Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quick and Dirty: Steampunk Work Apron

Greetings good folks.  Today's focus is on on example of Quick and Dirty steampunk costuming - how to make cool costume pieces without lots of skill, money, or time.

It was approximately a year ago that I decided to finally embark on making some steampunk outfits (having been planning and accumulating brass bits for over 2 years).  There was a general sci-fi/fantasy Convention coming up (Norwescon) in a couple of weeks and, in typical fashion, I decided to make new costumes.  Of course, this meant I had little time.

I wanted a steampunk work apron of some sort.  I had little time, less budget, and was costuming in a hurry.  I decided to find something I could modify.

Hurrah for thrift stores!  I found this large burgundy sleeveless tunic-dress at Value Village for about $5, and decided to use it as my base for a work apron.
Back, with ties
I decided to make it more apron-like by cutting up the centre back to open up the tunic, with the plan of using the back ties to close it.  After cutting it open in the back, I cut and reshaped the garment from the top of the shoulders down to the hem, again to make it more like an apron.  I also removed the ties at the front neckline.
Front with ties removed
Back reshaped - seam binding to finish inside edge
Closeup of reshaped back
This now needed that quintessential workapron necessity - pockets.  I had some scrap reddish-brown leather, and I cut these to the size I wanted and attached them using my sewing machine.  I also made a leather keyfob for a belt out of the scrap leather, and decided to enlist one of my leather belts to wear over the apron waist.
With 2 lower pockets and belt
Detail of keyfob (and keys!)

Still, this was clearly not done.  I decided to add a third pocket above the lower one, with a built-in keyfob / hook, and to add brass findings to detail the outer corners of the pockets.
The third pocket ended up being further divided, and decorated with more brass findings.  To finish, I added a small pocket high up, and to close the slit in the neckline, I made a small decoration from broken pocketwatch parts, a freshwater pearl, and a tumbled garnet. 
Third pocket, divided in sections and decorated.
Neckline decoration & small pocket added
This was looking much better.  A wearable steampunk work apron converted from a old oversized tunic-dress.

And voila, the final product - 3 views, 2 different presentations: 

It might not be a show-stopper, but it is effective, all the pockets proved to be super-handy at Cons, and I liked the result.  This was an easy, quick and dirty conversion of a cheap garment into a decent steampunk costume piece.  Proof that you don't have to get complicated, have awesome sewing skills, or spend lots of hard-earned money to do steampunk.

1 comment:

  1. Comments posted on the crosslink at Steamfashion Livejournal community can be seen here: