I've mentioned before that Elaine is my dress-up buddy, but I don't know that I've ever mentioned that we are also long-time best friends. We met on the first day of high school, and after a rocky start (we were forced to work together for a group project), we discovered that we lived a block away from each other and quickly became friends. High school was all about passing notes in class (I still have an envelope of these notes, and 90% of them are about boys), running up and down the block to each others' houses to "do homework," and talking about the day we would have significant others and no longer be under our parents' roofs (and therefore rules).
Well, fast forward fifteen years (goodness gracious, has it really been that long?), and here we are, spending the summer in our childhood homes (albeit in the in-law apartments downstairs), still running back and forth to each others' houses, but this time with men-folk in tow, and no longer subject to 9 pm curfews. It's so nice to be in the same city again and not angst about boys! Even better, we can go to costumed events together! Neither of our men are into this whole steampunk thing, so we made a date out of attending a late-night tea at Rue du The together. Since I'm not going to be able to make it to SDCC or SteamCon this year, this will be my steampunk costume event for the year. It's really just as well, considering there's still so much more I want to make for it.
|1912 project blouse #0219, curtain skirt, goggles, gun (on a hasty holster), new pocketwatch from Whimsic Alley, spyglass, magnifying glass, and gaming dice tube. And a belt from Ross.|
The event description said to dress in one's best quasi-Victorian/Edwardian steampunk costume, so of course I took advantage of the opportunity to break in my steampunk detective costume. It's still not finished, but I put on all the pieces I had with me (yes, I dragged a shoebox of all my pieces from TCOCC with me to the city) and was sufficiently feted by other costume enthusiast attendees to gratify my ego. Unfortunately, I couldn't get very good pictures because of the lighting, but you get the idea.
|I antiqued the heck out of these pictures in an attempt to make their graininess somewhat acceptable.|
I love any excuse to get all dressed up, so if it had only been a be-costumed meet-and-greet I would've been happy enough, but we got to have lovely tea, mediocre sandwiches, stellar shortbread, and tasty cake (it was not a lie) to boot. And best of all, there was live music by Unwoman, a fantastic cellist/vocalist who sings post-apocalyptic love songs and other steampunk-flavored things. There was even some attempt at waltzing inside the tiny tea shop; unfortunately neither Elaine nor I really remembered how to lead properly (although Elaine was still much better than I), and I kept tripping on my train. Note to self: if I intend to dance, I need to figure out how to bustle my skirt, or just wear one that doesn't drag along the floor. Dance hampering aside, though, I really enjoyed the swooshing of the full skirt and train the rest of the evening.
|Unwoman plays in the background while Mr. and Mrs. PEERS (and others) waltz and watch.|
My favorite part of the evening was probably all the mutual admiration of costumes. I love it when other people can appreciate chevrons and trims and clever material sourcing, and I in turn can appreciate their thrift store finds, beautiful piping, and hidden-bustle-pocket design features. Since this was my first foray into costume events with other amateur costumers, I was really pleased and surprised by their warm welcome...none of that you-used-non-period-textiles-and-the-shoulder-seam-should-really-be-an-inch-further-back-and-good-heavens-is-that-elastic-I-see? that I was afraid of. I look forward to more events like this in the future!
|Fraulein Michelle design this gorgeous blue and brown number herself!|
And can I just say that these types of events work so much better in chilly and foggy Bay Area than swelteringly hot Tucson? I was actually glad for all my layers of petticoats and stockings!
|Thanks for being my dress-up buddy, Elaine!|