Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Steampunk Safari

We are talking Steampunk. I had been wanting to organise a Steampunk event for the Australian Costumers Guild for some time now, and took the chance this year. And since I had a safari costume in the plans what better event to do than a safari to the zoo? We headed to the Alma Park Zoo in Brisbane (located on the North Side of town). It has been around for 70 years, so it is one that is very well established, and I must say rather beautiful.

We wandered around all day, admiring the animals. Some we were able to feed, and we did, dirty noses and all. While others were just too cute not to stare at. I managed to get some pretty good photos of some of the animals, but I had a few stand-out moments of the day. The Red Pandas are of course my favourite and always will be - the pair of them were very active and running around their enclosure. The marmosets were just too cute not to appreciate, and I did love the lemurs. I even bought a stuffed red panda toy and a lemur toy. And as a final treat of my day, I had my photo take with a koala. she was just beautiful and quite happy to be held. It was a thoroughly fantastic day, and a place that I would definitely look at going to again.
Since it was mother's day, I took along my mum and dad with me for the day. And they both dressed up. I tweaked my mum's pirate wench costume into a Steampunk gypsy and a few historical pieces from my dad's wardrobe and he became a journalist.

As for my costume, it was completely new. I had always planned on a steampunk safari outfit. About 4 years ago I bought my safari hat and it has just sat in my collection waiting for a matching outfit. This time, I wanted to go for something that was very masculine inspired, however still have the victorian elements of steampunk. So, I started with my victorian corset. I made a mens victorian shirt from a simplicity pattern out of cream cotton voile, left the neckline open and rolled up the sleeves. My shorts are drafted up from the laughing moon victorian pants pattern. I had made the pants for my dad a few years ago, so wasn't too daunted by the task of making them for myself. But best of all, the pattern includes a women's cut. I didn't mock them up, which could have been a mistake, but as my luck would have it, they fit perfectly. I made sure that they have both hip pockets as well as back pockets (somewhere to tuck my gloves), and then I decided to finish them off with a cuff. As for the vest, I drafted it up from a modern vest pattern, cutting out bust shaping so that it would fit properly over my corset, and then I added welts to the front so that I would have somewhere for my pocket watch. I topped it all off with cream kilt socks, brown leather boots, a should bag, a necktie and a safari hat. Oh and I dug out my long burgundy wig so that I could have a lovely long plait running down my back. Overall, I am incredibly pleased with how it turned out. The only thing I want to add is a blunderbuss weapon. I haven't made one as yet, as the zoo wasn't an appropriate venue for weapons, but I can tell you that it is coming.

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