Thursday, October 25, 2012

River Song Jacket and Gaiters

Costuming is coming along nicely! For River Song's jacket, I found an absolutely perfect jacket at my local Goodwill where I regularly find more steampunk-suitable clothing than my closets can manage. Since the zippers on the pockets detracted from the overall steampunk aspect, I ripped the zippers out, then sewed the pockets open so that they are usable. I tacked down the left collar to mimic how River Song's collar flops down on that side, and the collar is now adorned with a cluster of three gears to hold it into place.

For footwear, I have these significantly worn and tattered boots that a friend of mine tactfully pointed out were severely overdue for a refurbishing. 

Pretty gnarly, huh? Luckily, I also had purchased a swath of this wonderful fake leather fabric and decided that making a pair of spats to cover up the boots was in order. 

A quick search on the internet uncovered a great spats pattern to download. The problem was that I am completely out of ink and could not print it out, an issue I resolved via this method.

Yup, I did actually put a piece of paper over my monitor and trace it. It took a little finagling to get it right, but I got a rough outline, then cleaned it up later to ensure that the lines were straight. Following the carpenter's adage of "measure twice, cut once," I made a dummy spat out of some spare fabric and discovered the pattern was a wee bit snug, so I enlarged it to fit the DYI boot tree (a QT to-go cup inserted into the boot filled it out nicely) I was using to get a true measurement of the size of my ankle. 

I cut the faux leather pieces out and did some adjusting to fit my boot. The nice thing about this material is that it holds its edge without fraying so I am leaving the edges raw to give that leather, rough look. 

In the process of fitting the spat, I decided that a strap under the boot to keep the spats in place would be a good idea. 

A fastener device was the next order of business. I burrowed through my sewing supplies and considered options before I hit upon this combination: different gears glued to the back of buttons. A few weeks ago, I purchased a bag of random clockwork gears from an antique store, and three of them are pictured below. The other three are from the "Bag of Gears" sold by Amazon and other craft stores. I superglued the gears to the back of metal buttons and let dry.

The next step was cutting out the button holes and attaching the buttons and voila! My spats are done, they look awesome, and they cover up the fact that my boots are in wretched shape. Not bad for some fabric and a few hours of work. 

Today will see me at work on Chapter 22 and heading towards the failed Allied attack on Sevestopol on October 19th. Supplies are running chronically low and the British troops are suffering. In the historical Crimean War, an important merchant marine ship sank en route to the Crimean, and it was carrying thousands of winter uniforms for the soldiers. Thus in my book, the biggest of the Smothers marine ships sank a few days ago, taking thousands of uniforms and tons of desperately needed supplies with it. The Horizon is in the Crimea waiting to distribute supplies to camps around the battlefields, but with nothing to transport, Roberts is trying to figure out what to do next. 

Be sure to take a look at my Indiegogo campaign - a donation as low as $10 will earn you a free copy of Steam on the Horizon and help me get the book out on time. I've been living off credit cards and counting every penny, so every donation helps to get Steam on the Horizon written and published. 

I'll have more River Song forthcoming! Tune in next time!

1 comment:

  1. Your boots look great! And the jacket really is perfect. You're going to have one amazing River Song costume!