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Costume Details!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thanks to John and another quick photoshoot in the backyard, I finally have some good photos of my steampunk costume to share!

So, here we go:

Most of the elements came right out of my closet, including the comfy boots. I didn't plan on wearing the orange skirt originally, but after our first photos before D*C I added it and nixed the itchy and abnormally long striped tights.

The beige dress was worn as-is with the top unbuttoned:

The faux leather vest is from one of the teeny bopper stores at the mall, and used to be double-breasted. I just sewed the larger side under to make it symmetrical, and so I could wear it open.

The orange undershirt was from Ross. Because it's jersey I could cut a new neckline and shorter sleeves without any hemming. I also soaked it in a bleach to lighten it up a bit and make it seem a little more worn.

The neat thing is it has light metallic threads through it, which give a little shimmer:

The necklace I made the night before Dragon*Con with a few odds and ends lying around and a simple ball chain necklace.

My waist cincher was a fun project: it's made from vinyl, and I patterned it off a black corset belt I already own. Then I wrapped the thick band of vinyl around me and used a wet piece of chalk to mark the curve over my hips to get the shape right. I trimmed it to size, added grommets, and used a spare brown shoelace to lace it all up. Because it's vinyl it did stretch over the weekend, and it was hot, of course, but considering it only cost a few dollars to make I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.

My little hourglass charm is a necklace I found at Forever 21 for a whopping $2.50. (And it really works! Although it's more a "5-second" glass.) I made it into a single chain strand, sewed a small necklace clasp to my cincher belt, and hung the chain from it. The chain looped around one of my vest buttons, and I dangled a little seahorse charm from the other end.

The ray gun and holster were my pride and joy, of course, and hung from a smaller leather belt. I know you're all still waiting on a gun tutorial, but I promise: it's coming!

(Can you tell John and I had too much fun with this photo shoot? He's the only one who can take a pretty picture of me. I think it's all the tiger growls. [Although I am usually cracking up the whole time.])

My green bustle is actually a ruffled skirt I already owned but had never worn. It zipped up the middle, so I simply folded the two sides under, sewed them down, and attached a D-ring fabric belt to tie it around my waist. My large woven belt covered the buckle. (And if I wanted to, I could take out the stitches and have my original skirt back.)


On the other side of my belt I made a simple vinyl strap with a snap to hang some antique keys, and the antique French opera glasses are hanging from a painted shower curtain ring. (The glasses usually sit on our living room end table; I scoured the house for accessories.)

I tend to buy a lot of antique gloves because they're the only ones that fit my tiny hobbit fingers, but they're almost always white or cream colored. So, I dyed one pair brown (and it turns out antique gloves dye beautifully - which means now I'm going to be buying even MORE), cut off the finger tips, and added a decorative necklace chain looped around the two middle fingers:

The three chain ends are held in place by a small brass brad poked through the fabric of the glove. Easy, but kind of a fun extra touch.

Here's one of my favorite parts of the costume, just because it's so practical:

I planned to wear a leather belt cross-wise across my chest just for looks anyway, but then I realized I could cut it and make it a strap for my bag!

I already had this beautiful steampunk bag that reader Amber B. made for me, but it was a double strap, not cross-body. So I carefully removed the two straps:

Sewed the seams back down:

And then hammered grommets into the sides of the bag. I also added grommets to the cut belt ends, and hooked the two together using hinged S hooks we found at Home Depot. It worked out beautifully, and now I'm excited to modify some of my other two-strap bags, since I only wear single strap purses these days. (I also took the original purse straps and made them into one long strap to use later.)

I wore the bag with both outfits, and it was comfortable enough on my hip that I never took it off, not even to sit and eat. Still, I can easily wear the belt without the bag by hooking the ends back together with an S hook.

You probably remember my bracelet from earlier sneak peek:

The winged crown was on a chain bracelet I already had, but I like it much better as a cuff. To make it I had John dremel off the chain, grabbed some spare gears, and cut up an old belt:

The crown charm has two posts jutting out from the back, so I cut slits into the leather, pushed the posts through, and drowned the whole thing with epoxy adhesive. So far, so good: it's holding together like a champ!


And finally, I pinned my hair up in a messy bunch, pinned in some green highlights, covered the pins with my goggles, and finished the whole thing off with a pretty feather clip I found at Dragon*Con two years ago:

I've had several people asking about the colored clip-ins - they're from Etsy, and cost about $10 or $12 over a year ago. I'm too lazy for permanent color, so I used to wear clips like these all the
time.



My second outfit you've already seen:

Again, the actual clothing pieces all came from my closet, so there' not much to say here. Except I obviously like to dress a little steamy even when I'm not at conventions. :) I used all the same accessories, so it was just a fun extra outfit to pull together last minute.

Now let's all drool over John again:

John's outfit, I mean. Yeah.

Again, most came from his closet, although we scored those great pinstriped pants at a thrift store. They were massively too big, so he took them in himself, even trimming down the leg widths (he is an *excellent* sewer).

I replaced the plain black vest buttons with some nice gold military style ones:

And I sewed another necklace clasp to his vest to hang his pocket watch from.

Other than his goggles John's only accessories were his gun and holster...

(Note: Do NOT make a holster out of vinyl. It stretches. And your guns sinks. And then your gun gets stuck. That is all.)

...and this neat old leather case I found at a Restore for a dollar:

I jazzed it up with more brass buttons (use a hammer to bash in the back side so they'll sit flat) and small wooden filigree pieces painted gold. The back of the case has loops, so it slid nicely onto John's belt.

And finally, here he is again, looking cute:

Or possibly about to sneeze.


Hope you enjoyed! Personally, I'm enjoying the thought of returning to posts with less than 20 pictures in them. But that's just me. ;)

Posted by Jen at 11:29 PM Labels: , ,

100 comments:

  1. Your outfits (all three) are adorable, as are the two of you!! Color me impressed. I would say color me inspired, but I know I'm not going to get around to Steaming Out in time for Halloween... I need a con to inspire me, I think.

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  2. I've found colored clip-in extensions at Sally Beauty for around $5 for a set of three. I don't think it was even Halloween, although you're sure to have less trouble finding them in stores right now.

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  3. You think just like a professional costumer or art department crew person. I love all your details! Thanks so much for sharing - you always inspire me in my work!

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  4. Jen, you are GORGEOUS! Just thought you should know. Also, if you ever want to dress someone else up, I fail at putting things together so I would gladly volunteer!

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  5. jeez, you are ridiculously cute! also, I'm not that into cons or anything but you make me want to find an excuse to dress steamy too! great job! you rock!

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  6. You're both so adorable! I desperately want to go to DC next year, but unfortunately it falls on the weekend before my senior year starts. So I'm thinking road trip in two years.
    Anyway, thanks for the great pictures. As always your craftiness leaves me in awe, and Jen: you are GORGEOUS. Holy crap.

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  7. Aimee, I think you'd have time--three years ago I was contemplating Halloween as a shot glass senorita, but then I saw the steampunk cakes over on Cake Wrecks. I was instantly smitten. I think I pulled together my steampunk mechanic (including fuel tank for actually holding . . . juice, yeah, juice) in two to three weeks. Jen, loveloveLOVE it!

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  8. That's it. I'm moving to Florida. So we can be neighbors (the house next door to you is for sale, right?) and you guys can teach me how to be awe awesome as you.

    I don't think I could love your costumes more. Everything you two do makes me drool. :)

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  9. :) CUTE CUTE CUTE!!! I love your outfits and John's too! :D

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  10. What great details!! I love your first outfit the most...the pops of orange are great. Your goggles are still my favorite, but I love the cuff and necklace a lot too. And your hair is great...I love colored highlights, real or faux. You both look fantastic...amazing job! Your creativity never ceases to amaze me.

    P.S. I love the second picture of you. You look lovely. :)

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  11. I have a big dumb grin on my face after seeing this! You guys are funny, sweet, nerdy and adorable. Thanks for sharing dragon*con and yourselves with all of us.

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  12. I really want to see how you made the gun. If I had to take a guess, I think it's made of a glass bottle and some candlesticks.

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  13. i love all the details,
    and you are so pretty!

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  14. Gah! I can't handle how awesome you both look! Seriously, the costumes just ROCK--which doesn't surprise me because you guys just rock my world on an almost daily basis.

    I LOVE what you did with the seahorses from the lamp you posted a while back! You're making this look all too easy...

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  15. Absolutely amazing. The costumes all are just incredible. And they look perfect on you and John. If you ever need more skeleton keys, I have a small box of them that I keep trying to throw away but can't bring myself to do so.

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  16. AWESOME!! I've been watching each post and wish I lived closer to Dragon Con, because it looks like SO much fun! And your wardrobe, well, that's awesome, too! Great posts these past few days! Thanks!

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  17. Beautiful job! I really appreciate you posting this because it helps me plan for my own Steampunk costume. Although mine is going to feature the characters from 9. But overall, it's a lot easier to look at what someone does on the cheap because it helps me think outside the box for my own stuff.

    I never would have thought of recycling old belts or purses until I saw this! I have a couple of excellent belts that are too big for me now (yay--I'm losing weight!) that I can use for my costume! SO THANK YOU!

    And you are both adorable, and John is definitely a hottie--he reminds me of my own husband! :)

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  18. Both of your outfits were fabulous, Jen, but I think you looks amazing in the orange one.. that color just suits you :)Your parents were fabulous in their outfits as well, but I do love Jon's... it's simple and classy and suits him perfectly :D

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  19. I couldn't love this more!! I'm totally jealous of how gorgeous you look! (Also envious because I doubt my husband would be able to make any of that!) You guys look so great!

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  20. wow, beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL! You have so much attention to detail, Jen, and I'd love to see more of your outits...especially the less convention-y but still steampunk-y stuff. Fabulous!

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  21. Oh wow...the two of you are too cute! Jen you look gorgeous! And those costumes are fantastic! Squee! Now I need to find a con to go to up here in New England....that's not on a weekend...it will happen. <3

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  22. You're such a legend. I love the way you're so casual about it all - you 'simply' did about a gazillion things that I couldn't even think of doing, let alone pull off with such aplomb!

    You both look freaking amazing. :)

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  23. I love your outfits! Also, at some point this had to be said: This particular blog (read as: You) is a constant and indispensable source of inspiration for my steampunk series (still sadly in scripting stages). Thank you for all the steampunk goodness! Concept art because I know (hope) you're curious. :D

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  24. Wow, guys, you both look awesome!! Also, last night I had a dream where I was back at school, and my first thought upon walking into the classroom was "I need steampunk goggles!" It's a shame I'm nowhere near as crafty as your good selves :( Still, thank you for sharing all these gorgeous pics!

    Lucy, from Scotland :D

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  25. Just fabulous, Jen. I have been waiting patiently for this...heheheh. You put yourself together beautifully!

    I actually am a "volunteer" costumer (basically I do it for theater but don't get paid...and that's ok because it is really fun) and you have a real knack for making "something from nothing" as we say in the trade. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful pictures!

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  26. Far too adorable...the both of you! The outfits are gorgeous and so well done!

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  27. These are great!! You've definitely inspired me to figure out how to use the dremmel sitting in our garage (hubby's warhammer models don't count) and I love that you do all of this with stuff you already have!! Both of you are just too gorgeous for words!

    If you ever want to make another vinyl corset, line it with cotton or twill, which don't stretch and that will keep it from stretching out of shape on you (might even work for the holster, though I'd have to experiment to be sure:-)

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  28. Amazing...you're both amazing and super adorable!

    I love all of the little touches...that's what really makes a great outfit, and I'm usuall too lazy to get that far with anything...so well done!

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  29. Its so nice to see you out from behind the cake, or sunglasses or flamingos! :)

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  30. Ok, so I read your blog(s) religiously, but very rarely post anything.... but I just had to tell you how cute your costume was!! :D

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  31. You guys are both super-talented & "crafty" with all the cool costumes and accessories you make by hand. I have to admit that I don't get the whole steam punk thing, but you are both adorable! Thanks for sharing with us.

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  32. You're really beautiful, and I'm wildly jealous of your steampunk skills.

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  33. Love you guys outfits ^_^ I kept showing pics of them to hubby and saying...We are Going next year.

    *chuckles*

    Love the details in your costumes.

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  34. Wow! I love the colors in your costume. That reminds me of somethign I was wondering at DragonCon: There are rainbow goths, does that mean their are rainbow steampunks?

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  35. Jen, thank you for all the detailed pictures! You looked so amazing, both of you, and I love all the details. I love that you made the corset! And John's ray gun and holster are very cool as well, even if they aren't purple ;-)

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  36. I just love you two...I wish you lived in Canada so we could be *real* friends. haha John actually looks a little bit like my husband, and while my husband isn't as crafty, he's just as geeky about computer stuff, so I bet we'd all get along just fine. :)

    Love all the pictures! I know it's more work to do a blog post with lots of photos, but they're great.

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  37. LOVE the pictures of you and John and your costumes! So creative and steam-punkish! Thanks for sharing.

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  38. All that awesomeness AND he can sew!
    You both look amazing. :)

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  39. I think you look beautiful. I know how is though to never have a good photo taken. I like to think that it is because no one can capture my personality on film and I just look flat and not like myself. At least you are lucky in that John can take a good picture of you. My husband never zooms in enough so he always shows too much of my body and not enough of my face.

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  40. Keep this up, and you just might make a steampunker out of me... ;)
    (I'm not quite sure if steampunker is even a word, but I'm going with it.)

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  41. You are so cute, your husband is so cute, your parents are so cute! It hurts my teeth, you are all so cute. I want to adopt you all. I love seeing pics of you! It's nice to put a face to the words.

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  42. OMG! So much detail! And how creative are you!? I absolutely love love love all of the outfits and accessories.

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  43. Jen, your costume is awesome! And you're adorable, I'm glad you felt comfortable posting photos of yourself (finally).

    But please. please please please please please please PUH-LEEZ put up your ray gun tutorial already! I'm working on my Steam Punk costume right now (Simplicity Pattern 2172) and I NEED an awesome ray gun! Or a steam punked up Airzooka. OR BOTH. Luff your site like whoa!

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  44. Awesome! You make me want to run out and dye my hair.

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  45. Deeeelightful!! You guys look so cute and awesome. Thanks so much for the hints and ideas and diy inspiration!

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  46. Oh I love your outfits and thanks for the details. Great inspiration!

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  47. wowweee kazowee! you're outfits are so creative and so awesome! My 3 daughters and i are slowly accumulating steam-punkery( thanks to your influence lol)

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  48. “Except I obviously like to dress a little steamy even when I'm not at conventions.” Clearly this accounts for John’s tiger growls. (ahem)

    Thanks for sharing the details and explaining the process. I didn't know about steampunk before I read Epbot and now I've read some stories. I think I need to make a costume but I've never really done that so it helps to see the details.

    -Barbara Anne

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  49. You're both looking so great!
    Oh, and you're costumes, too. :)


    wv: resive
    I'm sure you'll resive much more compliments!

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  50. I can't get over how great you guys look! I wish I had half the creativity that you do!

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  51. I'm very happy to see the "less is more" approach. Too many steampunk costumes seem to go way over the top for me. And I'm not talking about the Caracitus Potts type. Yours seem doable. And still very much apropos to the style.

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  52. Absolutely awesome, Jen! All the outfits are amazing!! I wish I had just a tenth of your creativity. Thanks for sharing all these pictures, from the con and of the costumes. Wish I had a good reason for putting together a steampunk costume.

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  53. Jen, you are too cute! BTW, this has been driving me nuts, but I've finally decided that you look like Lindsay Sloane.

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  54. And you act like pictures of you are always hideous! All of the outfits are gorgeous, as are you. Nice to know that the hair color was clip-in - permanent dye highlights just didn't seem like you somehow.

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  55. I can't believe we don't see more pics of you Jen, you are gorgeous! The pair of you are a stunning couple and I LOVE LOVE LOVE your steampunk costumes.

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  56. OH GOSH YOU'RE SO PRETTYYY!!! :D And I can say that and not be stalkerish 'cause I'm a young lady and we're not allowed to be stalkers by the rule book of nature. ;D

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  57. Jen, you and your costumes are Adorable! What a great job!

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  58. Love it all! By the way, I have some of those clip in color highlight things too by a company called SnazzyLites (I think they only have a FB page, but they have TONS of colors). They are super awesome little accessories to have :) You looked fabulous dah-ling!

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  59. Thank you for sharing the photos and all of that info! You two always impress me with your creativity and the skills to make your ideas reality. Ah-may-zing.

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  60. Just thought I'd tell you how beautiful you are. You've been hiding behind your blogs for too long. You and John are such a perfect match. You'll probably hear that a lot in the comments, but I think we can all use hearing it a little bit more

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  61. About the vinyl cincher, try lining it with cotton or a well washed light weight flannel. This will absorb the sweat and make it slightly more comfortable to wear.
    Costumes 101.

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  62. Grrrl! You are just too cute! And what fabulous costumes! Huzzah!

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  63. Jen,
    Not only are the two of you so talented, but you are beyond adorable. You are way too hard on yourself lookswise--you are beautiful, and if John takes good pictures of you its because he obviously sees the same beauty that we see when we read your blogs.

    I'm still trying to figure out what kinds of projects you guys CAN'T tackle. You have shown us everything from the house to the clothes that hang in the closet (and how to hang the shoes) to the cake to celebrate the housewarming.

    I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blogs years ago through yes but no but yes.

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  64. @Barbara Anne: if we were on Facebook, I would "like" your post. It made me laugh in class. :)

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  65. Those outfits are amazing! I can't believe how detailed they are. Also, I have that same necklace from Forever 21. It makes me feel like I have a Time-Turner from Harry Potter :)

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  66. Great costumes! You look beautiful!
    Your second costume pic has a Zelda pose.:-)
    Although I'm too conservative to do colored hair, I liked your green extension. My students have been showing up with feathers clipped in their hair (which I also can't see me doing) and it's kind of cute.
    BTW, after your post a while back on eyebrows, can I just say you've got lovely eyebrows? 'Cause you do. I'm still too chicken to get mine shaped.

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  67. WOW! Your outfits are so cute, I'm super jealous. The DETAILS!

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  68. After reading "The Half-Made World" and a few other classic steampunk novels, my boyfriend has now decided this is the genre for him - for literature and life! I've sent him a link to this post for some sweet styling ideas. Keep up the good work :)

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  69. Well done! I love all the details you put into the outfits. It's also great to see the faces of cakewrecks!

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  70. Yeah so, like, you know what? Awesome. Totally awesome.

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  71. Wow, you both look amazing! Love all the costumes and the neat little details. Thanks for sharing all the photos and crafting details. Very inspiring. Also thanks for posting all your photos from Dragon*Con. It's nice to be able to enjoy geekdom vicariously. :)

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  72. John's outfit is fantastic, and your first outfit is beautiful and so are you. You two look so fantastic in steampunk attire. Thanks for sharing.

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  73. You guys are inspiring. And totally awesome! Love the outfits.

    You have inspired me. I am trying to go back to making Halloween costumes not just buying them. Hopefully saving money too.

    Maybe John could take a good picture of me too, totally not photogenic . . :(

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  74. I was so excited to see these pics. You are gorgeous, Jen!!! Great work on both costumes. What fun!

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  75. I made my hubby look at your day 2 con pictures and we youtubed the entire William F***ing Shatner bit. He was cackling the entire time! :D I think ComiCon is on his bucket list. (And we watched "Paul" this weekend too, score.) I'm thinking he could do the whole gig like your hubby did, pinstripes and all. I did afterall buy him a pocketwatch engraved with our names and wedding date as his wedding gift. Has he used it after then? No. :p

    A friend and I both agree that my hubby could SO do Thor for Halloween...

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  76. I want to know where you 'guys' find the time to do all these things.

    "We found this whatchamacallit at the hardware store, then I just altered the molecular structure a bit and added some frammis bolts to create this [professional-looking decoration]. No big deal."

    Riiight. Come on, admit it -- you two have a time machine somewhere. That must be how you can run two blogs, drive all over everywhere and make all this stuff besides. That goes for John and his multiple talents as well. Either that, or you have discovered the secret of how to live without sleeping.

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  77. Craig, you made us both LOL.

    It's mostly the no-sleep thing. And TV watching is a cherished commodity now; we splurge by watching two episodes of Community while eating dinner - then, back to work! But we love what we do, so it usually doesn't feel like work. Usually. ;)

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  78. So fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing. And I think that last face of Jon's was something Calvin (like from Calvin and Hobbes) would be proud of.

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  79. You are both too cute for words! And so inspirational: I almost bought a grommet kit thingy, but opted for the staple gun instead. ;-)

    WV: pedrat: I knew a guy in college who had a pedrat, but since it was against the rules, he had to send it home.

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  80. I must have slacked on my stalking because I didn't have any idea what yall looked like. Not at all what I had pictured in my mind! You're beautiful and your man is cute (as though you didn't know). I don't know if I got the impression that you were half ogre from your writings/blog/etc or what but if so you need to stop! Love the outfits btw! Very well done :)

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  81. You both look great! You are so talented and inspiring. I agree with Craig, you make it all seem so easy! Thanks for suffering through D*C for all of us. ;-)

    I cannot believe you called John a sewer (as in sewage)! Really, Jen, I think the word you are looking for is....seam-....-ster? Seammaster? Seamsman? Ah, now I see why you went with "sew-er"! :)

    Andrea

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  82. Jen, you are so pretty. I have no idea why pick on yourself so much, because the rest of us just see a beautiful girl that makes us laugh and brings us pretty shiny things to look at. Oh, and I love the groovy costume. I'll have to share pics of mine (for Halloween) when I get it finished.

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  83. "He's the only one who can take a pretty picture of me"

    Shut.Up. You're gorgeous! :-)
    You guys make an adorable couple!

    You guys are going to Celebration next year, right?? My husband went last year but I didn't for whatever reason and really kicked myself in the behind later. Next year we will be bringing our (by then) 5 year old and I'm already starting to think of costume ideas.

    By the way, is the Epbot/former crack house still on the market? We are being thrown into the house hunt sooner than we had planned.

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  84. OMG Jen, you and John are such cutie-pies! It always amazes me how talented and crafty you guys are!

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  85. Aww! You look so pretty! I love everything about all these outfits!

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  86. See, having seen pictures of John before I knew you had an adorable husband. Now seeing you, however, I'm pleased to see he has an equally adorable wife!

    WV menspit: "Menspit out their sodas when Jen sashays by!"

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  87. Awwww, you guys are too cute! I CAN'T HANDLE IT.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures! I'm thinking about adding a slight steampunky feel to a simple costume I'm considering for a con next year, so all your photos and details are really helpful for ideas. ^^

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  88. Oh my gosh, you are the cutest!

    Love all the work you put into your costume. I don't have the patience for it myself, so I'm always quite envious of people who are so creative.

    And hubba, hubba to your hubby! He looks like he was born for that look.

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  89. Jen, I LOVE what you did with the bag I sent! It looks amazing with your outfit. Nice job! :)

    ~AB

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  90. so much great detail! You're so creative. For some reason, I'dnever come across pictures of what you guys look like, so this was fun! You're both wicked cute! (and I say that in a totally, non-creepy way. I hope).

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  91. Thanks so much for posting these! I'm starting super early on a steampunk costume for Chicon next year. I have the basics figured out, but I needed some inspiration for the details. A friend sent me here and I think I'll have to kiss her for it! Super creative ideas and great photos. Congrats to you both. I look forward to rummaging myself now (and reading more of your blog). THANK YOU!

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  92. Any chance of a better look at the corset belt? I want to make a variation on it for one of my cosplay outfits for Chicon 2012.

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  93. So THAT'S what you two look like. I did wonder. (Not confessing what I actually thought you looked like after some of your comments on cakewrecks...)

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  94. Oh my gosh, your outfits are so fabulous!!! I can't even imagine doing all the work...but now I'm feeling so inspired I might just HAVE to make something. (I'll start with the gloves. LOL) Thank you so much for posting and for being such a creative inspiration!

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  95. I am just blown away...you are amazing!

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  96. So, I brought my 9-year-old daughter here to show her Lady Vadore and try to explain steampunk visually. She's long been a fan of th CW site and knew about Jen and John. She loved Lady Vadore (of course!!) and picked the link to this page from there to keep exploring. When the first picture loaded she said "who is that?" and I said "It's Jen, the blogger" and she said in a genuine and much more awed and girly voice than she usually uses "ooooooooh, she's sooo pretty!" and then it turned into a big old goggle-love-fest for her. Oh Jen, thank you so much for sharing your craft and humor with us!

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    Replies
    1. Awww, now I'm grinning *and* blushing. Thanks, Becca! And say hi to your daughter for me!

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