Monday, December 26, 2011

A Steampunk-y Christmas

I find it hard to believe that it's been over a month since I posted on this blog, but I had pneumonia,then my husband was hospitalized with pneumonia, and I've also been sewing up a storm on Xmas gifts and commissions. Although I have done a lot of work recently, I don't have decent photos of most of it. My only offering is a small top hat I made for a friend.

I made the pattern myself, and used the instructions from the sameTop Hat Pattern
I used before.

I had a very steampunk Christmas. I got two great steampunk resources: the Steampunk Sourcebook , which has loads of great steampunk line art on cd-rom; and Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker's Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts, which is a FANTASTIC how-to book for steampunk.

I'm in LOVE with this book. I've pretty much read it from cover to cover and I only got it Saturday night. This is the book we all needed years ago when we started doing this thing we call steampunk. There are lots of online tutorials of how to make various steampunk gizmos, but this is head and shoulders above ANY tutorial I've ever seen. First of all, the objects these tutorials demonstrate are the REAL DEAL. No spray-painted welding goggles here. These are brass and leather, thank you very much. This book shows you how to do hardcore modding, and the best part is that the step-by-step directions are SO VERY GOOD. They truly are step-by-step, not leaving out things like how to measure properly or when you need to take care not to cut your table in half. Although some of the projects require some tools everyone might not have, I feel that the instructions are clear enough for any slightly advanced beginner to follow. Honestly, I could gush all night about this book. It's and ESSENTIAL part of any steampunk's library. You won't be sorry you bought it.

There are two projects from this book I am going to be tackling (or probably more accurately, coaxing my husband into tackling) soon. First, the gauges. This is the easiest object in the book, and what DOESN'T need a gauge stuck on it. Coincidentally, I just bought an awesome lamp from a thrift store, intending to make it into a gun. But I wasn't entirely sure HOW to go about that exactly. And and behold, this book has instructions for making a pistol from a brass lamp. All I need now is to find or get my husband to make a wooden handle and I'll have a really kick-ass gun.

Another book I've been reading recently to improve the quality of my projects is Clotilde's Sew Smart. I found this book at Half-Price Books, and apparently I was lucky, since it seems to be out-of-print. This is a great reference book on sewing. It includes detailed instructions for every kind of sewing task. When I saw it had information on how to do the dreaded welt pocket, I knew I had to have it. But I've been reading it straight through and feel it's already improved my sewing. It really focuses on taking the intermediate home sewer and improving the quality of their work so that it looks like professionally made designer clothing. I highly recommend it to any seamstresses or seamsters out there, if you can find it.

In addition to all that, I'll soon be working on two patterns I got for Christmas: 1880s Buckram Hat Pattern and Western Saloon Dancer or Can Can Girl Pattern. I'm very excited about starting these projects, too.

I hope you all had a Merry and Steamy Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Clotide book. I'm more in the beginner's range of sewing, but I've already found it both helpful and inspiration. I love her idea of using a glue stick to help keep a hem straight while sewing so you're not having pin wrinkles.