Amber Love 21-May-2012 Over the weekend I attended the Steampunk World’s Fair in NJ and needed something to wear. I had this idea for gartered shorts in my head for a long time but never actually did it until last week.

I started with a pair of Banana Republic khakis from the thrift store. The goal was to make shorts with garters and then have a lower leg piece at the end. There are some variations to “steampunk” including prim and proper Victorian garb, goth, militant, or the “ragamuffin” look. I’m quite partial to the ragamuffin style because it’s whimsical. There’s some sort of order to the chaos of those outfits. It encompasses not just the clothing but the hair and makeup as well. At one show I saw a man in a ‘punked out Old Western style outfit; since I had some Western gear like the boots, hat, vest and holster already, I decided to give my steampunk look a Wild Wild West edge to it.

I didn’t even bother changing the thread in the machine from my last project. So when I stitched in the faux suede and black spandex contrasts, there’s navy thread. When I moved on to the lower legs, I wanted the stitches to be part of the decoration so I switched to olive thread and used large zig zag stitches.

I wore my western boots, a blank ribbed tank, a faux sheepskin bolero vest, beaded choker, double holsters (handy because I used one to hold my phone), flapper wig, and hat.

During the week, I sent a bunch of sample ideas to our contributor here at AU, Ashley Neuhaus who would be accompanying me to the SPWF. She was hesitant to dress up at all but eventually decided on the punky stage magician look. She took my pics and went out shopping. Then she completed her look with my extra goggles and top hat. The SPWF theme this year as The Circus so it fit in really well.

I was invited to the VIP Absinthe & Mead Tasting as a celebrity guest. There was a Swiss absinthe and a local one. I preferred it far more than the meads. The Evil Genius white mead tasted like cologne. The absinthes were appropriately aromatic, milky in color (not green) and very smooth. Only the local absinthe was served in tumblers; everything else was served in test tubes. The first tasting I had the pleasure of chatting with Voltaire, Nigel and Luna. I dragged my two photographers, Ashley and Tyrus along to the second tasting. I don’t think they had any real objections.

Robin Hood recruited me to go steal from the vendors and return wealth to the commoners. We chose a jewelry vendor and held them up. I demanded all their wealth and we made off with a bunch of the Carnival tickets.

Many thanks to Madison Bartholomew and James Hatton for the hospitality at the show. We had a great time seeing the vendors and especially enjoyed the absinthe and concerts. More photos are in my Google Plus gallery.

If you’re interested in checking out some Steampunk literature, DriveThruFiction has options like the Grim Doyle adventures; there’s a combo pack which include the children’s novel SCOURGE: A Grim Doyle Adventure as well as the short story, Simian’s Lair: A Tale from the Land of Verne! Also includes the first chapter of the eagerly awaited Choose Your Own Adventure Novel, Billy Bones: Beyond the Grave!

My sketch of the plan.
Cut the first triangular shape on the front.
Cut the second triangular shape.
The cut of the lower leg that would has a peak at the top.
Put the 2 front and 2 side pieces from the pants onto the faux suede and cut new contrast pieces.
The cut pieces laid out.
A look at one of the insert contrast pieces.
The new shorts finished. I used visible colors of thread because I wanted them to be seen.
The back of the shorts, I added in these two stretchy pieces of spandex for comfort.
Close up of the lower leg peak to show off the olive green thread in the zig zag stitch.
The garters are not adjustable. I sewed brass D rings in place just for flair. I think they came out pretty cool.