Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Punking Up Baby

My Sister in Steampunkery (and really so much more), Contessa Esselia, is expecting her second little one this year, which is super-exciting, but as we were making plans to vend at the upcoming Air City Expedition, she realized that she wasn't going to be able to wear her typical corset.  So, we hunted a mused a bit, trying to find a style of shirt that could be pre-baby and post-baby convertible.  This was a super-fun challenge!

We started with this design as a base concept:

I started out with a men's doublet pattern and put together the lining:

Then I cut out that "peek-a-boo" window at the top:

I cut my fashion fabric (a suedecloth) to match the lining, and put everything together:

At this point, I deviated somewhat drastically from the example picture, and added a full collar to the shirt:

I should have taken step-by-step pictures of the sleeves, because they took nearly as long as the body of the shirt to make, but here they are attached and functional:

This is a side-view of the sleeve.  There is an elastic'd channel at about the mid-arm to give the sleeve that upper "poof" and another elastic'd channel at the wrist in order to create that dainty ruffle:

Here is a side-view of the sleeve, when the straps have been employed.  There is a strap sewn into the inside  of the sleeve that can be brought out and fed through the buckle on the outside of the sleeve.  As the wrist of the sleeve has elastic in it, the strap isn't entirely necessary to hold the sleeve up, but it looks darned cool!

For closing the front of the shirt, I decided on an upside-down zipper that could zip over the bust, and then stop just before the baby-belly.  I fitted in a triangular "belly panel" under the zipper, so that the baby-belly would be covered:

This is how the shirt looks totally closed, which is how it will be worn post-baby.  At that time, I might alter the belly-panel a bit, but right now I'm not worried about it.

And if you'd be so kind as to imagine a baby-bump on my dress form, you can see the overall effect here:

The final details were a bit of fun, and the Contessa let me sift through some vintage shoe-making bits she'd found at an estate sale (or somesuch).  I wish I could have used more of the buckles and slides that she had, but I had to content myself with just these:

Fin!  The final effect!

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