I talked myself into it. As I mentioned, I’d already got certain steampunk plans in process, as regular readers are well aware…the next step was to try to formalise these into the structure required by the SWAP rules .
The only issue was trying to narrow it down, calming my excitement at allowing myself free rein in making costume-y stuff again [AND I GET TO WEAR IT IN PUBLIC SQUUUEEEEEE!!!]
The structure requires 4 ‘packs’, with the aim of producing a working wardrobe of 11 garments [for whatever purpose you like]. The rules slow you down, make you consider your choices, and are supposed to make sure you don’t dash around like a headless chicken, producing individual loveliness that doesn’t go with anything else in your wardrobe. Ha!
I’ve rationalised my existing plans, pondered a little about the practicalities of steampunking, and narrowed things down, plonking some lovely images onto four boards on Pinterest. Steampunk outings tend to involve a lot of walking, posing for photographs with and by complete strangers, faffing around in charity shops to find the next bagful of inspirational tat, and partaking of delicious afternoon teas or genteel picnics. There are also tea duels, parasol duels, and teapot races, but that’s for the strong of heart.
On the whole then, I need to be able to walk around, withstand the weather, be it hot or cold, be able to shop, possibly transport some cucumber sandwiches, and mainly look splendid.
Accessories are fun, I have several already, [hats, carpetbag] and more in the process of being sorted out [parasols, fan, tea-powered hand-held time-travelling device], and I have several pairs of variously suitable boots and shoes. I am willing to suffer pain in the cause of beauty! I also have my existing little red waist cincher, and the newly-made bronze corset, plus silk chemise and new drawers [yes, I know you’re waiting for the pictures, hush now]
Plans then, including links to my recently organised Pinterest boards, which are largely colour/shape inspired, not exact styles:
Pack #1 : ‘Green’. Olive green jacket, Mossy green skirt and overskirt, plus a third not yet decided…cape? [as seen on board 4]
Pack #2: ‘Purple’. Purple taffeta skirt, matching evening bodice, purple wool jacket/cape.
Pack #3: ‘Combo’. Two ‘shirtwaists’ or blouses. Probably white/cream, but could be coloured. Probably using considerable amounts of lace and embellishment techniques. This will probably be the most time-consuming section.
Pack #4: ‘Wildcards’. Something a bit more ‘butch’, so very likely breeches/jodhpurs plus a riding jacket. I like the idea of a divided skirt or a proper side-saddle riding skirt as well.
Most of my plans are, at least at heart, ‘proper’ historical garments. I will not be going the whole hog in making them completely accurate, as steampunk is at the very least, quirky. I do have some mad plans for some accessories, but they will be part of the actual wardrobe, not the SWAP itself.
I can’t wait, and fortunately, don’t have to, even though the SWAP runs from the end of December to the end of April. Hurrah!