101in1001#27 make a steampunk costume: done

August 17, 2010

I’m going to have to put more effort into seeing if any other pictures of myself exist in this costume, but until then, here’s what I’ve got.

The corset was made in the Victorian Corsetry class I took at Lacis Museum of Textiles in Berkeley earlier this year (They’re offering it again in November!). I was going to focus in “just finishing it” and make it plain white (two layers of white coutile), but then I found the green silk for 40% off, and I decided I should have a pretty corset. It’s still a very rough “first draft” or “wearable muslin” that I learned a lot from.

The pattern is the Dore from Laughing Moon. As you can see from the photos below (click to see larger ones) it has a few issues. For example, I forgot to try to line up the pattern on the fashion fabric on the side panels until too late. It was kind-of blind luck that the front panels lined up so nicely. I was going to cut down the topline into a sweetheart-type neckline but I forgot to do that. I’m going to put in a hook-and-eye closure to fix that gap.

I should back up and mention that I let the unfinished corset sit around for months, without taking notes about what needed to be done. So when I finally did pick it up again to finish it, I forgot a few other steps. In addition to forgetting about the sweethart neckline, I finished the self-fabric bias binding on the left side of the corset (about five times before I figured out how to do it correctly), only to discover that I had failed to add the five extra boning channels to it that the other side had. I finished hand-sewing the binding while volunteering in the sewing retreat just before the Gala Ball Saturday night at Costume College.

I do not have it laced down tightly on the dress form in the pictures below, mostly because the form isn’t the correct shape for that.

Green Corset, front viewGreen Corset, 3/4 back viewGreen Corset, Ribbon viewcorset close-up

The pants (two more pictures on flickr). I pinned them to Trudy (the dress form) so I could take detailed pictures.
Riding skirt, front panel open, leg pinned to show legsRiding skirt buttoned closedriding skirt, buttoned closed, pocket detailriding skirt, panel buttoned closed

The pants I mostly finished on Friday night, with some help from Carol. I got all of the seams and hems and sewed the buttonholes. I bought the nifty buttons I used on it at the Costume College marketplace on Friday, and they are MUCH nicer than the ones I had planned to use. The one button that doesn’t match is sewn on top of the one misplaced button hole that I didn’t have time to fix. Since I was sewing the opening closed there, and I was worried that I might forget and pop the button off and lose my last matching button! I used a different button that I didn’t care if I lost. I finished sewing the buttons on about the time the Gala started on Saturday night. Par for the course, I believe.

There are at least five versions of this riding skirt pattern out on the internets.

  • I used the Suitability #6500. It runs large. Otherwise, I think it’s an excellent pattern.
  • I also bought the Folkwear #231 Big Sky Riding Skirt, just in case I had problems understanding the Suitability one. I might make the Folkwear versionjust for fun.
  • My friend Kate (who never makes blog posts or shares pictures of her awesomeness anymore) just sewed the Laughing Moon #108 – Misses Split Skirt pattern. Maybe she’ll read this and be inspired to post a picture of it. *innocent blinking of eyes*
  • I also found the Jean Hardy No.115 Misses Riding Skirt pattern. I bought the No.108 Misses Vests pattern to make a vest for Dressage. Because it will be fun.
  • I also found this riding skirt pattern (picture) at Ageless Patterns. This appears to be a very different design, much more “English” than “Western” (as the rest seem to be). I might have to get this pattern and try it out sometime, when I get around to making my Victorian riding habit. 🙂

By levanah