Laura’s Steamship Story
I am the SS Aradan’s seamstress. I repair the sails as well as clothing that becomes tattered while we work. When we make stops at various trading posts, I sell my hand-crafted goods to earn my keep on this ship. I decided to join the Steamship Aradan when was put out of work. I owned a local shop where I sold the finest handmade clothing. I was sadly put out of business from all the mass-production clothing factories popping up everywhere. I had no family to turn to for help. I still had to make a living somehow, so I resorted to conning people out of their money.
For years I traveled from town to town hitching rides on the steam train. I consider myself an attractive woman, so I used my looks for my own personal gain. I learned how to comletely change my persona from town to town, along with more than a few sleights of the hand to get what I needed. Over and over I put on my best handmade finery and convinced the rich men of the town that I could give them what they needed. And then, when they least expected it, I was off with enough cash to make it for a few more months. This was a dangerous way to live of course, because word got around to keep an eye out for the beautiful con woman who tricks you and takes you for all your worth. I’ll never forget the day when I was finally caught. I guess you can’t con a conperson. I won’t tell you the individual’s name, but I can tell you they spared my life because they thought I would be useful to the ship. They said I could stop running and finally settle down into a better way of life, as long as I swore my allegiance to this ship. So, here I am a few years later aboared the best steamship I’ve ever seen. I swore to defend this ship with my life, and I’ve enjoyed every second of it. I am making a mostly honest living now, and I can’t say that I have ever had better friends and allies in all my life.
This is the first steampunk costume I have put together. It is a very simple version of my character on the steampunk crew. Most of the items I am wearing came from Aradani Studios or a thrift store. The bodice is the only cloth piece I actually made for this steampunk costume. The belt and pouch are also original designs of mine.
My elf ears are an aradani studios original small anime design. The hat came from a company called and Gypsy Rose. They carry an abundence of hippie clothing and accessories. This particular hat is made out of pure hemp. Its a little ragged since I washed it by accident. The steampunk goggles I am wearing came from Aradani Studios. They come in a variety of colors for your individual steampunk costume. The steampunk goggles also come in black, so you can easily take them apart and paint them to suit your steampunk needs.
The scarf wrapped around my neck is nothing but a torn up piece of cotton gauze fabric. I thought it made for a good addition to my steampunk costume. It also makes a great sweat rag for those hot summer days on the ship when I am working in the sun.
My undershirt is a borrowed item from my sister, although you can easily find one like it at your local thrift store. The bodice for my steampunk costume is the only piece of clothing I actually made for my costume. The material came from Hobby Lobby for only $6.99! I made the bodice pattern by draping on to a dressform. I then cut the pattern and material to my size and sewed it together. I used green eyelet tape for decoration around the bodice and finished the edges with a brown bias tape. I also used the green eyelet tape for my front lacing. I punched out seperate holes for the bodice lacing, because I thought it added a little extra decoration and stability. The lacing is a simple rattail you can find at your local fabric store.
My steampunk pants are my second favorite aspect to the costume.
Aradani ordered them from a military surplus store online. They are called wool riding pants. They way they bow out above the knee really make for a great period addition to the steampunk costume. I believe these were actually used in WW1 or WW2. The pants are skinny below the knee and stop about halfway down the calf. This way you can easily wear your favorite pair of spats to complete your steampunk costume. I actually opted for my boots this time until I have a chance to make an awesome pair of steampunk spats. I will make a pair for my working elf costume and for my fancy steampunk elf costume when I finish it.
My boots came from a local thriftsore.
Like I said, though they work for now, they are only a temporary addition to my steampunk costume.
My steampunk belt is one I made myself from scrap leather materials.
I added studs around the belt for extra decoration. I thought my two pouches were a cool addition to my steampunk costume. The green pouch came from the military surplus store online. It is great for holding my water bottle while working outside so I don’t become dehydrated. My boxy red pouch is one that I made from scrap leather materials. It is completely bound together with thick string. I figured this would be a good addition to my steampunk costume considering I am the ship seamstress. I needed a pouch to carry all of my mending tools.
My New Fancier steampunk Costume
Here are a few pictures of the start of my new fancier steampunk costume. I made the patterns from scratch. For the bodice piece, I draped a pattern to one of my dress forms. I decided to make it a little fancier and couture looking by making ruffled sleeves. I also added in ruffled detailing to the seams to match my skirt. The front eyelet tape is eventually going to be used for lacing, if I can ever find the right lace. I cut out long bias strips to finish the top edge and used the rest to finish the bottom with small pleats for pretty detailing. I also coffee and tea stained the fabric to give it some wear and more of a steampunk look.
The skirt is also made from a draped pattern. I elongated the original pattern so I could do the front gatherings. After I gathered the skirt fabric, I was not satisfied with the result. So I pulled up individual pieces, one by one, to give the steampunk skirt a tiered look. I cut out more bias strips of the bodice fabric to finish the edges and bring the look together. I plan to make an overcoat when I find the right fabric. I am also going to make a lacy and frilly under piece to go under the sheer striped skirt. But for now, this is what I have so far. I hope you like it!!! I plan to have this entire costume finished to debut it by Chattacon 2010 at the end of January!
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