Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Now for Something Totally Different - Part One of my Steam Punk Outfit

Try to ignore the stuff all around, I was sprawled out on the sofa trying to get the whole dress in the shot. 

So this is going to be a bit of a different post, it is going to be all about my new obsession.  I get obsessions frequently then have to deal with them right away, or I lose interest.  I know, lame but I can admit it.  My newest love is Steam Punk, and by love I mean, I want to be part of it, but I am not totally engrossed in it and can totally admit I am only doing it because I love the look.  So, please bear with me if you find yourself rolling your eyes and going, "what was she thinking?"  Because clearly I don't even know what I am thinking.

  So here goes!

 I read a little blog, you may have heard of it.  Cake Wrecks, it is a hilarious blog written by a lovely girl and her hubby.  They basically post pictures of cakes that are just horrific.  I mean you cannot even tell what some of them are supposed to be, and then the ones with spelling mistakes, just kill me.  I had and still have a slight fear that any of the cakes I have ever made might show up.  But I figure, at least I can claim to be famous if it ever happened.  

 So while reading this blog I noticed that the writer also had another blog, Epbot.  So when I found it I spent hours reading and thinking, how cool.  I mean my husband is a total comic book nerd, and I love him.  And I loved all the cool things this girl was making and doing.  How perfect.
I think it looks so good, but then the dress form is not all lumpy and bumpy like me.  So it may not have the same affect when I put it on.
  Then I saw the posts of her going to conventions and all the fun things people made to wear.  And I told Hubby and said maybe we should go to a convention.  He was all "Really?  That would be so cool!"  Then I told him we had to dress up, he was not so "cool" with that. 

So I said something along the lines of "I am trying to be supportive of your geeky interests and the least you could do would be to wear a totally amazing outfit to match me."

Then he said something about maybe being Green Lantern and I tuned him out.  I mean if I make something he will have to wear it.  Ask him about the lion costume I made him and he didn't want to wear.  He wore it, I mean I used fun fur, that stuff is annoying, so he had to.

This is a close up of the side, in case you couldn't tell.
Okay so long story short, (I know, that ship has sailed.) I decided I wanted to be a hot steam punk chick.  Then I realized I am like 5 foot nothing, so the hot part was out.  And I am more of a gal than a chick.  But none the less, I got started.  And I kept telling myself to take pictures as I was going, and of coarse because I was usually sewing, baking and watching TV all at the same time, there are no in progress pictures.  Sorry, but you get to see this, and you just read like the longest intro ever, so it sort of works out.

 To start I had a picture in my mind of what I wanted.  I wanted a longer skirt with an over skirt and a bustle, then a matching bolero and boots with spats and a purse and a hat or goggles and you know everything.  So I checked out the local fabric store and was thrilled to learn that there was a buy 1 metre get 2 free.  It was fate I tells ya!

I am so in love with the fabrics, except for the stupid plaid that keeps fraying and leaving bits all over the house.
  I was looking for a large stripe fabric for the under skirt and a solid for the over skirt and jacket.  I was getting really upset because nothing I saw was right or it was way too much.  Then I happened across a really great earthy plaid and a perfect green.  And with all the discounts I got 14 meters of fabric for $50.  Ya me.

  So I first started with the skirt because I figured that if I screwed that up I would stop.  I didn't have a pattern and just sort of went to work.  I started by making the underskirt.  I made large pleats, which I think are called box pleats.  Then I decided that I wanted to add a lower ruffle, but wanted it to be more structured so again I took a long piece of fabric and hemmed one side then box pleated it and added it to the bottom of my skirt.  Then I stopped, because it was really full and annoying to deal with.  I asked my mom to borrow her sewing dummy so I could pin it up and that was just perfect.

Close up of the pleats, which I think are called box pleats, I just sort of took a ruler and pinned it how I liked it.

You can sort of see how the front over skirt and the bustle are stuck on there, all willy  nilly.  But I love it, sort of.
My mom got this dummy years ago, I think she may have even used it once, so I was all excited when I got it home and set up.  Until I started measuring it and myself.  I had to let the dials out all the way and even then the butt was not exactly big enough.  Then I felt fat for a few days and then I got over it.  Sort of.

  So I pinned my underskirt onto the dummy and went to work draping the solid fabric on top to make an over skirt.  I pinned it to get it to lay how I wanted then I folded it in half and cut it sort of in a semi circle, then I went ahead and box pleated a strip to edge it to match the underskirt.  Then I sewing it on, gathering it at the sides so it sort of gathered up.  I was so excited and I loved it.  At this point I left it to make a jacket and a purse, because I had patterns and that was going to be way easier

I put the over skirt on first then the bustle, and the bustle just overlaps the front skirt.
  So when I got back to the skirt I took a long piece of fabric and hemmed three sides, I put a slit right in the middle where the zipper was going to go then pinned it to the waste of the skirt.  Once I had sewn it I started to tack and pin the bustle until I got the shape I wanted.  I am still not 100% happy with it, but it's not bad.  then I took a long strip and sewed on a waist band, folded it over and hand sewed it to finish it.  Then I put it on my dummy and thought, wow she's hot.  I still have to add the hook on the back but that can wait.
I totally got something like my finger in the bottom of this picture, but I didn't realize it until after I uploaded it.  Also I am not 100% on the way my bustle is gathered, but I did it like 5 times, so I may take it out again.  Sigh.

My jacket is just perfect, it will allow me to cover my non existent boobs and you know, it will keep me warm.  Two important things.
I flipped the collar a bit so you could see the lining. I am fancy like that.
I also made a jacket, I wanted something with shorter sleeves as I get hot and I also wanted it to be simple.  I found a historical costume pattern at the fabric store and set to work.  The jacket was lined and I was totally not going to bother, but then I thought it would be cute so I did.  I made it in about 5 hours, but I was watching Dexter with Hubby and would pin and then stop the show to sew a seam then pin some more.  I bet if I had just sat down to do it it would have been a 2 hour job at most.  I love how the pleat under the bust makes it hug my curves.  And by curves you all know I mean my flab right?  Well you do now.

 So once I was done with the jacket I wanted a corset.  Can I say right now that if I had $300 I would so buy one, there are so many nice steam punk ones on line that I drool over.  Also it would so suck in my curves (flab) and make me look way hotter.  But as I am not supposed to spend more than  I already have I had to make it and much simpler too.

  I found another historical pattern that had a corset like belt and a cute purse and arm guard thingies. I don't think I need arm guard thingies, but if I do, I can totally make them now.  So I bought some brown pleather to match the boots I got, and I had to repeatedly tell the lady at the fabric store that yes I knew what I was doing, no I did not want velvet and yes I know I am not hiding the seems and no I do not want to try it your way.  And no I am not worried that over stitching on pleather will look bad.  I had a pattern it was going to work. 

My belt, it ties at four points and looks great on the dress form who has abs of steal, my flab my not be so flattering in it.
 So I got my pleather cut out and went to work ironing it to double sided fusing.  Which didn't work because that fusing was a pain in the butt.  If you did not heat it enough it would not stick if you heated it just a little too much it would not stick. I even called the store and then got mad because I was on a roll and did not want to go out again.  So I just sort of ironed and changed the lining fabric and figured I was going to sew the pieces together anyway so whatever.  I sewed the pieces together then over stitched them all, and they looked awesome.  I then used fabric stiffener to seal the edges as the lining fabric frayed like crazy.  There are bits of it all over my house.  If I bothered to vacuum that would not be an issue.  And I don't vacuum so you know, we are dealing with it.

  I needed eyelets but the size they recommended were not at the store, and they wanted like $4 for 10, and I needed 40, so I went on Etsy and totally scored 100 in the right size and perfect colour for under $7 shipped.  When I was ready I marked the pieced with a pin mark and cut out the holes with my cropodile.  I then set the eyelets and tied it all together with some cording I bought.  I am happy with how it looks, it won't suck me in but for the $15 I probably paid for all the stuff, you cannot complain too much.

I put a gear on it to use as a button so that totally makes it steam punk.  Or so I have been told.
 I also wanted a purse because if my Hubby is going to be wearing a skin tight Green Lantern costume (Oh boy will I post pics!) I need something to carry my phone (totally historically correct by the way) and money  ( I hear there may be shopping at these conventions, so you now know the real reason I want to go)  It is fully lined so it is nice and sturdy and the ribbon ties it closed.  I used a gear from the Tim Holtz set I got at the craft store.  It is not huge but it will work for what I need.

And lastly I also made my steam punk pocket watch.  Because if there is one thing I know, if you put a gear on it you can call it steam punk.  Totally making reference to a funny you tube video someone sent me about it. So I used like a million little gears.  I won this Tim Holtz pocket watch embellishment thingy on another blog. And I was so excited, then it arrived and there was a crack in the glass, due to the cold weather probably, I was so bummed.  But then I thought that just makes it look cooler right?  I wanted watch gears but they were costly, so I ended up finding some on Etsy for about $12.  I used a lot of them, but I also made earrings and a tie pin. So this was so random, I put in a few large gears that are also Tim Holtz  in the bottom, then with clear adhesive stuff and tweezers just sort of started sticking the gears in all willy nilly.  I like how it looks and it will go great with my outfit.  I attached it to a chain and clips I got at wal mart and will hang it off the ties on my belt.
My watch full of gears.
Okay so that was the worlds most wordy blog post ever, but seeing as I didn't take any progress pictures you need my amazing words to understand what the heck I was doing.  Also the shirt on the dummy is just so you can see the stuff, it all sort of blended with the dummy. I have plans to make a nice white blouse with a skirt for under the dress.  I still have spats to make and a tie. And the local hard ware store is ordering me some welding goggles and I have some itty bitty plastic top hats to maybe cover in fabric.  I have my jewelry ready so I can share that next.  

So now you can see why my Hubby loves me, I support his nerdiness, and have fun in the process.

I have another secret project I have to finish in the next few months, so I will get back to this and the finishing touches in a while, but wanted to share what I had done so far.

I'm linking up here at Made Famous By.

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I'm Lovin' It at TidyMom


Monica said...

loooooooooooooooove this!! you'll look amazing!

Connie Mercer said...

I'm so impressed!! You are a jack of all trades!!! amazing dress!!!

Michelle said...

LOVE! Just absolutely LOVE!

Penny said...

I think you did an amazing job on this outfit! You sew MUCH better than I do, I can tell you that! Love Penny Scrap-aholic@blogspot.com

Linda said...

I think your outfit looks great! Enjoy it! I also had to lol when you where talking about Cake Wrecks. I'm sure you won't be featured there but I can understand the worry. That is how I would be too. :)

Mary Beth|Cupcakes and Crinoline said...

What an awesome outfit...everything is just perfect!

Nancy said...

I like to host mystery parties so I can have a reason to dress up. (my geeky hubby draws the line at conventions) so I am planning a pirate themed one right now. But after reading this I wonder if steam punk pirates would fly with my friends. I hope so!

Izzy Anderson said...

That outfit rocks! So creative!

Lara Neves said...

This is awesome. I really think the whole steampunk thing is cool, too. And you have done an amazing job!!

Karen Alexander said...

Damn girl! That really was a crazy long post but I'm so impressed that you created it from scratch! PS - Your hubby is the biggest need I've ever seen! I'm totally positive he's the nerdiest one in his family.

Karen :)

Paula said...

Wow! You did an awesome job on this outfit. Love to see a picture of you wearing it ;)

{northern cottage} said...

wow you've got sewing skills girl! well done & so fun! new linky opening up shortly - be sure to come by and link up your new creations!


Debora said...

Hi, I found your blog link from Two Peas. I love Steampunk and your dress is fabulous! Do you remember which Etsy seller you got the gears from to fill up your watch?