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Meet Romelle Cogsworth, the Steampunk Gypsy

My Halloween costume is complete!

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That sheath contains a genuine short sword in this picture, but it’ll be empty on Halloween. People tend to get tetchy around sharp metal objects these days. I’ve also got a pair of “brass” key earrings you can’t really see, though they do dangle pretty close to my shoulders.

This one’s a bit blurry, but it gives a better view of the skirt:

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And, of course, the boots. Gotta have something tough on my feet for those long treks through the wilds between train stations:

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Here’s a shot of the whole thing from behind:

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So, there you are! Not nearly as fancy as some of the stuff I’ve posted here by other people, but for my first steampunk costume, and one created with no sewing and very little money, I’m pretty pleased with it. And the best thing is, it’s functional. I can walk around all day in this without getting too footsore or too cold, even in the 30-40 degree weather my area’s been having lately. The outer skirt even has pockets! It’s just what a wandering gypsy, on the fringes of respectable society, would need.

I’m looking forward to rocking this on Halloween! Namarie!

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Steampunk fashion – it’s a thing

I was thinking about costuming needs for this fall (my own and others’) when I stumbled across this article:

The Six Rules of Steampunk Fashion

http://www.buzzfeed.com/steampunk/the-6-rules-of-steampunk-fashion-3n9d

I found it encouraging and inspiring, especially rule four (steampunk clothes can come in ANY color, not just brown or black) and rule six (be yourself, and don’t worry about whether it’s “steampunk enough”). Lovely pictures, too.

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Gears and jewels…

If you’re into quirky necklaces and earrings and such, just google “Steampunk Jewelry” sometime and feast your eyes. This stuff is so cool!

I’d love to get something like this for my Halloween costume:

steampunk earrings

And/or this:

steampunk butterfly necklace

But, given my budget and time constraints, I’ll probably have to settle for a cheap version of this:

steampunk jewelry (6)

Which is still pretty cool. Steampunk can be beautiful, people. Namarie!

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Steampunk Costuming, Pt. 2 – A Personal Experience

As I said in yesterday’s post, I am no good at sewing. Or, really, anything involving a needle and thread. I just don’t have the patience for it. But I absolutely love Victorian, medieval, fantastical, and of course, steampunk costumes. And I always want to go for the real deal–authentic-feeling costumes that someone has really put some thought and effort into, not the cheap “sexy pirate” or “sexy whatever” outfits they sell at Halloween stores. So how do I acquire such a costume, without learning to sew (bleh!) or spending more than I can afford?

Well, it helps that I know a few people who are quite gifted at sewing. They’ve helped me with a couple Lord of the Rings costumes, but as I can’t ask them to make all my costumes for me, I’ve also had to become a somewhat creative shopper. I shop at thrift stores, mostly. This summer I went to a costume store for the first time to buy a wig, but it cost so much that I regretted not getting a washable hair dye instead. A good costume store can have lots of cool stuff, but if you’re trying to save money, thrift stores are the way to go.

It’s amazing what you can find in those places. But the thing with thrift stores is that you have to visit them a lot in order to find anything. And you can’t be looking for anything too specific. Usually I just have an overall “look” in mind, and then I modify my costume plans based on what I find. A few years ago I bought an old-fashioned, lacy shawl at a thrift store, and I’ll be using it for the first time this Halloween as part of a steampunk costume. I still have a rather shapeless piece of velvety blue fabric that I’m not sure I’ll ever use. But you never know! That’s why I hesitate to throw anything away, even if I bought it for a specific costume.

For this Halloween’s steampunk outfit, which will be my first, I didn’t have a lot of time to look for or make a costume. So I’ll be using a lot of recycled garments. I have three skirts which layer nicely to form a full skirt, and a white blouse, all left over from a well-worn hobbit costume. With those, I’ll wear my old black leather riding boots (which still have real mudstains!), a black belt with metal studs (that are now covered in real rust!), that lacy shawl, and a wooden sword sheath (I also have a real sword to put in it, but sharp blades tend to be frowned upon at college campuses). I don’t have a corset, unfortunately, but I do have a bodice that laces pretty tightly (again, left over from an LOTR costume), and I may wear that underneath the blouse. All I need to buy are one or two pieces of steampunk jewelry, and I’m set! I’ll probably post a picture later on so you can see how it turns out.

What are your favorite costuming strategies? Remember to represent steampunk this Halloween! Namarie!

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Steampunk Costuming, Pt. 1

All right, Halloween is coming up (not to mention all those steampunk conventions I listed in the last post), and it’s time to start putting a costume together. If, like me, you have neither a great gift for sewing nor a large bank account, you may need some inspiration.

Look what this girl put together all by herself!

steampunk halloween costume

She got most of it from thrift stores and sales. The sewing part she did with help from online how-to videos. You can read the whole story behind the outfit here: http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2011/10/creating-a-steampunk-costume-for-the-cosplay-newbie-part-one/.

More posts to follow about making a good steampunk look on the cheap. Namarie!

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