Thursday, June 28, 2012

Steampunk Apron Costume

Cost: $/¥ 90.00
worn - Costume Con 2008

14 January 2008 - I actually started this costume a few weeks back but progress is slow and today is the first day I can actually show any work. My inspiration is drawn from a couple of places. Starting with, I saw this through the web on different sites from when she had worn it. Instantly I feel in love with her accessories and accruements as she puts it. Avien had also seen the same costume though I think she had the privilege of seeing it in person. She made up her Steampunk apron for Dragon Con 2007. 
I am extremely envious of hers. It is so pretty and the perfect colors. So I told her I was completely coping her. Or at least stealing her color scheme. After she told me she had some fabric in that color, though not as shiny, that I could have I was officially sold. Visions of a brown themed outfit no longer danced in my head. I had also gotten a steal of a deal off of EBay for some grey wool flannel. Its intention was for another costume but it just wasn't soft enough for that costume.  Luckily an apron doesn't have to be soft and the fabric will work perfectly for this costume.
After a bit of searching and asking around (thanks Avien) I was directed towards two patterns that would give me the perfect shape for my skirt. I loved the flat front and gathered back look I had seen in the other costumes. After reading over the directions I realized they were the same patterns for the skirts, only the bodices for the two patterns were different, so I settled on Simplicity 4078. I love the skirt though the bodice leaves a lot to be desired for me.
The first thing I had to do was make the petticoat. I don't have a lot of undergarments in my growing garb stash so there wasn't even anything I could use just to make due with. This turned out to be a bit of a problem because the lining and skirt call for 10 yards of lining fabric. I don't have 10 yards of lining fabric in my stash, that isn't designated for other costumes. With the holidays being just over and my next school term about to begin my hubby and I didn't have a lot of extra cash, so the majority of the costume was suppose to come from the stash. Makes a gal really miss the states where I could go to the local fabric store and find some cheap lining on the clearance table. Long story short after the rent and bills were paid we had about $50.00 dollars extra I could spend and I was able to find some decent fabric for $2.50 a yard. I would of preferred a heaver fabric and one that wasn't poly but beggars can't be choosers. I also picked up some knit tulle for the ruffles.
My first hiccup, because you know there was one, came with the petticoat. I didn't realize the top ruffle was out of fabric, which I had no more of, so it was changed to tulle.   I have a top layer of black flowered tulle cut 12 inches wide and a lower layer of plain tulle. I divided the width of the lower layer of tulle by three and that is how wide my strips were.  After sewing the strips together I ran a gather stitch the length of my fabric through the strips. Instant ruffles! Thank goodness the tulle doesn't need to be hemmed. That could easily be a nightmare and a half! Because the petticoat has no lining all the seams were french seams, which ended up taking me forever. The actual skirt went together much faster. The only thing that slowed me down with it was the trim. I know my luck when I try to get a straight anything so I took extra care draw out the line with a ruler and baste the trim on before I ever started sewing it on with a sewing machine. There are two corners that I am still a little iffy on and may try to make them look prettier later on down the line.
For both the petticoat and the skirt the waistbands are still unattached and they are unhemmed. I am waiting until it is closer to Costume Con in hopes of losing weight before then. I am in a body boot camp right now so its not an impossible idea. I will wait until the beginning of April before I do the waist bands. I think I have to add some snaps to the placket on the skirt and I am done! I get to start on the apron and shirt!

Didi is wearing both the petticoat and skirt. To the left is the front of the skirt, right is the side back. Ignore the rest of the clothes she is wearing I didn't take my Renaissance chemise or corset off before I took the pictures. You'll have to forgive the lighting also. My apartment's lighting is lousy and will make a person go blind.
I love how the fabric picks up the shadows, and think the black velvet trim is a very nice touch especially from the back.

27th February - Work on this project has been slow but steady. I am almost complete with the basic construction of the apron and as of today have figured out what I want to do for the top of this outfit. The skirt of the apron went together very quickly and easily. Can't get much easier then a sewing a straight stitch with a sewing machine.  The bodice was fairly easy also. I added my own touch my hand sewing the seams together at the bust dart so that you can see a down slopping v made by the stitches. I made it harder on myself by accidentally sewing the same side twice... So I had two Right sides but no Left. *grumble grumble*  I also made it harder, well not harder but it took longer because I had to sew by hand the casing that holds the waist strap to the apron. I couldn't figure out how to do it with the machine without the stitches showing and hadn't left myself enough room to topstitch on both sides. I added single fold bias tape to the sides of the skirt and used fabric on the bodice top. So its not fully lined, just enough to give the appearance of a nice edge. I still need to iron everything down and attach the straps at the sides before the shell of it is done. Then its time for adding pockets, gears, hooks, clasps and what not. My one grip right now is it looks more like a high waisted dress then an apron. I am hoping when I add the extras especially the pockets that will change. Otherwise I will be very unhappy with it.....  Okay I do like how the skirt of it falls... and the gears I am embroidering for the pockets.... and the bust darts.... but the top is just.... I don't know.......
As for the top of the costume I have decided I am not restrained on time enough *rolls eyes at self* and I need to make a Victorian under bust corset and a bolero jacket to go with. That way if worse comes to worse and I just plain out hate the apron I can still wear the other parts of the costume, and try again on the apron later. I was thinking maybe gear for buttons on the sleeves... The colors is the only thing holding me back right now. Black velvet bolero? Then what color corset. I have a bit of the skirt fabric left should I use that? Or would it be to much of that color then. Use the grey wool from the apron? Not exactly soft and doesn't pop against the skirt.... *le sigh*
16th May - This costume had its first outing... or at least version one did. There is so much I want to change. I ended up adding a black velvet strip at the waist under the belt band. It changes EVERYTHING. I am in love with the apron again! Now I just have to steampunk it... and add pockets and straps for actual apron use. The corset has turn out to be a total bust. My hubby laced me into it the first time and he tugged much to hard and split the fabric at the seams. I had to redo that panel which I was very not happy about. I wore it at Costume Con but by the end of the day it was starting to split again. Soooo the corset will have to be redone. The plan is to follow the instructions again but flatline it with drill or some other really sturdy fabric. The chemise needs to be redone. There simply was not enough poof in the material at the chest, nor was the shape just right. And of course the bolero needs to be done. Its a must now. The photo shows it without the apron. It was at the end of the day and the wool had begun to get on my nerves.

No comments:

Post a Comment