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Author Topic: Miranda's cheapskate Steampunk apparel  (Read 7039 times)
Miranda.T
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2015, 10:46:00 pm »

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen,
With the Whitby spring gothic weekend nearly upon us, it was high time to be thinking what to wear. I decided to go with the dress shown below, purchased from a local charity show for £10:





It's certainly gothic enough for Whitby, but needed some attention to make it a bit more steamy, something that would also address the fit. The problem is the front's cut is such that it is not fitted terribly well, and the back is highly elasticated, so as it pulls around the bust the waist ends up being baggy, and tightening the front laces just stretches the back even more and does not pull it in across the stomach.

My solution to this is as follows:



The straps are recylced from a past-its-best hadbag. They are adjustable across the lower back and stop it stretching too far, giving, in conjunction with the front laces, a much better fit. You may notice some sort sections of chain joining the rings together (D-rings from said handbag, O-rings £1.50 for 10 from Wilkinsons). These were from necklaces bought on special offer from Debenhams; a couple of them for £2 each, with each necklace having three chains (one copper in colour, one brass and one black). Most of these were used to make (I hope) the front a bit more Steampunk:



The rationale being of course that having plenty of chains and rings to hang devices off could be of value when heading off on an adventure. Talking of such, there are a few other things I'd like to put together before Whitby, so although this dress could probably use a but more work (for example I think the shoulder straps could use some attention), I think it will have to do for now whilst I pull a few other ideas together.

Yours,
Miranda.
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2015, 11:26:14 am »

Good morning ladies and gentlemen,
This installment will be a work in progress, as for once I actually started taking pictures early enough in the process to document it...

I've decided I need a new hat. Now, you might say, what about all of those shown in the first post of this thread? Of course, the only answer this really requires is "One can never have too many hats!" Also, though, most of those are fascinators, and I'd quite like a hat which actually 'sat' well on my head, as it seems I have quite a big one... Now, please stop that tittering at the back, and the coment of "I knew it" is not helpful! Also, it does not help that I do 'big hair'; I can't help it, I was a teenanger back in the 80s  Roll Eyes

Ahem, back to the fabrication. So, what to make this new hat from? Well, I went for the obvious choice - an old chocolate box...



Actually, I thought this would work well for a few reasons. The size and shape is good for a nice oval brim. The card it is made from is sturdy, and the lid has a slight padding to it, giving a soft feel. I also liked the material's texture, but clearly it needs to be sprayed as bright pink would not go with any of my outfits...

So, I needed to cut out the centre of the lid for 'head space', but the cut panel would then be the top of the hat, so it needed to be right first time. As the shape should be approximately an ellipse, I measured the size of my cranium from front to back and ear to ear, making these the major and minor axs of my ellipse*. I then tried this out on a piece of scrap card, tweaking the shape until it fitted nicely. I now had a template to take back to the chocolate box.

Cutting the box's lid, and also slicing down the lid's edge to flatten it gave:



The hat's sides were simply made from a recycled greetings card (again, a good stiffness for holding shape but easy to cut and bend):



The sides then simply glues to the top and bottom using the cut tabs and a strong paper glue:



The material here is off the top section showing the foam underneath. I quite liked this soft texture, so I put a layer of foam in the card surfaces using cotact adhesive:



The foam is simply from offcuts of wooden flooring underlay. The next stage is to cover with material - more next time.

Yours,
Miranda.

* For those who wish to know, to draw an ellipse first find the length of longest radius (call this a) and then its shortest (call this b); these are of course at right angles to each other when the ellipse is drawn.

Take a piece of string and make it of length 2 x a.  On a suitably big piece of paper or card, drawn a line of around 2a in length, the centre of which will be the centre of your shape. Pin each end of the string a length c each side of the centre of shape, where c is the square root of a2 - b2.

Then just put a pencil into the string, pull it to one side to tension it, and draw around the shape letting the string guide your pencil (note the pencil is slipping past the string as you do this). You should now have a nice ellipse!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 11:28:01 am by Miranda.T » Logged
Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2015, 11:47:19 pm »

The new hat covered with material:



It's sorely in need of ornamentation and the edge of the brim is pretty poor as I could only get 1 cm wide ribbon locally this weekend, but is will have to do for Whitby next weekend and be re-worked after that. Maybe one more post on this if I have time to add some more detail this week.

Yours,
Miranda.
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henrietta Devereux
Guest
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2015, 05:57:35 pm »

Dear Miss Miranda

Your design, as ever, is superb. A simple long chiffon scarf in a colour to compliment your outfit will be one way of adding a quick finishing touch. A length of black net could work well if you can source such an item locally. I have a black scarf that could suffice if you have not got anything suitable to hand

Yours
Henrietta
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2015, 11:45:01 pm »

Many thanks! Indeed, although the local store was a little deficient in terms of its ribbon selection, there was some nice lace there, which is now wrapped around the hat's brim (and hides its current messy finish  Roll Eyes), along with some other touches. Hopefully a picture tomorrow; a little too busy tonight as we have been rushing around peparing for the Whitby weekend. One of these days we might actually be ready in good time for one of these events rather than our traditional last-minute panic...

Yours,
Miranda.
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henrietta Devereux
Guest
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2015, 03:00:22 pm »

Hope you are having a wonderful, Whitby, weekend.

Remember to post the picture of you, in your new hat and dress upon your return

Yours

Henrietta
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2015, 08:20:41 pm »

Hope you are having a wonderful, Whitby, weekend.

Remember to post the picture of you, in your new hat and dress upon your return

Yours

Henrietta


Thank you - we certianly hope to, and also hope to not be too late to bed tonight after the packing!

The hat with some decoratration:



The flash has hade it come out looking rather silver, but the material is, as in the previous picture, black. The netting around the brim has already been mentioned, and the other ornamentation around it is a charity shop necklace. The device at its centre is another charity shop find. It's mounted via two prongs (actually screws) from a back-plane, the idea being that the various mechanisms could be made and placed in this position to give the hat some variation. So what is this one? Well, here I'm taking from the 'Steampunk - practical or fantasy' thread over in Metaphysical.

The fantasy is that it is a 'Mesmerisor'; when required, carefully sequenced lights would eminate from its crystals to entrance unpleasant characters (airship pirates, dastardly agents of unfriendly foreign powers, etc). The practicality is rather more mundane - it's a handbag hanger. The bars curled around it can be unfirled out to hang the bag. It also opens to reveal a couple of mirrors, so now I have mirrors in this and my modified compact (as in the '... cheapskate accesories' thread). I'm well placed if I need to signal in morse by reflecting flashes from the sun, or constructing a rudimentary interferomenter to find the relative speed of the Earth through the aether...  Roll Eyes

Yours,
Miranda.
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2015, 09:37:46 pm »

Hope you are having a wonderful, Whitby, weekend.

Remember to post the picture of you, in your new hat and dress upon your return

Yours

Henrietta

Thank you! Yes, despite the disappointing weather on Saturday and a difficult drive up on Friday night (motorway closed, detour that added about an hour on the journey...) we did have a good time; we particularly enjoyed, again, the 'players' at Whitby Abbey. New boots from the 'Bizarre Bizarre' too! Picture over on 'playing dress up'.

Yours,
Miranda.
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2015, 11:10:09 pm »

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
I hope this installment may be of interest to those readers who have thought about trying their hand at sewing, and have access to a sewing machine, but haven't quite taken the plunge yet, as it concerns what I feel is quite a straightforward project - a full circle skirt.

The need for this came about in the prepration for our excursions of last weekend. A week before the event, one of out party found an unexpected problem with their planned outfit, and there was a pressing need to produce a new skirt for it, but with less than a week to go there was little time to make one and no time to obtain specific material. Luckily, as anyone reading the earlier installments of this thread will know, we keep an eye out for duvets, curtains and such made from interesting fabrics in the local charity shops, and so we had a double duvet in stock which could be pressed into use.

The pattern also had to be one that was in stock, and this one was chosen: http://momspatterns.com/inc/sdetail/114873. Of course, this is a skirt rather than a dress, but this is no problem; just make the skirt section as per the pattern, and then make a waistband to gather it to. The waistband is, of course, just a rectangle of material, long enough to go around the waist with a little extra overlap for buttons. Fold it over along the long edge, right sides together, and stitch the long seam. One thing to note is not to make it too narrow - that makes its very difficult to turn to the right side. Also, some iron-on interfacing will give it stiffness.

So, what is this a simple project? Well, given the style there is no tricky fitting. There's no fiddly detail, and the side seams are long, straight and hence easy to sew. So, are there any tricky bits? Hemming can be a bit of a pain, especially when there is a long length of hem such as on this style, but the easy option there is just iron-on 'wonder web' to hem it up. Gathering to the waistband can be a tricky; in the manuals it often says to do a loose machine stich along the top of the skirt and then pull on the threads to gather, but I find, depending on the material, that this can stick and be uneven. I divide the skirt's top edge and waistband into quarters, and then hand-fold the gathers evenly in each quarter, using pins to hold them before stitching:



This is the on the wrong side of the fabric. One thing to think about is which way do you want the folds to point in the right side, which will of course be the opposite to how they are folded on the wrong. I always have mine pointing to the back of the garment.

Putting in a zip can be tricky, but so long as you pin it in first to get it in just the right place (so that there is just enough overlap from the material to cover it) and you take it slowly, using a zipper foot on the machine to get a nice close stich to the edge of zip's teeth, it should be fine. Or you could cheat entirely and make it lace-up, as we did here:



Notice the use of some thicker velvet type fabric (from the duvet's edging) to reinforce where the eyelets are placed.

One further point. There's actually quite a lot of material in a full skirt, and its suprising how little there is in even a double duvet, especially when one side of it is of a different material. So cutting needs to be carefully planned. This is exacerbated if, as was the case here, the duvet has a decorative section across its length towards one end. The solution here was to cut so this section formed a panel down the back of the skirt (please see the image above). I cut the back seams right along the edge of the decorative section to double its width when sewn togther.

So, if you are looking for a first project, do give this a try.

Yours,
Miranda.
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2015, 10:25:29 pm »

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
Having taken some time out from Steampunk creations recently to put together a new 40s frock (which I finally had the chance to wear at the weekend - don't you just love time-travel?), I decided I needed something new for the splendid event at Southcart books, again last weekend.

Now, not knowing Walsall all that well, and also knowing that I would have to park possibly some distance from the shop, I decided to dress to 'fit in' for the commute from car to locale and then slip into Steampunk attire there. Now, that was easy for the upper half; a corset and top are easily revealed by slipping off a loose dress, but what about the skirt? What I needed was one that could be popped on quickly and easily but could but packed away into a small space. Hence the idea of a fold-away, short crinoline. This is presented here as a 'work in progress', but more on that later...

I started with spokes taken from a broken umbrella and sprayed copper (aside from their tips, which were nice and shiny stainless steel):



I added these at regular intervals to a Primark (and hence pretty cheap) stretch belt:



Then I make a circle-skirt from netting, both to be light (given the spokes are not that strong) and to show the mechanism (the plain netting was left over from the 40s dress and was dressed up at the outer edge by adding a wide band of lace):



The skirt attached to the spokes, with the spokes extended:



With spokes and belt folded:



So, why a work in progress? Well, with actual wearing it proved to need some more work. To give the skirt a better shape, it needs twice as many spokes, so I'll have to find another dead umbrella to dismantle. The centre netting looks rather dull compared to that at the edge, so two or three narrower bands of lace will to be added to give this more interest. The skirt was a little short, so another run of wide lace is to be put around the edge. Finally, the buttons at the front did not hold the bands there together very well, so they might be replaced by a (brass) zip. So, from the two projects the 40s one was rather more successful, but I think, with a bit more work and time (this was thrown together in just a couple of days), this could be a worthwhile experiment.

Yours,
Miranda.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 10:27:33 pm by Miranda.T » Logged
Ada Thorold
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2015, 12:23:53 am »

An interesting idea, I look forward to seeing its progress.

As for dead umbrellas, if the weather round your way is anything like the weather here, tomorrow should create an entire graveyard of umbrellas.

~A~
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2015, 10:19:50 pm »

Just a couple of little things this time, and a bit UK centric - apologies to any readers in other territories.

For our recent weekend away I decided there was not enough time to produce a full new outfit, and so decided to give 'big red' an outting as it hadn't been out of the wardrobe for a few years. It was the  first full dress I sewed up, dating back in the early 2000s, and it's actually the one in my avatar, but it had never been paired with my crinoline cage as that was made just a year ago. Anyway, they went together well, but I decided now that, with a red bodice and a red skirt, it needed something else to break it up, some embellishment in the bustle area.

A number of these artificial flowers were bought from Wilkinsons, at just £1 each:



Three of them had their wire stems shortened and were put together:



This was easily achieved by pushing the shortened stems through a plastic lid and then wrapping them around each other to lock them in; also note the large safety-pin included to facilitate attachment to the dress:



In-situ on the dress:



To finish off the outfit I fancied a new fascinator. Now generally these tend to rather silly prices in a lot of stores (£30 upwards), but Home Bargins have been stocking a range of inexpensive ones, with the smaller size being just £3. Now, as one might imagine, you don't get anything terribly interesting for this, but you do get a foundation to build upon. Here is the fascinator part-way through its transformation:



A rather plain flowery type creation made from the same netting as the body of the fascinator had been removed, and the ruffled edging added from ribbon brought from The Works (£1 a roll). Then, another of the flowers was added:



Sorry for the slightly blurry image in that one. So, a fascinator to match the frock for about £5.

By the way, I haven't forgotten the experimental parasol skirt. Another worse-for-wear umbrella has been found, its spokes extracted and sprayed; the next thing to do is to make the skirt netting a bit more interesting and attach the original and new spokes. Also, one of the shafts from the donor umbrellas might find a new life too;  more, hopefully, in a few weeks time.

Yours,
Miranda.
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Prof. Cecily
Snr. Officer
****
Spain Spain



« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2015, 10:01:35 am »

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
How lovely to read about your creations, my dear Miranda. You inspire to work harder and better on my own outfitting.

I've done several things over the summer: a fringed leather bolero (for a western steampunk themed event next weekend)cut from an old leather skirt but nothing to compare with your inventive genius.

Have you done workshops on how to do cheapskate Steampunk Apparel?

I remain yours,
Prof. Cecily

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Clym Angus
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Lord of Misrule


WWW
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2015, 11:56:45 am »

I do like this. Mining the local tat vendors for those one or two items with "potential". I do much the same in relation to china findings for my creations.

Excellent work.
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GCCC
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United States United States


« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2015, 04:23:52 pm »

...I've done several things over the summer: a fringed leather bolero (for a western steampunk themed event next weekend)cut from an old leather skirt but nothing to compare with your inventive genius...

Have you a web link for this event?
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Prof. Cecily
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Spain Spain



« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2015, 06:25:44 pm »

Good evening, Ladies and gentlemen.
Her's the link:http://steampunkvalencia.blogspot.com.es/2015/06/steamfantasy.html

I'll be on a panel discussing Westerns as a reflection of the history of the Old West as well as being one of the judges for the costuming contest.

I remain yours,
Prof. Cecily
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2015, 06:48:55 pm »

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
How lovely to read about your creations, my dear Miranda. You inspire to work harder and better on my own outfitting.

I've done several things over the summer: a fringed leather bolero (for a western steampunk themed event next weekend)cut from an old leather skirt but nothing to compare with your inventive genius.

Have you done workshops on how to do cheapskate Steampunk Apparel?

I remain yours,
Prof. Cecily



Many thanks, although I'm not sure I'm deserving of such praise. I did get to do an exposition of some of my outfits at the 'Nibble for Nepal' event back in July, but I think if there is a repeat of that meeting (and I do so hope there is, it was a most pleasant day), I'd like to do workshop, probably a bit of hat or fascinator making.

The Steamfantasy event looks to be great fun; I do like the extra dimension the 'Wild West' can give to Steampunk both in terms of design (costume and artifacts) and literature (lots of scope for bouncing different styles characters off each other, in a similar manner to that of the programme Ripper Street with the characters of Reid and Jackson). As always, when you have chance please do post piccys!

Yours,
Miranda.
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GCCC
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


« Reply #42 on: September 16, 2015, 06:59:15 pm »

Good evening, Ladies and gentlemen.
Her's the link:http://steampunkvalencia.blogspot.com.es/2015/06/steamfantasy.html

I'll be on a panel discussing Westerns as a reflection of the history of the Old West as well as being one of the judges for the costuming contest.

I remain yours,
Prof. Cecily



I wish both that my Spanish were better and that I could attend, regardless. Just as well, I suppose; the sight of you in a fringed leather bolero could be overpowering to my virtue...  Wink

...As always, when you have chance please do post piccys!

Yours,
Miranda.


Seconded.
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Prof. Cecily
Snr. Officer
****
Spain Spain



« Reply #43 on: September 17, 2015, 08:15:23 am »



Many thanks, although I'm not sure I'm deserving of such praise. I did get to do an exposition of some of my outfits at the 'Nibble for Nepal' event back in July, but I think if there is a repeat of that meeting (and I do so hope there is, it was a most pleasant day), I'd like to do workshop, probably a bit of hat or fascinator making.

The Steamfantasy event looks to be great fun; I do like the extra dimension the 'Wild West' can give to Steampunk both in terms of design (costume and artifacts) and literature (lots of scope for bouncing different styles characters off each other, in a similar manner to that of the programme Ripper Street with the characters of Reid and Jackson). As always, when you have chance please do post piccys!

Yours,
Miranda.

A hatmaking workshop would be an excellent starting point- no heavy and/or dangerous equipment needed. Well, heatguns can be terrible things when used imprudently, of course. Your good taste and inventive turn of mind would be wonderful to see in action!

Lots of peope think one of the princial sources for steamunk was the tevision show 'The Wild Wild West' and as I investigated the subject  for a series of articles I wrote on how the West was punked, I came across this little-known gem
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Steam_Man_of_the_Prairies

All in all, a fascinating subject!
I remain yours, Prof. Cecily
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Prof. Cecily
Snr. Officer
****
Spain Spain



« Reply #44 on: September 17, 2015, 08:21:38 am »

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
Good evening, Ladies and gentlemen.
Her's the link:http://steampunkvalencia.blogspot.com.es/2015/06/steamfantasy.html

I'll be on a panel discussing Westerns as a reflection of the history of the Old West as well as being one of the judges for the costuming contest.

I remain yours,
Prof. Cecily



I wish both that my Spanish were better and that I could attend, regardless. Just as well, I suppose; the sight of you in a fringed leather bolero could be overpowering to my virtue...  Wink

...As always, when you have chance please do post piccys!

Yours,
Miranda.


Seconded.


There will be the photos and videos of the event up in the aethernet and I'll pass on the links leading to them as they turn up.

GCCC, your gallantry shall inspire just that touch of unconscious provocation a lady uses, but never confesses to, in my toilette for the event.

I remain yours,
Prof. Cecily
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #45 on: September 30, 2015, 08:51:11 pm »

I finally added the extra spokes and lace trim to the parsol skirt.

Front view:



Back view:



Top view:



Spoke close-up:



Actually, I'm not quite sure it is fully finished - I think I'd like to add some further embelishment between the waistband and the first circle of lace.

Now, the question is what to wear under it (it being rather see-though...) At the 'Nibble for Nepal' I wore a short white net underskirt, but I really wasn't convinced that worked. The options I've come up with are very opaque black tights, a short and not too wide white or black 'tutu', or filly 'can-can' style knickers in white or black. Any other suggestions?

Yours,
Miranda.
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frances
Zeppelin Captain
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #46 on: September 30, 2015, 10:01:05 pm »

I would suggest a narrow frill on the base of the skirt to give some weight to the edge to stop it bending upwards as you walk.
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Prof. Cecily
Snr. Officer
****
Spain Spain



« Reply #47 on: October 01, 2015, 08:24:23 am »

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
Oh that is splendid, my dear Mirando. Quite splendid, indeed.
Might I suggest long bloomers and stockings and boots, in black with a copper/bronze trim?

I remain yours,
Prof. Cecily


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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #48 on: October 01, 2015, 07:07:41 pm »

I would suggest a narrow frill on the base of the skirt to give some weight to the edge to stop it bending upwards as you walk.


Actually it's not too bad in this respect; the upper section of netting is under tension and not going anywhere, and the lower band of wide lace is quite stiff and so doesn't flex much at all.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
Oh that is splendid, my dear Mirando. Quite splendid, indeed.
Might I suggest long bloomers and stockings and boots, in black with a copper/bronze trim?

I remain yours,
Prof. Cecily




Thank you - and that seems like a very fine idea! Copper trim to complement the spokes... I'm wondering of the copper tape that's used to dissuade slugs from climbing up pots would work around the PVC bits of my 'Whitby boots' (so called as I bought them at the last Whitby Gothic weekend; they could do with some tweaks to make them a little less gothic and little more Steampunk).

One thing that's just stuck me is to add a 'utility garter belt' from which could be hung a few useful tools (or possibly just the leather-bound hip flask I bough from a vintage stall and have yet to do anything with); it would be nicely visible under the parasol skirt (unlike my 'Vampire hunter' garter belt with garlic and holy-water vials, which tends to get a bit lost under the skirts of that outfit).

Thanks,
Miranda.

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Prof. Cecily
Snr. Officer
****
Spain Spain



« Reply #49 on: October 02, 2015, 08:57:37 am »

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
A garter-borne hip flask. Brilliant.

It's also just what I need for officiating tea-duelling.
Thanks for the idea, Miranda!

I remain yours,
Prof Cecily
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