Red Steampunk Fairy Costume

This is my most complex and detailed costume ever and I’m so unbelievably happy with how it turned out. I made it and it’s blue companion for me and my sister to wear to San Diego Comic-Con 2015. In the making of this costume, I found out a lot about my abilities as a seamstress and my taste in steampunk fashion.

Making-Of Posts: part one, two, three, four, and five, and my post describing my steampunk hat.

Timeline: late April 2015 to the end of June 2015

Patterns Used:

  • Corset: a combination of views A and D of Butterick 5935, which I then modified to have two lacings in the back
  • Shorts: McCalls 6403, with the pockets widened at the front and a different cuff
  • Bustle: entirely self-created, without the use of any pattern.
  • Wings: self-drafted design, recreated with wire-wrapping

Fabrics and Notions:

  • Corset: a thick red cotton upholstery fabric bought the LA Garment District as the self-fabric, plain muslin as the lining, plastic boning, gold grommets from Corset Making Supplies
  • Shorts: brown incredibly itchy fabric from Joanns (not sure on the fiber)
  • Bustle: red and gold upholstery fabric from Joanns as the self-fabric, gold fabric from the LA Garment District (again, not sure on fiber) as the lining, tulle layers in between, flexible plastic tubing from the hardware store as the hoops
  • Wings: 20 and 26 gauge gold wire from Michaels


  • Fairy Dust jar, made from a thrifted glass jar, a champagne cork, gold glitter, sugar, and seed beads (hanging on belt)
  • Leather Belt, bought for $12 at a thrift/vintage store
  • Pocket Watch, bought at a swap meet (hanging on corset)
  • A little metal cup, apparently from my childhood (on belt)
  • A little leather pouch, found at a yard sale (on belt)
  • Steampunkified Hat, made by me (link to post above)
  • Wings, made by me (link to post above)
  • Leather Boots, already in my closet

My Favorite Part: umm…. everything? I guess I’d have to say the bustle, because I feel like it’s the star piece and it’s just so much fun to walk around in. It kinda wobbles back and forth as you walk, which I found hilarious. 

Honestly, the steampunk elements are my favorite “part.” I’ve loved steampunk since the moment I found out it existed, and making a steampunk costume has been on my to-do list since then. I was worried it wasn’t going to live up to my expectations, but it totally did. I can honestly say that this is the steampunk costume is everything I wanted it to be.

Techniques and firsts: let’s make this a list…

  • Bustle: first time making a hoop skirt, first time draping a bustle like that, first time using Rub’N’Buff (painted the hoops to look metal), first time using something from a hardware store in a costume
  • Corset: first time making a corset with 2 columns of lacing in the back, and though it wasn’t my first time putting in grommets, it was my most successful and I think I need to congratulate myself on getting all 40 of them inserted in one morning
  • Shorts: first time making the pockets bigger on that pattern, first time making belt loops
  • Wings: basically everything … first time making wings, wire-wrapping, etc

And now pictures! For now, all of these have the companion to this costume, the blue steampunk fairy, in the picture as well, but I will soon have a better photoshoot with individual pics and close-ups of the details.

Doctor Who + Steampunk Fairies = my heaven
Doctor Who + Steampunk Fairies = my heaven

Steampunk Fairies at the Del

look at all the PEOPLE (and us, look at us too)
look at all the PEOPLE (and us, look at us too)

Steampunk Fairies at SDCC

Steampunk Fairies at the Del

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