This year's steampunk convention, the Steamposium, is next Saturday --a week away!-- and so I've brought out my outfit and checked to see if it needs any mends or freshening after hanging in the closet for a year.
Except for taking the waist by an inch (yay!) everything looks good. Then I remembered how last year I couldn't take off my jacket because *confession* I had finished the skirt's waistband with pale green bias tape. (I was in a hurry, okay? I always meant to do it properly, but there's a lesson for you: do it right the first time!) The leather belt I threw around my waist to keep my skirt my from sliding down and to try to cover up the green didn't do a proper job and so I had to keep my jacket on and buttoned up so no one could see my shameful shortcut.
The ubiquitous steampunk corset is a trope I was trying avoid, sticking to my mantra of "No corset, no goggles, no pointless gears." I mean, let's show a little creativity, folks. Besides that, corsets never give me a proper curvy waistline; I'm built like a tree trunk. They just make me look like a fancier tree trunk. I decided a wide belt would suit my needs and after considering leather I decided to see what I could do with scraps from my stash. It took me three hours on the sewing machine, cutting a modified version of my original corset pattern from a brocaded satin with a canvas backing for strength, nylon stays, and crimson velveteen binding. Six grommets fit out the back and a piece of black ribbon ties it all together, though I may change that for a bootlace or similar for easier tightening.
Here it is on Imogene. She's not got a squishy waist like mine, so I don't have it snug, but you can see the effect of it. I've got the jacket flipped back so you can see most of it.
Mostly I'm going to have my jacket buttoned and no one will see the belt at all, but if I get hot it will be nice to be able to shrug it off, roll up my shirtsleeves, and not worry about anyone catching a peep of that green bias tape.
I'm thinking there will be a little more decoration on that belt, too -- maybe some buttons with chain swagged between them. We'll see.
I've got almost all the sequins done on the MC cloak, too. Next month I'll start work on the tunic, so stay tuned for that!