I love the steampunk style, though I’m not quite brave enough to wear the whole look myself. But when I found a duvet with a steampunk pattern it gave me a starting point.
The duvet design had the same pattern though in two colour ways, one on each side. Neither provided enough fabric for the long dress pattern that I had drafted. I would have to combine the two.
Sometimes I have a lot of thinking time in my job and during these moments I worked out how I was going to make the dress, adding both a corset feature and a bustle effect. Rough sketches helped to crystallise these ideas.
The shape of this dress is drafted from a straighter one that I’ve made before. With this dress I’ve widened the skirt sections and used a side zip – thus enabling the corset and bustle back pieces not to be interrupted. The bustle is made from a wider skirt panel, with a drawstring channel sewn down the middle (you can see the gathering tape in the photo). This gathers up the piece into gentle folds (much easier than sewing in folded sections). This is sewn along the side seams, on top of the main back panel.
The corset piece uses D-rings to help pull the bodice section in for a tighter fit. I’ve chosen a gold ribbon for lacing.
You can see the back sections here…
The dress has been lined with grey lining fabric , which gives it weight. The finished dress can also be worn with a full length petticoat for a fuller effect. It feels great!
Making this dress sparked off a second project. I thought about making a bolero top to use up the few remnants of steampunk fabric remaining. But having come across an inexpensive jacket, I realised that this would make an easy adaptation to complete the outfit.
The jacket was unlined and just needed re-shaping. I did this cutting a high arc at the back, to show off the corset tie. I bought the front to a point just below the original top button fastening. Edging the jacket with the same bias binding used on the steampunk dress hemline finished it off perfectly.
I’ve also used this approach to a pinstriped jacket (£1 bargain charity shop buy, originally M&S). This one was lined so took a little more work – un picking the lining, cutting the jacket to the new shape, then trimming the lining and re-hemming it. It’s not cut as high-arched on the back.
The only thing I will do when I do this again (I love the shape so I know that I will), will be to use a piece of interfacing to stiffen the side points…a good iron will have to suffice for now!