Steampunk is undoubtedly a huge deal these days, and even though it’s mainstream enough now that you can start picking up steampunk-y things in shops, the best stuff is always handmade. Take, for example, Exhibit A above.
You’re not going to find a sweet outfit like that in stores. Nope, that could only be the work of of a stitchy Urban Threadster, like Wickedstepmother1969.
What inspired this project, and what was it for?
We help run a youth “safe trick-or-treat” event with our county 4-H clubs. Everyone dresses up, and Annie wanted to be something unique this year.
We had recently started listening to Abney Park and The Cog is Dead, so decided to go with an Airship pirate theme. I approved heartily of any costume that had nothing to do with Lady Gaga, or in general nakedness unbecoming to a barely teenager. My girls know I am a soft touch for anything new and interesting, so the Steampunk Halloween was conceived!
What made you choose the designs you did?
Annie has adored Da Vinci since she was about 6 yrs. old (she is 13 now) and she is a self- admitted science nerd, so that would explain the design on the back. We both love your skull designs and a captain has to have their wings- so the queen of the air was perfect on the sleeve. Had to add the compass design to the skirt pickup bands, because an airship captain needs a compass, right?
How long did the coat take you? Any interesting challenges along the way?
I probably spent about 4 full days on the outfit, but I sew very fast. My biggest challenge is usually getting the designs on my memory card with my new computer (sewing machine hates Windows 7 so I have to operate in the Windows XP mode to get them to load.)
The minky fur was a challenge- being so stretchy it had to be basted onto a stabilizer before we could put the collar together. Picking the little final details was fun too — the chain epaulets hung better when pinned on while on my dressmaker form.
How did your steampunk captain pirate like it?
She loved it- won most original at the costume contest she entered.
…of course they thought she was Amelia Earhart. She was disgruntled no one had a “Jules Verne” bent like she does. She also loved getting to wear my hunting boots with it. She did say it was warm (but Halloween was unseasonably warm this year).
Any advice for people looking to tackle a similar project?
Sew your designs out before you put the outfit together! I used a McCalls’s pattern 5759 for the jacket base; the fabric was from my stash of stuff I keep for making Victorian clothing.
I am lucky my Pfaff 2134 has a basting stitch function that will let you hoop a nice heavy stabilizer and then baste the pre-cut pattern piece onto it, otherwise I might want to sew the design before I cut it out, to keep from stretching it out of shape. Also, on the back of the jacket, the center seam was sewn and pressed out first before it was prepared for the embroidery.
Awesomely steampunky stuff, madame. I think the best part of all this is that you threasters took to steampunk like a duck to water, and if you want to be extra hipster about it, you can say… I was embroidering steampunk before it was cool. I’m sure our stitchers will keep leading the pack in new and innovate ways to show off alternative embroidery.
Do you want to be a featured project on StitchPunk? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group!