I needed an outfit to wear at a steampunk event at which I was trading. I had already made several costumes for the event (which I hope to blog about at a later date) but as usual had failed to create something for myself. However this time I decided it was going to be different and I would have a new outfit whatever it took.
I’d been scouring Pinterest for ideas and had fallen in love with the designs from the Dolce and Gabbana Fall 2006 show. The military, regency, slightly decadent look was right up my street. I decided I wanted to replicate one of the looks, Initially I settled on one of the black pinstripe ensembles but eventually was drawn to the beige/brown combination as the leather jacket just screamed steampunk. As much as I love the full on steampunk look with loads of frills, flounces, goggles and paraphernalia, it just isn’t me, so I like touches of steampunk while keeping it fairly classical. This seemed to fit the bill
I decided I needed to look for a second hand leather military style jacket which I could crop. However the only military one I could find was too large and the wrong colour. Eventually I picked up a small, weathered, brown leather jacket which I felt I could rework. The plan sounded easy – crop, sew up the hem, cut the collar to create a stand effect and use the left overs to make the military revers. I bought some topstitching thread to match the already existing topstitching on the jacket and set up the machine ready to go. However, it was hard work sewing with this thicker thread through leather. It kept shredding, skipping stitches and breaking, so what seemed like a simple task became hard work. I persevered but the end result is not that pretty if you look too closely. Donated military buttons completed the look.
The blouse is the only part of the costume that is not a full on copy of the Dolce and Gabbana version. The blouse I substituted has been in my collection for quite a while now. The pattern is Burdastyle 103 9/2010 and I made it up in a cream silk type fabric. I love this blouse. It made up beautifully, fits well and I adore the stock neck tie effect. The only things I changed were the cuffs and because of fabric constraints the length of the tie neck. This is never going to leave my wardrobe.
Burdastyle 105 8/2018 had the perfect hemline and seaming details for the style I wanted to create. It looks like the Dolce and Gabbana one is high necked with a stand collar but I didn’t have time to redraft the pattern. So I sewed it as is but created the splits around the hemline and added flap pockets. I piped all the way around the edges of the waistcoat before adding the lining. It was challenging sewing the lining around the piped splits. It felt like sewing the seams underneath an inserted invisible zip but doing that task fourteen times over.
The trousers on the Dolce and Gabbana design are obviously hipster but I knew I wanted them to be more comfortable especially as I would be mainly sitting around in them all day. I trawled my Burdastyle back catalogue and eventually settled on 121 1/2009 as the wide shaped waistband gave the illusion of hipster trousers for the pocket placement. I redrafted the pocket shape to match the ones in the Dolce and Gabbana outfit. I again used piping for the pockets and for the back buttoned belt holders. I found some gold buttons with weathered edges on the local market which finished the waistcoat and trousers off perfectly.
The fabric I used for the waistcoat and trousers was a beige stretch gaberdine bought online from myfabrics.co.uk. I don’t usually buy fabric online as I like to feel and see the real article. However I had purchased some of the fabric previously in a different colour for another project and had a swatch of samples including the beige so I knew it would be suitable. This fabric has become my new best friend. It was fabulous to work with. I am not a big fan of stretch fabrics but this had just the right amount of stretch. It was a joy to cut out and sew and equally enjoyable to wear – comfortable and crease resistant. The piping in a lovely desert gold colour was also a great find off ebay.
Of course no steampunk outfit is complete without a beautiful brooch.
I’m really pleased with the outcome of this outfit which definitely feels ‘inspired by’ Dolce and Gabbana. I received a lot of compliments while wearing it which is always a bonus and makes the effort put into making something worthwhile.