Drape a Steam-punk costume creation

Good news: apocalyptic steam-punk can be the perfect theme to drape a last minute costume goodie. Steam-punk style can be achieved with a certain mix of textures, colors, and accessories. If you are a Cinderella or Scarlet O’Hara type when it comes to costume preparation, this post is for you. Nothing like last minute pressure to ignite fashion creativity!

Here’s an apocalyptic-chic costume whipped up on a dress form.  A 1″ elastic tied around the waist anchors draped fabric. A stack of belts cover the elastic and tame bulk. A few snips with scissors for some raggedy edges. Goggles and gears will further enhance the steam-punk theme. This one looks great with a flared tulle skirt and chunky  boots.

The initial step for a successful design is to gather and print reference pictures to create a vision. Then you are ready for a treasure hunt with a focus.

Rummage for brown leather accessories with brass or copper details.  Wide belts are excellent to create this look. The more snap and buckle parts the better.

Rummage or shop for lightweight, soft, limp fabrics such as cheesecloth, gauze, lace or net in black, ivory, weathered browns, greens, and blues. Consider small cuts of fur, tweeds, and novelty fabrics too. Dramatic earthy colors and textures are the key to this style. Check out remnant and sale bins for bargain cuts. Your primary draping piece can be up to 3 yards long, so avoid pricy stuff for that.

Browse trims, yarns and beads for detailing possibilities. Gears and mini mechanical stuff are great for steam-punk detailing, perhaps a print out of the gears below can be of use.


Begin your costume with a basic under garment such as a flesh colored slip or leotard. Tie 1″ wide elastic around your waist.

Drape, cut and experiment with your collection of components. Make up and a hat can make your story even more dramatic.

(further scroll down for photo of gears)








Written by

When I learned to sew, I was totally hooked! My mission is to provide sewing projects that are easy enough for anyone to learn or to practice sewing… Let us know if its working!

2 Comments to “Drape a Steam-punk costume creation”

  1. Mary says:

    You designed a lovely adult fairy pattern. Simplicity 3632Where do I get those huge wings

    • elaine says:

      Hi Mary!
      The jumbo wings used for that photos shoot I found quite a few years ago in a costume store in NYC. Hand crafted wings can be amazing but quite pricy. I searched for you for ready to wear jumbo fairy wings and pinned them on Pinterest some under my “costume” and “sources” folders. Let me know if you have any success finding your perfect wings!

Leave a Reply

Your comment