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Author Topic: Getting started in sewing Steampunk clothing  (Read 555 times)
Lady Lilliann
Deck Hand
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Austria Austria



« on: January 01, 2017, 05:44:41 pm »

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

I wondered if some of the more experienced sewers could advise me how to get started in making my own steampunk clothing. I have followed the style for a while now, but finding the right clothes that fit nicely and look authentic is pretty hard. I can sew on buttons and my skills with the sewing machine are acceptable, but I haven't sewn anything since secondary school and I wanted to restart to both create a new original style for myself and also spare my budget.

My initial idea was to purchase a book to get into sewing dresses and then move on to the details of the victorian style etc. I am interested in how you got started in sewing and also if you have any tips for me concerning adding details like little cogwheels, leather details and such.

Thank you in advance for answers!
Yours, Lady Lilliann
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Drew P
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2017, 06:13:30 pm »

Good evening (and Happy NewYear!),

You may want to re-post in the Anatomical section (2 down from here).
Whereas, Tactile is all about making/crafting, Anatomical has way more involvement with items of dress and such.

Looking forward to see what you sew!
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walking stick
Zeppelin Admiral
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England England


« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2017, 08:24:40 am »

Is there a good library within reach?  If there is you can borrow a few likely books without ruining your budget.   
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steiconi
Gunner
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United States Minor Outlying Islands United States Minor Outlying Islands



« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2017, 08:22:56 pm »

I learned to sew from my mother, starting about age 5.  I took one class at the Singer Sewing Center when I was in high school, and eventually became a professional costumer and seamstress.

I would suggest you start with a very simple project, like a skirt, then move on to more complex projects.  Well-fitted trousers are difficult, tailored jackets extremely complex.

Some commercial patterns are easier to use than others.  I find Burda and Vogue unnecessarily complex; Simplicity and Butterick are more straightforward.   Some fabric stores have a rack of super-simple patterns; that would be a great place to start.

Choosing the right fabric is very important.  Commercial patterns usually have fabric suggestions.  You need to know if you want a soft, slinky fabric or a stiff, durable fabric, or something in between.

Then there's "refashioning," turning an existing item into a different design.  That would include sheets or curtains turned into clothing, as well as reworking existing clothing into new styles.  For instance, cut the skirt of a dumpy dress made of lovely silk into a new blouse, or move a lace collar from one thrift-store blouse onto another.
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2017, 09:19:03 pm »

I learned to sew from my mother, starting about age 5.  I took one class at the Singer Sewing Center when I was in high school, and eventually became a professional costumer and seamstress.

I would suggest you start with a very simple project, like a skirt, then move on to more complex projects.  Well-fitted trousers are difficult, tailored jackets extremely complex.

Some commercial patterns are easier to use than others.  I find Burda and Vogue unnecessarily complex; Simplicity and Butterick are more straightforward.   Some fabric stores have a rack of super-simple patterns; that would be a great place to start.

Choosing the right fabric is very important.  Commercial patterns usually have fabric suggestions.  You need to know if you want a soft, slinky fabric or a stiff, durable fabric, or something in between.

Then there's "refashioning," turning an existing item into a different design.  That would include sheets or curtains turned into clothing, as well as reworking existing clothing into new styles.  For instance, cut the skirt of a dumpy dress made of lovely silk into a new blouse, or move a lace collar from one thrift-store blouse onto another.

Definitely all of the above  Smiley Even with a simple pattern, careful choice of material and accesories can make the resulting garment Steampunk.

Like everything, practice is the key. One thing to watch out for though is that the sizing on some patterns can be a bit suspect. When trying a new pattern, it is a good idea to make it up from a cheap material first to check the fit, or if you're impatient like me make up the lining first - any alteration required will not be seen.

In terms of an original style, one thing to try is to mix and match patern elements. A bodice from here, sleeves from there, and so on.

Yours,
Miranda.
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Madam Takara
Snr. Officer
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England England


Lady Aveline Tamara Claudia Read III... or Madam T


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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 05:55:17 am »

If there are any classes in beginner dressmaking running near your area, I highly recommend that. Some things, I've found, are easier to be taught than learn from a book, plus you'll have guidance to tell you if you're heading in the right direction. It's hard to know if you're doing something wrong when there's nobody there to tell you, if that makes sense. I really benefitted from lessons, even though I'm largely self taught and mom taught xD
Also, food for thought. When I first got started, the best thing I ever did was choose a simple pattern I really liked, some cheap fabric, and just dived in. I had, however, made a couple of things before and had another sewer around for advice, so maybe not for a first project, but I think it's really worth doing. You learn more doing stuff wrong sometimes.

The ladies above make excellent points also.

One thing I find with the steampunk style, it's not necessarily what you wear, it's how you wear it. Something really simple can look so steampunk if it's dressed well and using the right embellishments. I just did a steampunk pirate outfit with a simple box pleat skirt, and reasonably basic bolero jacket, but done in red and gold then teamed with a tricorn, blouse and corset-airship pirate! Wink So being a beginner doesn't necessarily restrict you, you just have to work up towards the really advanced stuff.

Anyway best of luck with your steampunk sewing endeavours! I hope it goes well for you Smiley
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