Victorian and Steampunk Designs

by Holly Messinger

Some of my best-beloveds are on this page.

My first Victorian dress project, May 2002. The overskirt and bodice are cotton velveteen, custom dyed. Underskirt is peach polyester satin. Flounces on the sleeves and lining of the cape are peach cotton.

Black dress made and modeled by Shara Pierceall. Photography by Amber Dawn Jennings.

Bodice and overskirt of printed silk dupioni. The underskirt is blue/black shot polyester with a knife-pleat flounce. Pressing those pleats into polyester was NOT fun. Design based off Truly Victorian Patterns.

The neckline was faced by hand, and the hem finished with a piping edge, also by hand. All the buttons are covered with the same blue silk (I used the wrong side of the fabric to get a monochromatic field).

I still regret sellling this one.

This is my "Cinderella" dress! Shot-silk dupioni in Champagne.

The underskirt is my own design, drafted from several different commercial patterns. Pleats at back of skirt held together with decorative pearl beading. The overskirt and bustle were built freehand and sewn into place, with handmade flower trim. Steel-boned corset with lace overlay.

Green skirt made over from an old RenFest costume. Black corset made of black Chinese brocade. Jacket made of leftover striped upholstery brocade, lined with black cotton broadcloth and trimmed with the Chinese brocade. Frog button closures on the jacket. This is fun and easy to wear. I call this my "Miss Kitty" dress.

The Sparring Partner's outfit is mostly contemporary "western" wear, but his vest came from James Country Mercantile, in Liberty, Missouri. That is a VERY cool place for reenactors.

I promised myself a red velvet dress after I sold the blue silk. This was made in under a week, for a Steampunk convention in May 2010. Red silk velvet, and red/black shot silk dupioni for the underskirt.

Two concept dresses, made from the leftover taffeta from the Countess dresses. The green looked to me like something Poison Ivy would wear, and I was wanting to do something burlesque/Steampunk anyway. I was looking at a lot of Victorian Circus images as research for another project, and that look inspired the Harley dress on the left.

Sewing Main Page