Steampunk Formal Outfit…The Evolution

That title sounds kinda scary movie doesn’t it!?! Okay, I might have screamed and pulled my hair like a no name scary movie victim with the bodice lining. I definitely scared the cats. Otherwise this was a fairly painless operation.

In brief, I made this bodice and bustle on a Friday morning and proceeded to wear it for 8 hours that afternoon/evening. You can read the whole story HERE.

Every evolution needs a beginning so lets start at the very beginning, a very good place to start… from the ground up…I didn’t change anything about my underpinnings….modern under clothes, bloomers, & two petticoats. Nor did I change my skirt. This brings me to the bustle. The first one was hastily hemmed, pinned up, pinned to my bodice, and had one of the floral fascinator’s clipped on. As a result I had more than one costume emergency the day I wore it. The before bustle is on the left (This is the actual color of the fabric.) and the after bustle is the one on the right (Not good color).The new bustle got a ruffle on the two short ends. I sewed it to the bodice, pulled it up, stitched each pulled up section, and added a bow in place of the fascinator. Now that I see it on I might make a couple of changes to make it a little narrower. Here’s a full shot of the back…Here you can see the brown ruffle on the bustle…
Next is the bodice. This was a nightmare to fix. When I made it I was in a hurry. (Speed Sewing is a frustrating sport. I don’t recommend it!) I used a new pattern, didn’t check the fit as I went, didn’t have the right size zipper, and took a “shortcut” when sewing in the lining The result was a sloppy looking, ill fitting bodice. I ended up ripping out some of the lining. The zipper was about 2″ shorter than it should’ve been so its a tight squeeze to wiggle the thing on. The solution… First, I had to finish ripping out the original lining. I made a new one out of a bottom weight cotton and medium weight iron on interfacing. The sleeves hung off my shoulder, & the chest area was waaaay to big which made all kinds of unsightly gaps at the neckline. The trim at the neckline had to come off before the front panel seams could be taken in 1 1/2″ on each side. I also had to add bust darts. The sleeves came off and I cut the shoulder seams down by 1″. Lastly, I sewed in the lining and attached the bustle. The before picture is on the Right and the after picture is on the Left.Yay! That’s the end of the redo. Now on to the fun additions!

Every tailoring job, for me, has some unforeseen glitch. This one was a slight puckering of the outer bodice fabric right at the corner of the neckline on the left side. I had cut the seam allowances the first time I made it so there wasn’t as much to work with for adding in the second lining. My solution….a nice brooch! I started with a small round doily that took a dive into some instant coffee to age it. Then I used the very last of the purple fabric scraps, cut 2 circles, burned the edges, and layered them with some long thin brown taffeta scraps. The finishing touch was one of my favorite old silver and black brooches. Pucker? What pucker?Next up on the list…a reticule. I wanted a petite purse to carry my money and keys. I had a small amount of purple fabric left over…just enough to make this cute “squid bag”. Yes, it looks like a squid…not on purpose. Just one of those happy accidents. I LOVE this squid bag.The ideal avenue would be attaching it to a chatelaine around my waist. I have a gold chatelaine but the accessories for this outfit are silver. So the next quest may be making a silver chatelaine. My next thought was to pin the back of it to the hem of my bodice and add a small watch. This didn’t work so well. I ended up pinning the watch to the front of the bag and carrying it on my wrist. Every good outfit needs a matching hairstyle. This is the up do I created this morning…without the aid of hair spray mind you. (Yes, blame the daughter who used it all and didn’t write it on the shopping list! Mwahahahahahaha!)I’m quite pleased with this hairdo. I’ll be practicing and perfecting it.Now, what fabulous outfit is complete without a larger than life HAT! See the full story HERE.I had ordered a pair of round purple tinted sunglasses to complete the look and SURPRISE…the mailman delivered them as we were walking out the door all dressed up to go to tea!I’m delighted with these glasses. They’re perfect.

So, now you know….the evolution is complete….NOT. There is no way I could just let this ensemble rest…something or another will change in the future. But these will be small changes. Not the major tailoring undertaking this was. Stay tuned for more!


About Lady McCormick

Wife, mother, time traveling Cache Curator. Does life get any better?
This entry was posted in 2011, Clothing Makeover, Costumes, Steampunk. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Steampunk Formal Outfit…The Evolution

  1. Ginger says:

    Look at how beautiful you are! I love all of these pictures of you. You have become quite an accomplished seamstress! Love you!

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