The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

Steampunk Stitching Association


Steampunk Stitching Association

A united association for seamstresses, tailors and crafters of the steampunk variety from all across the globe and sky. Come in, sharpen your scissors, thread your needle and enjoy conversation with fellow creative types!

Location: The Aether
Members: 642
Latest Activity: on Sunday

1. Be Excellent to each other!
2. Advice, suggestions and Instructions may be freely dispensed here, providing that your words and your work is your own. Otherwise, credit the creator.
3. Feel free to promote business and trade! If you'd like to share your wares, or solicit a commission either is fine.
4. Please don't slander anyone else's work, mock, "spork" or otherwise condemn another person's creation. Criticism should be constructive and you never know who's going to look at something you say on the internet so it's not very nice to giggle and point at strangers.

Nothing everyone didn't know already, I'm sure!

Discussion Forum

Non-Victorian styles and daily steam outfits

Started by Professor Argon Bats. Last reply by Professor Argon Bats on Sunday. 15 Replies

It occurred to me that all the projects I have shared with you have been Victorian or Edwardian based outfits, although I do sew some more modern items as well. I don't wear big Victorian gowns at…Continue

What's in YOUR project basket?

Started by Sair Blades. Last reply by Professor Argon Bats Jun 20. 566 Replies

/end cheesy moodWhat all has everyone been working on lately? Any cool projects in mind? Any freshly completed?I'm working on my first corset commission... now I'm an Amateur with a capital A for my…Continue

steampunk kids outfits

Started by Jonathan Harker. Last reply by Capt. Logan "Direwolf" Stewart Dec 5, 2014. 2 Replies

why is there  not more steampunk outfits ???   and where can i find some Continue

Steampunk Toys

Started by Di Cooper. Last reply by Lepidoptera Wible Oct 26, 2014. 9 Replies

How do you do. I would like to hear from fellow toy makers.  I make felt animals and toys.  Is it possible to  make money from these unique patterns ?  Do you have a success story?  I am sitting on…Continue

Tags: felt, Toys

Welt Pockets on a Man's Vest - Anyone have a link to a great tutorial?

Started by C. E. McDermott (Clint Darby). Last reply by Rev. Luficarius Ratspeed Sep 10, 2014. 9 Replies

These pockets look marvelous - for me they are a true challange. Can anyone steer me in the right direction? Thank You,C.E. McDermottContinue

Tailoring Tutorial Video Project

Started by Rev. Luficarius Ratspeed Sep 10, 2014. 0 Replies

I just wanted to announce that I've recently launched a Patreon campaign to create a full range of video and written tutorials for…Continue

Frock Coat Tutorials?

Started by Rev. Luficarius Ratspeed. Last reply by Rev. Luficarius Ratspeed Sep 10, 2014. 23 Replies

There have been lots of threads on the group but none that I've seen that do more than chip at the edges of men's dress. And there always comes the periodical plea of "Frock Coat Tutorials" or "Frock…Continue

Adapting a pattern to what you need

Started by Lepidoptera Wible. Last reply by Lepidoptera Wible Jul 6, 2014. 2 Replies

I had it all planned out, I was going to add some lace and stuff to my 1893 ballgown from the first Gearcon in 2011 and call it good. Then I found this wonderful fabric at Walmart of all places,…Continue

Safari Jacket - Burda 7918

Started by A D Cruize. Last reply by A D Cruize Apr 8, 2014. 35 Replies

The time has come to stop thinking and do it.I plan to use this thread as a blog to chronicle the adventure.  Suggestions and advice are welcomed and appreciated.Got the camo to do one for…Continue

Tags: 7918, burda, jacket, safari

Corset Making

Started by K. Robin Egger. Last reply by Professor Argon Bats Feb 19, 2014. 5 Replies

I have been making corsets for a while and I am still struggling with setting grommets.  Other than the hammer and die (makes too much noise and takes too much time for my liking), what do you all…Continue

Tags: making, corset

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Steampunk Stitching Association to add comments!

Comment by Professor Argon Bats on June 24, 2015 at 4:40pm

Apparently I was wrong - after a massive survey of.... three respondents, including myself, the most popular era is Edwardian, not late bustle Victorian!

Comment by Professor Argon Bats on June 19, 2015 at 12:39pm

So, I'm home sick with the most dreadful summer cold, and I made this little distraction: my first survey. I was wondering what everyone's favorite era is for steampunk costume designs. I started out liking the late bustle, which I think of as the most typical steampunk "basis", but maybe I'm wrong. Since then I've expanded my appreciation of other styles, I absolutely love the 1890s, but also like Edwardian styles, and am beginning to ogle teens and even natural form projects.

Please take the mini (one question) survey here, and/or just comment on this page! Multiple answers ok.

Comment by Leslie Orton on May 25, 2015 at 4:16pm

           Steampunk Newspaper The Aether Chronicle #26:

Time Travel...Proven!
More Tales from The Red Planet!

Follow This Link:

Comment by Leslie Orton on April 19, 2015 at 12:29pm

             Steampunk Newspaper The Aether Chronicle #25:

Suffragette Society Drops Drawers in Protest of Restrictive Undergarments!

Steampunk Gremlins Plague Machines of London!

Follow This Link:

Comment by Phineas Wotan Sprockett, O.C.C. on March 3, 2015 at 7:24am

Prof. Argon,

    Thanks.   Must see this.  Love the plaids!

Comment by Professor Argon Bats on March 2, 2015 at 6:38pm

I just watched Kingsman: the secret service, and thoroughly enjoyed it for the light entertainment that it is. Well-tailored (Savile Row) bespoke suits and impeccable oxfords are enough to give it steampunk appeal, but the training jumpsuits made out of British woolens (pinstripe, plaids...) brought on a full attack of excited costume-fangirl delight. With storm collars. Big bonus points for the costume designers. I then learned that they are technically better referred to as "siren suits". I want one.

Comment by Professor Argon Bats on February 17, 2015 at 11:00am

Thank you Ryan, very informative. I have no intention to attempt metal casting myself, but very much enjoyed the education. Sand - of course. Makes sense. What a wonderful material.

Comment by Ryan Grimm on February 17, 2015 at 3:30am

Plaster is often used in small-scale production or one-offs, usually when doing lost-wax casting.  Care must be used, as plaster contains a lot of the water used in forming it, and of too much remains it can instantly boil and explode when molten mental is poured.

That is another subject entirely, apart from the larger scale production situation.

In this video, the man uses two-part patterns.  He places one side of the pattern in the cope, dusts it with a release material, then uses a riddle (sifter) to add fine sand for a smoother finish in the as-cast part.
Tamping the sand mix ensures no voids or weak spots in the mold.
He repeats the process until the cope is full, and strikes off the excess.

Placing a roll-over board on the cope, he rolls over the mold, and adds the other side of the pattern....well, on a larger mold you'd use one LOL.
More parting dust....
He places the drag onto the set, and proceeds to fill some cases, adding a pattern for the fill and overflow ports.  Were there to be a two-part paterns, 'gates' for allowing the metal into the mold would be cut and join the fill port to the patterns.

You may not notice, but the cope and drag may only be assembled one way, preventing the problem of mismatched parts!  How awkward...

Repeat filling and leveling as required....

Lightly tap and loosen the ports, then remove them.  Clean up as needed.
Opening the mold shows the pattern, which is withdrawn using a pointed or threaded tool to lift it out, CAREFULLY.
The mold is cleaned up, and reassembled.

He uses a charcoal fired furnace, notice how only a used computer fan is required for his purposes of a draft.
Once the aluminum is melted, a suitable agent is added to reduce porosity (bubbles) and improve pour-ability.
Once the mold is filled, the remainder is poured into a simple form to make a pig for later use.

Depending on the sand mix, he saves it for reuse.
HOT metal!
The second mold used a two-part pattern.

IIRC you can make your own sand from coarse CLEAN builder's sand (sharp grains), wood flour (or even real wheat flour) and molasses, with a bit of water added until the mix is the right consistency.
Kept damp until use, it improves with age.

Allowed to cool, the excess metal is cut off and the part is machined as required....which is simpler than one might think.

Comment by Ryan Grimm on February 17, 2015 at 2:58am

The patterns, if not used too heavily, were of very hard wood, such as rock maple, some pine or other very hard woods.  Indeed, some of the wood was so hard it was machined in much the same manner as the metal parts, although more readily.  Oak could be used for some parts.

If many parts were to be made, a wood master was built (suitably made larger to allow for shrinkage of casting material) and an aluminum (or earlier, cast iron) production pattern was made.

The pattern is bedded in an open box called the COPE, and then carefully withdrawn.  The bedding is casting sand, as described below.
If the pattern has two sides, then another box called the DRAG was placed over it, the other side filled and packed with the casting sand, and then the cope and drag separated and the pattern withdrawn.  Vents and a filler funnel were built into the mold...a wire was inserted at points to allow venting of molding gases.

Clamped shut to keep the weight of molten metal from 'floating' the mold apart, it was poured in one quick step.  Nowadays they actually glue the molds shut.

After a suitable cooling period, the sand and casting(s) were shaken out of the boxes and let cool.
The casting sand was usually a mix of sand, fuller's earth, resin of some sort to act as a binder.  It was porous enough to let some of the gases from molding escape, and the grains of sand had to be fine enough for the purposes of the finish on the cast part.

An EXCELLENT series of books was produced by David Gingery, from making a simple charcoal-fired furnace to making an entire machine shop from scrap aluminum, using simple hand tools.
I have the complete set, and cannot recommend them highly enough.

PRECAUTIONS must be made....working with temperatures at 1400 degrees will have paper burst into flames at 4-5 feet, and wood at a couple feet.
What it would do to human tissue is too horrible to contemplate....ALWAYS get assistance and TRAINING when working with hot metals.
Which reminds me, I have about 120 pounds of bronze I have a hankering to pour....

Comment by Professor Argon Bats on February 16, 2015 at 9:57am

I imagine it was! What do you cast the negative mold in, from the wood? Clay or a gypsum plaster? Is it a multiple-step process? I have wondered what would withstand the heat of the final metal casting, but not itself be so hot as to burn off the wood of the original positive mold.


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