Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Costume Progress - Victorian Spats

Steampunk costumes call for spats! Or really great boots, which I don't have because of my gigantic ankles and calves. Anyone else have this problem? Anyway, To make spats (or gaiters), the first step is to make a pattern. To get the right fit, I created a duct tape "cast" of my foot following this DIY spats pattern guide.

After I cut it off and cut it into three pattern pieces (inside, outside front, outside back), I discovered the sock I used was really contracting. I had to really spread out the duct tape pieces and pin them down in order to mark out the pattern pieces on butcher paper.

I added 1/2-inch seam allowances and then belatedly remembered I needed extra width on the edge of the outer front piece (1) to overlap the outer back piece (2) and allow for button holes. I accounted for this when I traced the patterns onto the fabric with chalk.

I ended up with six pieces, three for each foot, mirror images of course. Then I sewed them together, sewing the two skinny pieces onto each side of the wider (inside) piece.

Lace trim came next.

Lastly I added buttons, twelve on each.

I spaced out the buttons equidistant (about an inch) and marked the spots with a chalk line. Then I ran it through the buttonholer over and over, twenty-four times. I got really good at making button holes, I can tell ya that.

Then I sewed on all the buttons, tried it on, and then removed half the buttons and sewed them on again to tighten the calf. At that point the spats were wearable but still needed two more tweaks before wearing them all day at a convention:
1) add a strap beneath the arch of the foot.
2) reinforce the shaft so they stay up when I walk (d'oh!)


  1. I love your blog! Keep it up! I have my own blog too.

  2. Why, thank you! I see you recently started your Anime blog! The best way to keep it up is to make it a routine... we try to post at least twice a week on Monday and Thursday, but sometimes we get a little excited and post more often! Nothin' wrong with that too... :)