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DIY: 12 easy accessory projects

One of the things I like best about steampunk fashion is the appreciation of DIY aesthetic. In contrast to other fringe fashion, like goth or Lolita, where it seems like the best outfits are simply the ones that cost the most, steampunk fashions are often hand-tailored or modified. When the weather gets cold, I start going on these artsy-craftsy binges to wile away long winter evenings. I'm always on the lookout for ideas. Below are some simple projects for making accessories, most of which don't require extensive tools or materials. In fact, most are so simple, you can just look at the finished product and figure out how to make it yourself.

I know there are many talented people in this community who can make much better gear, but for those of us who aren't master craftsmen, these projects are a little more do-able than making your own corset or tricking out your laptop.

Not guaranteed to be steampunk, but definitely easy. Teaser: Vintage-looking goggles from cheap welding goggles, choker from a lace doily, corset cuff bracelet with hook-and-eye closures.

[DIY projects]

Pics and links to 12 projects behind the cut



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
Not to be an ass... but goth fashion ISN'T about buying the most expensive outfit. If you've ran into goths that do that, then you've ran into some very uninspired goths. My DIY is more attributed to goth than steampunk. They're both awesome for what they do. And if you want to get technical, goth and steampunk wouldn't be half as cool without the DIY of punk anyway.
Jan. 4th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, what do I know, I'm not even punk, just steam. It just seems as if all the goths I see here in NYC look exactly the same - as if they all shopped at Hot Topic. Like in the movie Gypsy 83 at the end, when they go into some sort of goth bar where everyone looks exactly the same even down to the makeup. Obviously that movie was a tongue-in-cheek comment on the whole scene, but it certainly looked familiar to me.

I'm really not too familiar with any of these fringe fashion scenes, I am probably too old, and too old-fashioned. Sorry that I offended you with my ignorance.
Jan. 5th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
unfortunately, far too many goths think that way. maybe it's a newer attribute of laziness and showoffery? i have no idea...

i've always been adamantly pro-DIY! i suppose it comes from starting off with a punk/poor kid background?

in other words, i just long-windedly said iawtc.

but, be gentle with the OP, maybe the only goths she's come into contact with have been spoilt? she posts lovely, completely DIY-able items, and often goes with less expensive ways to go about things. for that, A+!!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 5th, 2008 02:13 am (UTC)
Well, they certainly deserve it, your instructions are easy to follow and inspired me to maybe give it a try myself.
Jan. 5th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC)
Hmmm.. That's a shame. But it's cool. I happened to like G83, but in all honesty, the goth subculture is based primarily on music and not so much fashion. Sure, there's ideas floating about, but the music always came first.

Also, there's a common idea that goth has somewhat lost its' punkness. I can't say for an entire group of people, but most steampunks I've ran into have turned out to be goths that were more DIY oriented.
Jan. 5th, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)
agreed. goth subculture should be primarily music-focused. however, far too many goths these days are all about who has the best corset/ballgown/what-the-fuck-ever. i see a lot of these traits in this community, too, unfortunately.

i think that's why i really do appreciate the OP's posts. she thinks about the bare bones, and how to sort of cobble together things with a minimum of money spent, and a maximum of imagination.

the goths that still embrace the DIY facet seem to be lumped into the deathrock spectrum, and frankly, that's fine with me.
Jan. 5th, 2008 01:26 pm (UTC)
goth subculture should be primarily music-focused. however, far too many goths these days are all about who has the best corset/ballgown/what-the-fuck-ever.

Look, just because someone has fancy clothes doesn't mean they're ignorant about the music. I make clothes for a living, and I go out in some pretty fancy outfits. However, I also DJ in goth clubs, hold a half-share in the 'family' CD collection (over 1000 at the last count) and have been a goth since 1983. I am pretty much fed up with being lumped in with the 'dress up goths' and 'fangs-and-canes brigade' because I choose to have a wardrobe of elaborate Victoriana - which doesn't actually cost me that much as I put in the labour.

I went from butchering t-shirts and fishnet tights in the 80s to where I am today. At 38, I would look more than a little foolish in some of the stuff I wore back then.

My experience is that people will compete on a chosen ground. Some people choose fashion. It just has to be accepted that human beings are competitive.
Jan. 5th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
i am speaking from my own experience regarding so-called goths who don't know the music, and are clotheshorses. not a single point in my comment stated all goths with nice clothing are ignorant, and i fear you might be putting your own spin on things. you might want to take a step back, and re-read the comment...i know the internet can be hard to discern full meaning and scope, but it's just a thought!

no one, including myself, ever "lumped" you in with "dress up goths" or "fangs-and-canes brigade". again, i think you might be putting a bit of your own issue into the mix...if i am wrong, then i am. i can only go by what i see in your inflammatory response.

i am also a bit confused by the competitive remark. i can only imagine you mean what i said about many current goths being who-has-the-best obsessed. like i said, i am unclear, hence my query.
Jan. 5th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
You stated 'far too many goths'. It's an argument that rages across the internet about 'dress up goths'. What someone else chooses to do is their business. If I want to walk around in a full 1880s bustle, or a t-shirt I ripped up and some jeans, how is that anyone's business but mine? I had kind of thought that the 'dress-up goths' argument could be avoided in some communities, apparently I was wrong. In stating 'far too many goths' you tar a bunch of people with the same brush.

You also talked about the DIY aesthetic. DIY means 'do it yourself'. How is someone making a huge ballgown or spectactular corset for themselves any less DIY than someone cutting up fishnets? The only difference is in the degree of skill.

I find this group is already quite divided without dragging up this particular old chestnut here too. As to my other remarks, these are the commonly-used terms now for those of us who choose to wear more elaborate clothing (I don't wear costumes) and I thought I would bring them up before someone else did.

Oh, and if you feel I'm being inflammatory, you know where the moderators are :)
Jan. 5th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)
the goth subculture is based primarily on music and not so much fashion
I think you'll find the music and fashion evolved hand in hand as we emerged from the punk/new romantic scenes of the late 70s/early 80s then created something new by taking things from both of them then adding the victorian and vampire elements to the clothing.
Jan. 5th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC)
Quite glad I'm not on your scene. Where I am, there's a lot of seamstresses, jewellers, welders, milleners, sculpers, painters, tatters and general odds-jobbers making and doing like no-body's business. A nicely put together outfit is applauded, whether it's bought or made. More if its made.

Other than the blanket statement, this is a lovely post. Tutorials are always appreciated, and 12...my word. Very useful. Thanks.
Jan. 5th, 2008 06:40 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for posting these links! I have been going crazy from being stuck inside so much because of the cold and these will be fun to try on those kind of days. More dyi is always nice,sadly one part of steampunk I haven't fully embraced, so thanks!
Jan. 5th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC)
In contrast to other fringe fashion, like goth or Lolita, where it seems like the best outfits are simply the ones that cost the most, steampunk fashions are often hand-tailored or modified.

I think the attitude about expensive outfits is more a feature in the lolita scene, in my experience. In the goth scene in the UK, there seems to be an active rebellion against this attitude. Although I wish it would stop manifesting itself in people looking for custom steel-boned corsets for £30...
Jan. 5th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
Oh if only it were possible to get steel boned corsets for £3 it would have saved me hundreds of pounds over the years ;-)

You are spot on with the loli thing, there does appear to be a lot of snobbery about the outfits which leaves little room for individuality.
Jan. 5th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
In contrast to other fringe fashion, like goth or Lolita, where it seems like the best outfits are simply the ones that cost the most

Can't speak for the Loli fashion as they do seem to have had a lot of snobbery from the beginning about their outfits but I can speak for the goths.
Originally it was never about how much the outfit cost it was all about making it yourselves simply because we didn't have shops that sold goth clothes back then (I'm talking 1980s here).
I think you will find the more interest that steampunk gets the more likely it is to go exactly the same way. As soon as the retailers catch on to it that's when people will start to buy the clothes 'off the peg' rather than make or alter them simply because it is easier in this busy life we lead, which is indeed a sad thought.
Jan. 6th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC)
Sorry that my blanket statement caused some contention in the ensuing comments. I guess I've just never known the right kind of goths. The ones I knew (way back in high school) were just about the meanest girls I've ever met. They mocked me relentlessly for my thrift store clothing, even though, as far as I could tell, it wasn't all that different from their way more expensive fashions from Patricia Field, Betsy Johnson, or Trash and Vaudeville (a local 'punk boutique'). I never met any goths who were master craftsmen like some of the steampunk people I've read about online. But just because the only ones I've known were mean fashionistas doesn't mean the rest of the goth world is like that. So let me formally apologize to the goths. I guess my bias is just a result of being mocked relentlessly by the mean goth crowd (or "Hell's cheerleaders" as we called them).

BTW I see nothing wrong with buying new, expensive clothing instead of making or scrounging them, so long as you don't look down on people who do make or scrounge their outfits. But I guess teenagers will always be cruel to each other based on clothing, so nothing new there.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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