Steampunk

Ideas for making a great Steampunk costume

(even if you’re just throwing it together)

 

steampunk trio 2

 

Holy crazy, batman! It’s been quite some time since I’ve delivered a post for you all. My apologies! To make it up to you all, I’m sharing a post about a topic I haven’t yet covered at all: Steampunk!

 

My soon-to-be-roommate and I decided to completely geek it up the other weekend and visit two awesome themed faire-type events:

  1. Hoggetowne Medieval Faire in Gainesville, Florida. I’ve been to a few of these, and I had even performed at this one last year for a weekend. It was great times. Perhaps I’ll do a Ren Faire post someday :)
  2. Steampunk Industrial Show in Mt Dora, Florida. I had never been to one, and have never attempted to make any Steampunk garb, but we were up for the challenge!  Special thanks to my friends from the awesome Celtic folk duo Jig to a Milestone for posting about it!

 

What in the world is Steampunk anyway?

 

According to Google:

steampunk definition google

 

According to Urban Dictionary:

steampunk definition urban dictionary

 

Or as US young fiction author Caitlin Kittredge put it:

“It’s sort of Victorian-industrial, but with more whimsy and fewer orphans…”

 

When thinking about Steampunk fashion, where do I start?

 

Wikipedia give the following blurb about Steampunk fashion. I’m altering it to be a slightly easier to read list format for you all:

 

Steampunk fashion has no set guidelines but tends to synthesize modern styles with influences from the Victorian era. This may include:

  • bustles
  • corsets
  • gowns
  • petticoats
  • suits with waistcoats
  • coats
  • top hats
  • tailcoats
  • spats
  • military-inspired garments

Steampunk-influenced outfits are usually accented with several technological and “period” accessories:

  • timepieces
  • parasols
  • flying/driving goggles
  • ray guns.

Modern accessories like cell phones or music players can be found in steampunk outfits, after being modified to give them the appearance of Victorian-made objects.

Post-apocalyptic elements [can also be included], such as

  • gas masks
  • ragged clothing
  • tribal motifs

 

 

So then, effective Steampunk. Guidelines. Standby. and Go:

1. Choose a time-period

The easiest way to look like you’re really trying to do Steampunk is to give it some Victorian influences.

vintagedancer.com

The national garment cutter book of diagrams (1888) via sewinginwalden.blogspot.com

 

 

Ladies, choose a shirt with lace, a slightly ruffed collar, a big skirt, or add a bustle to your garb. I made one quite quickly using an old window covering I had, safety pins, and cool-looking buttons:

make a steampunk bustle

Make an easy bustle: This sun-bleached window covering was doubled over and pinned with the safety pins on the inside and a button on the outside. Gathered into 2 layers and using a standard belt to hold it to the body. No sewing needed!

steampunk garb fire faerie

 

Other victorian female costume inspirations:

 

rufflesandsteam.tumblr.com

lunafeles.deviantart.com

pinkythekinky.com

 

Gents- wear a waistcoat and a jacket, a coat with tails, or a top hat.

fatalfashion.tumblr.com

I cannot credit this, but would love to if you know the origin!

 

mannenwereld.nu

 

Steampunk need not be JUST for English-folk. Granted, it is most popular in the realms of British culture, but Steampunk characters can also be from plenty of other countries. The American Wild West is a popular alternative.  Visit this page for multicultural Steampunk ideas.

 

 

1. b. OR Choose a character

There are some great ideas for superheroes, disney princesses, fictional characters, and the like.

 

A friend of mine made a Steampunk Duffman (Simpsons) costume! It was pretty rad.

steampunk duffman

 

 

We had fun taking photos where Duffman was being useless but looking cool, and the ladies were “doing all the work” (err- driving the ship, and navigating… or something).

steampunk trio

 

Want some other inspiration for steampunk characters?

Steampunk Batman and Ivy raddad.tumblr.com

 

Star Wars steampunk! Source: Steampunk Fashion

 

Steampunk Abraham Lincoln vampire hunter costume-works.com

Steampunk Cyberman. Doctor Who via kyoob on etsy

polyvore.com/disney_steampunk

Steampunk Disney polyvore.com/disney_steampunk

 

It need not be a specific character, either!  Try brainstorming ideas for a steampunk pirate, ballerina, ringmaster, US president, playboy bunny, zombie … the options are endless!

 

Use one of these ideas or come up with your own! Use some of the ideas presented here and do a little bit of research if you need help brainstorming. Feel free to write me and I’ll help you out too! I’d love to see a steampunk version of Winnie the Pooh, Inspector Gadget, Madonna, or Captain Planet for example. Why not?

1. c. OR Choose a mythological creature

My friend and I hinted at the fae with our costumes seeing as we both wore wings. Together we decided we were ice and fire, or sun and moon… or something like that… yeah….

steampunk wings

 

Let’s take a closer look at my wings (the brown owl-feather ones) :

steampunk wings and bustle close

Cool, eh? You may never suspect that I found these at Party City around halloween time, though you can shop their wings online year-round. I did absolutely nothing to them; that center diamon-jewel thing was part of them from the get-go! The only catch is that they aren’t too fantastically made, so the feathers fall out after a few uses, but that’s where I got the feather for my hat!

 

Pan, Unicorn, Merfolk, Centaurs, Faeries/Fairies, Narwhals… There are a lot of options. Why do the fae need technology when perhaps they can do it all with magic? Because it’s fun. And they’re Tesla fans. I don’t know. Go ask the good folk.

from scarlettgothica.com

 

steampunk-pics.com

steampunksteampunk.tumblr.com

 

coilhouse.net

The joy with being a mythological character is you can always say that something you’re wearing (or doing) is just, uh… magic! uh.. yeah- that’s it.  It gives a bit more freedom.

 

 

2. Add technology!

Ideally, one wouldn’t just glue gears to something and call it steampunk (not that I’m above that… check out my home-made mini top hat below).

steampunk hat

 

One of the coolest things about steampunk is the idea of technological innovation.

 

A friend of mine made these amazing wings below. Yes, they opened and unfurled as well. Pretty darn cool I must say! (though, he did say they got heavy after a while… The prices one pays to look awesome). He does this stuff professionally, so feel free to contact him for commissions.

steampunk working wings

 

 

You can go buy some of your own on Etsy (via someone I don’t know, but they sure look great):

TGTstudios on Etsy

 

Another gent at the event wore this backpack of gadgetry.

steampunk backpack

 

It’s quite popular to turn old nerf or play guns into Steampunk guns:

 

daz3d.com

 

There’s a pretty good tutorial on painting your own gun here

steamingenious.com

 

I made one too- you can see it hanging from my belt below:

steampunk girlies

 

mannenwereld.nu

 

weburbanist.com

 

When in doubt, just remember- What Would Tesla Do?

What would Tesla do

What would Tesla do? Yes, this is seriously a shirt you can buy from redbubble.net

 

 

3. Accessorize!

Pocket watches, jewelry, goggles, top hats, spats, collars… there are so many ways to accessorize!  Rather than write a whole lot of words and lists, I’m providing you an array of photographical inspiration:

junglegypsyfashion.com

 

The Ultimate Steampunk for Men Etsy

 

Yet another photo Im not able to credit. Please let me know if you can help give credit!

 

 

Steampunk costume and garb ideas. tree of life. jewelry. diy.

This is a tree of life pendant I made with standard jewelry wire and some gears I found at Michaels. The structure was made from a shower curtain ring!

 

 

via poppenkraal on etsy

 

kvodesign at etsy

 

offbeatbride.com

 

black steampunk top hat

I made this mini top hat out of foam! If I get requests for it, perhaps I’ll do a DIY post someday….

 

steampunk.wonderhowto.com

 

fiveanddiamond.com

 

DesignsByFriston on Etsy

 

 

 

4. …. But What about….?

 

Still have concerns? – Don’t worry- it’s all about having fun and making the attempt!

Don’t have the “right shoes”? – If you can, wear simple black heels, boots, or dress shoes.  If you can, make spats to go with them.  If you’re stuck with just tennis shoes/sneakers (depending on where you’re from), don’t let that keep you from trying on the rest of it! If anyone is judging you, they need better things to do with their life!

Not sure where to even start/this is overwhelming?  Take a breath, wear a buttoned shirt and pants, or a suit if you can. Add a waistcoat. Or a coat with tails. Get a long skirt and add safety pins to bustle it up a little.

**If you’re going to a steampunk event, there are usually vendors! Wear something simple and plan on adding to it throughout the day! Easy-peasy.**

But my friend says I NEED such-and-such to be steampunk!  No, you don’t “need” anything to be steampunk. Even what I’ve written is just a bunch of ideas to help inspire. The guidelines are very wibbly-wobbly, so don’t fret. Try it out! You may just surprise yourself.

But I don’t have anything ready/I cannot sew! My friend and I (below) are both seamstresses (ok, ok… *She* is a seamstress. I just sew things). And neither of us really planned our costumes. We didn’t buy patterns from Joann’s, we didn’t break out the sewing machines, we just used items we had and added pins and magic to help make it all come together:

steampunk girls inside

 

 

Need more inspiration?? Check out these films/books:

Jules Verne’s Around The World In 80 Days and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Baron Munchausen

Alice In Wonderland

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Back to the Future III

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Return to Oz

Wild Wild West

Sherlock Holmes

Stardust

Hugo

The Golden Compass

 

 

Also, I do a lot of research on things- do feel free to utilize the research I’ve already done!

Check out (or follow) my Pinterest Steampunk folder

Or just check me out on Pinterest (there’s plenty more things than steampunk on there! Most recently- viking research!)

 

 

 

I truly hope this post has given you some insight on where to start when coming up with your own steampunk garb/persona. Please comment below and share your own makings!

steampunk girls


 

Want to check out more geeky things?

 

Click here to see ideas for throwing a thor’s giving (instead of thanksgiving)

thorsgiving instead of thanksgiving

 

Click here to check out our Geeky British Party and get ideas for throwing your own!

Sir Francis BACON!!!  tee hee!

Sir Francis BACON!!!
tee hee!


 

  • Have you made any cool steampunk garb? Share it below!
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Disney Flower and Garden Festival- fun for kids big and small

The topiaries at the Flower and Garden festival were amazing, but did you know there’s a whole lot more?

~bonzai

 

 

Whether you’re a group of adults or a family with small children, you’re bound to find fun things around the park all day.

 

 

TinkerBell’s butterfly garden

 

The garden was in this screened-in tent area where butterflies were “free” to fly all about the place.  It was kind of magical to have them all around you.

~tink

~tink butterfly

~butterfly

~cocoon

~faerie 2

~faerie can

 

~pirate fairy

 

 

Fun food and drink stands

 

There are not as many as one would find at the Food and Wine Festival, but there are a decent amount.  It’s always fun to try new/different things!


~frushi

~linie aquavit

 

 

Children play areas

 

There are a number of well-themed children play and activity areas.  If I came here with my family when I was a child, my dad would have brought us here and said “ok- now go and get your ya yas out!”

~kids monsters
~mike and sully

 

~ kids fun

 

 

And my favorite garden:

 

~biergarten

~biergarten2

~beer

Friend me on untapped (museinitiative) to see my reviews of the beers.

 

There are many more things to see and do at the festival that I didn’t get to do (they do tours of the festival for example- I’m sure there’s plenty of awesome things to learn).  Click here to learn more.

~futbol

 

 

To read more about the topiaries and see photos of them, click here.

 

Or if you’d rather, check out my post on geeky Cupcakes (click here)! I mean, Disney now owns Star Wars, so it’s fitting, right?

 

  • Have you been to the Flower and Garden festival?  What was your favorite part?

 

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Isle of Skye 2- faeries

There was so much beauty and awesomeness on the Isle of Skye that I needed to break it up into multiple posts!

If you missed the first post, click here for Isle of Skye Part 1- pipe band

 

Faerie Glen

 

Faerie glen

Faerie Glen on Isle of Skye.  Click here for more info from trip advisor

 

We had ample time to discover the natural beauty of Skye with a bit of hiking, overlook stops for photography, and since the weather was so nice we even had a picnic lunch at faerie glen.

 

black cuillin craft beer isle of skye

I have a love for craft beer, especially when it’s local.  Black Cuillin was quite tasty, and from Skye!  

Click here for more info about Isle of Skye Brewing

 

faerie glen circle

This is where the wishes were made.  See the video below for more information.

 

However, faeries aren’t just nice happy creatures that grant wishes and are beautiful and magical.  They can be quite conniving, cunning, tricksy beings.  There will be more Scotland-based posts in the future and I’m certain there will be at least one faerie story in there.

 

See my video tour of faerie glen! (click here if you’d prefer a new window)!

 

Faerie Pools

 

There was also visit to (and swim in- if we dared) the faerie pools.  To get there by car, take the road towards Glen Brittle.  Park in the Glen Brittle parking lot.  Across the road, there is a clear path that leads to the pools. Stay to the right.


                     faerie pools isle of skye scotland

 

faerie pools isle of skye scotland 

Natural spring water straight from the mountains, fancy a swim?
–what, we can swim?  cool!
…..wait, but I have no suit!

So go in your underwear!
–ummm… ok- sure, why not?
–OH! OH! OH! It’s cold!- it’s cold! -it’s coooold!

Well, duh- it’s natural spring water straight from the mountains, like I said.

 

faerie pools isle of skye scotland

 Huzzah! I was even able take a faerie shower in the waterfall (barely visible in the back left of this photo)

 

faerie pools isle of skye scotland

The water was so crystal clear, it was almost magical

 

The story* of The Old Man of Storr

(In scottish gaelic: ‘Bodach an Stòrr’)

Old man of storr Isle of Skye

 The Old Man of Storr.  The rock formation can be seen just to the right of the tall cliffs.  

A man and his wife would walk to the top of a hill on Skye every evening.  One day, he realized that they had both been growing old- and her most of all.  She was becoming unable to join him in the climb up the hill.  The fairy folk who had watched them go up every evening had offered the old man the chance to always have his wife with him wherever he went.  The old man accepted the offer but the fairy folk tricked them and turned them both into pillars of rock, ensuring that they would indeed always be together.

 

NOTE TO SELF: when making a deal with the faeries, always  be EXTREMELY clear in your side of the “bargain.”

* note that is is only ONE of the many stories of the Old Man of Storr, but it is the one we were told on our journey.

 

To visit my next post, click here- Isle of Skye Part 3- Whisky!

  • Do you believe in faeries? Have you any stories of the fae, pixies, sprites, or the Good Folk?  Share in the comments!
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