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For Gen Con Indy 2011, I decided to try my hand at a new Steampunk costume. It took me forever to decide on the right design, but Simplicity really helped when they began selling a couple of patterns and advertising them as “Steampunk/Victorian” costumes.

I used Simplicity Pattern 2171 (Misses’ Costume) for the jacket pattern only and modified it by leaving off the long sleeves, because the convention is usually held in August and can get warm, even inside the huge exhibit hall. I also left off the ruffle around the neckline and just added a pretty trim I found at Hobby Lobby.

For the patchwork panels on the front and back, I raided my fabric stash, cut everything into squares or triangles, and used double-sided tape to hold the edges together before zigzagging them together into long pieces of fabric. The rest of the outside of the jacket was made with black taffeta. The lining pieces were also cut from my fabric stash, so I only had to actually buy extra taffeta to complete the project (as well as the buttons and trim and chains and whatnot).

The chain was made using a necklace I bought from a Claire’s store and cutting it to pieces before adding various key charms and watch faces. The corset top was bought online completely white, and I dyed it brown in my washing machine. The skirt was made by ripping out the seams of the bottom of a bridesmaid’s dress I found at a local Goodwill Store and hemming it up.

I was very happy with the results, and the costume went over very well at the con this past weekend! All told, I put in at least 20 hours in making just the jacket (and my husband believes it took more than that).