Sunday, October 21, 2012

Steampunk this and steampunk that. Steampunk dandy clothes and hat.

I've been trying to decide what to do with all the steampunk materials I've been collecting since we attended a steampunk con last winter. 

I hand-stitched this corset and just need boning and laces for it.  I'm thinking leather or black lace for the lacing, depending upon what I decide to make for the skirt.  For an inexpensive boning, I decided upon basket weaving reeds.  It will be worn over a white or black peasant blouse.  I'm thinking white blouse, brown skirt, leather laces, brown boots?  Opinions are welcome to anyone who reads this!  I have trouble making decisions.

I've been thinking that I have plenty of time to create outfits for all four of us, but for a person who can only sew straight lines but can't actually sew a straight line to save her life, if you catch my drift, I think I may have put this off for too long.  We only have a few months until the next con.  That's three outfits per person, four people.  I don't know about this...

For the last convention, I put no time into creating my outfits, but was amazed that I could pull two together for myself from what I already owned.  That was pretty cool because I was able to spend time helping my son get his elaborate aviator contraption and outfit put together.  I did have fun with some of his extra copper pipe, an old toy pistol the boys were more than willing to part with, and whatever decorative pieces I could find in my craft stashes to decorate a leather purse and cell phone case, and to make a pistol for my "steampunk homesteader" day 2 outfit.

Today, while checking my calendar, I realized that another convention is coming up at the end of November.  I thought, no problem.  We'll catch it on our way back north from our Thanksgiving trip to Florida.  The timing is perfect.  Then I remembered that we are camping for days and days for that Thanksgiving trip.  There is no way we can camp with top hats and velvet and leather and taffeta/damasky type clothing hanging in the back of our van.  When we camp I use the back of our van as a kitchen prep area.  So now I have to decide what to do.  It's also my older son's birthday that weekend and I have neglected to tell him about the convention.  When I do, I know that is exactly what he will want to do to celebrate and I'll be committed.  Ha!  "Committed."  Trying to get us ready for a week of camping and outfits for a steampunk con in three weeks may just get me committed!  Giggle.

The other day we went to the Biltmore Estate to celebrate my husband's birthday.  It was a special one, considering all of the health issues he's had over the last few years, and especially this last one.  I decided to don some of my "steampunk every day" clothes, feeling nostalgic and old-fashioned just thinking about Biltmore house.  I came around the corner in my "normal" clothes that looked just a wee bit Helena Bonham Carter, minus the top hat, peacock feathers, pig, etc., and there stands my son in full steampunk gear, top hat and all.  He looked fabulous!  We started cracking up when we saw each other and then began exclaiming over the baubles and doo-dads each of us had added to our outfits.

He bought this hat at the steampunk con.  It was made by one of the owners of Only Ducks.

The boy.

I made these earrings from pins.  It only took 3 finger stabs to urge me into yanking the straight pin backs off with a pair of pliers.  It's really hard to drive when your finger is bleeding all over the place, just FYI.  Duh!  Should've done that when I added the earring hooks!

One of my "steampunk every day" skirts.  I made this from one of Hubby's old polo shirts.  The collar became the rose.  The sleeves became the ruffle.  A piece of scrap lace finished it.  I cut the sleeves off and stitched up the openings, but I think that next time I will just turn them inside out and stitch up the arm hole so the skirt has pockets.  I like pockets.  I was a dingbat and only realized after I cut out the v-neck with the buttons and was stitching in a zipper that I could have left the buttons in as the closure and forgotten the zipper altogether.  Live and learn...

That boy of mine is so much fun!  I love that he can walk around dressed differently than everyone he sees and have the confidence to hold his head high proclaiming to the world, "I'm different and I know it and I love myself for it!" with his manner.  I am so proud of him!  Especially since others, at times, have attempted to convince him that nonconformity is to be frowned upon.  An attitude that would have sent me slinking into the corner reevaluating my outlook on life, my likes, dislikes, and general weirdness, had the opposite effect on him.  It's fabulous to see.  I am so grateful!

The only problem for me that day was, that even though my outfit was "steampunky" it wasn't over the top.  I can't do over the top, but I love my style of frills and crochet and lace.  It's me.  But when we walked together around Biltmore property, people stopped us, thinking we were part of a special group.  It was great for my son, he loves it, but I was happy to have a tall boy with a top hat to "hide" behind when he drew attention and comments  He looked great.  I took lots of photos of him and he just fits so well with that beautiful, old building.  And apparently, there is a group that meets in full steampunk attire to frequently tour the Biltmore.  Now that I can do.  A nonconformist in the midst of other nonconformists all dressed alike. lol  Yes, I can do that.  We look forward to steampunk Biltmore days with the group.  What fun!

And...because he is so comfortable in his own skin within his favorite clothing style, my boy won first prize at a costume contest at a fall festival this weekend when he chose to dress in the steampunk aviator costume he made himself, complete with jet pack and spinning propeller.  I NEVER could have stood on that stage.  He's an awesome kid!  The blade rotated at the steampunk convention with the help of a motor he installed.  He had it taken apart for improvements at the time of the contest, and had shortened the propeller on a smaller copper shaft, but the wind happened to blow right when the judges were deciding on a winner, and that propeller just spun away when he bent his head forward to let it go.  It was awesome!!  I knew he had it when the judges got excited and pointed to the spinning blades, so had my camera ready when the winners were being announced.

I rarely post my kids' pictures on my blogs but I'd guess that 100 people have already taken his photo in this outfit the two times he's worn it, so what can I do?  We had the hardest time at the convention just getting through the hotel lobby because so many people stopped him to take his picture and to ask to see the propeller rotate, and he even ended up on the convention's website.  The same thing happened at the festival. So here's my own photo of Aviator Boy.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'll go get stitchin'!