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3 DIY Tips For Making Your Own Steampunk Dress

3 DIY tips for making your own steampunk dress

3 DIY Tips For Making Your Own Steampunk Dress

Some steampunk costumes can often be quite detailed and elaborate but making your own steampunk dress doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think. All the little bits and pieces you add at the end will be what really personalizes your outfit but here are a few simple tips that will get you started. Once you’ve got the framework set up for your steampunk dress, the sky’s the limit with hats, jewelry, accessories, and all of your own steamy flair.

1) Give Your Steampunk Dress a Frame
Many steampunk dresses have a certain Victorian fullness to them so you’ll have to decide what you can sew up into your skirts to give them a little more oomph. Making your own hoops and bustles can be much cheaper than searching for and buying authentic ones. Sewing a small hula hoop into your skirts around the hips can give your dress the perfect “all around” type of fullness. This tutorial walks you through a few easy steps to add a hoop to your skirt.
How to make a steampunk gown

If you’re looking to add volume to just specific areas, such as the back or sides, you can craft yourself a wire bustle using some stiff wire, duct tape, and some scrap fabric as a cover. Threadbanger’s steampunk video features a great tutorial for this bustle.
Threadbanger’s video: How to make a Steampunk outfit

Of course, if a wire bustle seems like too much work or even too cumbersome, a pillow bustle may be a more comfortable alternative. You can easily customize the shape and size of your bustle by adjusting the pattern you use and how much stuffing you pack into it. Steam Ingenious provides a great tutorial for the pillow bustle.
Steamingenious: How to make bustle pad and why you should

2) Layers, Ruffles, and Frills
One of the most wonderful aspects of a steampunk dress is all the many layers you get to play around with. There are many options when it comes to giving your dress some extra ruffle and a great starting point to is to layer with multiple skirts. By scrunching up the top skirt and sewing it into a shorter, ruffled piece you can leave the bottom skirt long and achieve a wonderful contrast between colors and materials. Another technique would be to cut away pieces of the top skirt, hem the edges, and leave long layers of alternating fabrics.

The same concept can be applied to the sleeves and torso. Cutting the sleeves off an old dress of a complimenting color and sewing them into the cut-away sleeves of your steampunk dress can add some drama to the upper half of your ensemble.

3) Adding a Corset and Accessories
To tighten up the midsection of your steampunk dress, and add another level of layer, you can add a corset to your outfit. Simply wearing it overtop is one option or you can sew the bottom of the corset to the waistline of your dress for a more fitted look. Additional accessories can be sewn on to the dress, such as cogs and gears, ribbon and lace, or sashes of velvet and satin.

Even if sewing isn’t your strong suit there are plenty of alternatives you can try when making your steampunk dress. Instead of a sewing machine or needle and thread you might have more luck with hem tape, fabric glue, or even duct tape where you can get away with it. And if you’re utterly devoted to a certain steampunk vision you can always make what you can and hire a steamstress seamstress for any of the really specific little details that you’re stuck on.

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