For my birthday this year, my mom surprised me with something incredible. She made a costume for me! Not only is it a pretty freaking awesome outfit, she also incorporated some of the authors and stories that most inspire me, and even a reference to my own recently completed manuscript. So today I’m going to show off my spectacular gift and talk a little about each piece.
Newsboy Cap and Steampunk Goggles
We already had the newsboy cap, but the steampunk goggles are made using this tutorial from Dark Revette. I love the gears and chains on the sides of them.
Steampunk Story Choker Necklace
The center piece is an old watch casing from my grandfather, who use to repair jewelry and watches. Inside and around it are small metal gears and 3D stickers of typewriter buttons. I think she got those from a craft store like JoAnn’s. Charms hang below– check out the rabbit and clock face, a nod to Alice in Wonderland.
Pen Nub Earring
Inspired by Steampunkonda, she made this earring that looks like a fountain pen nub.
Author Cameo Charms
This part is one of my favorites. Tiny frames show the faces of a few of the authors who’ve most inspired me. I printed tons of pictures to place in the frames, but these are the ones I’ll be wearing to a costume party next weekend. Pictured, from top left to bottom right: Nova Ren Suma, Jane Austen, Markus Zusak, R J Palacio and Emil Ostrovski.
She also included charms here to represent some of my favorite stories, specifically, a mockingbird for To Kill a Mockingbird and a crow for Six of Crows. The whole piece attaches to the corset on the left side.
The right cuff has a watch face and gears. Very steampunk. The left cuff has at its center, a vial of broken glass. Weird, right? Unless you knew that Broken Glass is the working title of my completed contemporary YA manuscript. So cool that she included this.
Opened Book Ring
She actually made this ring from a tutorial on a web site called When Women Talks, which is currently offline. I’ve created a pinterest board with the pins that inspired the costume, so you can find out more and see those images yourself by checking that out.
For these, she modified a pair of combat boots I had in my closet. All the additions are attached in ways that would allow them to be removed afterward, in case I want to wear the boots for something else.
These came from a craft store– Michael’s, I think. I love that they’re black– makes me think of Six of Crows!
Handwriting Corset and Book Pages Skirt
These two pieces make the bulk of the costume. The corset has the author cameos attached and book pages tacked along its bottom edge to give the top and skirt a seamless look. Under the corset, I’m wearing a peasant blouse sort of top.
The skirt began with another piece I had already. It’s a layer cake skirt that I picked up in Tokyo, actually, and wore as part of my punk rock Halloween costume last year. (I got the combat boots for that costume as well.) The book pages are sewn and stapled to the skirt. She added some tulle underneath to give it a more tutu-like shape. Those are real book pages from a copy of one of my favorite novels.
Under the skirt I’m wearing my Hamlet leggings– another piece I happened to already own. They were a Christmas gift from my aunt.
That takes you through the whole outfit. I’m super excited to get to wear it next weekend, and I’m already trying to think of other places I could potentially dress up. I’m going to a couple of bookish events in the next six months, but I don’t think anyone really dresses in costume for those, so I’m kind of conflicted about whether I could do it. It would certainly be eye-catching and memorable.
A huge thank you to my mom, who researched all sorts of ideas and crafted the whole costume around new bits and pieces we already had. Another big thank you to my sister-in-law Michelle who took many of these gorgeous photos so I could share this with everyone. (The ones that look cheesy are ones I took: the earring, the boots, the choker necklace and the cameo charms.)