Saturday, April 13, 2013

Steampunk(ish*) Genderswapped Cosplay

“What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a
major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.” 

― Terry PratchettGoing Postal
Despite the slightly disturbing title, I am pretty excited about this project!  There are a few events coming up this year that would call for a victorian/steampunk outfit, so this may fit the bill.  (Also - my intense desire for yet another bustle.....!)

To bring it all up to speed, I'm planning on doing a femme version of Moist von Lipwig - specifically, the 2010 British TV version (It's fantastic - watch it ASAP!) post-dastardly con man Spangler; pre-suit of gold Post Master.  To that end, I've been shopping!

The exact design of the jacket/vest/skirt is still on the 'to be determined' side, but to give me a head start, I ended up purchasing a selection of Truly Victorian patterns to hack and slash and smoosh together to (hopefully) come up with something that'll work: (.....and has nothing to do with the fact that these have been on my wish list forevs...!)

TV163 1887 Imperial Tournure
TV403 1872 Vested Bodice
TV290 1889 Draped Skirt
TV428 1880 Jacket Bodice
TV560 1880s Late Bustle Coat
TV464 1883 Riding Habit Bodice

As far as the hat goes, I've been torn between taking a pre-made hat and gold-ing it up, or making one from scratch.  I've been perusing victorian-era hats on teh interwebs, and haven't found an appropriately feminine version that I like yet, so I may just go with it!  I'm particularly concerned with the hat, as it is most likely going to be the one defining characteristic between "eccentric female explorer/victoran catlady" and actual cosplay.
Chauffeur Hat Black Police Hat Taxi  Conductor Cap Gatsy Adult Mens Costume

I ended up purchasing a plain black cap from Costumes International - if it doesn't work out, I'm only out about $20.  I'm probably going to be making the medal out of Sculpey or something similar.  I'm still trying to find a close-up of the front of the cap from the movie, or 'official' badge, so I can get a better idea of what the badge actually  looks like, but so far, no dice.

'Going Postal' movie poster art
The City Watch Badge
'Official' City Watch badge
Some of the many badges worn by GPO and Royal Mail employees over the years
Badges of the GPO
Post Office Regulation Keyfob
'Official' Post Office Regulation Key fob

If I do end up making something up, I'll be using this collection of real Royal Mail badges, the 'official' badge of the Watch, the 'Going Postal' poster art, and the 'Regulation Post Office' key fob (which I may need to complete my outfit anyway...) as a starting place...

For the wings, an extremely important part of the whole ensemble, I'm going to try to find at a craft store for a (not necessarily a real) wing set, but something that looks like wings. If not, there are plenty of more options of the real/taxidermy variety (albeit most likely more expensive!) on etsy - so all is not lost, I think.

I've been on a mad hunt for the perfect fabric or tie for the neckerchief for quite a while, but have come up empty.  The closest I've been able to find (at an affordable price, that is!) is this one:

...the underdog can always find somewhere
soft to bite.
― Terry PratchettGoing Postal
An ebay find - from 'Goodmaker'

I wish the dots were bigger and /or paisley, instead of dotted, but alas and alack, it is not to be.  I'm getting 2 ties to franken-tie into the final neckerchief. Not too bad for under $20!

Strangely enough (or not, since I cannot throw out old clothes to save my life), I already have a bright-ish yellow shirt that may fit the bill, as long as it doesn't clash terribly with the yellow of the tie.  (I'll find out once the ties arrive)  If it doesn't work, I am unsure of whether I'd go looking for a pre-made shirt, or if I'd actually go through the trouble to make one.  (I'm thinking.....not)

Shirt: Some sort of button-up yellow shirt from the depth of my closet
Waistcoat: Red brocade with a slight diamond pattern and chenille warp
Jacket collar:  Purple velvet from the depth of my stash
Jacket body:  Brown wool with slight pattern & flecks of red and purple
Skirt/Pants:  Lightly striped brown linen

(I'm not quite sure on this one! If I find a different fabric I like better,
I have another project in mind that will be perfect for it, so I don't feel bad having it in the stash!)
Now, to actually start working on things!  I have the patterns and the fabric, now I just need to figure out some solid designs and find the time to start working on it!**

And, finally, for your viewing pleasure.......(I dare you to watch this and not smile, at least a little bit!)

*The exact nature of the 'Steampunk' element is yet TBD.  It will be something clever and fabulous.  I hope.
**This post brought to you by being stuck on the couch working all Saturday long.  Win?  (At least I'm almost done - I may have Sunday free and clear!  Too bad there are a million other things I ought to be doing before digging in to a personal costuming project.......


  1. You can totally make more dots on the tie yourself or make them bigger. Paint/sharpie that! Also, if your yellow is off, dye it!

    YAY Noelle costuming again!!!

  2. I cannot tell you how excited I am to see this costume come together! It is going to be AMAZING!