Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Gold Waistcoat

I played around today with various combinations of the Steampunk garb pieces mentioned in my previous post and had to share a couple of shots of the gorgeous gold brocade vest. I think I'll wear it with a white tee and jeans for running errands tomorrow. :D

Slightly out of focus closeup of my great-grandmother's Victorian locket.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Full Steam Ahead!

I kind of overdosed on the Renaissance stuff the last couple of months while preparing for Pennsic. Now I am taking off in another direction. :)
I've had the idea in the back of my mind for a while that I would like to create a Steampunk costume. Some chatter on the R/F forums about Steampunk invasions of a few ren faires in other parts of the country got me thinking that doing Steampunk for the MIRF Labor Day "Day of Wrong" could be fun so I started playing around with some of the garb I already have to see if I could come up with something steamy but only made a half-hearted attempt. The Blonde Swan was at Pennsic and, caught up in the Midnight Madness excitement, I started trying things on and Tom ordered me a custom mini top hat and googles to be picked up at MIRF Labor Day weekend! So now I have to come up with a kick-ass costume to go with my kick-ass hat!
I went out shopping last Thursday and picked up a few pieces including a beautiful gold brocade waistcoat, a brown blouse with interesting detail on the short puff sleeves that begs to have the plastic buttons switched out for brass :D, and a pair of brown and black pinstrip twill trousers. I also purchased a vintage black velvet bolero jacket/shrug from etsy. I already have a vintage short black cape, a vintage umbrella, glasses with round blue lenses, various brass accessories old and new, and a brocade strapless corset. (The corset is Elisabethan but I'm using it anyway. If the bimbettes can get away with wearing Victorian corsets as Rennaisance garb it should work the other way around for me. :wink: )Looking over what I have I don't seem to have a complete outfit. I have part of a costume for an elegant neo-Victorian lady and I have part of a costume for a more tomboyish Steampunk. I am thinking that I need a late Victorian walking skirt, a Victorian looking white or ivory blouse, a wide leather waistcincer/belt, some black granny boots, and some brown work boots. Then I should be able to mix and match to create outfits for the elegant lady, the rough and tumble tomboy, or something in between.
And since I have/will have these clothes and Labor Day is only one day I've made the commitment to join an online friend at WindyCon in November!
While contemplating my clothing options I made myself a steamy accessory. It's a Nerf Maverick dart gun that was modified using the instructions here to give it a bit more firepower then given a new paint job first with a coat of black Krylon Fusion spray paint then, when I couldn't find the recommended rub & buff that I thought I had, I dry brushed on some Making Memories metallic glazes. And to make it into a girly gun I added some bling. Once I have finished embellishing it I'll give it a clearcoat.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Finally! Pennsic Pics!

After taking a few days to recuperate from the trip I have finally uploaded some of my Pennsic photos to a Flikr album. I apologize for the fact that they are in seriously random order and don't yet have descriptions but it was my first time using Flikr and let's just say I had some issues! (I'll try to find time to straighten things out this coming week.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


So one of the classes I took at Pennsic was Constructing a French Hood. Fitting the pattern and creating the hat part of the hood went well. The problem is that the class included absolutely no instruction on how to do the veil/drape/hood part of the french hood other than the instructor casually mentioning that it could be done as a tube or a loose veil. The instructor did bring several of her hoods but seemed reluctant to let us touch them. She basically just used them as examples for color and packed them away before I had the opportunity to really look at them and see how the veil was attached. I believe the artwork shows a tube so that's what I chose to do. Not having a clue I simply stitched the length of fabric provided in the kit into a tube and stitched it into the opening only to find that it was waaaay to large. I set the project aside until I was able to pop in to another session of the class at the end of the week. Still not letting me look at her hoods (I'm a visual learner. Don't just tell me how to do something. Show me an example or drawing.) the instructor told me I needed to stitch the tube on differently. So I made the tube smaller and reattached it and it didn't look too bad but I didn't like how the inside bottom edge hung lower than the outside bottom edge. After returning home I looked through The Tudor Tailor and saw that their pattern for the veil had a shaped top edge allowing the hem to hang straight. So I removed the veil tube yet again and used the TT pattern to recut it. Fine and dandy except that the TT veil pattern ended up being too small to fit the base from this class. So I have wasted 3-4 hours on this veil only to end up with a useless tube of fabric. I need to buy some fabric and start over. UUURRRRRRRGGGGH!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm Home!!!!!

We arrived home from Pennsic yesterday afternoon safe and sound. (We left the site around noon on Saturday but did some meandering along the Lake Erie shoreline on the way home.)We had a great time! The weather was beautiful! Not too hot nor too cold and just a little drizzle on Sunday 8/2. (I understand there were some nasty storms during the first week but we arrived after they had passed.) We met many wonderful people, saw some cool pavillions and camp gates, took some informative classes, attended a couple of parties, watched a couple of battles, attended Midrealm court, did some shopping for items large and small, saw some fabulous garb and some um... "interesting" garb, got lots of compliments on my garb (woohoo!), and attended the closing ceremonies where I think I got some nice photos. I can't wait to do it all again next year!!!
Once I get the mounds of laundry done, buy some groceries, and have time to edit my pics I will share some photos in more detailed posts.