Industrial Espionage

Posted: September 18, 2009 in Ramblings

With Halloween fast approaching, I have picked up the threads of my abandoned steampunk movement and begun trying to knit them into a whole.  I never quite decided what type of character my girl would be (although some of you may remember the now-defunct Professor Edward Delamaine who was the male persona/ancestor I invented back in the beginning of my interest in steampunk).  Over the last few weeks I’ve been eying various costumic bits, and bidding on many of them, but never quite certain how I wanted my character to end up.  I kept waffling between an intrepid explorer (think Amelia Earhart but more gadgety) or inventor – whose garb I could never quite figure out.  Cargo pants?  Skirt with many pockets??

Today I realized I ought to have a good pair of gloves no matter what.  After dithering around ebay and Amazon for a while I remembered an old pair of olive suede gardening gloves I’d bought when we planted all the roses, which are nice gloves, good quality, but they don’t always prevent the thorns from getting me when I’m pruning.  So I was happy to abandon them to a steampunk makeover.

First I cut off the fingertips.  There was also a bright blue embroidered label on the outside of the right glove marked “Washable,” so I had to cut that off.  It was really, really hard to get rid of all the bright blue, so I decided to put some brass rivets on it.  While I was fiddling with the rivets, I thought, why not add some leather to make sure the blue is really covered?  I have a lot of brown leather around, so I cut a few strips and riveted them to the glove.  Repeated this for the other hand.

While I was putting away my tools (!) I spotted something purchased on a whim at the leather store.  It’s leather, thin rust-colored strips braided and twisted and knotted to look like barbed wire.  I took one of these 3-yard lengths and wrapped it around and around the cuff of the right-hand glove, sliding it between the rivets (under the new leather section, which acted like a belt loop).  When I tied it off it looked great, and I thought, “Why the hell would anyone steampunk have barbed wire on her glove?  It’s too goth!”  Inspiration immediately struck:  she’s an industrial spy, and needs this to defend herself!

Of course the other glove now looked silly without it, but I didn’t see the logic in putting more of the barbed wire on the other glove.  But I do have brown leather lacing around, so I took a piece and wrapped it around the cuff and under the new leather “belt loop” in a similar fashion.  Justification?  A spy never knows when she’ll need a spare bit of lacing.  (Just ask Harriet.)

So, the gloves are done.  The hat and goggles have been done for a long time, though if my character is going to be a spy then the Victorian hat is probably too much to wear on covert ops; maybe I’ll get an aviator cap.  The pocketwatch is here.  I have loads of miscellaneous buckles, leather, chains, rivets, snaps and lacing to be used as I see fit.  I’m going to minorly revamp my Ray Gun.  I just need the jacket OR vest OR this funky corset.  The black pants Mom made me last spring will suit; they’re plain, black, and will tuck nicely into my boots.

And yes.  You’ll see pics when I’m ready.

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