This Steampunk Did Go to the Ball

Avast, ye hearties! There be pirates ahead.

Yesterday our local costume/cosplay group, Cosplay for a Cause Adelaide, held a Steampunk Pirate Ball (we couldn’t make up our mind, so we went with both!) to raise money for Variety Club SA. Money was raised from ball tickets and items donated for the silent auction. I donated a copy of Doctor Jack and Other Tales and an octoarm necklace to the auction. A big thank you to everyone to attended, had a ball and spent money for a great cause.

Of course, it gave me an excuse (do I really need one?) to make that steampunk pirate costume I have been talking about for two years. I ferreted out my collected my op-shop finds and sorted through my costume material cupboard.

Out came my striped skirt, from a previous 2010 pirate party costume, my favourite underbust corset and a peasant top found earlier this year at the local Savers second-hand store.

skirt orig costume_copyright2010KarenCarlisle + peasant blouse + mine 2011 mortlock = piratesansacc_copyright2015KarenCarlisle

But I needed something more… Accessories!

hatfinalFirst – a pirate hat! A cheapo flock cardboard hat left over from previous costumes provided the base. A rummage through my findings box gave me a few keys, cogs, feathers (purple, of course!), button bases (to glue cogs on) and a cog-fob thing. An afternoon of glueing and wiring gave me this:

beltcompleteSecond – a cool hip belt, with left over leather bits and a cool cog buckle from the local leather shop, featured last year on my steampunk accessories posts.

Next – a weapon. Every pirate needs something to … defend themselves. Something I have wanted to do for ages is a steampunk lightsabre. I have a Force FX Master Replica lightsabre but that was out-of-bounds. But a preloved $2.99 plastic knock off? I’m in! Here’s how it happened: 

sabre1masking sabre2undercoat sabre3tape for black sabre4 rustlayer sabre5 gold layer sabre6 paint buffs gold silver sabre7 gears sabre8 grears sabre9 finished

  1. Mask off bits not to be painted.
  2. Black matt undercoat.
  3. mask off bits to stay black.
  4. Rust/gold (We ran out of bronze) spray paint coating.
  5. Rub and Buff to age and add more colours.
  6. Glue on bits (I know, I just stuck gears on. Sometimes that happens)
  7. Clear spray paint to seal the handle
  8. Added a tassle from my haberdashery stash. It’s the little things.



Finally: Every pirate has a parrot (since I didn’t have time to make a fake prosthetic, steam-driven leg!) I searched the local second-hand stores and garage sales for a plastic parrot suitable to spraypaint and steampunk up. Nothing. But wait! Even better – I found a toy octopus. A glued a cog-bit and chain became it’s monocle.

His perch was made from left over leather from a previous project – and lots of riveting. (And thanks to my Dearheart for saving my bung wrist from certain jarring.)

DSC_8409 shoulderaccessory_copyright2015KarenCarlisle

Putting it all together for charity – and having a ball!

final outfit_copyright2015KarenCarlisle

All photos copyright 2015 Karen Carlisle and D Carlisle.

This Steampunk Did Go to the Ball was originally published on karen j carlisle

About karen j carlisle

writer artist gardener chocoholic tea lover
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1 Response to This Steampunk Did Go to the Ball

  1. Great! Love the costume.

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