching. I added two buttons to the front flap to make it look finished (it doesn’t actually latch together). I have an old chain belt that I used as the purse strap. It wasn’t quite long enough, so I added a small leather strap too. I hook it all together with keychain rings.
In steampunk, the more accessories, the better. We raided my in-laws garage and found a bunch of old keys. I have gloves, a broach, a necklace, earrings, and a couple belts. And, of course, a pocket watch and chain.
It was so much fun to make a steampunk, monster-hunter costume. Just a warning, it took forever to get dressed in it, but it actually wasn’t very hard to move around once I was wearing it. I wrangled my 1-year-old pretty easily.
Don’t forget to check out my little monsters’ costumes and my husband’s amazing steampunk costume. Plus, we have a post on how to make a nerf gun steampunk.