Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Steampunk! The adventure begins with Teslacon III

Having just returned home yesterday from my first Steampunk event, I'm still floating on the high that was Teslacon.  I'll do more individual costume posts over the next few days, but I wanted to rave about the con for a bit first.

Nicole and I took the long drive to Wisconsin together, and the seventeen hours in the car (each way) was not in any way too high a price to pay for the awesomeness that ensued.  Steampunk as a genre has appealed to me for quite a while, and the reality of it exceeded all my expectations.  I honestly can't say enough good things about Teslacon... the immersive storyline was ridiculously entertaining, panels were amusing or informative or both, there were wonderful things to be bought in the dealers room, and the level of creativity shown by the majority of the attendees was beautifully refreshing. 

Most of all, I was impressed by the attitude of the Steampunk community in general.  Across the board, all the people we met and interacted with, from first-time con-goers to in-character staff to enstablished artists and authors, everyone was friendly and open and enthusiastic.  The general attitude was that we were all there to help each other and that information was to be shared and beginners were encouraged and artisans supported each other.  There was no snobbery, no one-up-man-ship, and it was glorious.  The reenacting community could learn a lot from the steampunkers in that regard.

Perhaps best for me personally though, I felt like I could be creative again.  Taking leaps of imagination was embraced and encouraged, and that was a marvelous feeling.

My outfit for the first day was inspired by an image of a military style Burlesque dancer from the 1880s or 90s, with added spatterdashes and a bit of juditious tweaking of design.  The whole outfit is worn over my mid-19th century corset.

The trim on the jacket and shorts is a metallic gimp braid, which was all sewn on by hand after the items were assembled.  I believe I used about twenty yards total for all the trimming.  Detachable lace ruffles are basted into the cuffs.

The little hat is built on a buckrum base and the visor is a rich brown leather edged with gold braid.  And the spatterdashes are a little bit sneaky... I actually fastened them with a long invisible zipper on the inner seams.  The buttons are permamently stitched down and don't actually function.

I had so much fun walking around in short shorts and a sword all day.  The strangest thing was having to remember that my legs had to do something in photographs... I'm so used to being in long skirts when in costume!


  1. Wow! So creative! I can't wait to see what else you have to report from the 'con.

  2. OMG that's so adorable!!! I love how creative and different it is from the typical steampunk stuff. And it sounds like such a fun event too! I can't wait to see more!

  3. GWAAH! Between you and Nicole my "AWESOME COSTUME METER" is about the burst!!

  4. whaaat this is gorgeous you are so incredibly talented!!! :D

  5. Oh dear lord...I love yours too- was so jealous that not only was it fabulous but that you could physically pull off shorts and those leggings!!
    If the buttons aren't functional- can you tell me how the closure functions??
    I asked about the braid trim and how you managed that, but never thought that the buttons might not be functional...

    1. Thanks!

      The spatterdashes have 20" invisible zippers hidden in the inseams. The zipper is installed downwards so that the little tab is down at the foot when zipped closed. Unless you know exactly what to look for, the zippers are impossible to spot and made getting in and out of the spats super easy!

  6. Fantastic! How fun to get to be so creative. And you look great in it!

  7. Very, very cool take on steampunk. I love it!

  8. I am soooo very happy you guys got to the this convention! the only downfall may be that you will judge any others you may attend by this one. I am so looking forward to sharing this event with you next year!!! It makes me want to start some new steampunk stuff now.