I spent a lovely morning, in the company of a lovely friend and fellow Steampunk Enthusiast, going through an Spotlight outlet (retailers of fabric, craft and homemaker supplies) and a Vinnies’ second-hand store. This is something that all Cosplayers tend to do. You might not be able to sew, have minimal talent for painting and craft, and be somewhat fumble fingered with anything to do with glue; but you are still committed to make that gadget, accessory or costume, no matter what. You spend a lot of time hunting down the right fabric, or the right beads, or a second-hand clothing item that can be adapted with a makeover.
It doesn’t matter where you get your inspiration from, be it comics, the movies, or a character that you have created yourself. You might purchase some ready-made items such as corsets or hats … even the purists will have to admit there are some items beyond the skills of even a talented crafter. But the satisfaction at the end, when all the look starts coming together, you can’t buy that with all the gold in the world!
I am lucky. In my Steampunk community, we have two of the most talented women I know for recycling second-hand clothes into incredible high-fashion Steampunk cosplay. I used to think I was quite the professional second-hand Rose, but Nadine and Catrin leave me well behind. They can turn just about any item into a Steampunk star. They are so clever and creative, and have such a fine eye for fashion flair, that sometimes I am left speechless at their creations.
It is this ‘Can Do’ attitude that brings the Steampunk community together. We can admire the ingenuity of a clever costume and appreciate the time in took to construct, because we all go through this creative process. My community hold workshops, so that the more experienced crafters can help the inexperienced gain training and confidence in their projects. I recommend other Steampunk communities to do the same!