Monday, July 28, 2008

Inspiration From Everything

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my reborn excitement for steampunk and the like, and A____'s joy at finding out that what she was writing had a name and a genre. Tonight at writers' group, she read the next bit of the same story she read before, elaborating on the moons and tides and geography of the world, and telling us the next things that would happen in the story.

She had also constructed a "steampunk charm bracelet" out of her brother's old belt, a wire hanger, a watch, and a compass. Her younger brother (not part of the group, but dragged upstairs in order to show off) had a similar one out of scraps of blue leather and safety pins, along with the wire, clock, and compass. Apparently the plan is to hang more "stuff" from the wires. Her brother had also made some goggles out of the same blue leather, safety pins, his own machine-sewing, and the lenses were from Gatorade bottle caps with the middles jabbed out and filled in with drum head plastic. He'd also attached a tiny twist-head flashlight to the side, which was an awesome touch, and all the "metal" (the parts around the goggle "glass" as well as the flashlight) was painted copper. Then he had to model the giant duct tape top hat he'd made, complete with a hat band holding the ace of spades, and two skull charms dangling from the top of the crown. With his pinstripe skinny jeans and funky bracelet, goggles in hand, he cut quite the figure.

As did A, when she ran downstairs to put on her Renaissance faire garb, all of which she'd either sewn herself or reconstructed from existing garments. After the group, A and I ran down to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things. I was dressed "weird" too, in my ten dollar (a miraculous find!) Gunne Sax dress, just because. I wanted to show it to C because we'd been talking about them the week before, and she showed me her wedding dress which she'd made in the style of the Gunne Sax frocks. So we weirded out the folks I used to work with (my Starbucks job was inside that grocery store) and generally enjoyed being odd. It was fun.

Of course, now I'm more inspired than before to build my own steampunk outfit. I love the idea of a charm bracelet, and while I'm not too sure about a compass (I'll have to think about my "character" and what she would want or need), I would like a strange old watch, and maybe some other nifty bits and bobs. And a black bustle-type skirt, like Mrs. Lovett. Maybe a minature top hat with a feather coming out, and a jeweled brooch attaching it to the hat. High collar, puffed sleeves with a lot of buttons at the cuff. Yes yes. And I have the perfect boots to go with it, too!

But, alas, I must finish my Ren faire gown before I do ANY of this, or I'll never get it done in time. My sewing machine cutoff is 10 pm since it's so loud (I really should get it serviced) and I don't want to keep the neighbors up, but I felt like I needed to be doing MORE after that. So the last couple of nights I've constructed a French hood, and once I add one more line of trim and the veil down the back, it'll be done.

On the gown itself, I still need to:
-add the buttonholes in the back of the bodice to lace it
-sew the skirt pieces together--six of them
-pleat the front pieces and gather the back ones
-sew the skirt to the bodice
-sew the sleeves to the bodice
-and I'm still debating on making a bum roll (which, clearly, is worn under the skirt); I'll try the finished gown on before hemming the skirt and see if I think it needs one and/or if I have the time.

Luckily all the pieces are cut out. I don't think I'll have time to do the slashed sleeves like I wanted, but oh well. And if I have time, I'd like to fashion a fan to bring with me, probably to hang from a ribbon at my waist. It will be HOT at the faire. OH, I would also like to put a couple of big pockets in my skirt so I don't have to carry a purse or have some sort of bag hanging off the belt I can't wear with this outfit (which is what I've done the last few years we went). I just want my phone, chapstick, and probably my wallet, plus a place to put the map of the grounds. I don't have enough cleavage to put my stuff in, Kat. ;) So that's Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to finish all this stuff, and I work 6 hours Tuesday and 6 hours Thursday. Hmm.

Oh yes, the "inspiration" I referred to in the title. I just feel so inspired after my writers' group meetings. Sometimes it's to write, which is good of course, but also I feel inspired just to create or learn. Sewing a bustle skirt, making a charm bracelet/watch, finishing my faire costume. Researching Gunne Sax dresses or steampunk or neo-victorianism. Reading things the other members have recommended. And I can't think of a better thing for a writers' group to do to me!

1 comment:

mikkers said...

hehe, i can just imagine A's brother being so embarassed and yet slightly egotistical about all you girls oo-ing and ahh-ing over him!!