Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Challenge 5 "Steampunked"

The Challenge:
This week's challenge is all about the sub culture known as "Steampunk".  This unique fashion genre runs the gamut from purely Victorian to post-apocalyptic.  Steampunk may take many forms of alternative clothing, often romantic with a twist of futuristic technology.  It has been described as Jules Verne meet the Wild Wild West.  Just like real life, Steampunk can encompass many aspects of fashion...the explorer/traveler, the air ship pilots, the warrior, the aristocrat, or the mad scientist.  To keep with the up and coming fashion trends, such as the new military look for 2010, the twist of this challenge is to create a Steampunk inspired fashion with a military theme.

Inspiration board photos.

I decided to go with the Victorian look. I have never made a Victorian Fashion before and having only 2 days to complete this challenge was a challenge in itself!   I started with drafting my own pattern pieces using American publications of the 19th century for guidance.  I knew drafting such complicated pieces required much more then a couple days, even though we were given 2 weeks to complete, but such as life getting in the way I couldn't start earlier.  Since these publications don't give you instructions  I had to sit for many hours drafting the pattern pieces and trying to figure out how they were put together.  I think given the time I did quite well. And yes I made this pattern  to fit Samantha not another doll.  I decided to use black even though the details would not show up very well in photos. Trying to find jewelry pieces and right size buttons in such a small scale proved to be not so easy in such a short time for me.  But I managed to find  tiny steampunk style watch earrings that I took apart and put them on the chain and  that worked quite well,  and industrial look jewelry.
Now I didn't quite get or read anywhere that we were supposed to create a runway modern look, I would have changed my entry, so I made an accurate Victorian gown.
But anyway I learned a lot from this challenge, making a Historical gown for the very first time and I fell in love with making Victorian gowns,  And now I have many ideas for new gowns.  So it was very rewarding to me to be able to make something like this in such a short time.

Here is my version of a Steampunk Victorian gown.

Work Progress
Drafting cutting pattern 

Making a corset muslin sample

Sewing the jacket panels
Steampunk image was printed on my printer. First cut a piece of fabric (I used fine muslin), the same size as a normal printer sheet, iron the fabric onto a freezer paper, iron out any air bubbles, trim it. And then put the paper into your printer print your image and voila you have printed your very own fabric!
Peel the fabric off the was paper and start sewing!

The finished lined corset

Fitting the corset

Final fittings, at this point I made almost the entire outfit in one night, racing against time,
I can't believe I am almost finished. Making the pleats very done entirely by hand as I don't have a pleater something I must get in the future.  Still have the hat to do and add the final jewelry touches.
This outfit  looks awesome on the doll in person.


Theme: 4
Originality: 4
Creativity: 4.5
Construction: 5
This is a great outfit as it is but I can see it as a really sexy pantsuit. I see the jacket, pannier and bustle with skinny pants with a military stripe ( to match the jacket) and stilettos strutting the runway. Adore the top hat, jacket, with the oversize buttons and corset but the skirt for me just makes the outfit too much a costume when it could be fabulous fashion. Even a tight short skirt with a pleated hem would work. Beautiful printed fabric in the corset and lining. Army pants would also have added the military touch needed in this design.

Theme: 2.5
Originality: 3
Creativity: 3
Construction: 4.5
I like that the jacket is reversible, but I am not crazy about the overall look of this fashion.  I can see the Victorian influence, but I am not getting military influence at all.  The top hat is not as nicely shaped as I would like, it looks a bit battered. I do love the skirt, but I am missing the technological edge that most Steampunk has. You made a nice Victorian inspired fashion, but it falls short of the challenge.  The fit and construction/finish is very nice.

Theme: 4
Originality: 4
Creativity: 3
Construction: 5
J’adore everything above the hip!  It’s not very military though (buttons alone do not make ‘military’)…and the long, heavy skirt kills the whole look of the dress.  The print is beautiful and nicely incorporated into the design

Theme: 3
Originality: 2.5
Creativity: 2.5
Construction: 4
At first glance this entry has a lot of drama and eye appeal. I like the overall feel, it seems a bit mournful and would work great as a fashion for Evangeline Ghastly. The garment has a somber emotion to it. And I love your art pic.  However other than the accessories and the hat I am not feeling the steampunk or the military. It has more of a Victorian Goth look. Looking past the drama a closer look reveals to me that there are a lot of scale issues with this garment. The hat is fabulous, great job, but it is way over scale, although I did enjoy the drama you got from it. The one thing that hinted military was the buttons on the jacket but they were way too big as well. The whole entry had an over-scale, baggy look as if it were made for a different doll. 
The piping detail on the back of the jacket was over scale as well and created a bulky look and crumpled the jacket. I much prefer the silhouette without the jacket, even though, once again, the corset top looks as thought it could fit a much bigger doll. Your construction is good but I did take off points for fit.  One great thing I have to mention is I did like the scale you were able to achieve with the bustle and the pleats on the skirt. A lot of designers have not been able to get proper scale when they have swaged and gathered fabric. You were very successful with this technique.   Kudos also for printing your lining fabric……it was subtle and soft and not in your face Steampunk. I would love to know how you did it.

G.D. Falksen
While this entry was a very interesting take on steampunk, including nice accessories set on the chain, it lacked the military aspect requested by the competition.  The style would be much more appropriate for a style of steampunk mourning dress.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I have to agree with the judges, it does lack a strong Steampunk element. But... that said, I love the outfit! To accomplish that design from scratch in 2 days is amazing and I applaud your efforts! I to, print my own fabric and I think it really adds to my designs.
    Keep up the great work! I look forward to see more!