Category: "Jackets, suits"

Steampunk Holiday, part 8

by brae  

The final part of the Steampunk Holiday ensemble is the jacket with faux vest.

I altered Simplicity 2172 to make the jacket - changing the front slightly and cropping a lot of the length.  I also omitted the shoulder detailing, cuffs, pocket welts and back lacing.

I made a quick mockup of cotton fabric to test the fit and help with the front alteration.  I altered the front pattern piece with the vest portion by cutting off the lower piece that attaches to the side front.  I made a straight size 6, adding 3/8" to the front edge of the vest for a better fit over the corset.

I eliminated the pocket welts by using lining pattern piece 10 for the side front.  This substitution and the omission of the back lacing cut down a lot of time in construction.   I lined the chocolate velvet vest insert with brown satin and constructed each piece separate from the coat.  I put the buttonholes in at this time since it's easier to work with a small piece.

When it came time to sewing in the lining, I basted the vest fronts to the jacket beforehand.  This gives a more realistic impression of a vest under a jacket.

The rest of the jacket has charcoal and light grey polka dot satin lining.  :D

To finish the outer edge, I added grey-brown Venise lace.  I didn't limit the lace to the neckline but added it all the way around the suiting portion of the jacket.

The whole ensemble...

From the back...

The party was great fun with good food and good conversation.  :]

Steampunk Holiday, part 1

by brae  

Every year, the company I work for throws a wonderful party for employees at a beautiful location.  Since I don't have much occasion for formalwear besides, I always like making something interesting and special for the event.  Last year, I made a cocktail dress I called the Serendipity Dress.  This year, my theme is Steampunk.  :D  I won't be going over the top with gadgets and embellishments, but in general, the ensemble will be steampunk inspired.

My fabrics are chocolate brown cotton velvet, cream textured home décor fabric, copper pintuck décor fabric and grey-brown suiting.  I've chosen copper buttons and grey-brown lace trim.

I'll be using two different patterns for the outfit: Simplicity 2172 and Vogue 7698.

I will make the coat from pattern 2172, with grey-brown suiting for the body and brown velvet for the false vest front.  I will omit the shoulder wings and lace cuffs as well as eliminate most of the length.  I plan to trim the neckline with the grey-brown lace and use the copper buttons for the velvet false vest.  The cream textured satin will be used for the bustier from pattern 2172.  I plan to add ivory buttons down the front.  The copper pintuck fabric will be used for the skirt from pattern 7698.  All very smart, no?  :D

To top it off, I plan to make a brown velvet fascinator with ivory netting.  I took a millinery class at a local fabric store 13 years ago, and we made a pillbox hat.  I learned to work with buckram, millinery wire and batting, fabrics and trims.  Since that class, I've made several historical reproductions to go with various costumes.  This time, I'd like to make a simple teardrop cocktail hat.

You can purchase teardrop buckram bases on etsy and the like, but I already have the materials on hand.

millinery batting and wire


The one thing I don't have is a hat form, and I see no reason to acquire one since I don't plan to make tons of hats.  So, I did some sleuthing online and found this post on making a teardrop form without a hat form.  The author mentions using a bowl, and so I had a gander around my kitchen.  I even looked in the fridge.  Voilà!  I have a lettuce keeper (or in my case, a spinach keeper).  :D  It has a nice dome shape.  Unfortunately, there is still spinach in it.  :\

I wet a piece of buckram and shaped it over the lid...then back into the fridge it went.  We'll see tomorrow if the buckram has held its shape well enough to take it out for final drying.  I suppose I could cover the bowl with foil and keep the lid out to dry.