Sunday, October 28, 2012


A Fall "Halloween" fundraiser is held every year in my historic hometown of Milton, NC. I try to go whenever I can, and always have fun dressing up for the costume "contest". I've been Ellie May Clampett, a "dark vampire countess", and a swashbuckling pirate princess.

This year I indulged my growing fascination with Steampunk style, and went neo-Victorian.

And I spent a total of $25.50 on this whole costume. 

When I decided to create a neo Vicrotian Steampunk costume this year, I first went to the costume boxes I have inherited from mom and keep in storage in my house.

I found this black skirt with a wide ruffle on the bottom, about two sizes too big for me, but with a drawstring waist! When I get it on and cinch up the drawstring, the excess fabric in the back creates a "bustle" effect. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of that.

I borrowed this ruffle fronted shirt from my pirate princess costume from a few years back.

Skirt and top: FREE. 

Next, I decided I needed something extra so I started on Plan A - and decided to alter a man's black velvet waistcoat I found in the costume box into an "underbust" vest, but soon gave up, as I was running out of time and my sewing skills are limited to the most basic you can imagine.

Plan B -I went on line and decided to buy a corset to wear on the outside of my costume, as many Steampunk fanciers do. Corsets are expensive, and I also decided it was just a bit too "sexy" for a family event. So I scratched the corset plan, and went to plan C.    

Plan C was a corset style wide buckle belt, and I found one for $16 + free shipping on eBay and bought it.

Then I decided I needed a nifty hat. So again, I turned to eBay where I bought, for $7 + free shipping, a basic cheap black top hat. Then I added all the frills and fancies, including ribbon, veiling, and a large button among my craft stash. I purchased a package of feathers at Hobby Lobby for $2.50 and used those as well. I loved how the hat turned out!

I tried in vain to find some Victorian style high heeled boots to buy, but Goodwill failed me and eBay was pretty steep for my costume budget. So I wore lacey tights I had on hand and a pair of black oxford style t-strap heels from my shoe hoard.

The finishing touch was my Great Grandmother's gold watch that I lifted from my Mom's house. She is away in Illinois visiting my oldest brother and his family, so I was able to get it out from the glass display thing she keeps the family's heirloom antique watches in. Mouhahahahaha. I sewed this little black velvet bow pin for it, even though you can see it is meant to be hung from a fob upside down, so the wearer could see it easily.

The watch is engraved with my Great Grandmother's Name: "Nellie F. (Field) Bird".

 Isn't the inside cool looking?

Viola. Steampunkery.

I was a bit bummed, because I forgot my "prop": my vintage Victorian style umbrella with the fancy engraved Mother of Pearl handle that my sister gave me. Oh well.  

I am loving neo Victorian style and have several other outfits in the making; to include my WW1 jodphurs. :)

Anyone else dressing up this "costume season"?

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