what sub-genre to choose?

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#1 sandra03 on 4 years ago

my friend and I have decided to go steampunk for one of our cosplays at a con coming up in May. She's decided she likes the gypsy sub-genre. I originally was going to go aristocrat but I really wanted to put some colour and quirkiness into my costume so I don't think it's really the way I want to go. I already got a corset and would like to base the rest of my costume around the colours in it. it's got a teal and light brown pattern on the front and the back and sides and trim are a medium brown pleather.
I also have a tutorial to make a tophat, and I picked up some simple goggles that I'd like to modify. I'm torn if I should make a full sized hat so I can set the goggles on it or make a mini hat to clip into my hair like a fascinator.
anyway, all this to say I feel like I don't have a specific direction and that the idea of fun accessories is distracting me from figuring out a specific type of costume, so I could use some advice, keeping in mind that I'm on a budget and have 2 other cosplays to worry about so I don't want to spend too much money or time..

I'm not a real experienced seamstress but I think I can probably put a bustle together if I decide to go with a skirt, if I end up with an aviator type costume I'll just buy pants. either way I'll probably buy some cheap pleather boots and modify them. I just don't know what will work with what accessories I already have and what won't clash horribly with my friend's gypsy steam concept.

I'm ok with the idea of steampunkifying an existing character, though I'd also have fun with creating something original



#2 Ironhill on 4 years ago

My way to make a steampunk costume is to ask Who am I? What tools or items do I need to be me? What is my background? Once you set on a persona you can start to design the outfit.

I am a steampunk engineer so I have a wrist band with tools on it. I am middle class so I wear a derby. I wear a pin that identifies me as a member of the engineers guild. And I have goggles because I work around dangerous machinery. Everything has a place and a function.

As for colors, steampunk tends towards earthtones. The Victorians actually wore bright colors. Sometimes in painful combinations. Just go with what you feel is right for you. And have fun.

#3 sandra03 on 4 years ago

thanks. I've decided on airship captain. i'm going to use that corset but just do slimfit brown pants and a loose blouse. it'll be the accessories that really make it. i'm going to forego the tophat I was dying to make T_T and come up with some other idea for a headpiece, but definitely making goggles. will be wanting a hip bag also and I plan on making bracers with some gauges and other fun bits on them. for boots I think I'll see what I can find at the thrift store, hopefully some nice tall brown leather boots with a bit of a heel and mod them with a wide cuff and buckles, maybe some chains.
open to suggestions :)

#4 Ironhill on 4 years ago

My first thought would be to add some rank pins and airship wings. There are several steampunk wing pins available but I like the replica WWII airship wings. Yes, the military did use airship for patrolling during WWII. Also, the diamond shaped cadet rank pins look offical while not being true military.

#5 sandra03 on 4 years ago

ah I didn't see your reply until now, thanks for the tips. I'm thinking airship mechanic is simpler for my first go at it. I'm stuck on pants right now, I"m not good enough with the machine yet to make them and can't seem to find something along the lines of jodhpurs for a reasonable price. what else would work?

#6 Ironhill on 4 years ago

My first thought is coveralls. You could wear them open with the arms tied at the waist. I like mechanic outfits because you can add a tool belt with interisting things hanging off of it. I have even seen large wrenches made out of wooden axe handles that were painted to look like metal.

#7 Ironhill on 4 years ago

Remember to always try e-bay and thrift stores for costuming stuff. You never know what you will find.

#8 sandra03 on 4 years ago

I found these awesome pants at an outlet store. they're wide leg crops with sort of a wool-ish knit fabric and buttons down the front. tucked into the knee-high boots I found I think they'll give me the look I was hoping for. picked up a couple of belts and purses at a second hand store to fudge some hip bags. I got an old fashioned big keyring from ebay for like a buck and found some amazingly rusted old keys at a flea market. I dunno why, I just decided I needed keys on my belt lol. I have some pleather and a pattern to make an aviator style hat, hoping to do that over the next couple of days as well as some wristbands. goggles are pretty well done I think, just need some finishing touches. then all that's left is embellishments and figuring out my makeup and hair ^_^ oh yeah, and my other 2 cosplays.. eek.

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