Since I first posted about making the Steampunk costume, my plan has changed a small bit, but also really coalesced into something I think will be great when it is finished. What is helping me stay focused and not go too far out there (or grow this into something too large) is to focus on a couple themes. If an idea doesn’t suit the themes, then it’s taken off the table.
“Introducing the All-In-One Adventuress’ Wardrobe! All the Modern Adventuress needs to suit most every occasion in her travels!”
This is a very comprehensive theme, but perhaps the most important. The “Adventuress” part defines the idea that this is not a fancy ball gown, but rather a day “gown” (although I may find a way to include something to convert it into a fancy ball gown, yet) that needs to not be limiting in terms of movement. More importantly, the “all-in-one” reminds me that ultimately, I’m coming up with something that has mixable parts to suit multiple occasions—so each piece has to coordinate and build on the outfit as a whole, but should be able to possibly stand without some of the other pieces.
“This is historically-inspired, 1888–1895 (with a little wiggle room up through 1903 or so), so think about sportswear and rational dress, but this isn’t Steampunk Lolita here, or throwing on trousers, goggles, gears, and an exposed corset* just because ‘that’s Steampunk’.”
For a while, I toyed with doing an underbust corset and a separate, circa 1910 bra. But I restrained myself, because the look in my head was definitely an Edwardian silhouette, which is just wrong for the costume. So, the time frame is the real limiter. The rest is more caveat lector. While it seems that an exposed corset is required for Steampunk, it is not at all historical. I have seen some images that seem to give the idea, like this one that is commonly cited:
However, my psuedo-researched opinion is that the above is simply a bodice that happens to look like a corset, judging from the same fabric on the neck and cuffs, and the buttons instead of a busk. Yes, there were times from the late ’70s through the ’90s during which the style was a layered look that could be styled to look like the corset was showing, but I am almost positive that every non-fancy-dress image of that is showing a bodice treatment, not the actual corset. Thus, you’ll be seeing no exposed corset here.
* One combination of my idea will allow for an exposed corset, however it will be considered deshabille, not proper, venture-outside-in dress. Think of it as working-hard-in-the-engine-room dress.
“That said, this is historically-inspired, not 100% historical, and you’re designing at a size for two people (we could call it mass-produced), not for one specific person, so pieces must be sized to fit both.”
Really, this won’t be much of an issue because most of their measurements fall into a reasonable tolerance, however my sisters do have one major difference: bust size (same underbust, far different cups). So, I don’t feel like a failure in making the decision to change from making a typical midbust corset to an underbust/waist-cincher one with a blouse/corset protector that will allow them to wear a properly-fitting modern bra underneath.
It’s May 3. Where’d the year go so far!
We leave for MO on May 17, so I have two weeks to get some things done for fitting. This is probably the only chance I’ll have to fit anything to their actual bodies before I finish the costume.
I hope to have:
- an underbust corset toile ready to fit (adapted from Simplicity 9769, but I realized I don’t have the right size! There is so much ease, I need the smaller sized packet),
- a divided skirt toile for fitting or perhaps almost completed in fashion fabric (as discussed previously) , and
- a Victorian blouse/corset protector finished, but we could just use a modern cami for now.
… by the time we leave in two weeks.
Some of my fabrics came in the mail yesterday, so it’s time to get started! … not that I’m ready to cut into these quite yet. Time to find the muslin fabrics, I guess!