Using the bathroom is hard enough in my Steampunky tu-tu, but I couldn’t imagine how someone would do it in a full on bustle. Luckily, when I was looking into just that question, YouTube came through 🙂
I don’t have any kids yet, but I already have plans to dress my future children in a variety of silly outfits. And no, I don’t just mean Halloween, I mean as long as possible before they catch on. Because let’s face it, shrinking down just about anything, making it really soft, and putting it on some unsuspecting kid is just about as adorable as it gets. Take flight caps, for instance. If I see a kid in a tiny aviation outfit I can’t help but squeeeee with joy. Like this kid. Am I right?
Of course I am. 🙂
But where did these iconic caps come from? It turns out they have been a part of aviation since aviation was just a baby.
When the Wright Brothers made their famous first flight in 1903, Orville was definitely wearing a hat. No man of that era would be caught outside without one. On that day, he wore something akin to a page boy cap, but of course flying is a windy occupation and it was basically impossible to keep a regular hat in place. Plus, the pilot’s ears would get cold as the plane climbed and they needed protection.
By 1908, Wilbur had a brand new hat that quickly became a sensation, not just for people in flight, but also in Parisian fashion. The tight-fitting but soft leather cap (though not the goggles yet) was nicknamed the “Vilbur” and was popular for a short time among young men and boys. Soon after, aviator Louis Bleriot crossed the English Channel, and he added the goggles to protect his eyes from oil and other debris. And you can bet Amelia Earhart got into the action, with her custom-made white cap to match her white flying jacket.
So there you have it. The flight cap and the goggles that we all know and love to wear as part of our Steampunk ensembles grew up alongside the airplane from the very start. I picked up a WWII aviation cap while I was in Bulgaria and wear it with a purple ad black tutu-bustle. Not the least bit accurate, but it sure is a comfy hat!
Here are a few other examples of Steampunk flight caps. Enjoy!
What’s Going on Right Now?
Ungodly Goodies, Ends June 4
Ungodly Goodies is a multi-faceted Artisan horror company focused on Wicca, gothic, steampunk, pinup and oddity apparel that’s here for the long-term so join us and help grow this unique brand!
We ship anywhere in the world!
All shirts are available in Men’s and Women’s but all are black. Tank Tops also available.
Here’s a look at our tees:
My favorite reward: $25 pledge gets you a shirt of your choosing.
Forbidden Two, Ends July 9
Our team consist of independent filmmakers. We hope to raise a modest goal to make this project come to life! Right now we are aiming to make the Pilot episode as a “proof of concept” with the hope of shopping the show around and eventually moving onto a full season…
The series follows Claudia L’Martinaire, a Nunne’hi on her first mission to Earth, and how her world is turned upside down when Tristan, an up and coming inventor, walks into her life as she searches for the human she is meant to protect.
My favorite reward: $20 pledge gets you a Steampunk coloring book!
Mists of Akuma: Eastern Fantasy Noir Steampunk for D&D 5E, Ends May 30
My favorite reward: $20 pledge gets you a PDF of the game.
Ictus: Tabletop Warfare, Ends June 22
Titan Zero Industries presents Ictus, a table top wargame set in the Stempunk apocalypse of 1909. Ictus features high quality miniatures, six unique factions, an all new stacking rule set and multiple game modes including cooperative play.
My favorite reward: $40 pledge gets a set of miniatures worth $50
The Spectre of Knox Mill, Ends June 11
Between 2012 and 2014, we four musicians converged over a set of common grievances. The world in which we live sharply divided between “entertainment” and “art” with little room for overlap. It often felt like there was a vast ‘no-man’s land’ in between high opera and it’s closest relative, musical theater. Compelling pieces that appeal to modern sensibilities that are performed with a high caliber of vocal training and are few and far between. “Where are the mainstream operas?” Friends would ask. “We can have exciting, relate-able, stories with twists and turns AND beautiful singing with songs we want to hum, can’t we?”
My favorite reward: $20 for a download of the album.
You may remember that during the month of February FWtGT celebrated all types of makers, and I gave you some digital resources like the New York Public Library. I have a great example today of a way to use digital collections like that one. Military cosplay is common in the world of Steampunk, which makes perfect sense given all the airship captains and officers fighting in India during the 1800’s. So if you are looking for some reference material, look no farther than the NYPL! I included just a sampling below, but there must be at least two dozen lithographs of uniforms from all over the world in the 1890’s. Enjoy!
Have you found any great stuff using the resources I recommended? Tell me about it in the comments!
If you want to get your hands on some resources for steam era costume design, look no further! I am not much of a seamstress myself (though I have been known to pick up a needle here and there), but for all you cosplay enthusiasts and makers, you should definitely check out the bank of online resources that The Costuming Diary has collected. And, they’re free!
Goggles are a quintessential Steampunk fashion accessory, and luckily for us in the steam-o-sphere, there are a lot of nice people who have made tutorials about how to make your own. This way you get the satisfaction of creating something yourself and you can personalize your new piece of wearable art to go with the character and costume you have created. There is a wide range of materials and skill levels involved in these videos, but I bet you can find one or a mix of techniques, that would work for you! I have these videos in a vague sort of least-skilled to most-skilled order, starting with an easy modification (mod) and ending with more complex projects built from scratch. When I started looking for these tutorials I was really surprised by how many of them were based on taking an existing pair of goggles and adapting them. I had assumed the sweet oculars I’d been seeing were built from scratch, but it turns out it is easier than you might think to get a really cool finished product.
If you have already made your own set of goggles, I’d love to post a picture of them in my Gearhead Gallery at the end of DIY month on the blog! Send ’em to ForWhomTheGearTurns@gmail.com.
Adapting Plastic Safety Goggles
Dollar Store Materials from Scratch
Easy Mod of Swim Goggles
Intense Mod of Diving Goggles
More Complex, Leather Optional
The name “pork pie hat” can refer to a number of different hats that were popular starting in the 1830s and continued to be worn all the way into the middle of the 20th century. As you probably guessed, it got its name from the British meat pie which, like the hat itself, can vary widely in terms of quality and fanciness. The most popular style of pork pie during the steam era was called the Melton Mowbary due to the prevalence of pig farming in the area near Leicester. It was a simple pie with a hand molded crust, uncured pork, and ‘meat jelly’ (which sounds pretty gross but helps to fill in gaps between the pieces of meat for even baking) and could be served hot or cold. If you want to know more, you can visit the (no joke) Melton Mowbary Pork Pie Association website. Pork pies, and so that hats named after them, were cylindrical, but unlike a flat top hat, pork pie hats have a distinctive crown. This raised edge is what truly makes something a pork pie hat.
When pork pie hats were first introduced, they were mostly worn by women in American and Great Britain. They had small brims and were often adorned with a feather or two. They could be made from any material, such as straw, silk, or felt. They fell out of favor around the beginning of the American Civil War, and did not become a man’s fashion accessory until the 1920’s.
Actor Buster Keaton was hardly ever seen without his trusty straw pork pie, and this brought the style back into favor for several decades. On a fun side note, Keaton actually made his own pork pie hats by taking fedoras and other hats that were already constructed and altering them. He made over a thousand hats this way in his lifetime. Pork pies became flashier during the 1930s and 40s, and became strongly associated with jazz music and the zoot suit.
Nowadays, the pork pie hat is still seen in some forms of military dress, such as the US Navy, as well as being popular among hipsters.
This time last year I was working on some designs for pins that I submitted as part of a contest through The Pandora Society. Unfortunately, the contest did not end up happening, so my designs languished. Until December that is…
With the help of the good folks over at Pinmart.com, I got to take the next step with my design and get the pins actually made! I wanted to create a sort of sigil that encompassed different aspects of Steampunk. The costumers are represented by the scissors, the makers are the wrench, and the writers are the quill and ink.
Looking to get your hands on one of these spiffy, 1.25″ lapel pins? They will be available through my Kickstarter campaign that will launch in February. So stay tuned with more info as we get closer to launch!