Steampunk Yourself

Oct 9, 2011

Alison asked me about our Steampunk costumes from last year, and it made me realize that probably all of you had the same burning questions, but just didn't know how to ask.  Who doesn't want to know how to Steampunk themselves for Halloween?  My only regret is that I waited so long.  You all are going to really have to hurry if you are going to get your costumes done in time.    I'm serious.  This is happening.  I'm going to tell you exactly how I made my whole Halloween Costume last year.  Because I want to.  So let's get down to business!

Steampunk Goggles:
There are lots of tutorials on line for how to make your own from scratch, but we went the easy route and bought some welding goggles from Amazon.   Here is how they look on Amazon.

But that was real easy to fix.  The first tool in any steampunkers Bag of Holding is Rub 'N Buff.

You can buy it in Gold, Silver, Bronze, Copper, Antique Gold, and other metaly colors like that.  It comes out in a gold cream (if you are using gold, obviously), and as you rub it over a surface all the raised parts start looking like gold and all the recessed parts look like the old, unpolished parts of the metal.  It is like magic.  So awesome.  And fun.  And pretty darn easy.  The trick is to find something to practice on first.  Once you start doing it you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.  You put the littlest bit of it on your finger, and just start rubbing away.  I tried with a cotton swab as well, but my finger worked the best.  Follow the instructions on the package and you'll be a pro in no time.  You can get it at most craft stores.  And if you have any questions, just ask.

The goggles are shiny, so I sprayed them with a matte, black spray paint first so the Rub 'N Buff would stick.  I probably should have sanded them very first, but I didn't.   I think I used Antique Gold Rub 'N Buff on these.  But I really don't remember.  We were going to replace the strap on the goggles with some leather or something but we ran out of time.  

And then I doctored this picture to make my eyes look really green.  Cuz that is what Photoshop is for.

Women's Steampunk Jacket:
My jacket started out like this:

It was one I already had, but it didn't button up, so I hadn't ever worn it.    Then I just kind of tried to guess how I would want a cropped jacket to look, marked it, cut it off and rehemmed it.

 Then I replaced the buttons with some brassy looking ones (I bought a huge bag of assorted brass buttons on Ebay), and Blamo!  Jacket done:

I already had the shirt - I think I got it here if you are interested in getting the very same one.

We got those leather pouches at an army surplus store.  Years ago.  Richard just knew we would use them for something SOMEDAY.  And it turns out he was right.  This time.  Threaded them on a regular old leather belt.  Fancy!

Steampunk Skirt:
It was time to stop pulling things out of my own closet, and make a trip to the thrift store.  For my underskirt, basically I was just looking for a lot of cheap white material.  I thought it might be cheaper to buy a large white dress than to buy the right material at a fabric store.  I'm not positive it was, but I got this dress for $4.00.

I know.  That picture is useless.  The dress was too big for me to fit the whole thing in the picture.  It was perfect though, cuz it had 2 layers, and the material was kind of gauzy, in a cheap way.

I cut a section out of the center of the under layer that looked like this:

and put some elastic at the top.  Then I cut the rest of the dress into equal width, equal length strips of fabric, and you guessed it, basted one side and gathered them.  Then I sewed them on, bottom to top.  I put two rows of ruffles on the bottom of the front too, which just about used up all the fabric I had.

You can see I didn't hem anything. I wanted it to look all worn and thready.

AND then my overskirt.  I also got this at the thrift store:

I put it on, and then pulled the back into a sort of bustle, pinned each side, and then tacked them into pleats by hand.  See?

Then I made those spats or gators or whatever you would call them, but they wouldn't stay up, and they were a pain to make cuz I didn't have a pattern and didn't know what I was doing and I think my boots would have been just fine all by themselves.  Here is a picture anyway.

Whew, does it feel like this is taking me forever?  Yeah, sorry about that.  Last thing for today is those little glovelets.  Which you should find a better way to make than I did.  I bought a bit of really wide lace, and basically just sewed it into a tube with a hole for my thumb to stick through.  I made them as tight as I could while still being able to get them on and off.  I should have put some elastic on the underside, but I was too dumb.

Put it all together and what have you got?

That is all for today.  I probably ought to feed my kids.  Those hotdogs aren't going to thaw themselves!  But stay tuned, because I still need to tell you about Richard's costume, and, Most Importantly, my gun!  And I don't really care whether you want to hear it or not.  It's not like you are here by choice.  Till then,  Elesa Out!