Thursday, April 7, 2011

Quick and Dirty: Steampunking a Vest Bustier

Okay, here's another how-I-did-it piece on quick and dirty steampunk costuming.

Because sometimes, you want it fast and you want it to be easy.

Hmm ... hrm ... ahem.

So, I wanted a vest I could throw on with a skirt and blouse to jazz it up a bit.  Again, this was part of a 2-week costuming bender I went on right before a Con.  So I hit the thrift stores, and came up with this:
What I really liked about this black heavy-weight cotton vest was its fit - very snug, and very firm fabric, so it provided good support and close to corset-like shaping.  However, it definitely needed some quick jazzing-up.  Using a scrap of black leather the sewing machine could handle, and a silver clip, I made a keyfob which I stitched directly to the vest.
I had some silverish wind-up and skeleton keys, so I added them to the built-in keyfob.   I added a silver pocketwatch. 
I played with a few other ideas, tricking it out with a old medal I'd found (which I planned to mod) and a  silver kilt pin with a cluster of silver safety pins at one end and a sewing chatelaine on the other end (thimble case, needle case, seam ripper).
I wasn't so happy with it, but it suited for one convention.  
I have now removed the medal and the kiltpin chatelaine, and have replaced them with an ornament I made with a silver kiltpin and a teapot charm. 
Not sure where this will go from here, but I don't want to give up on the vest.  

Anyone have suggestions for tricking this simple and very convenient vest into a more steampunk realm?  Or is it sufficient as it is?


  1. I think it looks totally cool as is! :-)

  2. You could always change up the buttons for something snazzier/steamier. You could even add a few buttons if you wanted a little more dazzle of metal. It's really a nice vest as is, though, and looks good on you in the pictures! What a great find.