Steampunk express part 2

January 8, 2015

Latest Post The Rake - Part 1 by Owen Soule

In this last rendition of my favorite steampunk dress (Simplicity #2172), I’ve changed the color choices once again to fit the red skirt featured in the 5/15/2014 entry. In case you’re unfamiliar with the ‘steampunk’ term, here’s the short definition from Wikipedia:

“Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy literature and art that commonly features some aspect of steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century.”

So how is this remotely connected to fashion or dressmaking? Read on and you’ll see how many of these stories feature technologies, motifs, and design elements from the Victorian age.

In steampunk clothing, this means corsets, ruffles, bustles, fancy tailoring, and other complications are all front and center. However, given the dark and sometimes post-apocalyptic themes of the narratives, these clothes also have a distinct utilitarian-goth overtone. 

A lot of the steampunk dress patterns I’ve found are very 'mechanical' in style, featuring all kinds of grommets, buckles, hooks, and other details, but I decided to go with something softer. So here’s the whole line-up, mixing and matching the skirt, corset, and coat. The two new pieces I created over the holidays were the red shantung coat and the grey crushed taffeta corset. Also pictured is the turquoise brocade coat, which I think is lovely with the grey corset:

Here's the original red skirt and corset:  

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And now we add the new red coat:

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But this is an awful lot of red. So let's try including the new grey corset instead:

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And, for kicks, here's the brocade coat, grey corset, and red skirt:

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Compare this with the ensemble that includes the brocade with the red corset (too 'busy', I think):

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Initially conceived as a venue to document some home improvement projects, this blog has since expanded into other pursuits including anything from jewelry to art appreciation to textiles.

Art and art-making have always been an important part of my life. I believe there is therapeutic power in one’s own imagination, and it can be tapped through any kind of beautiful ‘object of meditation’. Whether in the form of music, photos, a good story, or the things only Mother Nature can take credit for, art nurtures our brains and souls. Like spirituality, art may not be necessary for survival but it definitely makes life worth living. Happy imagining!

Laura Soule

Published January 8, 2015