Channeling my inner Steampunk.

I have this character I created. Shes hip, sassy, and a gal you ought not mess with. Her name is Lady (Penny) Animation, and sometimes when my imagination is at its highest, I want to be her.

I concepted her for a comic I'm planning. Its set is a Steampunk world where she and her twin brother, an introverted scientist, live a high society life.

Her brother mysteriously vanishes from his lab one night and is never seen again. Its been a year and Penny is still looking for him. The question is will she find him?

As you can imagine, I loose all control when I get to envision the clothing Penny gets to wear! So much so that I want to make the costumes for myself. I have some patterns, from the early 1900s that I want to make as period correct as I can, but in funky fabrics like a stripped brocade or corduroy.

In fact, I have 10 yards of maroon corduroy just in the waits. I want to use one of the above patterns for it.

Why haven't I made it you ask, since its been in my mind for over a year? Well, space being one reason, but another being my essential need of a corset. I'm too chicken shit to go on an make one.

You can't wear those styles without one, and I do have a pattern for a corset, but I'm scared.

I guess I just dont want to mess up too bad, and waste all those specialty items for the corset. Plus I'm broke, that might be another reason...

I bring all this up because I was looking at a pattern I got a bit ago of 1930s collars.

Its a one size type deal and I was curious to see if it would fit my stout frame because I'm thinking of reproing it. As I was cutting out the traced off pattern pieces, I had a vision. Stripes, brown stripes.

Hold on! I went and got some cotton fabric that I was holding onto for an actual 30s dress I wanted to make but the vision never materialized. "This would be so super cute," I narrated in my head, and went about striping out the collar.

I had never made this pattern before and of course I would pick the most elaborate collar to do as a first go, DUH! The thing is, as I was gathering the pieces, I noticed there were CUFFS that go with this collar as well.

CUFFS! That is so amazing! I HAD to make them!

I cut all the ruffles on the horizontal, and was crafty in how I cut the other pieces. As I was making it, I kept looking at the drawing and its lovely lack of topstitching.

As many of you know, I don't rightly care for topstitching of any kind. I prefer my construction stitches to be hidden. That's one reason I hand sew so much. Well, this collar was no acceptation.

I hand hemmed all thee ruffle edges, and attached the jabot to the collar by hand as well.

I thought about leaving the jabot off, as I'm not too much a fan, but this *is* a Steampunk look, more flamboyant than I normally go, so I said what the hell.

This was a half a day project, and it took me about that much time. I could have done it faster if it were not for all that hand sewing, but thats the level of craftsmanship I want to put into the Steampunk costumes I want to make. Not have it look so 'DIY', but more actual costume.

I finished it off with some mint green milk glass buttons, and, I might brag, some of my BEST loop button holes ever on the cuffs. I had a lot of fun making this and I see tons of potential in making more costumes. But I do need a corset first. It all starts from that. So as soon as i get the gumption (and cash) I think I'm ready to be brave about it and get my hind side into gear.


  1. That is fabulous. I love the fabric and how you managed all the stripes. One of a kind things like this are why I love to sew. You are very talented and I have no doubt you can make the corset.

  2. The striped fabric looks perfect for your project. Your arrangement of the direction of the stripes are so interesting. Love the cuffs. Hope the corsets aren't as complicated to make as they look.

  3. Your comic sounds like it would be so awesome!

    As for the corset - if you don't try, you know that you'll always regret it.

    Finally, the collar and those cuffs? To.Die.For The stripes are amazing - you've got to finish the outfit!

  4. They're amazing! I love all the brown stripeage immensely and I REALLY hope you repro it because now I want one too.

  5. Can't wait to see the finished dress. Beautiful!

  6. Great collar.

    Shelley Peters gives a corset class that includes instructuion, materials, and use of special equipment. You can contact her at I am a beginning sewist and I completed the Laughing Moon #100 with her.

  7. You have such amazing creativity, I am forever fawning over your creations! I can't wait to see what comes next.
    Kate x

  8. Great peanut butter sauce, thanks everyone!
    This was fun to make, despite all the hand sewing ;)
    It just makes me want to get more fabric and have another go at it. Oh no, what have I gotten myself into!?

  9. ooohhh...I love steampunk!!! I absolutely adore the collar and cuffs and they look really good in the striped fabric! I can't wait to see the corset and dress! how much fun is that?

    I also LOVED the drawing of the car! The story sounds really fun!

  10. Fantastic! I am also wondering if you could wear the collar and cuffs with another blouse or dress while you work on the whole outfit? Didn't they (the Victorians) do that? I am so glad you went all out on the jabot and all the gorgeous hand sewing.

  11. Love your work! For the corset, just start with stuff you already have. One tip, use a stiff, tightly woven fabric--ticking or even upholstery weight. You already have the measuring and fitting skills to fit the draft corset. As for expensive supplies, such as boning, you can always reuse them in a new version. Good luck!

  12. OH! I would LOVE a corset made of ticking! I never thought of that! Im totally gonna do that!

    Thanks Valerie!

    And thanks everyone for the compliments. I appreciate it!

  13. Those collars/cuffs are FANTASTIC. They look wonderful in the striped material, and I do hope you will indeed make a repro of that pattern that will fit a variety of sizes.

    Wonderful, wonderful work. I love reading your blog and seeing what you're up to.


  14. Love Love Love this. And I totally think you should give the corset a go. I am sure you will do fine.


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