Bustles, blossoms and beats, the creativity of Steampunk

As always there were amazing costumes. I really love the fact that Steampunk gives people a chance to participate on any level, whether it be using things you have in your wardrobe and adding a top hat, or even adapting a wedding hat, re purposing charity shop finds, buying clothes ready made or tailoring/creating your own fantastic costumes.

This woman is a costume maker and her garments are always out of this world.I love the starry fabric of her dress.

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This white one below is a great example of putting things together, the costume is all ready made items and then it is set off by this amazing head dress.

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It is a very inclusive activity that can be done at any level, unlike re-enactment where there are unfortunately lots of authenticity rules, understandable but it does make it expensive even for a beginner.

For just a basic outfit you would need to spend about £100 even if you made all the garments yourself yet Steampunk can be done for next to nothing. My outfit this year, which was the most original I have done not using many things already in my wardrobe, only cost £67 to put together and that is including buying the skirt and hat that I have already worn to other events and to re-enactment lots of times .

I also love the fact that it is encouraging people to sew and to make, anything that does that is fantastic and every single one of the thousands of people who were there this weekend had done something creative which is so good for everybody.

There were some wonderful examples of this creativity, this woman’s costume was music themed. I really like her hat made of records and the bustle from sheet music!The attention to detail is wonderful, look at the music note fabric and the tiny piano on the back pack.

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I think the most original re-purposing I saw all weekend was this great set of wings made from ties, an adult and a child version, how fantastic is this!

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Although this top hat decorated with Lego people did come a close second.

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We loved this gown and hat with so many ribbon roses, we spoke to the owner about how she had made it and they were all hand made then glued on to gown.

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This was a fantastic Elizabeth 1st inspired neck piece, we loved all the detail on this.

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There was also a large contingent of Votes for Women themed participants, celebrating the centenary of the 1918  Representation of the People Act which gave some women the right to vote.

This lovely woman was one of the many who stopped and complimented me on my jacket, having seen the pictures on the Seamstress Squadron page which was so kind of them.

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There were some fabulous gowns as well such as these lovely ladies and the gentlemen with the matching waistcoat. We all especially loved the princess outfit in pale blue at the bottom.

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And so much colour, I love purple and these women looked fantastic as did the one who was wearing peacock themed colours and the other very bright Marie Antoinette dress.

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I have already decided that next year’s Lincoln outfit will be purple and turquoise, using the skirt and top hat I already have.

I had actually decided on this colourway before the event as I was doing some some hand stitching and brought down some threads in those colours and thought how wonderful they looked together. Not quite sure what the theme will be but will work on that.

It was not only the costumes that were marvelously creative but also the machines. From the cogged bustle which actually moved, the ever inventive backpacks, through the  mobility carts and wheelchairs to bikes there were some amazing adaptations, another reason why Steampunk is so inclusive.

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We are really looking forward to our next event, Steampunks in Space in November, and I have a Sci-Fi theme for that to go with my new hat. I had some money from Ellie and Jake for my birthday and I bought a dressage hat, similar to a top hat but shorter.

Then we will have Whitby in February where we are going for an overnight stay so can do two days! I will show you the jacket I am planning as my next make soon as I am allowing myself plenty of time for fitting issues!

It is a very dull and grey day here, not at all August weather and the leaves have started to fall from the trees so I suspect that summer is sadly over. I do love autumn as a season but have enjoyed the lack of rain!

Hope that you are having a nice week where you are, take care and thanks for visiting.

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A tablecloth, some curtains and another mad hatter

My lovely daughter Ellie is actually named Ellen Scarlett Rose, the middle of these names being after one of my fictional heroines, Scarlett O’Hara. So it was very apt that Ellie’s outfit for this steampunk event was indeed made out of a pair of curtains.

If you have never seen Gone with the Wind you may not have seen the part where, short of fabric after the war, Scarlett makes a dress out of some green velvet curtains, inspiring seamstresses and steampunks everywhere. Photos below from Google.

Scarlett O'Hara dress 2

 

 

Scarlett O'Hara dress 1

Ellie also made the whole outfit in a couple of days which is very impressive, re-purposing a charity shop wedding dress, a piece of lace and an old net curtain as well as lots of flowers from various sources.

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The parasol was mine. I had bought it to go with my outfit but it looked so good with hers she kept it all day and I have loaned it to her for future outings. I did get it back for my photo shoot.

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Kerry was wearing her gorgeous black coat, I love this and if she ever wants to get rid of it I am first in line!

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I was very pleased with my ensemble and really touched that so may people who had seen it on the Seamstress Squadron Facebook page stopped to say hello and tell me how much they loved it. They are such lovely people and very inspiring.

I have another post for you with lots more outfits but just wanted to show you the wonderful dancers from The Belly Fusion Dance Collective who we saw perform twice. They all wore tea themed costumes with fantastic head dresses, I think my favourite one was the cake stand one below but they were all amazing.

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I also bumped into another sewing enthusiast who had the most brilliant sewing themed hat and she very kindly stopped for lots of photos.As well as all the very creative use of tape measures she had fantastic walking stick made of cotton reels.

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It was all so lovely and inspiring and we also had a great re-enactment show, very wet on Sunday and my tent blew over so everything got very wet but my lovely friends helped out putting it back up and it was not damaged which was a relief.

We had a great day on Monday, doing our usual walk around the area and photo shoots and lots of tournaments and then my angel of a friend Kerry drove me all the way home as I was not walking well after so much time out in the damp.

I have a fairly quiet couple of weeks ahead before term starts again and then I am working every weekend until the end of Oct, just on Saturday but that is going to cut down the creative time somewhat.

I have a new outfit planned for Steampunks in Space at the end of November so I will at least get that cut out before term starts so I have it ready for sewing.

I will be back soon with more costume loveliness, meanwhile take care and thanks for visiting.

 

All around my hat ….

Traditionally the song goes, ‘I will wear the green willow’, and this is a traditional folk song from the early 1800s, a version of which was released by Steeleye Span in 1975.

My hat, however, is to go with my Steampunk jacket for this weekend’s event at Lincoln Asylum. I wanted a sewing themed hat and am so very pleased with the way that it has turned out.

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The items are all stuck and pinned on as I only want this to be a temporary decoration, hopefully they will survive the journey and the event itself.

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The usual things are there but I have added some unusual things from my little collection of vintage needlework tools.You can see some lace bobbins in the picture above.

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I also have a set of small crochet type hooks which you can see in these photos, these are for darning stockings to enable you to pick up runs and also a glove darning tool lying on the brim in the photo below , the rounded ends were meant to enable you to darn the fingertips and are slightly different sizes.

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I am hoping to use some of these things when I do my Make do and Mend talk in the future, more about that in later posts as this I something I am developing at the moment.

I downloaded some images from Google and printed them to make the needle card and button card and am very pleased with the way they turned out.The buttons are just stuck on and are some of my mother of pearl ones from my stash.

I have also made a little bag with a pin with some charms on, just need to add the ribbon drawstrings to it. This was the rest of the tablecloth from the back of the jacket and the reverse is the same embroidery as well.

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I am really looking forward to the event, love seeing all the wonderfully creative things that people have come up with! I am really hoping that the weather will be good as well as I have a pink parasol to complete the outfit.

Hope you all have a good Bank Holiday weekend and will be back soon with some fab pictures.Thanks for visiting.

My vintage tablecloth Steampunk jacket

I first blogged about this jacket in September last year when I cut out the pieces. I was intending to make the jacket earlier in the year but life got in the way as usual and at least I have finished it with 3 days to go before the event and am not going to be hemming anything on the train!

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I am so pleased with how it turned out, it is quite different to the original pattern as shown in the photos below but that is deliberate.

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The pattern is the Butterick B6305 Victorian Top and drape front skirt and despite it being categorised as very difficult it wasn’t and I would make it again and am possibly going to make a skirt as well in the future.

I ended up not lining it as I didn’t need to and also decided to keep it open rather than doing buttons or any fastening.

 

This is partly as I am very bad at buttonholes and didn’t want to spoil it and also as a fitted jacket does not really suit my shape so I am wearing it open over a blouse that I have.

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I also had a little bit of an issue with the sleeves as they were way too big, I cut them down and them they were too small so I had to insert a piece which curves round the sleeve for some reason. I am calling this a design feature 😉

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I am so pleased with how it fits and the way that the embroidery shows on all of the pieces. This was three tablecloths originally, one became the front of the jacket, another the back and the sleeves and collar were cut from a third one.

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Not bad for £12 worth of Ebay tablecloths and a £5 pattern. I actually like it so much that I might wear it outside Steampunk events, I think it would be great for festivals.

I will show you the hat I am wearing with it a later post.I am so pleased to be able to go to the event this year with something really unique and totally me. Last year’s outfit was very much adapted from charity shop finds and things I already had and although I liked it I wanted something more unusual.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Under a cloudy Shropshire Sky

We had a lovely time at Farmer Phil’s festival with my sister. As we were there from the Tues we went for a couple of long walks up on the hills where we could see the beautiful scenery.

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At the top of one of the hills we came across two wind blown trees which made for great pictures against the cloud backdrop. One of them was a Rowan tree which brought back lots of childhood memories as we both went Rowanfield Primary School where our uniforms were the colours of the tree.

 

There were plenty of sheep including this cute one who had very deer like ears.

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We also saw a llama, there were actually three in a garden on the way back from our first walk.I think Jacky thought I had lost the plot when I suddenly shouted, ‘llama’, but she saw this cute little one just as I spotted it as well, they were so friendly.

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The weather was variable but luckily Jacky had bought a lovely fire pit so we had toasty nights watching the flames. The last evening was beautiful sunshine and I spent some time taking pictures of the sun peeping out from the clouds as it set.

 

I have been busy at work since I got back doing clearing which is dealing with those who have not got the A level results they expected but have managed to finish the Steampunk jacket for the Lincoln event, with four days to go! A minor miracle and I will post pictures of that later in the week.

Meanwhile take care and thanks for visiting.