Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Steampunk 1

This past weekend Gwendolyn and I attended Teslacon 3.  It was an amazing experience and I can't wait to attend next year.  We had never done Steampunk before and were struck by how welcoming the community was and how passionate.  Costumes ranged from airship crews to military to adventurers to chimney sweeps to ladies in bustle gowns.  Throw in a dalek, a unicorn, a Data Sherlock Holmes, and a few Star Wars characters.  With 1500 people, there was a lot of variety.  Of course, I took my inspiration from history, though I didn't want to make anything "normal".  My first outfit was inspired by a jacket sold by Augusta Auctions.  I've lusted after it for years, but never had it seemed right for the occasion.  But for this it was just perfect.  I made some alterations to the design for practical and preferential reasons.  Our character inspiration came from two sisters who were dancers at the Follies Bergeres.  We could be fashionable without having to be demure.  No one ever saw it, but the skirt has a ruffled can-can petticoat underneath with knickers that match my boots!

I split the bodice up into separate pieces, making it adjustable; a cotton short-sleeve blouse, a silk taffeta waist, a wool vest, and a navy wool jacket.  The hat is just a simple sailor hat made of buckram covered in silk taffeta and trimmed in grosgrain ribbon.  The trimming on the skirt is antique silk gimp; what was left over after I removed the rows of narrow gimp for trimming the bodice.

The collar could stand up or lay down as I'll show later.  Yet another adjustable portion of the ensemble.

The interior of the jacket was lined with silk taffeta, the edges from cream wool to match the vest.  All of the gimp came from the antique trim.  The vines and checkerboards were hand embroidered with wool floss and silk button twist.  The inserts of cream wool on the outside were piped to finish them off.  The buttons are all german silver.

The collar has five points over all, the gimp trim running in a fairly random pattern.  Not always easy to do for someone who is neurotic about symmetry!  The embroidery changed only slightly on the jacket, due to using my own trim (finding a perfect match would have been impossible).

The vest is cream wool with a polished cotton back.  The embroidery design vaguely resembles the original, though I chose to greatly alter the frog design.  You can see my fight for symmetry still winning in this piece over the original design.

The waist is silk taffeta backed in cotton.  The center front line has boning in it and hooks closed.  The buttons are decorative.

The jacket can be worn multiple ways.  This shows it closed with thread loops creating an asymmetrical front line.  Here you can see the inlays of cream wool in the front and sleeve cuffs.  Interestingly, I found this jacket to have no darts for shaping.  Instead, there is a seam which runs perpendicular to the inlays, just above them.  This allows for shaping the jacket to the body.  I can't say that fitting process was easy at all and I have a great deal of respect for the designer who came up with that idea!

The way I chose to wear the jacket was buttoned open with the collar flipped up in back.  There is a fair amount of interfacing in the collar for that reason, though I should have put in more.

Detail of how all of the trim continues around the neck line and pairs with the vest.

The inlays continue around to the back, extensions of the front overlapping.  Having the piped seam in front for shaping also allows the bottom section to extend out and become a buttoned down flap.  The tail is attached to the jacket, though it appears to have originally been attached at the bottom of the waist.  The buttons on the tail are wrapped with silk cord.

29 comments:

Lauren R said...

Wow, this is incredible. I am SO inspired by you! I just...I don't even have the words for how awesome this is!!!

Nereida said...

I love the jacket. I would wear it everyday!!! ; )
Nereida

Andrew Schroeder said...

This just hurts my head...

Moxie Tonic said...

Your dress was absolutely breathtaking in person! I was so awestruck that all I could do was gawk and snap photos like a crazy from afar. So happy to have stumbled across your blog - I love reading about the inspiration and construction.

Rebecca Marie Egan said...

Fabu......I wish you took pics flashing a bit of that petticoat. The insets, couching, and embroidery are in a word exquisite.

Jen Thompson said...

That is so stunning! I saw it on Pinterest and couldn't believe somebody had made such a perfect copy of this jacket. BRAVO!!!!

Vintage Patterns Company said...

I have photos of the original...you have done an amazing job, absolutely amazing and you should be very proud!

Act2redux said...

I saw you and your friend there several times and openly drooled on both occasions- couldn't decide whose duds I wanted more!!...despite the fact that I couldn't possibly wear them! I've wished for this ensemble too- you did a magnificent job with it!!

Kat said...

I have long admired the bodice that inspired you, and when I saw your version, I knew exactly what it was!! Your version is absolutely spectacular! You are my hero!

D' Nalof Fashion said...

Perfection! Your attention to the smallest detail is what makes this a masterpiece!

freshfrippery.com said...

That is absolutely wonderful!

harmanhay said...

Good Lord, Nicole, that is extraordinary! Brava!

Augustintytär said...

Wow, that is stunning! You've done amazing job!

Fanny said...

Gorgeous!

Lady D said...

wow! Fantastic. Is the skirt a circle skirt?

vintagevisions27 said...

This is incredible!
-Emily

Caroline said...

Amazing! I love love love the embellishment on the vest! I mean, the whole thing is awesome, but I especially love the vest! And that fab collar.

Super inspiring! Fantastic job!

ColeV said...

Lady D- it's an almost circle skirt. I found a complete circle too full, so this is more like a 3/4 circle.

Cassidy said...

That is fantastic!

Aubry said...

Ok, I am in awe! Seriously amazing work!

Sarah Lorraine said...

Nicole, you keep blowing my tiny mind.

Maggie said...

This is seriously amazing, I love it!

danaealexandra said...

I wanna see the can can skirt and knickers!!

Lorna McKenzie said...

Glorious work! You must show us your bloomers and can can skirt. Where did you get your lace-up red ankle boots.

ColeV said...

Lorna- There will be an "under" post, I promise! And I made the boots as well, because I'm just that crazy. Those I'll talk about when I finally get to catching up on the three pairs of shoes I've made recently!

Sally-Ann Livingston said...

I look forward to seeing more of your Steampunk creations. What I have seen so far is wonderful! Thanks for sharing.
You are invited to pop by http://thenavigatrixatetsy.blogspot.co.uk to see my little contributions to the world of Steampunk costuming.

Chelsea said...

Wow, you made the boots too? I am in awe. Everything about your ensemble is perfect!

Isis said...

I love the concept of Steampunk, but so much of the clothes are so badly executed that I have grown tired of it. After seeing your clothes I feel inspired again!

Nica said...

The jacket is absolutely amazing.