Sunday, July 17, 2011

Quick and Dirty: Quirky Thrifted Jacket Quirked even Further!

Hello folks!

At long last, I'm back and have the freedom to post!  Work has settled down into it's usual routine, and remain at it's usual pace until mid-September, when it ramps up for a bit.  Today is another "Quick and Dirty" post.  My goal, with these Quick and Dirty sections, is to demonstrate how useful it is to go thrifting - you find unique pieces for inexpensive and sometimes downrightdirt-cheap prices, and with just a little bit of thought, you can modify them for a steampunk outfit.  The trick is to learn to see the potential in garments, even if, sometimes (not in this case) they are spectacularly ugly.  My hope is that by demonstrating what I have done, if this isn't something you aren't used to doing, you can learn to see that potential lurking out there in your local thrift stores!  Also, I want to reiterate, that many of these projects require minimal sewing skills.

So, today, I want to show you a very quick and dirty modification of a very funky little jacket I was able to find at a thrift store.
Part of what attracted me to this quirky little piece (other than the fact it fit!) was the use of gold-coloured zipper as trim along the collar edge, and the sleeve pocket and bright green ribbon detailing, and the dangle-ties on the front pockets.
This piece had a tangerine and green ribbon tie (shown below hanging on the hanger) at an impossible spot to close it, for the female form (across the fullest part of the bust), so the very first thing I did, even before I took photos, was remove the tie and replace it with a fancy hook and eye closure in a much better location, under the bust.
And the big thing to really change up this jacket was to jazz it up with a nice, Victorian tassel trim.  I decided this should go around the collar (ensuring it still showed off the glitzy, punky, zipper trim) and at the sleeves, covering the seam where the cuffs attach.   I just used my sewing machine to attach the fringe trim to the collar (with a bit of handstitching at the ends) and sleeves.
I also ensured the trim ended just inside the jacket, so it was clean-edged and tidy when closed.
The tassel trim really changed the look of the jacket.
And with the addition of a winged trilobite pin on the collar (touch of Girl Genius - I admit I'm a fangirl), voila, the jacket is done and ready to wear as one of my steampunk pieces.
Comments?  Questions?  Suggestions?  Please feel free to leave them here!  And remember, if you want to start any steampunk or steampunk costuming discussions, please feel free to do so on the Steam Wench Salon's Facebook Page, where there is a place for discussions.


  1. I tend to crosspost my costuming bits to Livejournal's Steam Fashion - comments to the post on that site are here: